Why Context Matters

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

Daily Show with Trevor Noah

I have always enjoyed Trevor Noah, who hosted “The Daily Show,” a faux news show initially made famous by Jon Stewart. About seven years ago, Noah, a South African comic, took over from Stewart. He brought an outsider’s viewpoint to this quintessential American socio-political cultural show. He wasn’t always liked or appreciated. However, as an outsider who grew up in a world of grays, I respected Noah’s erudite approach to humor and the human condition. Noah ended his seven-year run last week. And in his parting commentary, he said something that needs amplifying – context matters. Here is an edited excerpt from his commentary.

Never forget how much context matters. I feel like we live in an age of limitless information right now. But we never seem to acknowledge that there’s a shortage of context. We don’t realize that we have a lot of information but we don’t have the context that is so necessary for us to process that information, which is so important.

Context is truly everything.

We know we know about a flood in Pakistan. In a way that we never would have known before we know about protests in Iran. We know about what the troop movements are in Ukraine. We know about a drought in parts of you know, Sudan. We know all these things. We know who Pete Davidson is dating now. Sometimes I feel like we know it before he does.

We see a clip a video. It’s designed to make us angry, (Read more...)