Fake News?

Is all this news rotting our brains?

“Fake news” from 1894. Illustration: Frederick Opper. Source: Wikipedia.

We used to call television “the boob tube.” The expectation was that too much foolish programming was hurting our power to think rationally. And after watching reruns of old “soap operas,” you might think so. Those shows were awful!

Now folks claim that news for the mind is like sugar for the body. We need a little to survive, but a steady diet of sound-bytes and Facebook feeds makes us overweight and unable to appreciate substantial fare. Short clips mislead, waste time, make us passive, and kill creativity, according to these studies. Online news caters to our appetite for flashy, sensational stories.

This argument resurfaces every time new technology appears. TV kills imagination; cars are the death of community; typewriters change composition; telephones supplant letters. Plato famously criticized writing itself, noting that written arguments cannot be defended in person. It’s not just the economic argument that productivity destroys jobs. These arguments assert that our brains are reprogrammed by intellectual technology.

Thomas Jefferson once resolved to give up newspapers in exchange for classical literature, but there’s no indication that he actually did. He remained a news-hound to the end; it didn’t make him stupid. It’s incumbent on each of us to cultivate our minds. After all, we live in a knowledge-based economy.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Charter Trust Company

“The Best Trust Company in New England”

By |2019-01-22T05:57:28-04:00January 22nd, 2019|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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