I have thought about the news a lot lately, and I am thinking of not paying attention to stuff. On purpose. And not just because it is "work" and I have to read and retain and make sense of all of the different media bias. It really does not have anything to do with that.
I don't think I want to monitor the news because it is counter-productive with being a happy, resourceful and contributing member of society.
When you read or watch local news, you take in the facts. Problem is that your brain treats these facts as representative of the world. We are wired that way. So when you read "child fell down a well and has been trapped there for days", your brain files away something that indicates that there are a bunch of wells around, potentially trapping lots of children. And we don't think, "Hmmmm, if it is in the local news, it must be extra-ordinary or out-of-the-ordinary. You know, newsworthy.
We have the same brains, more or less, that people did ten thousand years ago, when - between mounting the slow chicks - you would see who died when eating which berries. Green berries, bad. Small red berries, really bad. Large red berries, good. Special mushrooms, really good.
So we can't really get that what is on the news is not really what is happening all around us. Even the Amber alerts, they scare the pee out of us when we see one in the local area, but really, children are not getting snatched every day in your community. But if feels that way because our brains are meant to group events because we need to know what kinds of berries to eat.
Not only are we bad at interpreting the frequencies of local news events, but a lot of the time, we get news fragments and cannot put together the big picture of things. I have already heard a few people saying that history may treat George W Bush very well, after we have had time to think about all of his accomplishments. Okay, I nearly spit out a mouthful of Diet Dr. Pepper when I heard that on the news, driving into work.
George W is a boob with some sort of father complex. How can history treat him well. Well, I don't think it will, but the point is that we lack proper perspective as we are digesting these news sound bites.
So if news does not give us proper perspective, what good is it? I mean, let's say I was in tune to the business news for years. Would I be better prepared for what happened in the markets in 2008? No, not a bit. And after the economic decline, meltdown or whatever you want to call it, lots of people said, "Well, we should have known this was coming."
I remember listening to people proudly say that they did not listen to the news . . . when I was in college. I always thought, "What an ignorant, lazy
Maybe it is better to get news from Gnooze, where they at least crack a joke. The one thing I don't want you doing is relying on Marta's blog. I mean, if you want to read a blog, you ought to read this one. Nary a newsworthy item, and occasionally a naughty picture. At least with my blog, you can count on a happy ending or two. Not so with traditional media.