Info therapy.

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

I think I used to have a better read on the power of information and its therapeutic effects in living a warm, informed, wide-angle, multidimensional life.

These days, in a home where the internet comes rushing in like a mighty stream, I have an embarrassment of choices. I can see how the BBC is covering this pandemic. France. Germany. Live! I can read Le Monde in French. I can page through the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic. I can go to governmental websites that are supposed to give me releases and transcripts that are accurate, full-text, and official. I can see financial information that is almost up to the second and download an accurate snapshot of our life’s savings in a second or two.

And then there’s that Twitter thing. I can scroll absently through at least a tiny subset of this vast ocean of 280-character instant emissions from all over—from reporters, famous and famous-ish people and simply the vast opinionated of more or less my choosing. And from people who might seem like people but who may be code simply designed to pick a fight.

This should be (see above) an embarrassment of choices. An embarrassment of informational riches.

It’s really these days more of an embarrassment.

This health crisis that is being (mis)run by the leaders of this public policy disaster, this global phenomenon that is by definition so steeped in science and based in facts (even the facts of what parts are unknowable or hard to determine at this point) is being subject to the same two-step mealy-mouthed lie-based propaganda mechanism that seems to be the Trump administration’s only answer. To everything.

So I am not informed, or reassured, no not nearly enough. There are a lot of reporters out there doing some very very good work under very bad conditions, trying to use the tools of the trade to point out the tragic mishandling of testing, containment, or health policy in general.

But taken together, it doesn’t give me that warm fuzzy feeling of “aha, well, at least we know.” Because…do we?

I’m going to do more work on what I consume and how.