Six years, no news

2016-05-07 @Lifestyle

For approximately six years now, I have actively abstained from mainstream news, including that of political, economical, sport, and more surprising in my case, technological nature. The only exception involves research publications. What does such a lifestyle entail?

My being informed of any major worldwide development was left entirely to the whim of accidental or courtesy information on behalf of family or peers. And since I gravitate towards stoic and antisocial, the likelihood of such a courtesy has been rare. I have remained clueless in the politics arena most of all, not being informed who is running in what election, oblivious to the course of worldwide diplomacy or immigration reform. Technologically, I have remained slightly more informed, being a practitioner of that sector, and even so to a limited extent. When questioned on my opinion concerning any recent progress, I demonstrate little reservation in expressing my lack of, if not total absence of knowledge. At that point, I detect an element of surprise and occasionally slight reproach, but life regains normal rhythm within a few minutes. As such, these occasional moments of accidental discovery constitute one of my principal sources of information on relevant matters. So far, I feel perfectly content, entirely lacking the motivation to scavenge the headlines on even a semi-consistent basis. I don’t seem to care. The principal catalyst for such insolent indifference originates from my total absence of faith in the validity of an overwhelming majority of news related content I had been exposed to in the past.

I learn about world impacting events in a notably course-grained discreet fashion, as an exposition of gradually evolving circumstances. One day my attention was captured by the seemingly rapid progress in holographic technology, having noticed a colleague demonstrating a set of cardboard-cutout goggles mounted harshly to the skull, which soon prompted me to explore a couple of TEDx talks concerning the subject matter. I was suddenly transported from the purely academic prospects of augmented reality circa 2004 to science fiction. Another day I curiously devoured another TEDx talk on the accelerated progress in the technology and resources necessary in colonizing Mars, an event to potentially occur well within my expected lifetime. Mars colonization had until then remained a purely fictitious prospect in my conception. In a few years, I will perhaps be welcome to the surprisingly practical nature of the Kip Thorne wormhole travel theories, related in science fiction films Contact and Interstellar. Or perhaps these sources of information also constitute noise and deviate the observer from a more objective state of affairs?

Notwithstanding my status as an uninformed element, the withdrawal presents numerous benefits. I feel far less overwhelmed by information overload, and far less distracted from my surroundings, thoughts, and activities. I feel more present in the moment, having eliminated the need to stay current on the perpetual flow of propaganda. While the activity of voraciously harvesting news on world-wide development and marvels might consume as little as five minutes in the lower-bound extreme of cases, and only if exercised with discipline, the act sets off a chain reaction of emotional disarray, plagued by the inequities and excitement of worldwide phenomena. I reject this extra baggage, having sufficient difficulty in organizing my time and resources towards activities I find more conductive towards self-development, imagination, and emotions. These activities, needless to day, already outnumber what I can comfortably handle. For instance, I adore literature - beautiful, eloquent, fantasy-provoking, and at times entirely abstract. And yet, this too requires energy and concentration, resources that would otherwise be consumed by distracting content of arguably inferior quality.

Questions, comments? Connect.