News blackout: 2 weeks in
April 15, 2013
So far, so good. I heard about Margaret Thatcher passing away from Twitter or something. I caught the news about Batman: Arkham Origins on the day the news broke. Someone told me that the President released a budget, and it included a reference to work I had personally done, which is neat.
I have avoided innumerable process stories and hype about budgets, entitlements, repetitive op-eds and headlines I don’t care about (college basketball in particular).
I get a steady flow of work-related news at work, and this is obviously exempt from the blackout. Although I suspect that most of it could be ignored as well, because about 80% of it has no value a week or a month after it is reported.
I have had a couple of itches to check news sites but have resisted. That is more from habit than anything else. One thing that has steeled my resolve is this conversation:
Addict: “Did you hear about the immigration deal in the Senate?”
Me: “Did the Senate and the House pass legislation?”
Addict: “No, but it’s real interesting that someone in the know said something about a possible deal.”
No, it’s not. It’s just talk, vapid, empty talk that is indicative of nothing. But it fuels speculation, hopes, fears and idle talk.
I fear that I will lose some context about particular issues, and may need to drink down some pure information at times, but I may go out of my way to avoid news sites to do so. For example, someone told me that the President’s approval rating had gone down. Intrigued, I looked it up. Instead of relying on the news to tell me, I just sought out the information when I wanted it. Much, much more efficient use of time.
The other thing I’ve started doing is browsing Wikipedia, letting my curiousity take me wherever I want.