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Who gives you the really important information?

I love this quote by George Bernard Shaw:

“Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization.”

By which he means: small events will be reported as more important and potentially catastrophic than they probably are. Unless, of course, it’s something that’s catastrophic but requires a lot of work to investigate and explain (e.g. the sub-prime mortgage fiasco, or excessive government budget deficits).

Don’t blame the newspapers for giving readers what most of them want. Tantalizing gossip and simplistic explanations are in high demand. If you want to avoid this kind of noise you have to do the heavy lifting yourself. Your mind can be a filter if you train it to be. Or you can just open the windows and let a torrent of ignorance waft in.

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