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"Looking for Reason in Unreasonable Times" - Opinion Piece Options
Hope123
Posted: Saturday, June 24, 2017 2:43:41 PM

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Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
This quote by Drago is from another thread and it and an opinion piece this morning in the Toronto Star tie in quite nicely with some of my thoughts.

Quote Drago - "A small percentage of people everywhere are anti . . . everything.
A small percentage of those are chronic antagonists like this woman. They are vampires - the more attention they are given, the stronger they feel."


Yes!

I have thought for a long time that anti-everything or even just negativity by many many people is growing. Not to blame the media completely but they do encourage the public to not be grateful for what they have and to demand even more. And even when good news is presented there is always a "but". Blaming every body else rather than taking responsibility for one's actions has been encouraged by the courts. Thin-skinned people feeling aggrieved or offended over every little thing are encouraged to bring it to the press and when they go on social media there are no restraints as they bravely hide behind their computer.

This opinion piece in the Toronto Star goes even further to say that it is unreasonableness that has slowly crept in to most societies these days that has become a big problem.

We used to call it having common sense or horse sense.

For instance I just said to my husband a couple of days ago when I read that LGBT want to be admitted to a Women's Only spa in Toronto, that although I back LGBT rights, unless they are finished their transition it is unreasonable to expect women to welcome male genitalia in locker rooms and saunas when women are walking around naked. Wait until the transgendered treatment is finished. Similarly, would men want in their locker rooms a person who looks female who some may wonder if she is judging the size of their bits?

I was glad to see the columnist echo my opinion about what is reasonable in this situation where there may be no clothing.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/2017/06/23/looking-for-reason-in-unreasonable-times-mallick.html

The columnist mentions that Caitlyn Jenner “is a person yet she was marketed as some kind of heroine.” Then she joked about the mass shooting at a Republican baseball game in Virginia. “Fortunately the guy was a really bad shot,” Jenner said. “Liberals can’t even shoot straight.”

Was that a reasonable joke? Is it reasonable for any person to pull out a gun and shoot because you disagree with their politics, religion, or color? I think not.

I disagreed in another thread that it is unreasonable to have cultural displays in a library that caters to the nearby residents.

Was it reasonable for the Indigenous and other people to demand - and get - an apology from our Governor-General because he said we are all immigrants to Canada, including the Indigenous who came thousands of years ago? In my opinion, no it was not reasonable. His facts are correct.

Do you agree with this assessment about reasonableness. If so, how do we get back to people taking responsibility for their words and their actions and to for them to quit expecting the world to cater to them and them alone? Expecting not only help when down-and-out but expecting provision of a life and a living without them needing to make it happen themselves when the developed world is given so many opportunities that other parts of the world do not have? My view is that we were never promised a rose garden here on earth.

How do we achieve a laissez-faire/a mind-our-own-business attitude in many areas?

Solutions? Or is it even possible to get away from this unreasonableness?


The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Anon
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, June 24, 2017 8:43:32 PM

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I completely agree with you on this excellent point, Hope. However, I think it is probably too late to achieve reasonableness from those who have chosen to be unreasonable.

In every political movement, there are extremists who are ruled more by their emotions than by reason. And there are always those who enjoy destruction; who love to hate. It is this group that pulls their respective movements into extreme positions and behavior. And when they see their methods rewarded or approved of, they are encouraged to engage in more of the same.

I can foresee only one way to get beyond the current extremism, and that is for our societies to deliberately express an unwillingness to listen and rebuke those who preach, or advocate violence; to demonstrate a willingness to engage in dialogue without automatically treating someone with a different opinion as an enemy.

There will likely be some topics on which no pure agreement can be reached, but those few topics shouldn't tear our societies apart, or divide us one from another. We need to get beyond the "our way is the only way" mentality. I know this is always the mentality that takes hold after years of power, but it can't be permitted to increase. But achieving reasonable dialogue isn't going to happen quickly. It's going to take many years. We just have to be patient and try to set the example.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
almo 1
Posted: Saturday, June 24, 2017 11:34:34 PM
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Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan




Somehow it reminded of this paragraph.

******************

“That rising hate has now swelled into a flood which threatens the welfare and even the lives of all our revealed brethren … and which is potentially as dangerous to the rest of us. The danger is very great and very pressing.” He sat down abruptly.

They took it calmly, with the unhurried habit of years. Presently a female delegate stood up. “Eve Barstow, for the Cooper Family. Ralph Schultz, I am a hundred and nineteen years old, older, I believe, than you are. I do not have your talent for mathematics or human behavior but I have known a lot of people. Human beings are inherently good and gentle and kind. Oh, they have their weaknesses but most of them are decent enough if you give them half a chance. I cannot believe that they would hate me and destroy me simply because I have lived a long time. What have you to go on? You admit one mistake-why not two?”

Schultz looked at her soberly and smoothed his kilt. “You’re right, Eve. I could easily be wrong again. That’s the trouble with psychology; it is a subject so terribly complex, so many unknowns, such involved relationships, that our best efforts sometimes look silly in the bleak light of later facts.” He stood up again, faced the others, and again spoke with flat authority. “But I am not making a long-range prediction this time; I am talking about facts, no guesses, not wishful thinking-and with those facts a prediction so short-range that it is like predicting that an egg will break when you see it already on its way to the floor. But Eve is right … as far as she went. Individuals are kind and decent … as individuals and to other individuals. Eve is in no danger from her neighbors and friends, and I am in no danger from mine. But she is in danger from my neighbors and friends -and I from hers. Mass psychology is not simply a summation of individual psychologies.


- Methuselah's Children by Robert A. Heinlein -

Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017 5:32:39 AM

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Good Morning Hope, I couldn't use my usual usual greeting as although I try to maintain the illusion that there is reasonable cause to keep hope high, it just does not stand up to an objective appraisal of current events.

Reason did not just die, it was murdered. I do not think the deed was the work of any one cabal, nor am I a proponent of any particular conspiracy theory, but I do think the death of reason was a purposeful act perpetrated by numerous forces in society, and some of them I do think had conscious intent behind them.

I can not speak to conditions in Europe at all, for like most Americans I am largely ignorant of what European life is actually like, I do seem to think though that if there is any hope for the revival of reason it is most likely to be fomented by the Europeans, but that may just be wishful thinking as well. Who the hell knows what is actually going on in Russia, China is even less known, Africa seems to be far too war torn or zealot controlled, the middle east is just about a lost cause, South America it seems is still struggling to sort itself out, it seems any part of Mexico that is not controlled by drug cartels is owned or run by proxy by the same type of self serving, materialist, capitalists that are destroying the United States, and that leaves only Canada as another possible region for a revival of reason. The Canadians election of a prime minister who appears, at least in my marginally informed opinion, to be a champion of reason, may be hopeful but, he is up against titanic forces within the same continent that are determined to restore a social order where real power rests in the hands of a mighty few, and the masses are subject to their whim.

Throughout the entire course of human history there can be seen a pattern to the rise and fall of civilizations, and there is no doubt that the U.S. had passed its peak post WWII, its last gasp to avoid that fall would have been if the counter culture of the 60s had matured into an enlightened, informed, movement, rather than dying out completely in the face of the inertia of the establishment. But I am convinced that what has been happening in the U.S. since then is not just the natural decline of a civilization that can be seen throughout history, but that there are some, perhaps various forces, being wielded by perhaps various groups, that have seized upon our deeper understandings of psychology and social dynamics in order to advance the good of those groups and subjugate any not of their ilk. I see no reason, none at all, to expect they have not already won the game in this country.

Reason and critical thinking were the only defense against their machinations and they were fully aware of that, ergo they must be squashed. Look at our current government, look at how close we are to passing a draconian health care bill. How in the name of any kind of reason whatsoever can the majority of U.S. citizens claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, and still have a for profit health care system? How in the name of anything reasonable did we elect a narcissistic, egomaniacal, bombast, to be the leader of our country?

Rampant, unrestrained, capitalism, is a cancer in society, only people ignorant of human nature do not understand that.
The notion that people are inherently good at the individual level is total poppy cock, there are good people among us, but how do they come to be? Not by nature that is certain, it has been through thousands of years of the coevolutionary development of culture, and tens of thousands of years of the immense adaptive value of cooperation that people have developed the capacity for altruism, unfortunately it is easily destroyed particularly when the even more base strategies of intolerance, discrimination, and fear are used.

F**k! that is depressing, time to pull on my delusion and denial cloak again.
Maybe Canada will become the next world leader?



Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017 8:18:45 AM

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It's good to see a topic which 'pulls' agreement from people with such a wide range of backgrounds and philosophies (even from the Howard Foundation - thank you Almo!).

As has been mentioned, it's not 'Democraticism', 'Republicanism', 'liberalism', capitalism or communism - even theism or atheism.

It is unthinking, unreasonable, stupid extremism in any of these.
Any of those traits or philosophies will work to some extent if used with reason.
Used unthinkingly (or deliberately in violation of the concept of 'for all the people') they fail.

Most become 'Zealotism' - capitalism becomes a plutocracy, communism becomes an oligarchy.

When the USSR oligarchy collapsed, it 'flipped' almost instantly to a plutocracy with the "small, powerful group" becoming the "rich powerful group" to a large extent.

FounDit and Epi both mentioned "this group that pulls their respective movements into extreme positions" or "the death of reason was a purposeful act perpetrated by numerous forces in society, and some of them I do think had conscious intent behind them."
It's an easy mistake, to equate these ideas with 'conspiracy theories'.

Obvious and known 'cabals' do exist - drug lords (illegal and legal), the petrochemical industry, the war machine (arms producers and dealers), the 'running-dog press' (to use an old propaganda term) and so on - but these activities in themselves are not all bad.
Drugs are sometimes needed. A diesel generator at a hospital in the wilds with no other power. Weapons to subdue a psychopath who's killing hundreds. people do want and need to know what's going on in the world.

It is, as you say, 'reason' - otherwise known as 'common sense', 'nouse' or several other terms.

I can only see this changing by enough 'good cooperative people' putting themselves forward, becoming part of the governments of the world but keeping their sense of "what's good for society will help me personally, too".

There are some who are making a difference - I'm thinking of things like one regional Police Chief in Columbia who decided to handle police corruption (mainly collusion with drug cartels). He reduced crime to such an extent in his own area, he was promoted and then did the same for the whole of Bogotá, and was put in charge of national security.
Both Bogotá and now the nation have had declining crime rates over years, and are lowest in decades.

"National programs" designed by government committees do help a bit - but they do not 'bite' until one or two individuals decide to really handle the situations.
'Grass roots' activities help more - but require education, which seems to be collapsing throughout the west.

I don't know any country which will 'lead the way'.

The American political system (not necessarily the Constitution, but the Establishment) is biased towards self-serving rich people becoming the leading politicians.
The UK is a bit better, but not exceptionally good. I don't really know about ANZO.
The countries I hear about which sound better are the Scandinavian lands.




Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017 8:31:56 AM

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We have our own extremists here, too, Drag0n. Political, financial, religional, racial - whatever. Their reasoning is very narrow. Thankfully we have not many of them.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Priscilla86
Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 6:37:52 AM

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Location: Lavender, Singapore
Hope123 wrote:

Not to blame the media completely but they do encourage the public to not be grateful for what they have and to demand even more.

This opinion piece in the Toronto Star goes even further to say that it is unreasonableness that has slowly crept in to most societies these days that has become a big problem.

We used to call it having common sense or horse sense.



Hi Hope,

In my opinion, media does play a part and why they skew toward negative contents is unfortunately the side effect of the advancement of the internet and the 24-hr news cycle. They have to compete for attention and so bombastic, negative news gets priority. Surely you've heard of clickbaits? I believe there are as many good news as bad ones but when it's a slow day, I've noticed that it's the bad news that gets aired most as fillers. They get people going because (sadly) it's human nature to love to watch a good train wreck.

I began to notice this after several trips overseas. Yahoo's front page on my phone would automatically adjust to the local version and it's always the same: murder that, criminal this, crooks and whatever. Just the same as the one back home. I think this train wreck / clickbait mentality is what feeds those unreasonable few. The digital revolution allows people to quantify worth by how many followers / clicks / likes you have and clickbaits are an example where this system is abused without regards to its effect on society.

As for people's unreasonableness, I do think the advent of social media plays a part in it getting out of hand. It just makes it so easy for people to vent in the heat of the moment and before you know it, the story would go viral and some clueless (albeit well-intentioned) people would be outraged and suddenly the whole farce becomes a 'thing' with professionals involved and it would be too late to go back. If only people would take a deep breath...

Don't get me wrong, though, done right, social media (and just about any other thing) is a good thing. As for the solution, I don't know about people who are beyond help with their unreasonableness but for the rest of us, it's sometimes as easy as limiting our time online and just get out there and live life.


The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 8:50:48 PM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
On the lighter side:



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Priscilla86
Posted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 2:46:55 AM

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Location: Lavender, Singapore
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
On the lighter side:



I love how they just threw the word 'kittens' in it.




The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
progpen
Posted: Sunday, July 2, 2017 6:13:59 PM

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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Priscilla86 wrote:
In my opinion, media does play a part and why they skew toward negative contents is unfortunately the side effect of the advancement of the internet and the 24-hr news cycle. They have to compete for attention and so bombastic, negative news gets priority. Surely you've heard of clickbaits? I believe there are as many good news as bad ones but when it's a slow day, I've noticed that it's the bad news that gets aired most as fillers. They get people going because (sadly) it's human nature to love to watch a good train wreck.


Media has played a part in unreasonableness since the beginning of print newspapers. "Blood sells" was a central theme of print newspapers for more than 100 years and news stories used to include lurid details that may or may not have been true, but it sold papers. Fake news was quite often the only news available.

Priscilla86 wrote:
As for people's unreasonableness, I do think the advent of social media plays a part in it getting out of hand. It just makes it so easy for people to vent in the heat of the moment and before you know it, the story would go viral and some clueless (albeit well-intentioned) people would be outraged and suddenly the whole farce becomes a 'thing' with professionals involved and it would be too late to go back.


Pseudo anonymity has fueled more than one generation of people who can only derive self worth from harming others on social media. There have been many hundreds of discussions and debates about "fixing" this pseudo anonymity, but it rarely goes anywhere.

Priscilla86 wrote:
Don't get me wrong, though, done right, social media (and just about any other thing) is a good thing.


The Internet was initially supposed to be the great equalizer. That's how I saw it 25 years ago when I was just getting into IT technology. And in some respects, it is that. People in war torn and oppressed areas of the world are able to make their voices heard in ways unimaginable 50 years ago. It just happens that we tend to see the commercial and socially irresponsible portions of it most often.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017 4:44:16 AM

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Priscilla86 wrote:
I love how they just threw the word 'kittens' in it.




Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
progpen
Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017 7:59:29 AM

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Hope123 wrote:
Do you agree with this assessment about reasonableness. If so, how do we get back to people taking responsibility for their words and their actions and to for them to quit expecting the world to cater to them and them alone? Expecting not only help when down-and-out but expecting provision of a life and a living without them needing to make it happen themselves when the developed world is given so many opportunities that other parts of the world do not have? My view is that we were never promised a rose garden here on earth.


Hope, I see this as another symptom of the Internet. People have not changed in the past 50 years, but the frequency and fever pitch of shrieks and wails that we are bombarded with has. Each of the examples you used in your post are local issues (local to California or regionally within Canada) and would not have made it outside those walls without the Internet. The Internet has reduced the cost of broadcasting the morally questionable activities of others and has, as a result, made it possible for someone in Japan to be morally outraged that someone in rural North Carolina believes that transgender people should use a specific bathroom. Even more than that, the Internet has made it possible for that morally outraged person to repeat that outrage hundreds of thousands of times via retweets and reposts to all of their connections. Before the Internet, we relied on village and town gossips to do that.

We have the same percentage of irresponsibleness that we've always had. We just hear about it much more often. And it is the outrage, retweets and reposts that give that irresponsibleness an artificial life of its own.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017 8:46:05 AM

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progpen wrote:
Hope, I see this as another symptom of the Internet. People have not changed in the past 50 years, but the frequency and fever pitch of shrieks and wails that we are bombarded with has. Each of the examples you used in your post are local issues (local to California or regionally within Canada) and would not have made it outside those walls without the Internet. The Internet has reduced the cost of broadcasting the morally questionable activities of others and has, as a result, made it possible for someone in Japan to be morally outraged that someone in rural North Carolina believes that transgender people should use a specific bathroom. Even more than that, the Internet has made it possible for that morally outraged person to repeat that outrage hundreds of thousands of times via retweets and reposts to all of their connections. Before the Internet, we relied on village and town gossips to do that.

We have the same percentage of irresponsibleness that we've always had. We just hear about it much more often. And it is the outrage, retweets and reposts that give that irresponsibleness an artificial life of its own.

I do believe you have a major point here.

It is the same as the "Horrible, horrible, so many more wars going on and more people being killed. The world has gone to the dogs since I was young" syndrome.



As with the "So many more people being murdered - the USA/UK/World is going to the dogs"



Things have improved over the last fifty years - but the amount of news-coverage for the current deaths is hundreds of times higher than it was.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
progpen
Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017 9:37:43 AM

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Exactly, Drag0. It's difficult to hear all of the bad things going on and still be able to feel thankful that we live in possibly the most enlightened, peaceful time on our planet.

Our rivers and lakes don't catch fire regularly.
A significant percentage of our population does not die each year at birth or due to the flu, measles or infection.
We have nearly instant access to a large percentage of the world's knowledge and history.
Crime and war have declined as laws and civil societies have taken root.

Our progress is not given as much air time in the news as our failings because we are programmed to feel that we should always be doing better. We should always have better. Progress is seen as being far too slow and a lack of progress is seen as abject failure.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Andrew Schultz
Posted: Monday, July 3, 2017 2:11:21 PM

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progpen wrote:
Exactly, Drag0. It's difficult to hear all of the bad things going on and still be able to feel thankful that we live in possibly the most enlightened, peaceful time on our planet.

...

Our progress is not given as much air time in the news as our failings because we are programmed to feel that we should always be doing better. We should always have better. Progress is seen as being far too slow and a lack of progress is seen as abject failure.


It's not exciting enough to grab our attention. Don Henley's song "Dirty Laundry" catches this very well.

There's a difference between "we should always have better" and "I'd like to do better. I'd like my friends and neighbors to do better, and I'd like my government to do better." That difference is taking the time to do well for ourselves.

If anyone has read Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, she defines a term called "crazymakers" which I think helped a lot, because it is not an attack on a person but what they do to others. We have a right and duty to weed crazymakers out of our lives--and of course make sure we aren't crazymakers, either.

As disappointed as I am with the USA's government recently, I still don't let them stop me from learning several things a day, or watching a movie I meant to watch, or writing that program I always meant to.

I don't know if anyone likes the School of Life's channel on YouTube (I like it a lot,) but here they mock the daily news a bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmSFWklVtv0

And here they have a take on if philosophers read the daily news: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1E_UtG0nDq4

100th person on TFD to 1 million neurons.
TMe
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 12:24:03 AM

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While surfing the net I chanced upon the following article by Rolf Dobelli.
I want to share it with my forum friends.

News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier


"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.
We are not rational enough to be exposed to the press. Watching an airplane crash on television is going to change your attitude toward that risk, regardless of its real probability. If you think you can compensate with the strength of your own inner contemplation, you are wrong. Bankers and economists – who have powerful incentives to compensate for news-borne hazards – have shown that they cannot. The only solution: cut yourself off from news consumption entirely.


News is irrelevan
t. 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 affecting your life, your career or your business. The point is: the consumption of news is irrelevant to you. But people find it very difficult to recognise what's relevant. It's much easier to recognise what's new. The relevant versus the new is the fundamental battle of the current age. Media organisations want you to believe that news offers you some sort of a competitive advantage. Many fall for that. We get anxious when we're cut off from the flow of news. In reality, news consumption is a competitive disadvantage. The less news you consume, the bigger the advantage you have.


News has no explanatory power. News items are bubbles popping on the surface of a deeper world. Will accumulating facts help you understand the world? Sadly, no. The relationship is inverted. The important stories are non-stories: slow, powerful movements that develop below journalists' radar but have a transforming effect. The more "news factoids" you digest, the less of the big picture you will understand. If more information leads to higher economic success, we'd expect journalists to be at the top of the pyramid. That's not the case.


News is toxic to your body. It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitisation.


News increases cognitive errors. News feeds the mother of all cognitive errors: confirmation bias. In the words of Warren Buffett: "What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact." News exacerbates this flaw. We become prone to overconfidence, take stupid risks and misjudge opportunities. It also exacerbates another cognitive error: the story bias. Our brains crave stories that "make sense" – even if they don't correspond to reality. Any journalist who writes, "The market moved because of X" or "the company went bankrupt because of Y" is an idiot. I am fed up with this cheap way of "explaining" the world.

News inhibits thinking. Thinking requires concentration. Concentration requires uninterrupted time. News pieces are specifically engineered to interrupt you. They are like viruses that steal attention for their own purposes. News makes us shallow thinkers. But it's worse than that. News severely affects memory. There are two types of memory. Long-range memory's capacity is nearly infinite, but working memory is limited to a certain amount of slippery data. The path from short-term to long-term memory is a choke-point in the brain, but anything you want to understand must pass through it. If this passageway is disrupted, nothing gets through. Because news disrupts concentration, it weakens comprehension. Online news has an even worse impact. In a 2001 study two scholars in Canada showed that comprehension declines as the number of hyperlinks in a document increases. Why? Because whenever a link appears, your brain has to at least make the choice not to click, which in itself is distracting. News is an intentional interruption system.

News works like a drug.

As stories develop, we want to know how they continue. With hundreds of arbitrary storylines in our heads, this craving is increasingly compelling and hard to ignore. Scientists used to think that the dense connections formed among the 100 billion neurons inside our skulls were largely fixed by the time we reached adulthood. Today we know that this is not the case. Nerve cells routinely break old connections and form new ones. The more news we consume, the more we exercise the neural circuits devoted to skimming and multitasking while ignoring those used for reading deeply and thinking with profound focus. Most news consumers – even if they used to be avid book readers – have lost the ability to absorb lengthy articles or books. After four, five pages they get tired, their concentration vanishes, they become restless. It's not because they got older or their schedules became more onerous. It's because the physical structure of their brains has changed.


News wastes time. If you read the newspaper for 15 minutes each morning, then check the news for 15 minutes during lunch and 15 minutes before you go to bed, then add five minutes here and there when you're at work, then count distraction and refocusing time, you will lose at least half a day every week. Information is no longer a scarce commodity. But attention is. You are not that irresponsible with your money, reputation or health. Why give away your mind?


News makes us passive. News stories are overwhelmingly about things you cannot influence. The daily repetition of news about things we can't act upon makes us passive. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitised, sarcastic and fatalistic. The scientific term is "learned helplessness". It's a bit of a stretch, but I would not be surprised if news consumption, at least partially contributes to the widespread disease of depression.


News kills creativity. Finally, things we already know limit our creativity. This is one reason that mathematicians, novelists, composers and entrepreneurs often produce their most creative works at a young age. Their brains enjoy a wide, uninhabited space that emboldens them to come up with and pursue novel ideas. I don't know a single truly creative mind who is a news junkie – not a writer, not a composer, mathematician, physician, scientist, musician, designer, architect or painter. On the other hand, I know a bunch of viciously uncreative minds who consume news like drugs. If you want to come up with old solutions, read news. If you are looking for new solutions, don't.

Society needs journalism – but in a different way. Investigative journalism is always relevant. We need reporting that polices our institutions and uncovers truth. But important findings don't have to arrive in the form of news. Long journal articles and in-depth books are good, too.
I have now gone without news for four years, so I can see, feel and report the effects of this freedom first-hand: less disruption, less anxiety, deeper thinking, more time, more insights. It's not easy, but it's worth it."
This is an edited extract from an essay first published at dobelli.com.

I found force.


Your opinion , please.



I am a layman.
Andrew Schultz
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:38:24 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

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TMe wrote:
While surfing the net I chanced upon the following article by Rolf Dobelli.
I want to share it with my forum friends.

...

Society needs journalism – but in a different way. Investigative journalism is always relevant. We need reporting that polices our institutions and uncovers truth. But important findings don't have to arrive in the form of news. Long journal articles and in-depth books are good, too.
I have now gone without news for four years, so I can see, feel and report the effects of this freedom first-hand: less disruption, less anxiety, deeper thinking, more time, more insights. It's not easy, but it's worth it."
This is an edited extract from an essay first published at dobelli.com.



I agree. I know it can be exhausting to go down a rabbit hole. The thing is, either the sort of news that everyone reports, or "THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA WONT LET YOU READ THIS" is equally breathless and draining.

I think we need to stay informed. So I try to set aside a small block of time each day on something that will hopefully be original or different.

And I agree about investigative reporting, as well as local reporting. For instance, the 2016 US Presidential election had so much coverage, but local races weren't covered. And there were interesting ones. There are interesting ones across the nation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq2_wSsDwkQ

As for finding new stuff out, the http://stackexchange.com family of sites is wonderful. Even if all you do is upvote, it's still probably got a very interesting niche for you.

100th person on TFD to 1 million neurons.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 3:19:22 AM

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Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Epiphileon writes "...How in the name of any kind of reason whatsoever can the majority of U.S. citizens claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, and still have a for profit health care system? ..."

Perhaps they have looked at the British NHS and seen the writing on the wall.

I remember, therefore I am.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 9:17:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 29,514
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
jacobusmaximus wrote:
Perhaps they have looked at the British NHS and seen the writing on the wall.

If anyone were to live under the UK NHS system, then live and become ill in the USA, they would understand.

The UK system is ten times as effective as the US one (unless you happen to be upper-upper middle-class or upper-class rich or pay half your income to a rip-off insurance scam scheme).

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 10:35:46 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,141
Neurons: 48,959
Hey, I've got a cra-a-zy idea!

Why don't folks in other countries let us decide what kind of healthcare system we want to have here?

And how about if folks in other countries let us decide what name we call ourselves here in "America", since the word is part of the name of our country?

And how about if folks in other countries let us decide who we allow into our country, and who we don't?

And how about if folks in other countries let us decide what is good for our country and its people?

And all those other folks can make the same decisions for themselves, too.

That sounds a lot like reason to me.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
progpen
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 10:47:40 AM

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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Andrew Schultz wrote:
As disappointed as I am with the USA's government recently, I still don't let them stop me from learning several things a day, or watching a movie I meant to watch, or writing that program I always meant to.


This is the answer to unreasonableness and teamed with civic involvement would lead to the long term health and stability of the country.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 1:35:10 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
FD, Your quests sound reasonable to me - let ALL people of ANY country decide their own fate, allow whomever they wish into the country, and make their own decisions. Nobody ever suggests otherwise, unless what any country does affects the rest of the world.

However, since this is an American forum for discussion and Americans value freedom of the press and freedom of speech, it should be also reasonable for posters to express opinions and make comparisons about any countries without being made to feel they shouldn't. (Especially since in this thread the "others" were responding to Epi who started the healthcare theme. His country is not listed but he has told us many times he lives in the USA and is thus American the same as you.)

BTW, Americans can call themselves whatever they want. But there is no law that "others" cannot also call them whatever they want. Whistle

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Anon
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 1:37:31 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
progpen wrote:
Andrew Schultz wrote:
As disappointed as I am with the USA's government recently, I still don't let them stop me from learning several things a day, or watching a movie I meant to watch, or writing that program I always meant to.


This is the answer to unreasonableness and teamed with civic involvement would lead to the long term health and stability of the country.


In other words, ignoring things you can't control or change, doing your best to try to change what you can, and otherwise getting on with life.

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Anon
almo 1
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 1:48:01 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/16/2016
Posts: 1,253
Neurons: 5,715
Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan




Reasonable?
or Unreasonable




Ottawa to offer Omar Khadr apology, $10-million in compensation








https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-to-offer-omar-khadr-apology-compensation-package/article35538745/






tunaafi
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:04:04 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/3/2014
Posts: 4,453
Neurons: 53,503
Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
Hope123 wrote:
However, since this is an American forum for discussion ...


Really? I though forums (regardless of the people/companies) that set them up were nationality-neutral unless otherwise specified.
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:06:53 PM

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Unreasonable politics example - PM Trudeau gave a great rallying speech at Canada's 150th bash. However, as it went viral, I am sure you have heard that while naming all the provinces and territories he missed Alberta. A few minutes later he said he was embarrassed he had missed it.

However, some Albertans who probably have never made a speech in front of millions of people before and are of the opposing party, the Conservatives, are trying to use it politically with all kinds of stupid statements. So now nobody remembers the good things he said in his speech, only this one slip.

The mayor of a major Albertan city said the fact these people are trying to make political hay as if he did it in purpose is silly. And yet they continue.

People of any province would have laughed and shrugged it off years ago, but not in the climate today where common sense has been lost somewhere along the line, and this unreasonableness is amplified day in and day out on the internet.

It seems the purpose in life of some people is to search for and find any tiny flaw in a student, a person, a celebrity, an organziation, or a government, amplify it, misrepresent it, and spread it to the public as far as possible.

Tearing somebody else down to build up yourself might feel good for a minute but it does not last. That is why they have to go do it again and again, never gaining the self esteem they want.

And yet they cause anguish in others and even cause some to lose their jobs.

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Anon
almo 1
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:12:50 PM
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Joined: 10/16/2016
Posts: 1,253
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Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan
almo 1 wrote:




Reasonable?
or Unreasonable




Ottawa to offer Omar Khadr apology, $10-million in compensation








https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-to-offer-omar-khadr-apology-compensation-package/article35538745/






















Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:19:14 PM

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Both, Almo. Unreasonable that he gets compensation after being a terrorist. Reasonable that the Supreme Court of Canada said his rights were violated. The CDN government was partly responsible for his torture and torture is against Canadian law. That is who Canadians are - people with rights.

And the violation of his rights was done during the Harper government. It has nothing to do with Trudeau. It is a lawsuit that has to be settled.

Even our government is held accountable for wrongs they do, unlike many other countries. It is one of the reasons why Canada is a true, not flawed, democracy.

They are also looking for an apology from the USA government as the torture took place in Guantanamo Bay and that belongs to the US.

Why did you choose a Mexican cartoon? Mexicans have no issues with Canada - in fact are grateful to Trudeau for a couple of reasons.

Edited.

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Anon
progpen
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:44:34 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 1,815
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Hope123 wrote:
progpen wrote:
Andrew Schultz wrote:
As disappointed as I am with the USA's government recently, I still don't let them stop me from learning several things a day, or watching a movie I meant to watch, or writing that program I always meant to.


This is the answer to unreasonableness and teamed with civic involvement would lead to the long term health and stability of the country.


In other words, ignoring things you can't control or change, doing your best to try to change what you can, and otherwise getting on with life.


The Serenity prayer.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:50:12 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Progpen, the prayer came to mind as I wrote. 😀

I also have a poem on my fridge to remind me of mindfulness - not easy to achieve.

The past is written, close the book
On pages sad or gay,
In the future do not look,
But live today, TODAY!




The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Anon
progpen
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:54:11 PM

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I really like that poem and just printed it out and taped it up next to a note I got in a fortune cookie ;-)

Wisdom is knowing what to do next.
Skill is knowing how to do it.
Virtue is doing it.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:56:34 PM

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Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
progpen wrote:
I really like that poem and just printed it out and taped it up next to a note I got in a fortune cookie ;-)

Wisdom is knowing what to do next.
Skill is knowing how to do it.
Virtue is doing it.


❤️

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Anon
almo 1
Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 3:09:33 PM
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Joined: 10/16/2016
Posts: 1,253
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Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan
almo 1 wrote:




Reasonable?
or Unreasonable




Ottawa to offer Omar Khadr apology, $10-million in compensation








https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-to-offer-omar-khadr-apology-compensation-package/article35538745/













Helpless







almo 1
Posted: Monday, February 5, 2018 11:47:46 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/16/2016
Posts: 1,253
Neurons: 5,715
Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/justice-story/




16-year-old girl shoots up school,
tells reporter 'I Don't Like Mondays'



With children screaming and bullets flying, Cleveland elementary’s principal, Burton Wragg, 53, ran outside to help the victims and move the other children, who were paralyzed with fear, out of harm's way. There was another pop and Wragg fell, shot in the chest. Mike Suchar, 56, the school custodian, rushed out to help the dying principal and was also shot. Teachers and students barricaded themselves in the school, while nurses treated the wounded. Four victims, however, were still outside.

San Diego police officer Robert Robb, first to arrive at the scene, got a bullet in his neck.

The shooting continued until another officer, aided by a security guard from a neighboring high school, commandeered a garbage truck and drove it in front of Cleveland Elementary, blocking the sniper’s sightlines.

When it was over, eight children and the police officer were wounded. The custodian and the principal were dead.

On a hunch, a reporter from a local paper dialed the phone number at the address police had pinpointed as the sniper’s nest. A young girl answered. The reporter asked if she knew where the shots were coming from. She rattled off the address of her house. When the reporter pointed out that it was her own address, she said, “Yeah, who do you think’s doing the shooting?”

The next question, the obvious one, was why?

“I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day,” she told him.


progpen
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 7:41:11 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 1,815
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Hope123 wrote:
progpen wrote:
Andrew Schultz wrote:
As disappointed as I am with the USA's government recently, I still don't let them stop me from learning several things a day, or watching a movie I meant to watch, or writing that program I always meant to.


This is the answer to unreasonableness and teamed with civic involvement would lead to the long term health and stability of the country.


In other words, ignoring things you can't control or change, doing your best to try to change what you can, and otherwise getting on with life.


I had to come back to this as the situation in the US has changed sufficiently to warrant a modification in my thinking. I believe we no longer have the luxury of deciding for ourselves what we can or cannot change. We in the US have an obligation and duty to fight those who are dismantling our culture and society, whether it be in local politics, the arts, education or even in our consumption model. We have the responsibility to speak out at every opportunity and to demonstrate (either in person or online). We have a moral obligation that supersedes our comfort level and demands that we use every one of our abilities and capabilities to fight those who are damaging this country's economy, its people and its laws.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
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