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Administration Life Writing

Mail systems, and avoiding the news.

14

I have an ambivelent relationship with Google, based to a large extent on mistrust. Some of their tools are useful, and many people still use blogger. I have used Youtube to find music for the blog — I don’t for listening. But they make their money out of advertisements, and that is a problem.

I have been using protonmail for a while, but they now have a bridge product that integrates it on macs and windows machines (with a beta for linux). Testing this on the mac, it works.

Yes you pay a bit, but Google does not use your emails to improve their marketing to you.

The News works as clickbait. They sell your eyeballs. It means that you spend an hour a day in front of the TV or reading the newspaper (both are now equally bad) and it does not affect your life at all. A week ago the large TV Kea uses as a monitor when meeting with clients had problems, and we pulled the TV we had upstairs down to her studio because that is needed.

The Monitor cannot connect to the broadcast news. We don’t watch the news, and that has given us an hour back for living. Besides, it does not mean we are not that informed.

A month after you’ve quit the news, it’s hard to name anything useful that’s been lost. It becomes clear that those years of news-watching amounted to virtually nothing in terms of improvement to your quality of life, lasting knowledge, or your ability to help others. And that’s to say nothing of the opportunity cost. Imagine if you spent that time learning a language, or reading books and essays about some of the issues they mention on the news.

You’ll find that your abstinence did not result in any worse cabinet appointments than were already being made, and that disaster relief efforts carried on without your involvement, just as they always do. As it turns out, your hobby of monitoring the “state of the world” did not actually affect the world.

What I am trying to do is on Sunday… is not go digital. Do the posts the day before (which is what happens most days anyway) — but include Monday’s lectionary and technical post. Put the cellphones away. Carry a notebook. Read print.

I did not do this perfectly yesterday, but we found more peace. Living quietly, and switching the noise off.