Wednesday 6 January 2010

Thai Life

I had a few days in Thailand before Christmas. It was warmer than here. I stayed with friends who live in Phuket and therefore met a few of their ex-pat friends. I tried to work out why they all seemed more relaxed. Could it be many were retired? Or that they live in a bit of a tropical paradise? Possibly these sorts of reasons. But also: they don’t have a diet of daily news. What is happening in the UK is mostly not relevant. Most of what happens in Thailand does not affect them. World trends can be picked up from the internet or occasional news bulletins.

Just as in Spain – where a large ex-pat community has been surveyed – people also tend to have a more negative view of life back home than even we who remain. This is partly to self-justify the change in lifestyle but also because again they can step back from day to day pressures of news and just live their lives.

I am a news junkie; I listen to Radio 4 much of the time and often check the news on the internet during the day. Not everyone is as bad as me: but we do have a regular and perpetually updated flow of news. And to be interesting it is usually concerning. I wish I could learn to avoid it – and I think we would be a much happier nation without so much news. Perhaps a once a week update would be enough, as very little changes week on week.

24 hour news is a great achievement: but it’s also an example of an old law: the late Patrick Hutber, moved to cynicism by the irresponsible antics of politicians, businesses and bureaucrats, formulated Hutber's Law, which states: "Improvement means deterioration".

1 comment:

peter aarts said...

Hutber's Law, "Improvement means deterioration". Does no improvement mean no deterioration? Perhaps it is about less is more?
I am not sure what to do with Hutber’s law, it’s intriguing as it sounds counter intuitive, I guess it matters what defines improvement. I suspect that Darwin would have seen a change in anything living to be better adjusted to its environment not as deterioration, but could it also be classified as an improvement? Capabilities not used by living organisms, (this includes human beings) will not improve and therefore deteriorate, does that suggest the rule is no improvement means deterioration.
A semi retired news addicted ex operations manager in Belgium