May You Live in Interesting Times
There is a sort of application of the Observer Effect that applies to the news of the day. Sometimes confused with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which argues that at the subatomic level we can discern either the velocity of a particle or its location, but not both, the Observer Effect argues that observing scientific phenomena can affect what we are observing. It’s almost as if the electrons know we’re looking at them, and adjust their dance. With respect to the news of the day, we often hear this kind of argument: “Social ill x is no greater today than it was twenty years ago. It’s just reported more.” Or, “The recent slew of crime y is expected to create copycat crimes.” It’s like the news knows we are watching. Sometimes, the news is how we respond to the news.