‘Thinking Clearly’ or: news you can’t really use

jodi1Did you get all worked up over the Jodi Arias case?

Is moment by moment “news” coverage on Twitter becoming a regular interruption in your daily life?

A new book by Rolf Dobelli, “The Art of Thinking Clearly” (Harper), argues that most of the so-called “news” that engages us and inflames us is a completely useless distraction.

Dobelli’s book about “systematic deviations from logical, rational thinking and behavior” has already been a huge bestseller in Europe and it is easy to see why from Nicky Griffin’s lucid and jodi2engaging translation — the author reinforces a lot of our own common sense reactions to the information overload most of us are living with today.

Dobelli argues that the bulk of what is presented to us as “news” each day is of no real importance to anyone other than the group involved in the “event.”

Does a plane crash in Russia or an earthquake in Sumatra mean anything to those of us who live thousands of miles away?

Dobelli is not dissing serious in-depth coverage of events around the globe — he loves non-fiction books like his own, of course. The author just questions the wisdom of getting caught up in the day-to-day news tidbits that are forgotten a few months later.

“In the past twelve months, you have probably consumed about ten thousand news snippets — perhaps as many as thirty per day,” Dobelli writes.

“Be very honest: Name one of them, just one that helped you make a better decision — for your life, your career or your business — compared with not having this piece of news.”

“News organizations assert that their information gives you a competitive advantage. Too many fall for this. In reality, news consumption represents a competitive disadvantage. If news really helped people advance, journalists would be at the top of the income pyramid. They aren’t — quite the opposite.”


Joe Meyers