Posted Sep 15
Yesterday, during my lunchtime jog, as the stream of consciousness flowed, snippets of the week’s news kept bobbing by. I never watch the news; why compound the damage? The only time I ever listen to the news is in the car. And then only to NPR/FOX.*
“Two men caught in Paris with bomb-making materials”
“The DOW is up 68 points” (to what, they don’t say)
“North Korea launches missile over Japan”
And so on.
Years ago when I would catch a program on NPR my usual response was, “Wow, I’m glad I had time to listen to that!”. Now my usual response is, “What the hell do I need to know that for?” Or, “I wish I hadn’t heard that!”. There are common elements among the newsesque programs which are ubiquitous and that is the editor’s desire to fabricate the illusion that:
- We humans rarely get along and, in fact, are normally at one anothers’ throats
- The world is dangerous
- I have my finger on the pulse of the world baby! (“The DOW is up 68 points”. I would have trouble coming up with a more useless tidbit.)
- Other people are basically stupid and dangerous
- My “tribe” is superior
This sets us up to be fertile ground for corporate & government intrusion into our lives and the lives of others, driving our focus into the base brain where fear & anger lurk.
On the other hand, I get all the daily news I need in my morning meditation:
- Life is pretty awesome
- People are amazing, essentially loving beings
- The older I get the less I know
- All of us have suffering
- All of us have the capacity to decrease suffering
- In that important respect, we’re all the same
So what does that have to do with investing? Calm & contented investors make better decisions than angry, fearful, suspicious investors.
*Yes, it seems like NPR has adopted the lizard brain focus of FOX
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