News Addiction Anonymous

The always useful No Tech Magazine led me to Rolf Dobelli’s “Avoid News” essay in which he declares that the instant overwhelming availability of news leads to terrible evils for the mind and the body of the ordinary human being.

He proves to my satisfaction that the regime of news misleads us systematically, is irrelevant, limits understanding, is toxic to the body‘s limbic system, increases cognitive errors, and inhibits thinking.  It also changes the brain, is expensive and manipulative, makes us passive and decreases creativity.  He ends by describing a regime of news abstinence in which the body is gradually cleansed of the news disease.

I believe it all.  He’s nailed it.  I urge everyone to read it.  But I still can’t live it.

My name is Jak and I am a news junkie. I used to abuse news through every source, but now I’m mainlining it via Twitter and the radio.  TV is still useful for non-news material, but I don’t get any news from it any more.  The revolution is being tweeted. CNN and Fox are irrelevant, replaced by individuals using instant alerts with links to dozens of stories and broadcasts and background, expanding outward as far as the market will handle.

I accept Dobelli’s conclusions about the addiction’s negative effects. And I will stop.

But not  just yet.  Please.

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2 Responses to News Addiction Anonymous

  1. Bruce Macdonald says:

    You nailed the situation today for me today at least, thanks for confirming my lonely thoughts on the subject, no one else has done it so well.

  2. Bill Lee says:

    But the local media, or national for that matter, has so little space [ pace the famous Esquire article printing out every word of a Walter Cronkite news cast of 30 minutes into a New York times page (3/4 actually)

    There are many trackers of news missed, other languages not used, and multiple viewpoints. Also errors.

    I skim
    http://ksj.mit.edu/tracker
    every few days to see the correction and their coverage of non-Engish press on science and technology stories.

    Many other aggregators to get what we are missing locally that has long-term consequences.

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