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How’d I get here?
I made a pact with myself not long ago. I decided to become more informed. I wanted to know what was happening around the globe, and to be better capable of participating in a conversation or discussion about the world around me.
Arguably, the best way to do that would be to read newspapers and news websites, but this comes with three problems for my personality:
a. It’s just too much. The news cycle is never-ending and many articles are extremely long. I don’t have the time or the patience to attempt to digest all of the data that would be flying my way. Especially considering that I would need to consume more than one site, if I wanted to stay true to myself and get perspectives from multiple angles (see #3).
b. It’s overwhelmingly depressing. Knowing what’s going on is important. But immersion is a recipe for upset and depression. I remember when I used to follow the news all day every day during the Second Intifada. It was unsettling and definitely made my days worse. Life will always continue happening, with it’s ultra-consistent ups and down, regardless of whether or not I’m reading the news. But it’s up to me to learn to be informed without finding my way into an insane asylum.
c. News sources are choc full of bias. When you read most news sources, you can feel the political leanings. You can sense hatred. Some don’t even attempt to mask their political bent. Others try and fail. But I want to know what’s going on without someone telling me how I’m supposed to think and feel about things. There’s very little out there that seeks to inform without indoctrinating, so I have the increased burden of trying to become well-informed and hearing what others thinks about matters, but sill making sure I’m exposed to multiple perspectives… but not manipulated by any of them.
This is all a massive task. And yet, I feel like I’m finally where I want to be. It’s not simple, but here we are.
The Process Begins
To get started, I needed a newsletter that summarized what was happening in the world in a quick, easy to digest format. I searched, found, and quickly fell in love with Need2Know, and I’ve been reading their emails five days a week for years. It’s brief, informative, and really too short to complicate the matter with unnecessary commentary or bias.
But this didn’t satiate me. No, it was my gateway newsletter. And before I knew it, I was signing up for a whole lot of them. I didn’t like that I received news from around the world (mostly US), with almost no information about the country I was living in. After a hard search, I finally found IsraelAM, to get a quick dose of Israel news a few times a week. It’s not the highest quality, and it’s not free from bias (despite their claims), but it’s what I have for now. And it’s certainly a lot easier than tormenting myself with an Israel news addiction, a problem I had during the second Intifada. I couldn’t get enough of feeling miserable…
But I still felt like I needed more. I was economically ignorant, and I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Morning Brew. Morning Brew is more like an economics newsletter empire. Not only do they have their core newsletter, which is fantastic, but for those who wish to get a bit deeper into all sorts of more niche topics, they have special newsletters for those as well, with topics like marketing and emerging technology. I signed up for a few of those as well. And by this point, I’m already needing more time in my day to feed my desire for knowing what’s happening in the world.
To make things more exciting, in one issue they mentioned their founder, Austin Rief. I thought it was an odd coincidence, but upon investigation, I confirmed that he had been a student of mine! It truly is a wonderful world sometimes.
But I was by no means done. I would eventually toss in a couple more newsletters. Chartr is yet another one, this one telling a few stories of current events, but with the visual aid of really interesting and vivid charts. And Contrarian Thinking isn’t really news so much as a different perspective on entrepreneurship. It often highlights folk who took simple (and often dull or mundane) concepts and turned them into business behemoths, businesses that have made them financially independent.
But I still wasn’t done. Something was missing. I didn’t know what until it fell in my lap. This is where signing up for Tangle was the major game changer, finishing the package (maybe?) and tying everything together.
I don’t remember how I discovered Tangle, I just vaguely remember reading a description and realizing immediately it was exactly what I was looking for.
How was it described? It’s basically an attempt to dissect major news stories, look at it from multiple perspectives, and truly grasp the concept of what’s happening without a prior perspective clouding the thought process. And it does so brilliantly.
I’ve often said that all the previous newsletters I signed up for are in my life to help me be more informed. But Tangle actually helps me become a wiser person.
And it’s true. Every time I read the newsletter I walk away with my brain feeling taxed. Like it got its own little workout.
Tying it all Together
And it’s fascinating to see how differently people can understand the same issue or story. Tangle’s main person, Isaac Saul, will often feature letters he receives the day after he publishes a piece about a controversial subject. Inevitably people will be upset and unsubscribe, and also inevitably some will write in to angrily complain about what they read. Isaac will feature two letters, one complaining and stating he’s unsubscribing because of how biased the article was to the right, the other complaining about how biased the article was to the left.
And at that point, what can you do? You can just laugh a little. And, of course, recognize that if you’re pissing people off from both sides of the aisle, you’re probably doing something right.If you're pissing people off from both sides of the aisle, you're probably doing something right. Click To Tweet
And Tangle definitely is. There are not a lot of attempts to respectfully address multiple perspectives in this day and age. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. People are wearing their biases on their sleeves like never before. And on top of that, they’re spewing venom and hatred upon anyone who disagrees. Thank goodness for Tangle, displaying a whole lot of sanity in an otherwise insane world.
So, am I more informed than I used to be? Most certainly. Many writers have been working hard to get me there. Am I actually wiser? That remains to be seen. But I’m certainly enjoying the process of trying to get there.
If only there were more hours in the day!