It’s a barrage of human pain and tragedy, which our brains are not evolved to process without either retreating into a carapace of indifference, or perpetually experiencing the kind of trauma previously reserved for medieval villagers witnessing the Black Death. And it’s also up-to-the-minute micro-snippets of information about events, the real significance of which will only become evident in many weeks’, months’ or years’ time; it’s like trying to assemble a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of Satan’s face by being given one piece every hour, each one accompanied by a bone-rattling fanfare

 

Under capitalism, current affairs are presented like this because it makes economic sense. The media generate money by getting our attention and we grant it most reliably not in response to the accurate, illuminating and proportionate, but to the loud, sensational and frightening. That’s a problem we can only solve by ignoring it.

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