Stop Reading the News by Rolf Dobelli and 23 Reasons Why the News Sucks

Ever since I stopped following major news outlets and reading the news everyday, I feel so much better.

What is “the news”?

To me, at its core, most of the news is basically information shared about local or world events. That would be great if that’s all the news was. But most of the airtime about news is left for people’s opinion about the information shared about local and world events. They tells us how we should feel. That’s the part that irks me.

Like most people, I get sucked into the opinions that I like, prefer, and agree with, often. Hard to be completely objective, but it’s a good goal. That’s why limiting the noise of the news helps me, with tuning my framework on how to think, and to not focus so much on what to think. Again, it’s challenging, but important to strive towards thinking clearly for yourself – this is true for anyone at any age.

In the journey of fine tuning my framework-for-thinking, I happened to stumbled upon a book while I was browsing the (digital) library section of EdgeORG (a great website for life long learners like you and I) titled, “Stop Reading the News” by Rolf Dobelli

Click image for Edge.org digital library
Click image for Amazon link

After reading the chapter titles, I was hooked…

23 Reasons Why the News Sucks

  1. News is to the mind what sugar is to the body
  2. News is irrelevant
  3. News is outside your circle of competence
  4. News gets risk assessment all wrong
  5. News is a waste of time*
  6. News obscures the big picture
  7. News is toxic to your body*
  8. News confirms our mistakes
  9. News reinforces hindsight bias
  10. News reinforces availability bias
  11. News keeps the opinion volcano bubbling
  12. News inhibits thought
  13. News rewires our brains*
  14. News produces fake fame
  15. News makes us smaller than we really are
  16. News makes us passive
  17. News is invented by journalists*
  18. News in manipulative
  19. News kills creativity
  20. News encourages crap: Sturgeon’s Law
  21. News gives the illusion of empathy
  22. News encourages terrorism
  23. News destroyed our peace of mind

(* = my favourites)

I’ve read the introduction and it was fun. The author, Rolf Dobelli, shares a story of how he was at a dinner party full of journalists, and told all of them that ‘the news is worthless and that their jobs are meaningless.’ It was a tough crowd. But funny.

Perhaps by the end of this book, the author will have convinced me to stop reading the news completely. I’m excited to find out.

Is it all bad news?

We all have our sources of information. It could be major news networks like CNN or FOX or any of the other variations of those. Or you could get your information from online-only alternative media sources and independent content creators. Or you get your news from the people in your life.

I bet your sources include some type of combination of the above.

Every now and then, it is a good practice to step back, and take a look at your sources of information. There is good information and there is bad information. It is a life-long challenge to monitor what goes into your brain and try to parse the good from the bad. Are you up to the challenge?

Do you have too many sources of information?

Do you only get your information from one major source?

What has been one benefit you have gained from limiting your news intake?

As always, let us now in the comments below!

Audio Version here:

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