The Low Information Diet
In this article the author rants about forms of "irrelevant information" that squander intelligence time and attention spans. A specific source critiqued is the news. The news is criticized for the negative nature of its programs and how the business aspect of for profit news stations only fuels the negativity. News programs have evolved into enterprises in which adds make profits, based on who can draw the largest audience. News channels today dramatize current events allowing the viewer an emotional roller coaster in hopes the audience will return for another installment. The article goes on about how bad events are rare these days but occur because they're bound to when the world contains 7 billion people but the news alters the viewers perception of risk. Other sources of irrelevant information that were criticized rang from facebook to business meetings because of their lack of frankness and overall importance.
One strength that showed in this article was the authors use of examples that epitomized the theme of his writing. An example of this is when he writes about how he recently received emails asking if he was OK with the flooding going on in Colorado (his implied home state). This is significant because he is pointing out that the news brought concern to the public when in reality only 1% of homes had been damaged and 8 people had been killed. About the same number of people who die weekly from car crashes in the state he goes on to point out which proves his point that the news instills unnecessary concern with its dramatized negativity.
One weakness I noticed with the article was the author seems to build a bias because he doesn't touch on any counter arguments or even go into very much depth about why the information is "irrelevant". The news and other forms of information mentioned in the article may actually have benefits even if they are as little as conversation starters. Also it is good to stay informed on happenings in the world around us even if they may be hyped up for ratings. In addition the author makes it seem as if his audience is superior saying "they are not comprised of 65% engineers, technology and finance workers, doctors, lawyers, and teachers like the readers of this blog".
The writer is very critical in this article and uses mockery to tough on some of his points. The author takes a sarcastic tone in the importance much of the information the average person hears daily from multiple sources has. I think this is made popular because people tend to enjoy that satirical tone especially to a relevant topic. Those who may not like this article as much include people who actually enjoying staying caught up on local events via the news and other forms of media such as social media.