I love my New York Times subscription

There’s a battle for power going on in American culture and the biggest casualty has been truth and facts. It’s hard to know what’s really happening in the world.

Plus, there’s an ever more crowded landscape of people trying to explain what’s happening. You never know who you can really trust as everyone seems to have a motivation or bias.

As part of being a responsible citizen, it’s important to find that cornerstone provider of news and facts that you can depend on. Too often in American culture, we turn to cable news for this service but I find that I turn my brain off when I watch video content, like cable news. When I’m reading, I’m forced to think about what I’m consuming.

Thus, I’ve turned to the New York Times as my cornerstone provider of news for what’s happening around the world. I’ve been a digital subscriber for 5 years now. They have reporters around the world, they have vigorous editorial standards, an opinion section that makes thoughtful arguments, and great technology to deliver that content to me in an easily consumable interface.

It’s no surprise to me that the New York Times’s “online subscription sales jumped 46 percent in 2017 to $340 million. Digital ad sales rose 14 percent to $238 million.” I’m thrilled that they’re finding their path to long-term sustainable success.

If you don’t have a cornerstone provider of news, subscribe now!

Parallel universes

Sometimes listening to the media today feels stepping into parallel universes. It shows you how REALLY divided we are.

Axios has a fascinating story about the differences between how MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Fox New’s Sean Hannity covered the Nunes memo.

It underscores the importance of teaching media literacy. We need to ensure that the next generation is able to successfully parse through all of this.

“True conspiracies are rare but stupidity is nearly universal.”

NY Times opinion columnist Bret Stephens nailed it…

The principal lesson of paranoia is the ease with which politically aroused people can mistake errors for deceptions, coincidences for patterns, bumbling for dereliction, and secrecy for treachery. True conspiracies are rare but stupidity is nearly universal. The failure to know the difference, combined with the desire for a particular result, is what accounts for the paranoid style.

 

Life Lessons from Doing Puzzles with My 3 Year Old

For the last week-ish, I’ve been on winter break. We get off the week between Christmas and New Years. It’s been really fun to spend extra time with my family.

For Christmas, my 3.5-year-old Miles got some puzzles. They were really simple… maybe 12 pieces. But he’d never really been into puzzles before. I didn’t know how he’d react.

At first, Miles was really skeptical. As I showed him some tips for evaluating pieces and patterns, he got really into it. I got up from the kitchen table for a minute and I heard “I’m almost done.” I rushed back over to the table. He was so excited and I was being with pride.

He had two pieces left. He looked at each piece. He turned them around. He studied the surrounding pieces. He tried one way. It didn’t work. He flipped the piece around and tried it again. And it worked. He plopped in the final piece and he was done!

The experience got me thinking. How much better would life be if more of us approached our challenges in the way that Miles approached puzzles? He was skeptical at first but jumped in with both feet. He looked at what was in front of him. He assessed the situation. He tried something. Did it work? If not, he tried something different… over and over again.

Too often, we won’t even try. Or we’ll try putting two pieces together and then quit. We’re afraid of failure. We’re afraid of being wrong. We’re afraid of being judged by other people when we’re wrong. So, we don’t even try.

This attitude or mentality just doesn’t work. Life is going to throw new challenges at you daily… hourly. If you live your life afraid to try, you won’t get out of bed in the morning. I’m wrong ALL THE TIME but I don’t let that stop me. When I make mistakes, I look at what happened, why it happened, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That’s really all you can ask.

We all just need to be a bit more like Miles 🙂 or really just like a child. Children don’t have the same base of experience. They’re so willing to take a leap without knowing what’s going to happen on the other end. As a parent, this is terrifying but at times admirable.

Sometimes naivete can be an advantage. When you know too much about something, you’re held back by those experiences and less likely to try something new. You need to be able to look at issues with a fresh set of eyes and take a risk.

Two Websites I Read Everyday

Now, more than ever, it’s so critically important to be informed about what’s going on in the world. I have a handful of new sources that I follow pretty closely. I’m a big fan of the New York Times and Vox for current events and politics. I read Recode and TechCrunch for tech news.

There are other sites that are fantastic. I just don’t have the time to pay attention to them all. You see some of them by following social media but you don’t see everything or from as wide of variety of sources.

I’ve become a HUGE fan of two news aggregator site: Techmeme for tech news and Memeorandum for politics. Both sites act as a one-sheet for their respective topics. You can read these sites and get headlines from a WIDE variety of different sites. I can read these two sites and I feel fairly confident that I’m getting a full picture of what’s really important.