Why Vary Your News?

Here is how to not be exceptional.   “May you live in interesting times?” could be a Chinese curse, but one of the greatest spices in life is anticipation.  Where would we be without the things we look forward to?  Yes, we can be and should be happy in the here and now, but only by accepting the mysteries of life as they unfold with acceptance and joy.

Listen to only what you want to hear or what is easy and not challenging are likely ways to stagnate and become part of the norm.  Letting someone else decide what you should hear for their benefit and not yours is a certain way to become part of the norm.  When we are normal in a sick society, it means we are sick!

gary scott

I have this program on my desktop to broaden my information horizons.

Most of us want the profits from our investing, the results from our business and really our lives to be extraordinary.   Proof of this fact?  The bumper sticker “My child is an honor student”.

A Scientific American article “The psychology of Social” adds more scientific evidence when it says:  Nobel Laureate economist, John Harsanyi, said that “apart from economic payoffs, social status seems to be the most important incentive and motivating force of social behavior.” The more noticeable status disparities are, the more concerned with status people become, and the  differences between the haves and have-nots have been extremely pronounced during the economic recession of recent years.”

Yet a growing fundamental of life that most of us are using reduces the odds that we’ll have anything except results that are ordinary and mundane.

Paths to fame and fortune are built on ordinary.  Spotting distortions that create trends allows us to see where and when the thundering herd is wrong.  Spotting imbalance allows us to beat competition and invest in or offer in business things that are most needed (and valuable) while the majority deal instead in the low cost middle ground.

When others control what we read and hear, our intellect, experience  and wisdom are dimmed.  When we let algorithms choose what in-formation we view based on our past activity, we become lost in the crowd.  The input we read, listen to and watch may seem interesting because smart people have figured out how to define our tastes.  But the spice of our own interests is easily the ultimate blandness created by extreme mediocrity.

Algorithms are simply computer programs that calculate what is likely we’ll like based on the norm.  Algorithms are all about average, normal, mediocre, common, humdrum, middling.  Ho hum.

We reduce the odds of having anything exceptional or extraordinary when we let a computer program determine what we get to hear and see.

Yet there are teams of really smart people, almost everywhere,  working on ways to figure us out and direct us to see and hear what is in their best interests, not ours.  These controllers of our information are dictated by money and profit, theirs, not what is best for us.

Algorithms make it easy to miss what’s really important.   Revenue dictates the editorial decisions of almost everything.  Numbers are so important that most media continually decide which news is most likely to attract readers rather than which news is most important.

Take, for example, the Wall Street Journal.  This is a good ethical publication though we have to remember that it is owned by the Rupert Murdoch organization, the same people who own Fox News.  They publish three editions- Asia, Europe and the USA.  I take all three because even the finest institutions publish the news they think will sell, not those which are most vital.

For example right now, the mainstream media are a bit caught up with news about the current US government administration.  This is hot news in the US.  They consequently ignore some really important news.

Here is a good example of how this can cause us to miss important news.  Recently I was very interested in the discovery of a new type of matter called “Time Crystals”.  I picked this up in my early morning read of the Wall Street Journal.

The article said (underline is mine)  In regular crystals—an ice cube or a diamond, for instance—atoms are arranged in a repeating spatial pattern.  In time crystals, patterns repeat in time instead of in space.

The research is early stage, but “anytime you discover a new phase of matter, it opens doors to new theories and potential applications,” said Chetan Nayak, a principal researcher.

The time crystals also maintain quantum coherence, or synchrony between units, according to the studies. That could ultimately be important for building quantum machines, scientists said.

Wow, a new form of matter!  This could be really, really huge, bigger than radio, bigger than electricity, bigger than cars, bigger than the internet.  Maybe not, but now I know so I can research and watch and learn this huge revelation in our fascinating world of science.

But this incredible revelation was not in the Wall Street Journal’s US edition.

Instead there was an an article headlined: “Ivanka Trump’s Landlord Is a Chilean Billionaire Suing the U.S. Government”

I don’t think I need to say more.

What to do?

There is little we can do to escape the marketing decisions that publications make as to which news will be broadcast where we are.   There is not much we can do to escape the judgements of algorithms when we use broadband.   Here are several really simple steps we can take to broaden our information horizons.

First, subscribe to publications (in print or online) where the subscribers (not the information) are in different parts of the world.   As mentioned, I take three editions of the Wall Street Journal.  Plus I had a program created (shown above) for my desktop  that gives me one click links to publications where the subscribers are in different places, countries, regions and continents.

Second, when it comes to investing, I rely on mathematically based financial information news to find good value instead of the economic conjecture that is in almost all the news.   I track three sources of financial thinking at ENR Asset Management, Tradestops and Keppler Asset Management to find conclusions about value created by distortions and trends.  See more about these sources below.

Third, subscribe to varied information, that interests you and does not.  For example, I subscribe to blogs about gardening and growing food, water, weather, toys (I have no interest really), stocks, high fashion cloths (again no interest at all), vision, and scientific advances.   I continually shift the mix and open and click through sites I have no interest in and do not read.  This befuddles the algorithms and increases the odds that the information that flows to me will be random… like life.

This brings a delight of unplanned, impromptu, unbidden data flowing to me.  Like the gurgle of a murmuring creak, this erratic stream adds serendipity into the brook of information that expands my thinking and who I am.   Life is a walk along a random path.  Loosening the restrictions on what we learn allows the flukes, the times when we have lucky breaks by stumbling upon the unexpected to fall in place so displays of pure dumb luck can grace our lives.

The marketing geniuses that run the advertising universe online and in print rely on patterns.  They want to fit you into a mold.  When you break the average cast and let the grander designs of nature lead us, we gain freedom and independence of thought and can enjoy the frightful delight of evolution in our world.


(1) www.scientificamerican.com:  The psychology of social

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