Dear Reader (including all of the people who think it’s censorship if I block them on Twitter),
Remember back when we were all talking about murder hornets? You know when that conversation started? Twenty-seven days ago.
I don’t know about you, but that number shocked me, because the topic seems so old now. Talking about murder hornets feels only marginally fresher than talking about that dress that some people saw as white and gold and serial killers saw as blue and black. Admittedly that might be because the alleged murder hornets got lawyered up and pleaded down to manslaughter bees (h/t Emily Andras). But I think the more plausible explanation is twofold. First, events are moving faster than our brains are wired to process. Second, because what qualifies as an “event”—which I’ll define as, “Something that happens, that has elements of importance and surprise to it”—has been defined downward.
I don’t think I have to provide examples of the first point, because everyone I know seems to have made this observation at some point. But just to flesh it out: Consider that in our natural environment, our brains like to rest in neutral. The noises and routines of our environment hold pretty constant, the nature of gossip is about familiar subjects and familiar people. Did you hear that Arook fooled around with Bork’s mate? Did you see that Smark ate the forbidden berries and now he’s soiled his loincloth?