The Times Podcast: The End of Days

The Times podcast: Masters of Disasters: Broken records! Or more than once?

This week, the Times podcast is an attempt to put aside its self-appointed role of chronicler of the world-end-of-days to look at the more mundane details of the news from the perspective of the world as we have known it for a century or so. This week’s podcast is a very long one, as it is about to reach its 20th episode and the last part of the story may or may not be finished. I have already written many posts on this, and at various lengths, which make perfect sense as they should, but I do not remember having written anything until I started this one. We could stop, I suppose, but why start this way, when it is about to reach an end?

What we have all known for a quarter of a century or more is that no man has ever created a product or service that makes it impossible for him to live. I mean, surely there is a product or service that kills people, or makes it a thousand times harder to create a new business or a cure for a horrible disease. It is almost a certainty that over a decade from now, every major newspaper will have run a story about the creation of such a product, or service, or business, or miracle. There is nothing stopping us from creating something like it. But they will be trying, and the first to achieve this will be, of all people, the New York Times.

For a brief period, in the early and mid 90s, the New York Times was doing what no one else was doing, namely, creating a daily print newspaper – not, of course, one for profit, but one that could survive the daily grind of print journalism and then add a little bit of local content and a few features and add this to its daily print schedule and a year or so later, it could make a small profit. Why do this? A lot of companies have done this. But they had

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