low information diet

The Low Information Diet

Just as modern man consumes both too many calories and calories of no nutritional value, information workers eat data both in excess and form the wrong sources – Tim Ferriss

Last night I binged watched youtube videos about how globalist elites are taking over the Western World by destroying the patriarchy.  A mild curiosity turned into a dirty high quickly.  A part of me knew I should stop watching, but I couldn’t.  After one video ended there was a list of related videos that seemed to be calling my name.  Am I any better for watching these videos?  No.  If anything I left feeling more angry and jaded.

Let’s face it your probably doing the same thing.  You may not be binge watching youtube videos about the destruction of the patriarchy, but I bet your taking in information that is irrelevant, unimportant, and unactionable to your life.  The only reason you found this blog post was because you were mindlessly surfing the web instead of doing work.  Don’t lie.

Do yourself a favor.  Observe the information you take in today whether it be through something you read or something you watch.  Ask yourself – is this information relevant to my life?

When you become mindful of the information you are taking in you will realize that most of it is a complete waste of your time.  It’s empty calories, intellectual junk food.

Here are somethings to cut out if you find yourself becoming addicted to useless drivel:

The News:  Have you not realized that the news, like every other tv channel, is there to turn a profit.  The purpose of the news is not to report what is fair and balanced, it’s entertainment.  It’s all about ratings.  The more eyeballs glued to the tv means more advertising money.  They hook you by sensationalizing stories.   Internet news sites are not much better.  I can hear you saying “but how will I stay an informed citizen without the news?”  Let’s face it your not watching the news to stay informed your watching the same way you watch any other shitty reality tv show.

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media:  Even worse than the news.  Social media is just billions of people vying your attention.  Don’t give it to them.  There is no reason to be looking at cat pictures from a girl you briefly interacted with in college.

Mindlessly surfing the web:  I’m guilty of this far to often.  Don’t get caught in this trap.  It’s a reaction to boredom.  Pick up a book instead.

Last night I reread the 4 Hour Workweek, specifically the section on the low information diet.  Tim Ferriss suggests taking a one-week media fast.

Here are his guidelines:

No newspaper, magazine, audiobooks, or nonnumeric radio  Music is permitted at all time.

No news websites or news in general.

No television at all, except for one hour of pleasure viewing each evening.

No reading books, except for and hour of fiction pleasure reading prior to bed.

No web surfing unless it’s necessary for work task.

I’m choosing selective ignorance.  I will attempt to fast from the media for at least one week.

Will I be able to stay strong? Or will I fold like a cheap suit?