My own view is that you should reduce consumption dramatically, but still read some publications. And realize that in software, we have our own form of “news” that this missive applies to.
Here’s my media literacy guide:
And one just for the tech industry (including HN):
FWIW sharing my primary global non-tech news source while we are at it: The Financial Times to me is all the important news without the fluff and very much worth the subscription price. Obviously there is a heavy focus on economic news (but not exclusively).
I especially like the News Briefing which I can listen to conveniently with a "Hey Siri, play the FT News Briefing" while doing my morning routine. These podcasts as well as Alphaville (https://ftalphaville.ft.com) are actually free.
I delved into FT last year through exploration of the Media Bias Chart for the US:
I probably should read more widely but I had been disappointed by traditional outlets like the BBC or The Economist for a long while now. It also feels like the world's balance of power is shifting heavily at this time so I'm not sure where I can get high quality global news without our natural western bias (our perspective increasingly feels like wishful thinking to me).
Financial news, in general, tend to be my favorites because their biases don't tend to fall strongly along political lines, so you get fewer outrage-of-the-day stories, fewer what's-trending-on-twitter stories, and less politics in general - unless it's a really meaningful story that can affect markets.
How Media Fuels our Fear of Western Terrorism: https://www.nemil.com/s/part2-terrorism.html
Visualizing 10 years of International Coverage in The New York Times: https://www.nemil.com/s/nytimes-international-coverage.html
So watching CNBC, for example instead of NBC Nightly News, you'll still know all about the government shutdown or the possible resignation of the governor of Virginia or a winter storm shutting down half the country, but you won't have to endure endless, excruciating segments about a kid smiling at a guy beating a drum.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC64gD1NN-GE_tfd0swtxcOA/vid... (a fun one)
http://en.people.cn/ (very good English, despite the HEAVY propaganda)
http://www.congoindependant.com/category/presse-anglophone/ (if anyone knows of a better English paper for Congo, please let me know!)
Again, apologies for the wall of text!
And given that 80% of its content is written by PR agencies  you can be sure, that every possible cognitive bias will be applied to keep you busy.
She doesn't cite any sources to back up those figures. Do you have any available?
I also subscribe to https://lwn.net which brings up another thing -- supporting the organizations that make the news is important if you want news that is good (even if it's irrelevant right now) from being produced.
Generally when I buy a copy, it goes something like this:
- News in brief at the front
- Feature articles that I particularly like the sound of
- Then I go through it skimming and stopping when something catches my eye based on how much time I have
Getting the digital version also means you don't feel the pang of the dead tree sat there making you guilty, too.
They also have an android/iphone app for subscribers, but I've had a lot of issues with playing audio through it and find it much easier to simply download each week's .zip file of .mp3's and play them with my audio player of choice.
- Avoiding the daily news likely will NOT make you any less informed.
- Avoiding constant media consumption will NOT give power to a central authority and reduce your rights.
A lot of the counter arguments here are seemingly from individuals defending the amount of time they spend consuming content.
To those who read the news religiously, what was the last news item that you, personally, took action on?
Can you remember it? Ok. GREAT!
--> Now, be objective with yourself. What % of news items did YOU take action on? Did it give you a >0 return on invested time?
You absolutely can take real action with financial implications for yourself from news items - I made £1k from a single Telegraph article on how the Royal Mail IPO was grossly underpriced. I've adjusted my pension allocation on the assumption that the pound would fall against the dollar and done quite well on that too.
But for much news it's not so much "achieving a positive return" as avoiding a negative. It's the Arthur Dent effect: one day you wake up to find aliens about to bulldoze your planet, and they tell you that you were warned and should have known about it. There's a lot of that these days. I'm surrounded by people who have taken Brexit-related actions of one kind or another, especially all the Europeans who suddenly have to register to avoid deportation. I factored it in to my job change, not as a major factor, but it's convenient to be working for a US multinational rather than a company exporting or importing physical goods from the EU.
I don't even seek out that much news any more, it just keeps leaking in via social media. I should make more effort to follow local news, because that really is the place where I can find out if someone's going to put a bypass through my house or disrupt my bus route, and have a chance of stopping it.
But I must disagree with your final question, because I don't think percentages matters. An extreme example: if you read about some new life saving drug for a disease that a loved relative of yours have, how many useless articles is that worth? Twenty years of articles? Thirty? A lifetime?
Are you part of a class of people who have rights that are in danger? Do you think everyone is safe from that?
Before that, I did not read newspapers or follow any kind of journalism. I still recall being around age 12 or 13 and making a conscious decision not to watch TV anymore. It has been around just as much time since I last saw a TV news report.
Maybe it has something to do with mentality? Is the new generation reading news? I highly doubt it. I think the new generation is caught up in quizzes that stir up emotions, and psychological tests that determine whether a giraffe is your spirit animal.
I'm not even sure if that makes sense, but I know that newspapers don't make any sense whatsoever; despite it being the livelihood of so many folks.
How can anyone justify reading news that only talk about negative things? I don't have time for that kind of nonsense in my life. I know the system is broken, corrupt, beyond repair -- why remind me about it every day?
Instead of doubting it, try doing some research.
"Age does not impact people’s attentiveness to various news topics. Even the youngest adults are as likely to pay attention to news [...] as older adults. Further, they are no more likely than older adults to follow news on lifestyle topics."
> I think the new generation is caught up in quizzes that stir up emotions, and psychological tests that determine whether a giraffe is your spirit animal.
This is incredibly condescending and seemingly not based in any statistical reality.
> I know the system is broken, corrupt, beyond repair -- why remind me about it every day?
Because knowing how "the system" is broken today (which differ from yesterday or last week) makes you an informed citizen. When enough informed citizens vote, the system is significantly less broken.
If you don't inform yourself and vote, you are one of the reasons the system is still dangerously broken. I hope well-run governments are not a matter of life and death for you, because they are for billions of other people.
Not sure if that helps, but thank you for voting!
Perhaps only having Hacker News as your source of news has led to that mentality. That's not to say it isn't broken, or there isn't corruption, but I don't think things are beyond repair, and they can certainly be worse.
Ok, next time I will omit the part where I say that HN has been my only source of news.
Hacker News is a content aggregator, no different than Reddit, Twitter or Facebook. The posters here are not unbiased, nor are they likely to be experts in every subject they comment on, unless it's about tech, and then only maybe.
I can understand preferring Hacker News for technical news, or to avoid mainstream news, but as a primary news source? I think you're letting HN's elitist cultural bias cloud your sense of objectivity if you think this one internet forum is a better a news provider than any other.
Additionally, HN is very "high level". I don't know how involved you are in the community you live in but I always consume at least one "hyperlocal" paper (+local radio) to stay up to speed on the things that happen in my immediate neighborhood.
I use FB in order to stay up-to-date with news from my childhood town, of which I moved out 18 years ago. It kind of gives me a feeling of belonging, even though almost all of my friends and even my parents have moved out of that town.
I think that you would know more about the information habits of the new generation if you actually researched it, instead of relying on HN as your only news source...
This community definitely has a lot of biases of its own, no matter how much it tries to deny it, so really, I think that for anyone, getting news from multiple sources makes it easier to come up with a more holistic interpretation of current events.
I'm what the mainstream media calls a millennial (only discovered I had that title after 10 years of being one apparently, shows how much I buy into the Media). I have seen time and time again how toxic the media can be even for democracy. During the last election where Ron Paul was a candidate they gave him the least amount of air time on television, and thus he became irrelevant to most Americans because they are glued to the TV and the news organizations, he wasn't the kind of person that would of sold advertisement eye balls I guess. I guess if you want a solid candidate to be president buy all the ad space most major news organization will offer? He was a rare gem I got excited to vote for but couldn't.
Your comment shows how conscious you are while skipping "irrelevant" stuff.
You're definitely wrong on this point (and as others have said, it's a condescending sentiment).
This has always happened. I'm 28 and online quizzes and tests were _very_ common when I was school age.
My parent's generation also took lots of quizzes and tests, albeit they were in newspapers and magazines (and you had to tally up your own results).
Given the activism they're showing in, eg, the US, I think if you read the news, you'd be surprised how wrong you are.
> How can anyone justify reading news that only talk about negative things?
To be aware of them in order to help fix them?
The number of people who perform some kind of activism is way lower than voter turnout. What makes you think there are lots of people who are doing "performative" activism that isn't translating into them voting or otherwise participating in the system?
I don't think that. Activism isn't translating into non-activists voting, hence activism being performative.
The only time it failed me was a few years back when a disgruntled Tory party donor spread rumours that the then PM David Cameron had put his dick in a pigs mouth as a university hazing ritual. As no mainstream media would ever dare print that, but people slowly got the right twitter link from friends, there were two weeks when a "oink oink" joke would cause half the country to convulse in laughter and the other half (me included) to wonder what the hell was going on.
That's OK. A lot of people aren't aware of that. You can fix that.
Since I did so, I've been much happier. I can't avoid all news - for example, I see non-tech stuff on HN sometimes, or see Trump's latest nonsense in my Twitter timeline - but with the exception of technical stuff on HN, I never seek it out.
I'm not even mad! That's amazing!
Regarding your choice not to watch TV at age 12-13, this reminds me of reading tabloid newspapers at that age or possibly earlier. It all seemed so much below me and for people that must be thick.
Anonymous postings on the internet, no matter where, are the worst thing that has happened to civilization since anonymous reports to the police of wrongdoings of a neighbor.
> Is the new generation reading news? I highly doubt it. I think the new generation is caught up in quizzes that stir up emotions, and psychological tests that determine whether a giraffe is your spirit animal.
When people write of the 'new generation' they tend to be a generation older and slightly out of touch with this 'new generation'. I think you are allowing your assumptions to cloud your judgement somewhat.
80% of this so-called 'news' that you are seemingly quite assertive in defending is the creation of PR agencies. Not sure what relevance your comments on 'anonymous news' has to do with my comment.
I stand by my original comment, there is no point getting engrossed in the Punch and Judy Trump show, Brexit or anything else of that ilk. There is also another question that has to be asked of news - 'does this affect my life or the world I live in?' This applies to sport too, following with a passion the comings and goings of sports celebrities is a waste of time unless you play the sport yourself.
Hence HN is a very good filter. A normal news source will have stories that are clickbait, hard to not be interested in at an entertainment level.
This attitude does not mean passivity, a lack of interest in the world and a lack of engagement in politics. On the contrary, people that shout at their TV to the tune of the latest Trumpisms are stuck on their sofa and not doing anything.
Although I think it bears saying that journalists really might be doing a better job of reporting on the politics that is their own main interest than on the science stories which are far outside their own interest and expertise, and which they may well regard as lower priority for accuracy.
The 24/7 news cycle makes the quality problem even worse.
Here are two more similar links:
Even better, read Machiavelli, human nature hasn't changed and it will help you interpret the news.
Also watch the documentary "The Century of The Self"; most news is propaganda, and this will help you spot it.
And, if you must read the news, aim for a bit of diversity (i.e. both media from the right and the left, and events in your country as seen from abroad, and triangulate), otherwise you will easily get brainwashed, censorship in dictatorships tries to block media it can't control for this very reason.
Headlines are clickbait more often than not, don't believe them, and "breaking news" is abused so often that it's become a meaningless tag.
Don't use social media as a news source, it's abysmal, even worse than tabloids.
What is sold as "news" today is just whatever dramatic world events some producer thinks will get ratings which is important so they can keep their job.
In no way does it give people a well-rounded or informed position about anything as the word "news" implies.
I've been doing this now for about 1 month, and although some of the coverage is mundane, most of it is quite interesting. It's also good as background 'noise' as I work from home, which can be too quiet at times.
For technical news, I follow HN, and a few other sources. I tend to cross reference the reporting and try to see through the manipulation.
Beyond technical and political news (both of which can affect me directly), I no longer have an interest in other more 'general' news. Sure, an earthquake in Indonesia may be newsworthy for example, but as it doesn't affect me directly, why waste my time with it?
We've all been conditioned to suck up all world news as if it is important - Most of it isn't, and only exists to fill airtime and/or sell adverts. Calculate how much time it takes for you to consume your daily news, and then ask yourself if that was time well spent. My guess is that it probably isn't.
Finally, depressing news sells, and good news doesn't. People want to feel that they have a better life than the sad people shown on the news. The same thing goes for Soap Operas, they trade on this effect to keep viewers. In fact the absolute reverse happens - over time, people get more depressed watching depressing news, than they would if they didn't. The effect is more pronounced in people who 'catch up' on the news just before bedtime.
Sounds like compiling a list of sources like this, Oyez, and others (for people who just don't know these things can be found if one looks) could be of immediate practical benefit to society.
My personal fix for news media was to identify exactly what I wanted from a news paper and then identify the one which suited my needs best.
This turned out to be a paper, which at the time (2017) only had a printed version. No online version at all, they do now, but I’ve never visited it. It’s a high lixcount paper with a heavy focus on society (as in statecraft not cocktails), culture and arts/literature. It’s basically the perfect paper for our cultural elite. I’m not really part of that, and I always skip the book and arts sections, so you could say the paper isn’t exactly a perfect match. It’s underlying political philosophy doesn’t even align with mine.
The thing is though, it only comes out on Fridays. This means the paper only focuses on the stuff that’s actually relevant. It also means the articles have actually journalistic depth. The combination of this means I get to stay informed without being bothered by all the irrelevant noise in the regular news cycle.
It’s been truly awesome, and if something critical happens I can always turn to internet news.
I don't see much evidence that society at large can take an interest in a subject and maintain a sophisticated position like "there isn't enough evidence here to form an opinion". The closest that seems to be achieved in practice is two interest groups completely at loggerheads, preventing any action due to their strident opposition of each other.
In game theory terms, is there a system where a consensus opinion and a focused group of crazies can coexist without compromising in the direction of the crazies? Because the power of a focused group of political extremists is so great that it distorts political action and has significant flow on effects to journalism as political forces vie for control of the public discourse. The type of discipline to deal with something like that is clearly beyond most citizens.
Magazines like The Economist sort of fulfill this role, but they are often a little too detailed for the high-level overview I'm looking for.
Also worth looking at unconditionally are the letters page, which is always very good and sometimes has very famous correspondents (occasionally from tyrannical regimes making preposterous statements, with no response from the paper), and the obituary, which has an eclectic selection of very famous and very unknown individuals.
I would start with a metric like "estimated number of excess human deaths from this issue in next year, five years fifty years" and have open transparent ways to assess the metric
at least this way we are transparently surfacing the issues and there is ability for people to apply different curation criteria
Basically I would love to get the weekly report from the US national security advisor - that's basically what I think Inam trying to create.
1. Moderation in all things
2. The devil is in the details. There's a bit more nuance to the situation.
Your attention is yours. What happens in the media, Facebook, etc... Is an attempt to take your attention. For the most part your allocation is spent where the biggest dopamine hit can come from. If you start valuing your attention based more on an ROI calculation where your return is "did I learn something useful from a balanced source that can help form my world view?" Then you quickly start to cut out the BS.
Here are my tips for high ROI consumption:
Read long form articles about a subject. Skip over them if needed so a as not to waste time.
Call BS early. Poorly written books or articles should be nixed immediately.
Avoid the sugar: low ROI stuff like Instagram, Facebook, Reddit
An uninformed populace is a malleable one. Controlling and limiting information has long been a strategy for despots or worse.
> The point is, most of what you read online today is pointless
Don't read that then. Read sources you believe are important to you and deliver information that is important.
Be a discerning news consumer.
> Being well informed isn’t regurgitating the opinion of some twenty-two-year-old with no life experience telling me what to think or how outraged to be.
This isn't news, it's opinion. Don't read this.
> Read from publications that respect and value your time, the ones that add more value than they consume.
In other words, be a discerning news consumer.
> Read fewer articles and more books.
This is a weird argument.
Look, people hate the media, so an argument like this is an easy sell. But rejecting information from the media is a concession to power.
The Media Bias Chart is a good tool for assessing the quality of sources: https://www.adfontesmedia.com/
Select one or two sources at the absolute pinnacle of the chart (bias score of between -6 and 6, quality score of 56+). Once a day, spend 10 minutes scanning the headlines in their Top News sections.
Once a week, select a source with a quality score of 32+ and set aside an hour or two reading their opinions/analysis columns. For bonus points, alternate between the left and right sides of the pyramid.
On a few hours a week you will quickly become, by far, one of the most well-informed people you know. You'll develop a balanced and even-minded view of world and local affairs (if you're currently stressed out about the state of the world, this will have a therapeutic effect). You'll rarely get sucked into clickbait, filter bubbles, etc. and when you do you'll recognize them quickly.
The opposite of this strategy is to spend several hours a day consuming "news" from Facebook, Twitter, and the "sources" on the far left and right of the pyramid. This is what the OP warns about. Abandon all hope ye who enter here. This will warp your view of reality and damage your mental health.
If you want to have a healthy body you need to select a diet of quality foods. If you want to have a healthy mind you need to select a diet of quality information. (In both cases, some light fasting can be beneficial too.)
A overreacting population is even more malleable.
>This isn't news, it's opinion. Don't read this.
>Be a discerning news consumer.
Media, even big mainstream media, is very flexible regarding the distinction between news and opinion; the latest big example being the maga-kids and how people were rewriting the same articles over and over on debunked facts.
I am not saying to stop following the news, but more than reading trusted sources you should mostly distrust most news. In this context I like how Tim Pool describe how too many journalist are in a twitter bubble.
Distrust implies they're lying to you, when most of the time they aren't.
Whether its the correct interpretation or whether the content of the tweet itself is factual depends on several factors. And I agree, the news has some play in interpreting the information because they have to generate content through additional discussion (ie. business), and because everything needs some form of interpretation.
The irony is, the OP might as well say stop reading Hacker News, because this site is a publicly curated news outlet filled with BS and non-BS content everyday. So, should we stop reading Hacker News because it could spread lies or opinion?
This, right here, is the problem. Something is not a FACT just because it's being repeated over and over on Twitter. In fact, I have a feeling the correlation between accuracy and Twitter-repetition is probably inverse.
You completely misunderstood what I meant.
For example, if someone Tweets that the earth is flat and the news reports this statement, the reported statement is fact because someone can go to Twitter and read that profiles tweets and there's clear evidence that this account represents said person, even if they didn't physically write the tweet.
The tweet itself is not fact, for obvious reasons. You can apply this to any ignorant statement anyone has ever uttered.
This is what I hear, as an avid news listener, whenever a tweet is the subject. Its simply someones written, public testimony. To not report these things, makes no sense.
I recently watched the Netflix documentary on the Fyre Festival. I also watched the one on Hulu. One of the documentaries was produced by a company involved in that whole mess but you wouldn't be able to tell by watching the documentary. Due to consolidation of media it seems to me that it is easier to spin and control a narrative. I don't think any of the popular sources of information are trustworthy.
"Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them. In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
Whole speech here: http://docdro.id/4wgVecr
Surely that only works if the same combination of journalists and subeditors work on all the stories? Just because Margaret has written some pop-sci junk about robots doesn't suddenly make Malcolm's commentary on Botswana any less valid.
Let me refocus that to highlight the silliness:
> If doctors get it wrong in areas you know about then why should one think they get it right in areas you don't know about?
If my doctor knows not even the slightest tiniest thing about computers, the internet, etc., I'm still going to trust him on medicinal matters.
If your doctor wrote articles about computers and got it wrong would you be willing to trust him/her on articles about Syria? Tax policy? Politics? You would trust your doctor in the area of his/her expertise and not necessarily about other areas.
Some are. Some aren't. But if you're not an expert in the same area, how can you judge?
(eg. "MD" in Private Eye is a doctor and therefore reasonably qualified to report on medical things.)
In the end you are much better off avoiding highly biased sources than trying to use them. This might change if you are doing a dissertation or something, but not for day to day stuff.
I find almost everything in news noise now. Don't following any of that on purpose makes me feel calm.
Now if there is something that I should really know, it comes to me. I meet people all the time and then they tell me if something important is going on. I don't have to go after news. I adopted this after going through all the political bs in last few years. It works like a filter and I enjoy it.
"I have given up newspapers in exchange for Tacitus & Thucydides, for Newton & Euclid; & I find myself much the happier." 
"If you're reasonably affluent, straight, white, cisgender, male or a sufficient subset thereof you should unburden yourself from having to keeping up with the news secure that your interests are well protected."
For me it's less about being informed and more that I have to keep up with the news on certain topics/issues because I have to actually do things in response to the news or my life will get worse. It's not like I, or I think anyone, wants to have to read the news.
> I have to do things in response to the news
I would like to know what this consists of.
Is this in terms of needing to protest against things?
Needing to switch suppliers of medications?
>but then you have the no right to complain when laws are passed that don't align to your values.
Who says that ever happens ?
The idea that everything you read in the news is garbage because they don't have a solid grasp on the strange esoterica we work in simply doesn't make any sense. There's no reason why any news organisation would be equally informed on every topic. So yeah, if I read an article in the Washington Post comparing relational databases I'd be suspicious. But if I read an article about tax policy, written by a journalist who has spent years studying the area, what on earth would it have to do with my database experience?
> We’re afraid to ask ourselves deep and meaningful questions.
Noise and news are an incentive for people to play this left-right, right-wrong game you described in your comment.
It's in your own interest to do so. How much do you pay in tax? Do you think that's right? What about public services? How are the roads around you? Your trash pickup? These are all things managed by elected officials. If you care about any of them it's in your interests to vote.
Is not in your interest. Is in the interest of the elected officials. They get to you through the news and social media (by sharing). In simple words: they don't give a F about you, the taxes or the roads.
That's not what they are asking or claiming.
Yes, but also make an offer to read sources that provide a different point of view from your own. There should be smart people who you disagree with. Find those people.
Mainstream news is not information, it's entertainment. The sooner your realize it the better.
Journalists have nor the time, nor the expertise or the means to write a purely accurate objective articles (that nobody wants to read because it's purely informational). I cannot count the times I read articles about my field of expertise, that are laughably inaccurate or pain false.
Journalists crunch out quick stories that are exaggerated or come from one angle, so that people would read it after seeing the headline, and get agitated enough to share it. Remark that this is not the fault of the journalists, but just how that whole system works.
You should read "Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator" by Ryan Holiday, and see how fragile that whole system is. And because of its fragility, can be easily manipulated on top of it.
If you want to get informed, either read books written by experts (like suggested), read the original scientific paper and draw your own conclusions, or stay ahead of your game by getting news from sources other than media. That last part will show you that by the time it's covered by main stream news, it's already old news (think bitcoin etc.)
When I read something, first thing I check is "who is this person?". If it's an expert on the subject, or has his own experience and tells the story, I'm happy to read it. If it's a journalist that is crunching out stories every week, I skip it.
This is, and always has been, an utterly dumb argument that only persists because it sounds clever. Mainstream news informs people about what is going on in the world around them. What their elected representatives are doing. What the weather is doing (an underrated one, in terms of every day utility, especially in hurricane season).
The mainstream TV news also happens to wrap this information up in a package fronted by two or more telegenic presenters, and often finishes off with a nice feel good story. That doesn't diminish the information being conveyed. Perhaps the world would be better informed if everyone set aside two hours a day to read academic journals, but that's never going to happen.
The weather is indeed informative, but if you look at video's where the reporter has a hard time standing against the wind of a hurricane, and people behind him just walk around like normal, you definitely get the "entertainment" value. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyZdDQY37Sg
> What their elected representatives are doing.
I'm not that familiar with US, but in Belgium, the politicians who do proper work, hardly make it to the news. Most of the time, it's politicians making bold or crazy statements, saying something controversial etc. Reporters are also known to lean towards the political left, so a lot comes through from a certain standpoint and not really objective, like it should be.
I'll leave you with video of a Belgian news photographer that shows how easy it is to let his picture depict anything he wants. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmbsXussxUc. In his own words: "It's dangerous, the media"
I don't get my information from news outlets, and there is not much that can convince me otherwise.
A gross generalization. I've been in the biggest newsrooms in the country, seen the autonomy of editorial up front and personal.
You're conflating the bad with the good. You're not alone.
> This isn't news, it's opinion. Don't read this.
Sometimes this is harder than you think, even with popular news sources. I subscribe to the NY Times, but if I go by notifications on my phone for the "popular" stories, many of them are opinion pieces. In fact, I'm looking right now at "Most Popular" in my NYTimes app and I'm seeing multiple "opinion" pieces in that list (actually 5 of the top 10) and only after you click into them do you know that they aren't hard news.
His point is news is a stupid fodder to feed your mind with and its better to get indulged with books like literature, biographies, self help books et al.
Or before. I learnt more about 21st C USA by reading Tocqueville's Democracy in America (1835) than anything written since.
Don't eschew current news because it's slight, because it's invite, because it's simplistic in form. That's the point.
What examples are there of any meaningful "responding in the present" that happened because of news (as opposed because of directly suffering some oppression on yourself)?
Protest marches? Strikes? You could even include terrorism if you wanted.
Our ability to react to news is often personal, but it can operate on a macro level as well.
I like that it shows how to be critical of mainstream media while consuming it and without needing to adopt a pseudo-conspiracy "alternative fact" mindset.
It may seem as though I glossed over that, but my larger point is people need to understand what news is and means first.
A bubble is inevitable in either event, finite time ensures that.
We can think of that in terms of know-your-enemy, but often the effect of hearing from the best of those enemies is to find the ways in which they are either allies, or at least to learn to empathize with their positions. If we had no bubble, and just took in the loudest most amplified opinions at random, we'd be more likely to inaccurately conclude that those positions had no steel-man positions to learn from. So a well curated bubble is better than the illusion of none at all.
Anti-vaxers and flat-earthers might be called "bubbles", but then so is the pro-vax round-world view. After all, if you only ever read round-world media, aren't you closing your mind to alternative facts? /s
That's perhaps because you live in a bubble.
The only people you hear complain about bubbles are the people that are marginalized, if you agree with the bubble you will love every second of it and hate everyone outside. So, watch out before you speak in support of your bubble, that probably just means you are in the center.
The line between opinion and actual reporting is gone. It no longer exists. All reporting is activism.
Read books to be informed. Specifically the books that have stood the test of time and shaped history.
Our media is owned by the most powerful people in the world. You are conceding your most critical faculties, the power to think for yourself, to the most powerful people in the world.
And they've gaslit you into believing that the exact opposite is true.
I went to journalism school. I've worked in news rooms - from small to the world's largest and prestigious. What you describe is fantasy.
In good news organizations the editorial side has autonomy by design. The corporate part is intentionally insulated away from the news producing side.
I've seen fights between publishers and ad directors over content. It doesn't happen often but those conflicts are real.
I've never seen editorial lose.
Media-types live in an echo chamber that distorts their reality. Over time, the echos grow stronger and stronger, but those in the media still believe them; while those outside of the media see an ever escalating cacophony of noise.
Key points for me:
News has no explanatory power. News items are bubbles popping on the surface of a deeper world. Will accumulating facts help you understand the world? Sadly, no. The relationship is inverted. The important stories are non-stories: slow, powerful movements that develop below journalists' radar but have a transforming effect.
Society needs journalism – but in a different way. Investigative journalism is always relevant. We need reporting that polices our institutions and uncovers truth. But important findings don't have to arrive in the form of news.
I stopped reading news around 2011, while I was working at a big news site, within a building complex of about half a dozen more publications including online, print, paid, free, weekly and daily. Seeing how the sausage is made has overall increased my respect for journalists, but decreased the one for the process of publication and the business behind it. It easy to blame corporate overloads, but the pressure for almost real time news comes in part from the readers.
At first I sought to solve the potential problem of being uninformed of not reading news technically. Thinking about building an aggregator with a more objective way to judge news-worthiness and relevancy than the existing ones and news sites. But then I realized there is already a good enough solution in place: If something is important for me to care about, it will eventually reach me in some way or another trough social interactions (mostly offline since i don't use social media much). And because of the delay of information getting to me, I'm way more likely to get actual useful insights when I then dig deeper than when trying to keep up with everything live.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOE_3_Ws4y0&feature=youtu.be... (English subtitles are available).
repeat each publisher.
What is more parsimonious, someone writing context pieces for ad views ahead of a known impending cultural event, or some big bad advertising conspiracy trying to inception you into watching a movie about the boer war.
Surface level "on the ground" reporting of who farted 15 seconds ago in the White House has its use, certainly. But I much prefer to read a thoughtful piece on the frequency at which people have historically farted in the White House. That way I can contrast it with the behaviors of the current ruling party. It can also be supplemented with analysis into how society's view on White House farts has evolved in tandem with the so-and-so Revolution or the such-and-such cultural shift. All of this being sourced from research steeped in hard evidence.
Aside from JSTOR Daily, what other recommendations can people provide for this kind of quality journalism?
It's also more of a log of what's happened instead of political headlines.
On the other hand, what news I do consume these days, I do consume more deliberately.
I stopped reading newspapers very a long time ago too, haven't watched TV in several years, and because of this i miss out on most of the above.
That's an awfully privileged position to take. I'm going to guess the author isn't likely to have their status as a person invalidated, their religion declared illegal, or their citizenship revoked any time soon. I'm going to guess he's of a race that isn't likely to be a target of a government endorsed hate crime.
I purposefully wrote that paragraph before I looked up the author:
>Shane Parrish has become an unlikely guru for Wall Street. His self-improvement strategies appeal to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports.
When a member of an elite class gives you advice, consider if the advice is truly in your best interest, or if it serves to cement their elite status in society. The elites benefit from keeping "the proles" in the dark.
As a member of the elite, trying to sell to other elites, Shane represents the ultimate in privilege: the type of person who is going to be just fine no matter what the government or any company decides to do. Some of us aren't so lucky.
Listening to the radio news once a day works as well (5 minutes or so). I would like to have a podcast feed for that!
My only rule is to not start and finish my day with news. I do it right after lunch because I'm still distracted.
The problem with newspapers (even high brow newspapers) is that they encourage negative emotions (anger, fear, envy), are irritatingly political / full of identity politics or are full of repetitive facts (another uniformed brexit article etc.) or plain old hot air gossip.
Instead of daily newspapers take a long term view and look at the news once every quarter or two from a quality publication such as the Economist/ financial times etc.
Newspapers are bunk
Reading news more often than once a day is masochism.
Mainstream news is practically given away. The hidden cost--whatever that may or may not be--I leave to the philosophers.
And from Aaron Swartz (2006): http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/hatethenews
Life isn't a binary black and white, as much as software engineers would like it to be. One side says "don't ever read the news, it causes negative moods" and the another side says "you should always read the news to keep up to date with the world".
The proper way to approach the issue is to strike a balance between consumption of news or not. The aim is moderation of information and distraction, while still keeping touch with the world.
I really hope there is some kind of replacement for the 24 hour news cycle, because otherwise society will continue to polarize.
On the rare occasions that I do read news articles I find them shallow, meandering and less informative than they should be.
I used to read The Economist and found their reports useful. But that comes at a considerable cost. So the easier option is to just forgo news altogether.
― Aleister Crowley
"Good God," I said to myself, "and this is merely New York! What must Mexico be like!" I supposed that I was experiencing normal conditions, whereas in point of fact I had landed at the climax of a heat wave which killed about a hundred people a day while it lasted. I should have discovered the truth if I had looked at a newspaper; but I did not read them.
In any case, that principle means we should probably refrain from reading HN too.