Know What's going on

Just don't watch the news

May 13, 2021

It should be a secret to no one that I am no fan of the news industry and that you should not be consooming anything it produces for an audience that is not your local community. When people hear me (and others) suggest this they think that I think they should be ignorant to the world around them, this is far from the truth. I believe that if you aren't wasting time with the news you are in a better position to be knowledgeable and up-to-date on the things that are most important to you.

The Colonial Pipeline Hack

I figure one of the best ways to demonstrate this would be by looking at a current event. A few nights ago a rather excitable friend of mine suggested that I top off the gas in my car because he'd heard that gas prices were going to go up, although he didn't really understand why. Before he had told me this I, through my casual browsing of the internet, had already come across the news that Colonial, which is an American oil company, had had a part of their business data hacked and had shut down their pipeline out of caution. I had also already learned that Colonial's pipeline went from Texas and provided gas to much of the East coast so supply of gas on the East coast would be much lower so the price of gas was going to spike up (simple supply and demand).

Now did I rush to go fill up my car with gas that night? No I didn't because I don't live in the Eastern United States, I told my friend that all of that stuff was happening on the East coast and that those events should have absolutely no impact on gas prices here on the other side of the country, I don't even think the gas here comes from Texas. (Also when you start to hear that the price of gas or something is going up it is already too late) I told him that I didn't expect gas prices here would change at all, and while I was of course prepared to be wrong I didn't worry and a few days later I was proven right as gas prices have continued to remain stagnant after stabilizing back in mid-February.

I was able to see this and predict that the Colonial hack wouldn't affect me because I came across all my information without the influence and theater of the news. My fact's weren't polluted with the opinions and narrative of the media, instead I was able to form an educated, rational and calm opinion on the hack despite not being informed through watching the news. Even now the media continues to talk about the hack and from what it seems 90% of what is being said about it is useless speculation and fearmongering, we already know the everything that we really need to know or ever actually know about it, I could spend some time debunking stuff but that would frankly be a waste of my time.

Focusing on what matters

Ignoring corona virus the three dangers that the news spends the most time talking about are terrorist attacks, hate crimes, and police encounters, but really the top three killers in the world are heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Why doesn't the media focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle to help prevent these things that kill millions every year rather than focusing on things that only kill a few hundred? Only a small fraction of their time is spent encouraging people to get better physical health and almost no time is spent on things that build our spiritual health. Instead they focus on anger, division and hate.

The stuff the news covers is rarely, if ever, important to your individual life, and that's assuming it's even true. Does it make sense to panic buy gas when the shortage is over a thousand miles away? No. Does is make sense for me to get an experimental shot for a disease I've already had which I have almost no chance of actually dying from? Not really. Does it make sense to pay attention to people who spend more time trying to look smart rather than actually trying to be smart? Not at all.

Watching the news doesn't make you any more informed than the average person, it just tricks you into thinking you are informed through the use of authoritative language, a professional wardrobe, and fancy visuals. Don't fall for that. It takes just as much time to do your own research on a topic to gain an educated opinion on it as it does for you to sit down and mindlessly consoom the news, in fact if you factor in the time you will have to spend figuring out what parts of the news should even be believed then the time investment of doing your own research when necessary is probably smaller.