Vital Signs

The Age of Verification

Some millennia after the Earth spun out of nothingness and began hosting life forms, there dawned the Age of Reptiles, which gave way to the Age of Mammals.  Then came the Golden Age, the Age of Fable, the Age of Augustus, the Age of Migrations, the Dark and the Middle Ages, the Age of Absolutism and the Age of Reason, the Age of Exploration, the Age of Empire and the Industrial (or Machine) Age, the Age of Innocence and the Age of Anxiety, the Space Age, the Age of Aquarius, and the Information Age.

We are said to be still in the age of technologically enhanced accelerated information access.  Information now plays the role that gold played during the Mercantile Age.  So why do we hear the black bell toll for newspapers, of all things, in this age where information is the currency of choice—newspapers, whose content is Information itself?  Stock quotes and sporting stats (the better to bet with), corporate reports, macro- and microeconomic data, emerging technologies, political developments at all levels of government, texts of speeches and reports, legislative precedents and maneuvers, legal decisions, new wrinkles in crime, profiles of movers and shakers, read-between-the-lines interviews with national and world leaders, backgrounders on issues of the day such as immigration and religious practice, reviews of the latest cultural highs and lows in all media, gossip, advice to the lovelorn, the latest psychological...

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