Information Exhaustion: Dealing With Uncertainty

You can handle uncertainty by:

  1. Limiting news consumption.
  2. Focusing on things that are in your control.
  3. Practice meditation and cultivate mindfulness in order to be more comfortable with uncertainty.
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Self Improvement

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Why We Have An Information Epidemic

We have a never ending stream of information coming at us, leaving our mind exhausted, with no energy left to engage, debate, analyse or refute the epistemic (epidemic of knowledge).

Uncertainty, polarization and misinformation are the three musketeers of this information overload.

  • Uncertainty: Be it diseases, the political landscape, the global concerns of war, environment and other ongoing crises, we have truckloads of uncertainty in our hands, which is stressing us out.
  • Polarization: We are more polarized than anytime in history, trapped in our echo chambers, with our mind filled with confirmation bias. The distrust we have of those who don’t think like us fuels our polarized mindset.
  • Misinformation: Fake news is everywhere, and it is not just to spread misinformation, but to impair our critical thinking abilities.

Handle the problem of polarization by:

  1. Rather than competing with others, you can look at cooperation and empathic understanding.
  2. Try to look at the other person’s perspective and learn something new instead of being stubborn with your own beliefs.

Misinformation, or fake news, can be handled by:

  1. Only sharing news stories that are verified.
  2. Prioritizing consumption from news outlets that are meeting high ethical journalistic standards.

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RELATED IDEAS

Exhausted In Isolation

Due to the lockdown, tens of millions of people are sheltered at home, all across the world. There is a lack of routine, emotional insecurity, poor nutrition and alcohol/substance abuse, leading to a collective mental and physical exhaustion.

Fatigue can also happen even if your sleep is adequate, as it’s the isolation and the strange combination of boredom and anxiety that make us unhealthy.

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IDEAS

The illusory truth effect

It's our tendency to believe false information to be correct after repeated exposure to it.

The illusory truth effect is the reason why advertising and propaganda works.

A critical skill for leaders is the ability to figure out what kind of thinking is necessary to address a given challenge.

The wrong kind of thinking about a problem happens all the time because different types of effort require different types of knowledge. For example, you may analyze scientific data when a values-informed judgment call is needed, or you'll trust your instincts where a data analysis would expose your faulty thinking.

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