Information overload is a real issue. Misinformation is another and even bigger one because it’s easy to be aware of the overload, not so easy to be aware that lots of it is crap. Being aware in a healthy way that is. Shutting off doesn’t work for me. I just cannot not ingest what surrounds me. Willfully ignoring it to avoid its contaminating influence feels wrong. Not the right way to deal with reality. Becoming paranoid doesn’t seem a good way either. So what do I do? Probably nothing much different from most who haven’t got the make-up to be fundamentalist about anything. Regarding what goes on in the world, by not dropping out of the deafening mainstream chatter, I am certainly shaped by whatever is the ideological and intellectual fashion of the day. A sheep like the rest, fooled by commercial and power interests. But it’s not all that difficult to tune in to alternative voices. They are available in plenty for those like me. It just takes a bit of effort. To give just one example of one of my alternative sources: Greg Palast. First learned about him by reading his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. When Hugo Chavez died watching his documentary on the US assassination attempt of the man provided a good reminder that there was a lot more to Chavez than his main stream tin pan dictator image.
For me Palast is also a good example of why I don’t rely totally on the alternative media. He wouldn’t e.g. report on who Chavez main banker was. That kinda info is only available through an establishment magazine like Foreign Policy. The good and the bad on a grand scale, it’s all so grey, so very grey. And whatever it is, my role in it is negligible. So for me it’s important to regularly immerse myself in something that talks about things that I have some control over. This example is a long sit but it can change your life.
And then there is the feel good stuff. You might have noticed that I like to end my posts with something of that kind. For me that is therapeutic. But beyond that, deep down I don’t see the hierarchy of value or importance that underlies such a description. Nothing wrong with feeling good. Beauty, rhythm, awe, humor, flow, very much core to what life is about. Take them out and you’re left with something terrible. To illustrate: an Iggy Pop music video. Always gives me a positive kick.