When Will They Ever Learn…

Have you ever heard of Arthur…Artie Moore?

Today – he would be the top social blogger of our time…bar none.

In the early 1900s he was an amateur wireless operator – with a homemade receiver and transmitter – living in Wales. Wireless – by the way – being “telegraph” in those days.

In 1911 he made front-page headlines in London (that’s newspaper talk for those who don’t remember…) because he “intercepted” and shared the news that Italy had declared war on Libya…beating out all.

On the 15th of April 1912 – he became one of the first people in the world to report about the Titanic tragedy – as once again he was online and listening…yes…even then….

What made me recall Artie (who by the way went on to do many great things in the world of listening) was the tragedy in Ukraine and the continuing violence across the Mid-East.

You have all seen the horrifying pictures of the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, shot down by missiles over Ukraine. Mile after mile of human tragedy strewn over nine miles of fields, and while some were denying that it had even happened a current-day Artie Moore took pictures of the fragments and bodies and posted them for all to see.

More…other listeners and observant networkers picked up the messaging of those who gleefully took credit for this murderous act – even though most of those posts later disappeared from the ether….and by the way, after the Titanic went down, the misinformation – purposeful and otherwise – was no different than today’s…in fact, another young wireless operator – this time in New York and not an amateur – was credited with sifting through the transmissions and sharing the truth.  His name was David Sarnoff…later to go on to great fame in the broadcast industry.

Artie left a legacy. So did David.

Yet we don’t seem to have progressed as much in our usage of the communications tools we have in our hands as we have in their evolution in terms of power and reach.

Artie reported on a war that no one had heard of yet and 100+ plus years later the blogger in Ukraine showed us the proof of heinous murder…while across the Mid-East we see the current evolution of Artie’s wireless being utilized to spread hate and misinformation…sometimes I think we need a social media cease fire as well….

Bottom line…listen:

“When will they ever learn?”

— as sung by Peter, Paul and Mary…

What do you think?

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