Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The magnifying glass

Whenever we look at things from a (long) distance, we are generally just observers, who do not judge. Our attitude changes when we focus on the details of what’s happening. Suddenly, we must judge. Relevant history is suddenly deemed irrelevant.

Recently, I heard an interesting related remark on TV in the crime series Lewis, (#8.2 in IMDb; see Se7Ep6). Detective sergeant Hathaway considers ending his police career. His once favourable views on humanity have deteriorated a lot after witnessing the daily evil.

In general, I have a favourable view on women. However, those views deteriorate for a while, after having been involved in dating efforts. Dating sites, like Tinder, seem to harbour lots of women who are damaged, negative, or just toxic. Sometimes, I wonder if they use Tinder to “heal” themselves (eg, retaliation).

I’m curious what extraterrestrial aliens would think of planet Earth. A macro view would show an impressive human species (eg, arts, music, sports, technology). A micro view would focus on ongoing human stupidity (eg, crime, wars). Nevertheless, both the macro and the micro view are true.

Most media (eg, newspapers, radio, tv, social media websites) are focussed on micro issues. Hence, most listeners / readers / viewers will feel compelled to take sides in the conflicts that are being reported (eg, Israel, Ukraine). The alternative is listed in the quote below.

A growing number of people are avoiding the news, with 64% regularly choosing to ignore current affairs. The proportion of people overlooking the news has risen sharply since the pandemic, shows a study by the VUB-affiliated research group imec-SMIT.

Opening paragraph of a 2022 article in The Brussels Times

In my view, ignoring the news is seldom a solution. Most activities require a news feed (eg, farming, finance, transport). It’s difficult (for me) mentioning any activity or job that doesn’t require any news feed. As a writer, those news articles often feel like an information overload but are still instrumental to me.

In 1742, Thomas Gray wrote the famous line “ignorance is bliss” in his poem Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College. In my view, that poem line 9 must refer to lines 6 and 7: “Since sorrow never comes too late, And happiness too swiftly flies.” Indeed, we often prefer to ignore our sorrow.

My solution is to ignore the most biased news sources, and especially news videos. Late October 2023, the New York Times was forced to admit an error in their video-related news coverage on Israel.

Moreover, every coin has two sides. It’s not that difficult to view the other side of that coin, regardless of your ideology.

“Public transportation is like a magnifying glass that shows you civilization up close.”

A quote by Chris Gethard (b.1980), an “American actor, comedian and writer“

Magnifying Glass (2022) by mlady
artist, facebook, lyrics, video, no Wiki

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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