My current critique of the media:

It is (mostly) fear porn.

What is fear porn? Let me explain:

Fear Porn Audio

We seem more motivated by fear than the desire for gain

ERIC kim selfie low angle

Some thoughts.

First thought:

It seems that we humans are first primary motivated by fear.

Fear motivates us either to DO things, or NOT to do certain things.


Second thought:

Why is the media so bad?

The media is bad because of this:

Their money is earned via advertising.

This means… anything which gets them more eyeballs, clicks, and views is good for their bottom-line. This means, they are incentivized to produce news stories which maximizes “engagement”. And what maximizes engagement? Fear.

Why ‘fear porn’?

Why is the notion of ‘fear porn’ so apt?

My thought:

When we watch the news, it is very perverse. We are addicted to hearing and learning about the suffering of others, when in reality we cannot really ‘do anything about it’.

For example, let us say you heard today that another 1,000 people died in Spain. What can you actually do about it, besides perhaps pray for their families? What can you do to really help in terms of embodied reality? Send a poor family money? Shelter someone in your own home?

My belief:

To be ‘informed’ without action is cheap.

I can’t help but look!

Porn is interesting. Porn is something which interests us and fascinates us, and we cannot help but look. It is like a train wreck, or seeing a car accident on the freeway. We cannot help but look– it is wired into our DNA. When we see something crazy, dangerous, insane, unusual, etc … we are hard-wired to inspect, observe, analyze, in order to PREVENT THE SAME from happening to us. Perhaps it is risk-mitigation in our genes. Or in other words:

We do not want to put ourselves into a situation where we can get seriously fucked (fucked meaning potential permanent disfigurement or death).

And also, we do not desire harm on our family members, close friends, etc.

Empowering or disempowering?

Why I’m Not Afraid of Death

Let us think:

When you follow the news and media, does it ENCOURAGE YOU or DISCOURAGE you?

Is there any real practical benefit to the news you follow in your own personal life, or is it this perverse type of porn-entertainment-fear mongering?

In praise of local news

Why I don’t follow the news

What actually affects you? Local news. So if you’re gonna follow any news, follow hyper-specific and hyper-local news. For example, your own city news, your own town news, etc.

Or better yet, don’t even follow any news. If you REALLY need essential information, it will find you. For example, the US Government (and my local state) is sending emergency text messages on really important news. Everything else seems superfluous.

News and the media is porn for the brain

black blood abstract

Is porn bad? Not necessarily. But let us think.

Next time you turn on the news, check Twitter, Facebook, the TV, newspaper, magazine, whatever — ask yourself:

Is this fear porn or not?

ERIC

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