Finding good sources of information is similar to finding a good diet – there is an overwhelming amount of stuff available (abundance of calories) but the utility (healthiness) of it is close to zero. Many news outlets and online media have incentives that are in conflict with providing thoughtful quality material. Media chases advertisements. In the race to achieve highest numbers of visits and ad impressions it shamelessly bombards us readers with juicy junk articles with loud headlines that shamelessly grab our attention. These articles give a quick gratification but in the long-term rob us of thoughtfulness.
I don’t see an immediate solution that works for the whole society. However, that does not preclude me from avoiding the poison altogether. I intentionally avoid mainstream news. I don’t get sucked into politics and my perception of the world is not skewed by the over representation of certain topics (such as airplane crashes). I don’t blindly follow industry news either. There are lots of new tools, frameworks and gadgets coming out every day. It’s impossible to learn everything so I prefer to focus on lasting ideas and skills. I can pick-up and learn ephemeral details whenever I have a specific task at hand.
I don’t passively follow what is currently trending or popular. Instead, I actively seeks news through a curated list of blogs and news sources. Even with a curated list I had problems getting overwhelmed with too many items. A low signal to noise ratio takes a lot of effort to deal with.
From now on I will maintain an updated list of RSS feeds of blogs and websites that I am subscribed to on the News sources page.