"The book is the only medium that hasn't been corrupted by the profane: everything else on your eyelids manipulates you with an ad".
- Nassim Taleb
Is there any wonder we don't feel good enough. From morning through night we're barraged with advertising. When we look at our phones, it's there. When we drive in the car, it's there. When we watch TV, it's there. When we go to the supermarket, it's there. It's near impossible to escape.
I notice a measurable positive shift in my happiness when I go on a media diet. During it I realise that I miss nothing that will make my life, in the local sense, any better at all.
There is news going on all around the world and yet I don't see the results of it around me. Even the COVID lockdown hasn't reduced the number of cars on the road where I live. Nor has it reduced the number of people in the supermarket.
My life is not impacted by what I read in the news. But when I read the news I feel closer to events I cannot change. I can only do what I can do in my tiny circle of influence.
But my life is very different when I ignore the news. It's noticeably better. Because now I don't have my brain clogged up with shit that I don't need to know. Anything that really matters will get through to me anyway. And all I risk is looking slightly ignorant when talking to people about public affairs. I'm happy to take that risk in return for having a clear mind and the freedom to practise philosophy.
The newspapers exist because advertising pays for all of our eyeballs. Boycott the news and you'll crush some of the advertising companies who are making us all feel inferior. Wishful thinking? Maybe.