Why you can ignore most of the news




Oh my goodness.... Stormy Daniels.

Oh my goodness.... Michael Cohen.

Oh my goodness.... Mueller is going to testify.

Oh my goodness.... Trump is going to attack Syria.

Oh my goodness.... Trump is going to attack Iran.

Oh my goodness... Trump is going to attack Turkey.

Except no. Except none of this ended up happening. These are just recent examples of headlines and breaking news promised to be history changing moments only to lead to nothing. We could have never heard of Stormy Daniels and we would be no more ignorant of the way things unfolded. Same with the rest of this.

24-hour news if full of stories. They make their money by telling us that a world changing event is on the horizon. War is close. Some global pandemic is close. Impeachment is close. Something is about to happen and if you so much as dare to change the channel, you will regret it. And now a word from our sponsors.

Imagine crossing the street. You look left. You look right. No cars, buses, or trucks. You cross safely.

Now imagine this, you start to cross the street you look left but notice a bird in the sky. Then you notice the water tower in the distance and wonder why they painted, "Welcome to Glome" on the side. Then you see a little boy on a tricycle. Then you notice a man with an artificial leg walking out of a building. Then you notice the building is white and wonder why the building is white. You start to cross. You remember for a second to look left but then you see a billboard on top of a building and wonder how much it cost per month to advertise there. You take a step into the road and as you do you see a pretty girl walking on the sidewalk towards you. She looks sort of like your highschool girlfriend but of course it could not be her because your highschool girlfriend moved to Kentucky with her new husband. You remember to look right and as you do you see three large men that look sort of dangerous. You wonder if you should be worried about them. You take another step forward. Your attention is suddenly focused.... on the bus that is a few feet away from you and getting closer. You do not even feel the impact and you are suddenly talking to St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

More information is not always good. Often it is simply bad. When you are crossing a street, you need to know two things: is there a car coming left and is there a car coming right. Any more information can only hurt your chances of crossing safely.

The news is like an information overload 24 hours a day. If they were actually helpful, they would tailor the amount of news on any given day to the number of things they feel are important. On action packed days (maybe election night), Fox or CNN might have 10 hours of news. But on most days, the news would be something like this: 'Hello ladies and gentlemen, not much has changed since yesterday... tune in again tomorrow and we will let you know if anything has changed. Good night.' News on most days would be 10 - 15 seconds.

This would allow consumers to know that breaking and important news is truly important. By doing 24 hour news, websites and cable news are forced to constantly try to fool you into thinking important and breaking things are happening when in reality they are not.

But... even if they were genuine and only published news that they thought was actually important, it is worth considering that often we do not know what is important when it happens. Sometimes a break in at Watergate hotel is simply a break in. And sometimes an impeachment never happens.

Proof that the news is mostly unimportant is found in month-old newspapers. Pick up a newspaper from a month ago and tell me how much of it speaks of things that are still important today. I promise you that it will be a very very small percentage. Pick up a newspaper from a year ago and that number goes to almost zero.

So... stop watching the news. Stop paying attention to Fox, CNN and MSNBC. Everything they post is nothing more than a dancing monkey trying to get your attention while you are trying to cross the street. It is the opposite of helpful. It is simply a distraction that is making your life worse not better. 

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