Make your homework clear with the news once and for all. Take, for example, the past year and ask yourself: What news have you really read in a newspaper or news website that has had a significant impact on your life and work?
What is important that you lose if you do not read the news? The answer is almost the same for all of us: nothing. Following the news is not only useless, it is all harmful. So maybe it’s better to quit this drug.
this article is the antidote to news. It’s a long post and you probably can’t take a look at it. Thanks to the high consumption of news, many have lost the habit of reading and struggled to read more than four pages in a row. This article shows you how to get out of this trap, if you have not already gone too deep.
News for the mind is like sugar for the body.
We are in this unfortunate situation, because 200 years ago we invented a poisonous kind of knowledge called “news”. It is time to recognize the harmful effects of the news on individuals and communities and to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from its dangers.
Today’s man is basically the same caveman who is now dressed. Our brains are optimized for the rudimentary hunter-gatherer environment, where we lived in small groups of 25 to 100 people with limited food and information resources. Our brains (and our bodies) now live in a world opposite to what we were designed to do. This has led to great danger and inappropriate and obviously dangerous behaviors.
Over the past few decades, lucky people have recognized the dangers of living with the horrible abundance of food (chronic obesity, diabetes) and have begun to change our diet. But most of us still do not realize that news for the mind is like sugar for the body. Easy to digest news.
Today, in the face of the additional burden of information, we have reached the same point that we faced 20 years ago in terms of food consumption. We are realizing how dangerous news can be and we are learning to take the first steps towards an intelligence regime.
I try to explain the harmful dangers of the news and suggest ways to deal with it. I have been unaware for a year, so I can see, feel and report the effects of this kind of freedom directly: less distraction, more time, less anxiety, deeper thinking, more insight . It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. My good friend Nasim Nicholas Talib, author of the book Strong Black 1, was one of the first to consider news consumption a serious problem. I owe him many of the insights that follow.
News reports do not show us the real world.
Our brains are shaped to respond to the onslaught of obvious, large, scandalous, exciting, shocking, human-related, storytelling, rapidly changing, loud, and clear stimuli. So there is not much room left in our brains for more subtle information; Information that is small, abstract, two-dimensional, complex, boring, and very quiet and has a slow growth rate. News organizations systematically exploit this tendency of our minds.
News media outlets generally focus on the things that stand out the most. They display any information that can be conveyed through compelling stories and shocking images, and systematically ignore intangibles, even if they are more important. The news catches our eye, because this is how its business model works. Even if this advertising model did not exist, we would still absorb the news content, because they are easy to digest and artificially delicious.
The things that stand out the most are misleading.
Consider the following event: A car crosses a bridge and the bridge collapses. What do news media focus on? On the car. On the person in the car. Where did he come from and where was he supposed to go? How did he experience this incident (if he survived).
That car does not matter at all. Any car could cause the bridge to collapse. It could even be caused by strong winds or a dog walking on the bridge. So why does the media cover the car? Because it is visible, it is a show, a (non-abstract) person is in it, and it is news that is cheap to produce.
Because of the news, a map of danger is formed in our minds, which is quiteIt is wrong .
• Terrorism is exaggerated. Chronic anxiety is underestimated.
The collapse of Lehman Brothers 2 gets a lot bigger. Financial irresponsibility is minimized.
• Many astronauts are valued. The value of nurses is not known.
Britney Spears is being underestimated. Climate change is underestimated, according to the Intergovernmental Panel.
• Exaggerated about plane crashes. Antibiotic resistance is considered small.
When confronted with the news media, we do not act rationally enough. Reading the news is very dangerous, because the probabilistic map we get from consuming the news is completely different from the real dangers we face. No matter how intellectually narrow-minded you are, watching a plane crash on TV can change your view of risk, regardless of its real probability.
2. News is irrelevant
Among the nearly 10,000 news stories you’ve read in the last 12 months, name one that helped you make a better decision about something important and influential in your life, your job, and your business, and compare it to the knowledge that if you do not swallow it. , You already had.
The point is, consuming news has little to do with what really matters to your life. It is entertainment at best, but it is still irrelevant.
Suppose, contrary to all probability, you find news that has greatly improved the quality of your life, I mean compared to the situation that would happen to your life, if you had not read or seen that news. How much small and insignificant thing did your brain have to digest to get that valuable relevant information?
In 1914, the news of a Sarajevo assassination was more important than any other report in terms of its global significance. However, this murder was just one of several thousand stories that were going on that day. None of the news outlets dealt with the assassination more politically motivated than the assassination, which was historically decisive.
The first Internet browser was launched in 1995. The public unveiling of this highly efficient software, despite its widespread impact in the future, hardly found a place in the press.
It is difficult for people to discern what is relevant to their lives . It is much easier to tell what is newIs. We are not equipped with organs that feel connected. Understanding the connection is not in our blood. But there is an understanding of new things. That is why the media is abusing new things. (If the structure of our minds were reversed, the media would certainly benefit from related topics). Related to the new is the fundamental battle of modern man.
Do not accept the views of the media in this regard.
Media organizations want to believe that news gives people a kind of competitive advantage. Many people are fooled by this. When we get away from the news, we get anxious. We are afraid of losing something important. In fact, consuming news is a competitive disadvantage . The less news you consume, the more benefits you have.
Are you afraid of losing the “important thing”? I say from experience that if something really important happens, you will hear about it, even if you live in a cocoon that protects you from the news. Your friends and colleagues will talk more about what happens to you than any other news organization.
They give you news with the added benefit of metadata, because they know your priorities and you know how they think. By reading specialized magazines, in-depth magazines or good books and talking to people you know, you become much more aware of really important events and changes in society.
3. News limits comprehension
Absolutely News has no explanatory power. For news content is small bubbles that burst deeper on the surface of the world.
The News organizations pride themselves on reporting the facts correctly, but the facts they value are only secondary phenomena of deeper issues. Both news organizations and news consumers equate misunderstanding a set of facts with understanding the world.
It is not the “news facts” that matter, but the disciplines that connect them. What we really want is to understand the basic processesThat is how things happened. Unfortunately, only a handful of dangerously news organizations are able to explain the causal reasons, because the fundamental processes governing important social, political, and environmental movements are essentially invisible.
Such processes are complex and non-linear and difficult for our brains (and journalists) to digest. Why do news organizations pursue style stories, anecdotes, scandals, stories and popular images? The answer is simple: because they are cheap to produce.
The most important stories are inaccuracies: slow and powerful movements that are formed without the knowledge of journalists, but have transformative effects.
Most people believe that having more information helps them make better decisions. News organizations support this belief. Well, obviously, this is in their best interest. Does the accumulation of facts in your brain help you to understand the world? Unfortunately, no. In fact, the relationship is upside down. The more you digest the “news facts”, the less you will understand the whole thing.
There is no evidence that information addicts are better decision makers. They are certainly not more successful than the average person. If more information leads to more economic success, we expect journalists to be at the top of the pyramid. Not so. Quite the opposite is true. We do not know what makes people successful, but gossip is definitely not the reason.
Reading the news to understand the world is worse than not reading anything. The best part is: stay away from daily news.
4. News is toxic to your body.
News constantly activates the limbic system. Horror stories release waves of glucocorticoids (cortisol). This puts your immune system out of control and stops the release of growth hormones.
In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic anxiety. High levels of glucocorticoids cause poor digestion, growth retardation (cells, hair, bones), anxiety and vulnerability to infections. News consumers are at risk for physical health problems. Other possible side effects of the news include fear, aggression, reductionism, and desensitization.
5. News Widely Increases Cognitive Errors
News feeds the source of all cognitive errors: Confirmative bias . خود Automatically and systematically reject evidence that contradicts our assumptions in favor of evidence that supports our beliefs. In the words of Warren Buffett: “The best thing a human being can do is interpret new information in a way that preserves the previous results.”
This is a confirmatory bias. Consuming news, especially accepting custom news, exacerbates this human error. The result is that we walk in the dust of seemingly confirming data; Even when our theories about the world and ourselves are probably wrong. We become prone to overconfidence, take stupid risks, and misjudge opportunities.
News not only feeds the affirmative bias, but also exacerbates another cognitive error: story bias . Our brains crave stories that “make sense”; Even if they do not correspond to reality. And news organizations willingly present these fabricated stories. Instead of just reporting that the stock market has fallen (or risen) by 2 percent, TV announcers are announcing: “The market has fallen 2 percent due to X. ”
It could be a bank profit forecast, a fear of the euro, non-farm payrolls, a federal decision, a terrorist attack in Madrid, a subway strike in New York, an agreement between two presidents, or just about anything.
I missed high school. The history book had seven reasons (neither six nor eight) for why the French Revolution took place. The fact is that we do not know why the French Revolution took shape. And we do not know exactly why it happened in 1789. We also do not know why the stock market is going this way. There are many factors involved in such rotations.
We do not know why there is a war, why technological progress is being made, or why oil prices are rising. Any journalist who writes, “The market stagnated because of X” or “Some company went bankrupt because of Eggerg” is stupid. Sure, X may have a random effect, but it is unlikely to have a permanent effect, and other effects may be much more significant. News reports are largely nothing more than stories and anecdotes that eventually replace coherent analysis. I am disturbed by this worthless way of “explaining” the world. Such a thing is improper. It is irrational. It is fraud.
6. News blocks thinking
Thinking requires concentration. Concentration requires uninterrupted time. News items are like electromagnetic waves that distort clear thinking. Each piece of news is specially engineered to bother you. Like viruses designed to steal your attention for their own purposes. This has nothing to do with stealing time (see section 8). It is related to the inability to think clearly, because you have put yourself in front of a disturbing stream of reality.
News makes our thinking superficial . But it is even worse. News has a profound effect on memory.
There are two types of memory. Long-term memory capacity is almost unlimited, but short-term memory is limited to a very small amount of difficult data (try repeating it after you first hear a 10-digit phone number). The path from short-term memory to long-term memory in the brain is narrow and crowded, but anything you want to understand has to go that way. If this path is disrupted, nothing will cross it. Because news disrupts focus, it practically undermines perception.
You can not visit Paris for an hour, just as you can not visit the Museum of Modern Art for two minutes. Why? Because your brain needs time to warm up. Creating focus requires at least 10 minutes of study. When you spend less time, your brain processes information superficially and stores it with difficulty. News items are like the wind that blows your cheeks. Ask yourself: What were the top ten news items last month (which no longer have a place in today’s news)? If you can hardly remember, you are not alone. Why do you want to consume something that does not add to your knowledge?
Online news has an even worse effect. In a 2001 study, two Canadian researchers found that perception decreased when the number of hyperlinks in a text increased. Why? Because every time a link appears, your brain must at least choose whether or not to click on it, which in itself is distracting.
Crazy news users are topics that have nothing to do with it, and online news users are the biggest lunatics in the world. System news is annoying. It catches your attention just to get it all over. Along with the lack of glucose in your bloodstream, new distractions are the biggest barrier to clear thinking.
7. News changes the structure of your brain
News acts like matter. When a story begins, we naturally want to know where it leads. With hundreds of imaginative story lines in our heads, such a desire becomes more and more attractive and difficult to ignore.
Why is the news addictive? As you get used to checking the news, you will be encouraged to check even more than before. Your focus is on what is happening fast, so you are thirsty to learn more about them. This is related to a process called “long-term amplification of synaptic transmission” (LTP) and reward circuits in your brain. Addicts seek more drugs to get better, because they need more stimulation than non-addicts to reach the threshold of satisfactory rewards. If you focus on other things – literature, science, art, history, cooking, pet care, anything – you will focus more on other things. This is how the brain works.
Science used to think that our brains were a collection of dense connections formed between 100 billion neurons inside our skull, and these connections were largely established by the time we grow up. Today we know that this is not the case. The human brain is extremely flexible. Nerve cells frequently sever old connections and make new ones. When we adapt to a new cultural phenomenon, such as news consumption, our brains eventually change. Adaptation to news at the biological level
It happens. News rewrites our program. That is, our brains work differently, even when we are not consuming news. And this is dangerous.
The more news we consume, the more we use neural circuits for browsing and multitasking, and the more we ignore the neural circuits used for in-depth study and reflection. Most news users – even if they used to be avid readers – have lost the ability to read and understand long articles and books. After four, five pages, they get tired, lose focus, and get confused. This is not because they are older or their plans are heavier. This is because the physical structure of their brain has changed. In the words of Professor Michael Marzanich (University of California, San Francisco), a pioneer in the field of neural flexibility, “we have trained our brains to pay attention to nonsense.”
Deep study is indistinguishable from deep thinking. When you eat news, your brain changes structurally. This means that the way you think changes. Regaining the ability to concentrate and reflect requires a comprehensive news-free diet.
8. News is expensive,
news wastes our time, and it costs a lot.
The News puts pressure on returns in three ways. First, calculate how long it takes for the news to consume. You are actually wasting this time reading, listening to or watching the news.
Second, save time for refocusing or the cost of changing status. You take the time to get back to what you did before the news bothered you and you wasted it. You have to organize your thoughts. What were you supposed to do? Every time you pause to check the news, more time is wasted to regain your attention.
Third, the news distracts us even hours after we have digested today’s hot news. News stories and images come to mind for hours and sometimes days after hearing the news, constantly tearing the thread of your thoughts. Why do you want to bring such a disaster on yourself?
If you read the newspaper for 15 minutes every morning, then check the news for 15 minutes during lunch and 15 minutes before bed, you are wasting a considerable amount of time. Then, when you are at work, 5 minutes here and there, plus distraction and refocusing time. You lose efficient hours, which is a total of at least half a day each week . half day; And for what?
Globally, the damage caused by the loss of potential productivity is enormous. Consider the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, in which about 200 people were killed in a horrific attempt to draw attention to themselves. Imagine an average of one billion people devoting an hour of their attention to the Mumbai tragedy: watching the news, watching the news on TV, thinking about it. The number is quite a guess, but the estimates are much higher than that. India alone has a population of over one billion.
Information is no longer a scarce commodity. But there is attention. Why waste it so easily? You should not be so irresponsible about your money, prestige or health. Why waste your mind?
9. News breaks the link between credibility and achievement
Credit affects how people contribute to society. In the time of our ancestors, one’s status was directly related to one’s achievements. When you saw a member of your tribe kill a tiger empty-handed, you spread the word of his courage everywhere.
With the advent of mass news production, the strange concept of “fame” entered our society.
Reputation is misleading, because people usually become famous for reasons that have little to do with our lives. Unreasonable media guarantees fame to movie stars and newscasters. News breaks the link between prestige and achievement. The tragedy is that this kind of loud fingering ignores the achievements of those who have a more significant share in society.
10. News is produced by
journalists Good professional journalists take time for their stories, check the accuracy of their information and try to think of all aspects. But like any other profession, there are unscrupulous and unfair trainees in journalism who do not have the time or capacity for in-depth analysis. You may not be able to tell the difference between a laundered career report and a hasty article written by a writer for money and with ulterior motives. They are all like news.
My estimate: Less than 10% of news stories are genuine. Less than 1% are actually research. And only once every 50 years do journalists uncover something like Watergate. Many reports combine general knowledge, superficial thinking, reports of others, and everything that can be found on the Internet. Some journalists copy or cite old writings without necessarily being aware of their corrections. Copying and copying multiplies the number of errors in stories and their irrelevance.
11. Reported Facts Sometimes and Estimates Are Always Wrong
Sometimes the facts reported are simply wrong. With reduced editorial budgets in major publications, fact-checking may be an endangered step in the news process.
The New Yorker MagazineIt has a legendary reputation for examining facts. The story was that when an article referred to the Empire State Building, someone stepped out of the fact-finding section and visually confirmed that the building was really still standing. I do not know if this story is true or not, but it points to an important point. Today, fact-finding is considered an endangered species in most news companies (even though it is still alive and well in the New Yorker ).
Many news stories contain predictions, but it is impossible to accurately predict anything in a complex world. Significant evidence suggests that the predictions of journalists and experts in finance, social development, global conflict, and technology are almost always completely wrong. So why consume such nonsense?
Did the newspapers predict World War I, the Great Depression, the Sexual Revolution, the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the rise of the Internet, antibiotic resistance, the decline in birth rates in Europe, or the sudden rise of depression? You may find one or two correct predictions in a sea of millions of false predictions. False predictions are not only useless, they are harmful.
To confirm your predictions, roll the news away from you and roll the dice, or if you are ready to dig deeper, read books and magazines full of information to understand the invisible generators that affect the world.
12. The news is deceptive
Our evolutionary past has equipped us with a good finder for face-to-face interactions. We automatically use many cues to detect secrecy and deception, cues that go beyond the verbal message and include gestures, facial expressions, and anxiety symptoms such as sweaty palms, redness, and body odor. When we live in small groups with other people, we almost always know about the messenger background. Information is always accompanied by a rich set of metadata. Today, even the most discerning readers find it difficult and energy-intensive to distinguish fair news stories from stories written on private agendas. Why should we tolerate such a thing?
Stories are chosen or distorted to the satisfaction of advertisers (advertising bias) or media owners (corporate bias), and any media outlet tends to report what everyone else reports and avoids stories that may be considered offensive to others (bias). Dominant current).
The public relations industry is as big as the news reporting industry. This is the best evidence that journalists and news organizations can be deceived, or at least influenced, or change their minds. If public relations were not effective, companies, interest groups and other organizations would not have spent such large sums of money. If justificationists can deceive journalists who have natural doubts about powerful organizations, what makes you think you can escape their tricks?
Consider the story of Nayreh. Nayreh was a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl who testified in the US Congress during the 1991 Gulf War. He claimed to have witnessed the killing of infants in Kuwait by Iraqi soldiers. 3 covered virtually all media outlets in the story. The American people went mad, and this reaction brought Congress closer to approving the war. The testimony of this girl, which at that time was credible in all media outlets, can be seen today in wartime propaganda.
Journalism forms an overview of the world and a common set of narratives for discussion about it, and directs public opinion and collective action. Wait: Do we really want news reporters to direct our collective action? In my opinion, a society whose concerns are created by news agencies is a bad democracy.
13. The news makes us passive
News stories are generally about issues that you can not influence. This gives readers a deterministic view of the world.
Compare this to our fathers’ past, when it was possible to act on virtually any news. Our evolutionary past has prepared us to act on the information we have, but the daily repetition of news about things we cannot act on makes us passive. It depletes our energy. It makes us cringe to choose a pessimistic, disrespectful, ridiculous and deterministic view.
If the human brain is confronted with a flood of vague information, it can react to passivity and a sense of victimhood without being able to act on that information. His scientific term is learned helplessness. It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I’m not surprised if news consumption contributes at least partially to the spread of depression. Looking at the timeline, the spread of depression is almost perfect as the media grows and matures. It may be accidental, it may be the constant onslaught of fires, famines, floods, and failures that add to depression, even if we hear these disturbing reports from far away.
14. The news gives us the illusion of altruism
Kathleen Norris (even if I do not agree with most of her ideas) wrote very well: We may want to believe that we are still concerned about humans. “But the incessant bombardment of images and words makes us disregard altruism.”
The news wraps us in a sense of global intimacy. We are all citizens of the world. We are all connected. This planet is a global village. We sing “We are the people of the world” together and shake the small light of our lighter in perfect harmony with thousands of others. It gives us a vague sense of freshness that makes us think we are taking care of each other, but it leads nowhere. The temptation to make anything look like a global brotherhood smells like a big fantasy. The fact is that consuming news does not make us stronger bonds. We bond because we interact and we owe it to each other.
15. News destroys creativity
Things we already know limit our creativity. This is why mathematicians, writers, composers and entrepreneurs often produce their most creative work at an early age. They do not pay much attention to what has already been tried. Their brains enjoy the vast, uninhabited space that encourages them to come up with new ideas.
I do not know of a truly creative brain addicted to news, not even a writer, composer, mathematician, physician, scientist, musician, designer, architect or painter. On the other hand, I know a large group of brains that are terribly uncreative and consume news like drugs.
The creative effect of the news may be due to a simpler reason that we mentioned earlier: distraction. I can not imagine the production of innovative ideas at all with the distraction that the news always brings.Read the news if you want to come up with old solutions . If you are looking for new solutions, do not read the news.
What should we do instead?
Go without news. Cut it off completely. Set it aside at once.
Make the news as inaccessible as possible. Delete news software from your phone. Sell your TV. Cancel your newspaper subscription. Do not go to newspapers and magazines that have been distributed on airplanes and railway stations. Do not set your web browser default to news sites. Choose a site that never changes. The more boring, the better. Remove all news sites from the list of popular sites in your browser. Delete news widgets from your desktop.
If you still want to cling to the illusion of “not missing important things”, I suggest you take a look at the summary page once a week.Drop the Economist . Do not spend more than 5 minutes.
Read magazines and books that explain the world: Science, Nature, The New Yorker, The Atlantic . Look for magazines that put information together and do not avoid presenting the complexities of life, or just for fun. The world is complex and there is nothing we can do about it. So, you need to read detailed and in-depth articles and books that reflect the complexity of the world. Try to read a book a week. Two or three books are better. History is good. biology. Psychology. This is how you learn to understand the underlying mechanisms of the world. Go for depth instead of breadth. Enjoy content that really interests you. Have fun reading.
The first week is the most difficult period. تصمیم Deciding not to check the news and at the same time thinking, writing or reading این requires austerity. You are struggling with a desire that has settled in your brain. At first, you feel unaware or even socially isolated. Every day you are tempted to check out your favorite news site. Stick to your complete abstinence plan. Stay 30 days without news. After 30 days, you have a more balanced view of the news. You will find that you have more time, more focus, and a better understanding of the world.
After a while, you will realize that despite the silence of your personal news, you have not missed any important facts and you are not going to miss them. If information is really important to your profession, your company, your family or your community, find out in time, from your friends, your mother-in-law, or anyone you talk to or see. When you are with your friends, ask if something important is happening in the world. This question is a great start to the conversation. Most of the time the answer is, “No really.”
Are you afraid that a life without news will cause you to be rejected at parties? Well, you may not know that Linzi Lohan was imprisoned, but you have smarter information to share with others: the cultural significance of the food you eat or the discovery of extrasolar planets. Do not be embarrassed to talk about your news regime at all. People will be amazed.
Society needs journalism, but in a different way.
Investigative journalism is necessary for any society. We need more committed journalists to delve into meaningful stories. We need a kind of reporter who monitors our community and uncovers the facts. The best example is Watergate. But important findings are not necessarily news. Reporting is often not time sensitive. Long articles in magazines and in-depth books are good places for investigative journalism, and now that you have put the news aside, you have time to read them.
The above statements reflect the truest view I could reach at the time of writing. I reserve the right to reconsider my view later. I may even allow myself to violate my profession. And I have done this in the past and will probably do so in the future. The only reason I might change my mind (a change that “cohesion officers” (usually high-ranking journalists) will undoubtedly notice) is because my new career is closer to the truth, not because Gain personal points.
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The Translator Quarterly includes translations of the latest professions in the world of science and philosophy, history and politics, economics and society, and literature and art, which are selected from more than 100 authoritative and up-to-date sources. These include magazines and websites such as The New York Times , The Guardian , The Atlantic , and The New Yorker . The contents of the quarterly are divided into 4 sections: writing, interview, book review, and special file. A selection of the best content on the translator’s website, along with new and specific content, including thematic files, at the beginning of each chapter in the form of ” Humanities Translator Quarterly” »Are published. So far, we have dealt with issues such as “procrastination”, “loneliness”, “travel”, “self-help”, “celebrities” and the like.
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• This article was written by Rolf Dubli and published in 2010 under the title “Avoid News” on Rolf Dubli’s personal website, and for the first time under the title “Escape from the news, as you escape from heroin” in the special file of the 15th issue. The Humanities Translator Quarterly has been translated by Mitra Daneshvar. The translator’s website published it on December 17, 2016 with the same title.
•• Rolf Dobelli is a Swiss writer and businessman who has studied economics in economics. He is best known in the English-speaking world for his book The Art of Clear Thinking , yet most of his books are in German.
 Black Swan
 Lehman Brothers: One of the largest investment banks in the United States.
 In those days, no one knew Nayreh’s last name. It was later revealed that her name is Nayreh Al-Sabah and she is the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. His testimony in Congress is considered one of the most notorious examples of false propaganda to start a war against another country.