Weight Watchers for our minds

In a New York Times Op-Ed, columnist Frank Bruni talks about how the internet can be a safe have for people looking for communities that support their worst instincts.

He shares a quote from Apple CEO Tim Cook…

Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies.

Information can be as bad for your mind as sugar is bad for you body. Consistently feeding yourself bad info can make you sick, as is evident by Franks column.

We need to be smarter consumers of how we take in information. We almost need Weight Watchers for our minds.

Jamal Khashoggi’s final column…

The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education. Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.

Read the rest of Jamal Khashoggi’s final column.

Caliphate by The New York Times is One of the Best Podcasts of the Year!

I listen to a lot of podcasts. The podcast, on ISIS, Caliphate by The New York Times (subscribe via iTunes) is one of the best podcasts that I’ve listened to all year.

Caliphate Host and New York Times ISIS beat reporter Rukmini Callimachi shares incredible research on ISIS, interviews former ISIS members/trainees, and goes to Iraq & Syria to collect document in abandoned ISIS buildings.  It’s masterfully produced.

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard about terrorist group ISIS. Every day they’re in some kind of news story. There was so much I didn’t know. I didn’t realize that ISIS was such a governing state. They administered municipal services like trash pickup. Despite the physical state having been disrupted, I didn’t realize how much the mentality had spread across the world because of the Internet.  I didn’t realize the depths of their brutality.  In the podcast, they talked about the view of sexual violence and child slavery as a religious act.

When there’s an issue like battling ISIS that’s so prevalent in American life, it’s important to educate yourself. The New York Times, Rukmini Callimachi, and the Caliphate team have done an incredible job with this podcast. It’s a MUST listen.

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!

MoviePass on Recode Media

I’m fascinated by the content and media industry and it’s associated business models. One of my favorite podcasts is Recode Media with Peter  Kafka.

This week he talked to Mitch Lowe with MoviePass about how they’re re-thinking the way that people go see the movies. For those of you not familiar, MoviePass allows you to see a movie every day for $9.95 per month.

It was a fascinating conversation.

It’s interesting to listen to people that don’t necessarily listen to the way that things have been and make the future we all want, which is exactly what MoviePass is doing.  I recommend listening.

 

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.