08 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Focus on Producing Information, Not Consuming

The production of information is critical to a healthy information diet. It's the thing that makes it so that your information consumption has purpose. I cannot think of more important advice to give anyone: start your day with a producer mindset, not a consumer mindset. If you begin your day checking the news, checking your email, and checking your notifications, you've launched yourself into a day of grazing a mindless consumption. [...] But there's something else that being a producer do...
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08 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Our Life is What We Pay Attention To

When our attention is lured, herded, and commandeered in such a way, our full human potential is profoundly subverted. “Our life experience,” William James once said, “will equal what we have paid attention to, whether by choice or default.” We become what we attend to — nothing more, nothing less. A steady and exclusive stream of reality TV, entertainment gossip, social media chatter, and “breaking news” about the latest celebrity scandal or Trump’s most recent tweets — all...
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21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Inversion of Information and Attention

What’s happened is, really rapidly, we’ve undergone this tectonic shift, this inversion between information and attention. Most of the systems that we have in society—whether it’s news, advertising, even our legal systems—still assume an environment of information scarcity. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, but it doesn’t necessarily protect freedom of attention. There wasn’t really anything obstructing people’s attention at the time it was written. Back in an in...
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29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 You were never actually accomplishing anything by watchin...

If you ask someone what they accomplish by watching the news, you’ll hear vague notions like, “It’s our civic duty to stay informed!” or “I need to know what’s going on in the world,” or “We can’t just ignore these issues,” none of which answer the question. “Being informed” sounds like an accomplishment, but it implies that any information will do. You can become informed by reading a bus schedule. A month after you’ve quit the news, it’s hard to name anything u...
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29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Most current-events-related conversations are just people...

“Because it helps you participate in everyday conversations!” is a weak but at least meaningful answer to the “What is accomplished” question. But when you quit playing the current events game, and observe others talking about them, you might notice that almost nobody really knows what they’re talking about. There is an extraordinary gulf between having a functional understanding of an issue, and the cursory glance you get from the news. If you ever come across a water-cooler conve...
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13 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Reasons to Give Up News

News misleads. News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. So terrorism is over-rated. Chronic stress is under-rated. The collapse of Lehman Brothers is overrated. Fiscal irresponsibility is under-rated. Astronauts are over-rated. Nurses are under-rated. News is irrelevant. Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter...
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Taking just the titles/headers of the reasons, and abbreviated explanations.

03 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 énouement

n. the bittersweetness of having arrived here in the future, where you can finally get the answers to how things turn out in the real world—who your baby sister would become, what your friends would end up doing, where your choices would lead you, exactly when you’d lose the people you took for granted—which is priceless intel that you instinctively want to share with anybody who hadn’t already made the journey, as if there was some part of you who had volunteered to stay behind, who ...
Folksonomies: memory perception nostalgia
Folksonomies: memory perception nostalgia
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A poetic way to describe the desire to know in the past what we know now.

12 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Journal Papers Don't Trigger Revolutions

It appears that the extremely important papers that trigger a revolution may not receive a proportionately large number of citations. The normal procedures of referencing are not used for folklore. A real scientific revolution, like any other revolution, is news. The Origin of Species sold out as fast as it could be printed and was denounced from the pulpit almost immediately. Sea-floor spreading has been explained, perhaps not well, in leading newspapers, magazines, books, and most recently ...
Folksonomies: science popularization
Folksonomies: science popularization
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Science that makes the news does.

18 SEP 2011 by TGAW

 Vonnegut on Fiction vs. Journalism - Noise and Melody

I am reminded now, as I think about news and fiction, of a demonstration of the difference between noise and melody which I saw and heard in a freshman physics lecture at Cornell University so long ago. (Freshman physics is invariably the most satisfying course offered by any American university.) The professor threw a narrow board, which was about the length of a bayonet, at the wall of the room, which was cinder block. "That's noise," he said. Then he picked up seven more boards, and he...
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