News vs. history

What would help you better understand the beautiful animal that the tiger is – an hour long documentary or a glimpse of the beast on a safari?

For the longest time, I wished to spot a tiger in the wild with my own bare eyes. Even a fleeting glimpse of a striped body disappearing into a thicket would have satisfied this urge. Yet, in recent times, I have started asking why I wish to see a tiger with my bare eyes? How much does such an encounter further my understanding and appreciation for what a tiger is?

A documentary condenses hundreds of hours of live footage into one action packed hour of valuable information. It curates the most essential parts, layers in great commentary and furthers our understanding. In the bargain, it loses out on the scarcity of being real-time.

To follow a news-event live is to glimpse a tiger in the wild. You see it as it unfolds. Yet, this snapshot of humanity has is fleeting, and lacks depth.

A historical record is a curation of several news-events to form a coherent documentation of why things are the way they are. If you wish to understand a people, their country and their culture, reading their history is more beneficial than consuming a local stream of breaking news.

Live and real-time appeal to us because of their scarcity. But if depth is what you seek, look elsewhere.

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