On Hebdo Cowardice and Ditching the News

While I was sitting around this morning considering the things I have to be happy about, I came up with this: “I’m happy that we live in an age where we can just search for the ##CharlieHebdo cartoons ourselves using Google.”

This is, of course, in reference to stories that the mainstream media have avoided reprinting the Charlie Hebdo cartoons and covers in full. Some people take this as the latest piece of evidence of their cowardice and I have to say I find it hard to disagree. Devils advocate against my own position: from what I have read about the Hebdo publication a lot of it is in poor taste so one might have other grounds for not reprinting certain pieces.

At any rate, this is a good time to talk about the news I think. For the last year I have not listened to the news but rather I let things bubble up via Twitter and Facebook. There are lots of things that happen in the world that I am late to know about. But I also don’t hear a lot of irrelevant BS that has nothing to do with my life, most specifically my consciously chosen values, and is only designed to be sensationalist in order to sell advertising. (Never let a tragedy go to waste)

If you haven’t stopped listening to daily news, I urge you to try it for a period of a week, and if that works out, a month. I got this idea from Tim Ferris’s Four Hour Work Week. He has a strategy he calls the “Low Information Diet” and ditching news is a big part of it. I hypothesize that you will still find out about the important things but you will not experience the anxiety induced by the regular doses of tragedy porn and outrage porn, which is all the news seem to consist of these days.