June 29th, 2016 by admin
Uh-oh… We’ve got good news and bad news. But you’ll have to figure out which is which.
We with have what is probably the most important thing you will read this year…
Yesterday, the Dow fell again – 81 points. Gold went up – by almost $10 per ounce. Gold does not seem inclined to go down much more… at least, not immediately. And though some big players seem to be dumping nugget – we won’t mention any names – most regarding the aureate orders are buys, not sells.
Here’s Paul Tustain, CEO of physical gold argosy business BullionVault, on gold’s recent correction:
[H]ere are some BullionVault statistics from the last few days, which I think offer a useful memento about how markets work. Remember, first of all, that for all those people who sold in a bit of a panic, someone bought.
1. Monday and Tuesday were our strongest 48-hour period for new customers this year.
2. Since Friday, the gross value like customer bullion sales increased markedly. About 1% about gold we look after was sold back to the main market. That was characterized along a some massive sellers. Holders about 99% of BullionVault inventory were not panicked.
3. Those who did sell have mostly not withdrawn their cash from the BullionVault system. To me, that suggests they may be intending to buy rearward into gold sooner rather than later.
4. We ordinarily have circa 230 deposits a day (300 on a Monday) and about 100 withdrawals a day (120 on a Monday). Mondays are usually higher because they include weekend activity. On Monday, we had 723 deposits versus 284 withdrawals. On Tuesday, we had 732 deposits versus 150 withdrawals.
5. Monday was a record day for business transacted, beating the previous peak of September 2011.
Candy for the Mind
And now… here’s why you really shouldn’t pay attention to any news. It’s “public information” – with little integrity, crumb quality and little usefulness.
Here’s our friend, the Swiss novelist Rolf Dobelli.
News is bad for you. It’s identical sugar. It gives you a rush. It’s a aberration from your own concerns. It’s susceptible to digest. But this “candy for the mind” can be toxic.
In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognized the hazards of living with an plethora of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets. But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body.
News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don’t really concern our lives and don’t require thinking. That’s why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow endless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-colored candies for the mind.
Today, we undergo reached the same maximum in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are initiation to recognize how toxic news can be.
Take the following event (borrowed from Nassim Taleb). A car drives over a bridge, and the bridge collapses. What does the news media focus on? The car. The person in the car. Where he came from. Where he planned to go. How he experienced the crash (if he survived). But that is all irrelevant. What’s relevant? The structural stability of the bridge.
That’s the underlying explosive that has been lurking and could lurk in other bridges. But the fullsize is flashy, it’s dramatic, it’s a person (non-abstract), and it’s word that’s cheap to produce. News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. So terrorism is overrated. Chronic stress is underrated. The collapse of Lehman Brothers is overrated. Fiscal irresponsibility is underrated. Astronauts are overrated. Nurses are underrated.
We are denial rational enough to be exposed to the press. Watching an airplane crash on television is going to change your attitude toward that risk, regardless of its real probability. If you think you can compensate with the strength of your individual inner contemplation, you are wrong. Bankers and economists – who have powerful incentives to compensate for news-borne hazards – have shown that they cannot. The only solution: Pare yourself off from news consumption entirely.
News Is Irrelevant
Out concerning the approximately 10,000 news stories you have recite in the last 12 months, name different that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business. The point is: The consumption of news is irrelevant to you. However people find it same difficult to acknowledge what’s relevant. It’s much easier to recognize what’s new. The relevant alternative the new is the fundamental collision of the current age.
Media organizations want you to believe that news offers you some sort of a competitive advantage. Many fall for that. We get eager when we’re cut away from the flow of news. In reality, news drinking is a competitive disadvantage. The less news you consume, the bigger the advantage you have.
News Has No Expository Power
News items are bubbles popping on the surface of a deeper world. Will accumulating facts help you understand the world? Sadly, no. The relationship is inverted. The important stories are non-stories: slow, powerful movements that develop below journalists’ radar but contain a transforming effect. The more “news factoids” you digest, the less concerning the big picture you will understand. If more information leads to higher productive success, we’d expect journalists to be at the top of the pyramid. That’s not the case.
News Is Toxic to the Body
It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your invulnerable system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side effects include fear, aggression, adit vision and desensitization.
News Increases Cognitive Errors
News feeds the matrilinear of all cognitive errors: affirmation bias. In the words of Warren Buffett: “What the human because is best at doing is interpreting all new information thus that their prior conclusions remain intact.” News exacerbates this flaw. We become prone to overconfidence, take stupid risks and misjudge opportunities. It also exacerbates another cognitive error: the story bias. Our brains hanker stories that “make sense” – even if they don’t correspond to reality. Any journalist who writes, “The market moved because of X” or “The company went bankrupt because of Y” is an idiot. I am fed up with this cheap way of “explaining” the world.
News Inhibits Thinking
Thinking involves concentration. Concentration requires uninterrupted time. News pieces are specifically engineered to interrupt you. They are like viruses that steal attention for their confess purposes. News makes us shallow thinkers.
But it’s worse than that. News severely affects memory. There are two types from memory. Long-range memory’s capacity is nearly infinite, only working memory is limited to a certain amount about slippery data. The path from short-term to long-term memory is a choke point in the brain, but anything you want to apperception must pass through it. If this passageway is disrupted, zero gets through.
Because news disrupts concentration, it weakens comprehension. Online news has an even worse impact. In a 2001 study, two scholars in Canada showed that comprehension declines as the number of hyperlinks in a document increases. Why? Because whenever a link appears, your brain has to at least make the choice not to click, which in itself is distracting. News is an intentional interruption system.
News Works Like a Drug
As stories develop, we want to know how they continue. With hundreds about arbitrary story lines in our heads, this craving is increasingly compelling and hard to ignore.
Scientists used to think that the dense connections formed among the 100 billion neurons inside our skulls were mainly fixed by the time we reached adulthood. Today we know that this is not the case. Nerve cells routinely break old connections and form new ones. The more news we consume, the more we exercise the neural circuits devoted to skimming and multitasking while ignoring those used for reading deeply and thinking with profound focus.
Most news customers – even if they used to be avid book readers – have lost the ability to absorb lengthy articles or books. After four, five pages they get tired, their concentration vanishes, they become restless. It’s not because they got older or their schedules became more onerous. It’s because the physical skeleton of their brains has changed.
News Wastes Time
If you read the newspaper for 15 record each morning, then check the news for 15 minutes when lunch and 15 minutes antecedence you travel to bed, then add five minutes here and there until you’re at work, then count distraction and refocusing time, you will lose at least half a day every week. Information is no longer a short commodity. But attention is. You are not that irresponsible for your money, reputation or health. Why give away your mind?
News Makes Us Passive
News stories are overwhelmingly about things you cannot influence. The daily repetition of news about things we can’t act upon makes us passive. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitized, sarcastic et al fatalistic. The scientific term is “learned helplessness.” It’s a bit of a stretch, otherwise I would not be taken aback if news phthisis at least partially contributes to the widespread disease of depression.
News Kills Creativity
Finally, things we already know limit our creativity. This is digit reason that mathematicians, novelists, composers and entrepreneurs often produce their most creative works at a young age. Their brains enjoy a wide, uninhabited space that emboldens them to march up for and pursue novel ideas. I don’t know a single truly creative mind who is a news junkie – not a writer, not a composer, mathematician, physician, scientist, musician, designer, architect or painter.
On the other hand, I know a bunch of viciously uncreative minds who consume news alike drugs. If you want to come up with old solutions, read news. If you are looking for nascent solutions, don’t.
Society needs journalism – except in a different way. Investigative journalism is always relevant. We need reporting that polices our institutions also uncovers truth. But important findings don’t deceive to arrive in the form of news. Long journal articles and in-depth books are good, too.
I accept at present gone without news for four years, so I can see, feel and report the effects regarding this freedom firsthand: less disruption, less anxiety, deeper thinking, more time, added insights. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
[This is an edited extract from an essay first published at dobelli.com.]