News is Bad for You

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News is Bad for You

Post by Michijo on Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:19 pm

In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets. But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don't really concern our lives and don't require thinking. That's why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind. Today, we have reached the same point in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be.

News misleads. Take the following event (borrowed from Nassim Taleb). A car drives over a bridge, and the bridge collapses. What does the news media focus on? The car. The person in the car. Where he came from. Where he planned to go. How he experienced the crash (if he survived). But that is all irrelevant. What's relevant? The structural stability of the bridge. That's the underlying risk that has been lurking, and could lurk in other bridges. But the car is flashy, it's dramatic, it's a person (non-abstract), and it's news that's cheap to produce. 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.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli
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Re: News is Bad for You

Post by MainSt99 on Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:49 pm

News outlets, including Newspapers, network TV, Local TV and Radio, are owned largely by only a few large, conservative corporations.  They are few enough, and have similar enough interests, to constitute a monopoly on the news.....  And the news is consistently slanted accordingly.  That's the main reason for most of the diversions and distortions of the news noted in the previous post.

Network TV is owned mostly by Comcast, Walt Disney Company, CBS, PBS, News Corp and Time Warner.  The situation is similar in newspapers, local TV and radio, with much overlap of ownership between media.  

Almost all news in the US is slanted right, including PBS and NPR, which now depend on people like the Koch Brothers for financing.  MSNBC, supposedly Liberal, never discusses important issues like the wealth gap, in any depth.

The internet is about the only source of news that is not intentionally biased toward the Right.



Last edited by MainSt99 on Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:58 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Tried to add link - 7 day waiting period)

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Re: News is Bad for You

Post by MainSt99 on Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:53 pm

Congratulations on your new forum. The dark background with with white text is very easy on the eyes. One suggestion would be to make the admin line a color that contrasts with the background. The current dark blue/purple color is hard to see.

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