2015-11-11

An Inane Experiment

I have become increasingly leery of the information I'm getting on the internet. Too often, the facts in news stories don't check out. When they do, they're often presented in an ideologically skewed way. Even something as straight-forward as scientific journalism is presented as an "issue" that has "sides." Over and above the constant barrage of click-ads that suffocate me as I wade through the average online news article, some stories are little more than paid advertisements themselves. Sometimes the ones having paid for the story are people with ideological - as opposed to commercial - motives. There is a wide discrepancy between facts reported on the same issue/event, depending on the news article's country-of-origin. Some stories are not reported in some countries at all.

These are all known challenges of staying informed, I'm not making note of anything particularly novel here. Recently, though, I've felt myself reaching a "tipping point," and the information I come across is no longer appealing in any way. By this I mean to say that it is getting impossible to find news content that has any informational, commercial, or educational value of any kind.

Consequently, I have no desire to continually expose myself to this stuff.

Still, I have to stay abreast of some of the important things going on out there. I can skip most of the day-to-day stuff, but if war breaks out in Canada, or something, i'd prefer to know sooner rather than later. And I don't spend enough time on Twitter for that to be an option here. (Besides, I hate Twitter.)

So, for the next little while, I'm going to try an experiment in search of gaining access to better information. I'm going to start getting all of my news from only the "Business" section of any news source. My reasoning here is as follows.

First, I assume that if a news story isn't significant enough to impact the market, then it isn't significant enough for me to worry about. So, salmonella breaks out in a bunch of Chipotle restaurants = probably important; woman reportedly finds Jesus' foot in her McDLT = probably not important.

Second, as somewhat of a corollary to the above, I assume that those events that are perceptible on the market are the ones most likely to be things I should care about. So, even if I personally don't care whether Taylor Swift puts her content on Apple Music, the fact that the market cares should make me think twice about just writing the whole thing off. (I still might write it off, but I'll at least think twice.)

Third, I assume that "what the market wants" is more important than what political ideologies or groups happen to be screaming about. Sometimes the things that people scream about also happen to be things that the market wants. In those instances, I'll become fully informed of the politics just by reading the business news. Sometimes the market wants things that aren't on anyone's political radar. In those instances, I might very well be able to anticipate political trends before they become "Facebook issues," so to speak.

Maybe this experiment will work, and maybe it won't. I'll find out soon, and hopefully report back to my faithful readership.