Sunday, January 24, 2010

Strangers and Stupidity

I've been reading a couple of books, that I thought were worth noting.

Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don't Seem To Matter.. But Really Do.
I'm afraid this one didn't hold my interest until the end, probably only because my reading is as scattered as my quilting, so I didn't read the whole thing, but the topic is worth noting. There are many important people that come and go in our life and don't get a lot of attention in life - the coworkers, the people in line, the hairdresser, the store clerk, the librarian, the bus buddy, and now lately, the blogging friends, the Facebook friends who are befriended only because they play the same game. Some of them are short term, some of them are long term, but they are all important. Yesterday, the librarian pointed out a quilting book to me.

There have been several times in my life when I relied on the consequential, short term strangers, to help me get through - like when I quit my job, and all the people in my regular support system were at work, and didn't know what it was like to not work. The people on the child support listserv who helped me understand the various sides of the issue.

Now I've got a new group of Consequential Strangers. The people on the couponing blogs who tell me where to get the best deals. The people who leave reviews for the products I am thinking about buying. The genealogy and quilting bloggers who keep me informed of the current trends in those topics. Most of these people don't know me very well, if at all, and probably wouldn't miss me much if I left their forum. I think now with the new applications, there are more Consequential Strangers to meet, and to appreciate.

Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter.
This one is about how fickle and uninformed most American Voters are. Another one where bringing up the topic is more important than what is actually said in the book. With modern resources, we are able to find out much faster what is going on in the world, and can complete polls and get in touch with our representatives much faster. But we don't seek out information and don't know much about what is going on. Personally, I am willing to take some of the blame. It's true that I don't take the time to find out what is going on in the world everyday. But I think the media has to take the blame as well. Our newspaper, and news shows only cover local and national news. I have to go out of my way to learn about events happening around the world, but celebrity news comes my way from everywhere. I don't know what I don't know, so it is hard to look for it.

It's my Consequential Strangers, my blogging friends from around the world, that are helping me be more informed, not just about quilting and money saving deals and genealogy, but also about what is going on around the world. Thank you.

1 comment:

Allie said...

Both those books sound very interesting - I'll look for the stupidity one at my library Tuesday.
One of my pet peeves is all the celebrity news on my local news channel. Honestly, at what point did celebrities become so important? I find myself talking to the tv, saying "not news, not news" like a babbling idiot. I could care less what a bunch of overpaid mannequins are doing.
Uh-oh - sorry - didn't mean to rant, lol!