How 9/11 Changed America

The most fascinating observation that I've ever personally made is so keen and interesting, that you won't believe that I'm the one who noticed this, and you won't believe you never heard it before (unless you read it on my blog a few years ago). The three images below are screen captures from the year 2000. Take a look:

So... what's missing? The constant stream of scrolling "news" at the bottom! One of the strangest facts of American history is that on 9/11/01, all three channels adopted the scroll bar at the bottom of their screens, and the scroll bar has never stopped scrolling since!

That's true. And if you ever use that fact in a book or paper, I expect citation.


Jon Sealy said...

Wikipedia is onto you:

Casey said...

Alack! And no citation!

Casey said...

Wikipedia says:

"While tickers had been used occasionally by other networks over the years, it was the September 11 attacks of 2001 that made the ticker a ubiquitous part of the television news experience.[citation needed]"

Citation needed!?

I'll say!

Monica said...

Haaaaaaa. I was just pointing this out to my postmodern fiction students a couple of weeks ago. It's the idea that fear exacerbates our need for info/data/knowledge (or at least the illusion of it)--and this fear, obviously, is most apparent in the wake of a collective tragedy like 9/11. But it's also that our brains are being re-wired and re-configured as we learn to take in numerous pieces of data at once, always skimming the surface but never diving deep into one sustained analysis of, well, anything.

Also, Casey, this fact comes up in Lynne Sharon Shwartz's novel The Writing on the Wall--she's a Jewish American writer, and the book is about the aftermath of 9/11. It's a good read. Students liked it when I taught a senior seminar last year.

Casey said...

So I didn't discover this datum?! :(