Author Topic: Important News or Low Information Diet  (Read 13110 times)

agent13x

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Location: Nebraska
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #50 on: December 10, 2014, 12:27:07 PM »

You're absolutely right about this, and what I find interesting (and disturbing) is that people are polarized along political lines...even though this isn't really a political issue.  It makes me wonder how many liberals argue the social injustice just because they think they're supposed to...and how many republicans are just parroting the "company line" that you shouldn't resist arrest.  Can nobody think for him/herself anymore?

Perhaps we are all thinking for ourselves yet still arriving at similar conclusions.

If most of us agree that 2 + 2 = 4, are we no longer thinking for ourselves?

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2146
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #51 on: December 10, 2014, 12:48:29 PM »
Now, all that racial/rape/etc news...I beg to differ on how important of a "national issue" those things are and I think it's safe to tune those out. But some things you should pay attention to.

Was the civil rights movement of the sixties something that you think it would have been okay to tune out? Because that's what this is shaping up to resemble. 130 mile marches, civil disobedience, coordinated protests.....sounds familiar doesn't it?


Morfas44

  • Guest
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #52 on: December 10, 2014, 01:06:26 PM »
Now, all that racial/rape/etc news...I beg to differ on how important of a "national issue" those things are and I think it's safe to tune those out. But some things you should pay attention to.

Was the civil rights movement of the sixties something that you think it would have been okay to tune out? Because that's what this is shaping up to resemble. 130 mile marches, civil disobedience, coordinated protests.....sounds familiar doesn't it?
Ok so I confess, I have been following those things. But I don't think they're noteworthy. The Michael Brown dude assaulted a police officer. He did a strong arm robbery of a store. If he was in California he would have been on his third strike already. He was no saint, absolutely not close to it. It's a tragedy that he died. But I think he was just being an idiot that day. I don't know what that has to do with race. That 12 year old kid who was shot. I remember vividly in elementary school when a cop came to our school and lectured us on many things, among them was a stern warning not to ever saw off the tip of an airsoft gun (I had one at the time so I listened). Whoever let that kid have that gun is completely culpable and we need to make sure we educate our kids of the dangers of waving around a gun in a public area. If I did that in a public park with my airsoft gun I had the knowledge of what to expect (and I fully expect to be shot if I did such a thing). Finally, that guy in New York that died when he was tackled. He wasn't innocent. He resisted arrest. He was lying to the cops right there. He probably was going to die soon judging by the looks of his health. Horrible combination of risk factors, horrible death, but I don't think shoddy police work warrants nationwide protests. We should be protesting bad habits (fast food, cigarettes) more because way more life is lost because of them. I know I'm making an assumption about that guy there but I don't think anyone would doubt the chances that this guy didn't take care of his health. A completely colorless issue. The Trayvon Martin case? I think that case should be getting more attention than these ones. George Zimmerman was a joe schmo, not a cop, tracking someone with a gun. That was so messed up. I can't believe the law protected him.

Were the cops at fault in each of these incidents? I think legally, no (and it's backed up by the grand juries), but I think it's not just cops that need to change. Whenever I see those videos of people recording cops it's apparent they are trying to find something to post to youtube and it's apparent that they don't like police from the start. It's just as much of a problem when cops have to deal with populations that discriminate against cops. That's up to those people to change.

The reason I think these stories are irrelevant is, in the big picture, the civil rights era has already happened. Legally, on paper, you can't discriminate. Some people want to stick to a historical narrative and take to the streets and protest. I look around (I live in an area that has a good population of middle-class African-Americans) and I don't see the need for anything else, reparations, etc. The people around me sometimes  drive nicer cars than I do. So I consider it a non-issue and I'm fully tuned out so I can focus on my own life.

I'm not black so maybe I don't have the perspective of a black person but I think the people most at arms over this issue should consider an alternative perspective because as far as I can see, a lot of black people share my perspective and live just fine, happy lives.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 01:25:07 PM by Morfas44 »

golden1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1430
  • Location: MA
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2014, 01:11:40 PM »
This thread just reinforces my view that one should be informed.  However, whatever you do, stay far, far away from the comments section.  :P

Bob W

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2957
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Missouri
  • Live on minimum wage, earn on maximum
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #54 on: December 10, 2014, 01:15:04 PM »
The whole Ferguson thing seems kind of like a sideshow compared to all the other terrible problems going on in the world today. You don't see the President giving a speech about the genocide going down between the Muslims and Christians in the Central African Republic, but you see him chiming in about a murder case in some backwater Missouri town. People's priorities are all messed up these days.

Totally agree with you except the backwater Missouri town part.  I'm kinda biased about Missouri as it is my home state and I consider it my "nation state."   Lord!  It's not as if we're California!   Now Ferguson is a blight upon our state and reputation.  But its not as if it were Chicago!


Better living through math.

NeuroPlastic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: New Hampshire
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #55 on: December 10, 2014, 01:42:13 PM »
The reason I think these stories are irrelevant is, in the big picture, the civil rights era has already happened. Legally, on paper, you can't discriminate. Some people want to stick to a historical narrative and take to the streets and protest. I look around (I live in an area that has a good population of middle-class African-Americans) and I don't see the need for anything else, reparations, etc. The people around me sometimes  drive nicer cars than I do. So I consider it a non-issue and I'm fully tuned out so I can focus on my own life.

I'm not black so maybe I don't have the perspective of a black person but I think the people most at arms over this issue should consider an alternative perspective because as far as I can see, a lot of black people share my perspective and live just fine, happy lives.
In Zimbardo's Stanford Prison experiment, the "guards" (and even Zimbardo himself) didn't realize what was happening to them.  And that took place over the course of just a few days.  There is still a great deal of institutional and cultural racial imbalance. 
And just because it's on paper doesn't make it so; if it did, we would have no use whatsoever for law enforcement.
It's insanely easy to fool ourselves. Just sayin'.

Morfas44

  • Guest
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #56 on: December 10, 2014, 01:52:39 PM »
The reason I think these stories are irrelevant is, in the big picture, the civil rights era has already happened. Legally, on paper, you can't discriminate. Some people want to stick to a historical narrative and take to the streets and protest. I look around (I live in an area that has a good population of middle-class African-Americans) and I don't see the need for anything else, reparations, etc. The people around me sometimes  drive nicer cars than I do. So I consider it a non-issue and I'm fully tuned out so I can focus on my own life.

I'm not black so maybe I don't have the perspective of a black person but I think the people most at arms over this issue should consider an alternative perspective because as far as I can see, a lot of black people share my perspective and live just fine, happy lives.
In Zimbardo's Stanford Prison experiment, the "guards" (and even Zimbardo himself) didn't realize what was happening to them.  And that took place over the course of just a few days.  There is still a great deal of institutional and cultural racial imbalance. 
And just because it's on paper doesn't make it so; if it did, we would have no use whatsoever for law enforcement.
It's insanely easy to fool ourselves. Just sayin'.
I'm not saying stuff doesn't happen I'm just saying it's out of my circle of control. So I'm not concerned about it. It's part of the low information diet. It's not my plan to subjugate black people, but my plan to focus on mustachian principles so I can have a better life...

What does "cultural racial imbalance" mean?

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2426
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #57 on: December 10, 2014, 01:55:20 PM »
Now, all that racial/rape/etc news...I beg to differ on how important of a "national issue" those things are and I think it's safe to tune those out. But some things you should pay attention to.

Was the civil rights movement of the sixties something that you think it would have been okay to tune out? Because that's what this is shaping up to resemble. 130 mile marches, civil disobedience, coordinated protests.....sounds familiar doesn't it?

I dunno, I could buy that this is bread and circuses and that the public has just been demanding more serious-minded bread and circuses lately. So that it doesn't feel so much like bread and circuses. Sure they're important issues, but because of the historical precedent the response also has an easy-to-follow pattern that doesn't take too much effort.

I had a history teacher in highschool point out that the flag-burning scandal was big news during the iran-contra scandal, which was what people should have really been upset about. Even though the whole flag-burning thing is an important discussion about rights. So whenever something is in focus in the news, I ask myself, "What could this be a distraction from?"

Update: seeing your follow-up comment, Morfas, I realize I was not interpreting "non-issue" as you meant it. You mean you don't think racism is a thing anymore, so that's a disagreement about the interpretation of the events.

As someone who has been following this closely (lots of reading, researching, questioning, thinking, and discussing), there appears to have developed three distinct, but occasionally overlapping viewpoints (obviously I'm missing a lot of details here, I'm just trying to summarize)...

Liberal Democrats - seem to be focusing on the social injustice aspect
Libertarian Republicans - seem to be focusing on the abuse of government authority aspect
Vanilla Republicans - if you respect those with authority none of this would be a problem


You're absolutely right about this, and what I find interesting (and disturbing) is that people are polarized along political lines...even though this isn't really a political issue.  It makes me wonder how many liberals argue the social injustice just because they think they're supposed to...and how many republicans are just parroting the "company line" that you shouldn't resist arrest.  Can nobody think for him/herself anymore?

In addition to the 'flag-burning' mental test, I have the 'do I agree with all of my facebook friends about an issue' test.  And if so, it might be time to question my thinking. Unfortunately that also brings up the, 'do all of my facebook friends agree with each other' test, which in many cases, except for that one aunt who hates Obama, I fail. It's an indication that I need to broaden my range of friends. But in this case it could also be a case of regional political correctness in that no one disagreeing with the social justice angle (except for that one aunt) wants to post about it. Indeed, my first conversation on Monday was with a co-worker who immediately pulled out the 'ALL lives matter' and 'it's not a race issue it's a class issue' arguments.

Anyway so maybe in this anonymous venue I can finally confess: I buy that racism is a thing, both from experimental evidence and statistics, and that confronting racism is really important, I just don't think Eric Garner is a good example to rally behind. The rule of law, as opposed to military, requires that people submit to police. That is not the same thing as submitting to the state. You can fight in the courts; you can not fight the police. The moment of arrest is not the time to argue your rights. He was resisting arrest. Yes, he wasn't being threatening and yes the chokehold is not a sanctioned move, but cops do not yet have the technology to subdue people by enveloping them in harmless rainbow-flavored jell-o or whatever. A physical altercation always carries risks so when you resist arrest you are taking your life in your hands for no possible benefit. No cop has ever said, "Oh, gosh, I didn't realize how much this person didn't want to be arrested. I guess they have a good point and I'll be on my way."

Someone on my facebook feed is a music teacher in an elementary school and had the kids writing protest songs because, 'a police officer killed a man.' And of course because he's a bleeding heart liberal, he's teaching in the impoverished inner-city so he's influencing the very kids who most need to learn effective, positive ways to interact with cops and are most at risk from having an adversarial attitude towards them. Kids who grew up where I did, middle-class whitebred suburbs where the adults don't care quite so fiercely about social justice, are still learning the respectful model of interacting with cops which will save their lives when they decide in college to join protest rallies.

Morfas44

  • Guest
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #58 on: December 10, 2014, 02:03:01 PM »
Now, all that racial/rape/etc news...I beg to differ on how important of a "national issue" those things are and I think it's safe to tune those out. But some things you should pay attention to.

Was the civil rights movement of the sixties something that you think it would have been okay to tune out? Because that's what this is shaping up to resemble. 130 mile marches, civil disobedience, coordinated protests.....sounds familiar doesn't it?

I dunno, I could buy that this is bread and circuses and that the public has just been demanding more serious-minded bread and circuses lately. So that it doesn't feel so much like bread and circuses. Sure they're important issues, but because of the historical precedent the response also has an easy-to-follow pattern that doesn't take too much effort.

I had a history teacher in highschool point out that the flag-burning scandal was big news during the iran-contra scandal, which was what people should have really been upset about. Even though the whole flag-burning thing is an important discussion about rights. So whenever something is in focus in the news, I ask myself, "What could this be a distraction from?"

Update: seeing your follow-up comment, Morfas, I realize I was not interpreting "non-issue" as you meant it. You mean you don't think racism is a thing anymore, so that's a disagreement about the interpretation of the events.

As someone who has been following this closely (lots of reading, researching, questioning, thinking, and discussing), there appears to have developed three distinct, but occasionally overlapping viewpoints (obviously I'm missing a lot of details here, I'm just trying to summarize)...

Liberal Democrats - seem to be focusing on the social injustice aspect
Libertarian Republicans - seem to be focusing on the abuse of government authority aspect
Vanilla Republicans - if you respect those with authority none of this would be a problem


You're absolutely right about this, and what I find interesting (and disturbing) is that people are polarized along political lines...even though this isn't really a political issue.  It makes me wonder how many liberals argue the social injustice just because they think they're supposed to...and how many republicans are just parroting the "company line" that you shouldn't resist arrest.  Can nobody think for him/herself anymore?

In addition to the 'flag-burning' mental test, I have the 'do I agree with all of my facebook friends about an issue' test.  And if so, it might be time to question my thinking. Unfortunately that also brings up the, 'do all of my facebook friends agree with each other' test, which in many cases, except for that one aunt who hates Obama, I fail. It's an indication that I need to broaden my range of friends. But in this case it could also be a case of regional political correctness in that no one disagreeing with the social justice angle (except for that one aunt) wants to post about it. Indeed, my first conversation on Monday was with a co-worker who immediately pulled out the 'ALL lives matter' and 'it's not a race issue it's a class issue' arguments.

Anyway so maybe in this anonymous venue I can finally confess: I buy that racism is a thing, both from experimental evidence and statistics, and that confronting racism is really important, I just don't think Eric Garner is a good example to rally behind. The rule of law, as opposed to military, requires that people submit to police. That is not the same thing as submitting to the state. You can fight in the courts; you can not fight the police. The moment of arrest is not the time to argue your rights. He was resisting arrest. Yes, he wasn't being threatening and yes the chokehold is not a sanctioned move, but cops do not yet have the technology to subdue people by enveloping them in harmless rainbow-flavored jell-o or whatever. A physical altercation always carries risks so when you resist arrest you are taking your life in your hands for no possible benefit. No cop has ever said, "Oh, gosh, I didn't realize how much this person didn't want to be arrested. I guess they have a good point and I'll be on my way."

Someone on my facebook feed is a music teacher in an elementary school and had the kids writing protest songs because, 'a police officer killed a man.' And of course because he's a bleeding heart liberal, he's teaching in the impoverished inner-city so he's influencing the very kids who most need to learn effective, positive ways to interact with cops and are most at risk from having an adversarial attitude towards them. Kids who grew up where I did, middle-class whitebred suburbs where the adults don't care quite so fiercely about social justice, are still learning the respectful model of interacting with cops which will save their lives when they decide in college to join protest rallies.
Unfortunately we have media corporations that generate hits and revenue "selling" an idea of how someone is treated in society (cough, CNN, cough). Stuff that you never see in public. Ew.

austin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #59 on: December 10, 2014, 02:18:32 PM »
The "low information diet" has always struck me as one of MRM's stupider ideas. Yes, I can understand not obsessing over tabloid or entertainment news, and not watching CNN 20 hours a day, but to actually pride yourself on not understanding or even being aware of what important things are going on in the world is anti-intellectual makes you sound like more of a rube than someone who follows celebrity drama.

There is a reason "low information voter" is a pejorative.

edit. Particularly, it sounds like claiming that your "low information diet" forces you to ignore racial injustice sounds like something that primarily white people are going to be able to do.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 02:22:00 PM by austin »

frugalnacho

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2951
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Madison Heights, Michigan
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #60 on: December 10, 2014, 02:27:38 PM »
It's called low information, not no information.

Khaetra

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #61 on: December 10, 2014, 03:04:54 PM »
It's called low information, not no information.

Being somewhat knowledgeable about major stories?  Important.  Knowing who was performing at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show?  Not so much.  Guess what my Twitter feed was full of.

OutBy40

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Tucson, AZ
    • ThinkSaveRetire.com
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2014, 03:52:27 PM »
It's called low information, not no information.

Being somewhat knowledgeable about major stories?  Important.  Knowing who was performing at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show?  Not so much.  Guess what my Twitter feed was full of.

Sure, taken to the extreme, a "low informaton diet" is probably a negative.  But I do agree with the concept that too much information actually makes it tougher to stay grounded, focused and relatively stress free.  I used to pay attention to politics pretty closely in years passed, but no longer give a shit because, quite frankly, it doesn't contribute to my goal to retire early.

And I think that is the key.  Ignore the information (perhaps I should say "data") that doesn't contribute to your goals in life.  Sometimes, the less you know the better. 
Steve Adcock
http://www.thinksaveretire.com

My goal is to achieve financial independence and officially retire from the rat race by 40.

Schaefer Light

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 905
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #63 on: December 11, 2014, 06:12:41 AM »
Unless the news has an impact on the economy (and therefore my investments/savings), I don't really give a damn what's on the news.  I'm what most people would call a single-issue voter.

ChrisLansing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #64 on: December 11, 2014, 08:21:54 AM »
I've just made a renewed commitment to the LID, and that includes limiting fb post to one day per week (starting today)

I've been following the events in Ferguson since they happened and I have to say it wasn't worth it. 

First, 90% or so of people made up their minds sometime around 8/10/14 what "really happened".   They did this not on the basis of actual information but on their world view/political view.   Those on the left decided it was a murder and those on the right decided it was a cop trying to survive an attack.   

Second, it wasn't until the GJ decision and the release of many of the documents that anyone had any real info and could make an informed decision.    So all the talk from early August to late November was just hot air.

Third, now that the decision is made we could have a useful discussion of how GJs work (or how they should work) the role of the GJ in our legal system, what kinds of evidence should/should not be presented, and so on.  Instead, Ferguson is no longer part of the nightly news cycle, though it remains a "reference" to be mentioned in other police shooting cases, and those other shooting incidents need to be looked at on a case by case basis .    The shooting of Tamir Rice may not have anything to do with the events in Ferguson.   

What people don't seem to realize is that watching the news every night is also a low information diet, but one that takes up a lot of time and energy.     

Iron Mike Sharpe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 398
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #65 on: December 11, 2014, 08:25:46 AM »
What do you do when the media blatantly lies to you, like they did with the Ferguson case?

Grog

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 278
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #66 on: December 17, 2014, 11:24:21 PM »
Since a couple of weeks I don't visit any kind of news website, and I go to the main page of Wikipedia once a day:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

there is a news sector on the right and there is maybe one new item every day, sometimes less. I can read the linked article, and then visit a couple of interlink and really have a deeper grasp of what's happening in this single, "more important" news that has gained the privilege to apppear in this news section. Is like I'm reading a single news per day, but with some depth.

I know wikipedia could be easily manipolated, but I kind of trust it more then normal media. And I'm really enjoing it, and I can avoid all the people/tabloid/filler news sections.

Obviously I still idly watch/read local/regional newspaper and local results of sports, but that's more like a civic duty since we have to vote so. many. times. a year.


StriveForMelody

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #67 on: December 18, 2014, 01:54:09 PM »
I must admit my mindset has significantly improved since I began adopting the Low Information Diet. My obsession with politics/movies/new music and my wife's lack thereof used to be a cause of some tension in our relationship -- now I realize she kinda had it right all along. I canceled my newspaper subscription, listen to podcasts or music instead of NPR (mostly), hardly ever check Twitter or Facebook, and no longer feel the nagging need to read up on my Pitchfork and Stereogum every morning. My mind feels much more fit and free because of these changes.

BUT, taken to an extreme, the LID can result in a certain harmful type of ignorance. And since one of my main goals for my time here on Earth (along with spreading love and beauty and stuff) is working against injustice, I feel it's important to be aware of issues like the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. Seriously, Mustachian folks, if you "care" enough to denounce consumerism as an evil, but not racism, then I don't wanna associate with y'all. I'd rather be broke for life but be working towards justice than financially prosperous with a blind eye towards injustice.

Schaefer Light

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 905
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #68 on: December 19, 2014, 06:51:58 AM »
^ those two cases aren't necessarily about racism.  To me, the two cases you mentioned have much more to do with excessive use of force than they do with racism.

StriveForMelody

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Important News or Low Information Diet
« Reply #69 on: December 19, 2014, 10:09:37 AM »
OK, I know this isn't the forum to get into a political debate here, but the simple fact is that if 99% of black people in America think it's about racism, it has become about racism, whether you want it to or not.