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News/ staying informed as a sensitive person  RSS feed

 
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Reading (or watching) the news is extremely taxing for me. All those bad news really affect my mood. The simple solution that I have used is to just not watch or read the news at all. This works all right.

There are lots of good arguments for not following the news if you are a sensitive person. They are summarized really well, I think, on this webpage:
Why the news is bad news for sensitive people

I'm not completely happy with this news avoidance thing, though. I would like to know what goes on in the world, a little.  Just not the way the news are written in traditional news media, because that's just too much.

I've found a few news media that I can follow without too much anxiety:

- Permaculture Magazine. It's mostly about positive things but also about the bad news. The bad news are combined with what one can do about it, so I'm not left feeling as helpless and powerless.
- our local newspaper. It doesn't have any foreign news at all, it's all about what happens in our village. There aren't many scary things happening in our village
- sites that only share funny/ happy stories


I love all of the above. Still, I feel I would like to hear a little bit about the more serious news too. And about world news. But, I need it to be in a format that's manageable for sensitive people.

Does anyone know about a news site/ magazine that's more general, has world news, but is written in the same way like I described above (Permaculture Magazine)?
 
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Nina, I think is such an important question! I, too, don't want to be oblivious to the world around me--I want to be an informed citizen. Informed citizens are so important to the functioning of a democracy...and I just feel like I would be neglectful if I didn't know what was going on and let it inform my choices.

I don't know of any news that sticks to the facts and what we can do about them, but I hope someone else does!
 
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This is a great thing to work on. Over the last year I have made some major changes to my life in this direction.
Getting off of social media was the obvious first step, and made a HUGE difference for me. I used to get my news from there, that is how I keep in touch with my friends from other countries and my family, but it was literally making me ill. So I dumped it, and bought an online subscription to a large newspaper I respect instead-- which has a crossword puzzle I really enjoy, and that is the main reason I signed up! i get a bulletin every morning with headlines in areas of my choosing (this is my option, I don`t have to receive this), and I can read more if I want to (or not, more importantly). I do need to keep up on news for my work/volunteer efforts, so I like having that as a resource if I want to.
I like the local news but ours is very much panicky stories about crime and government stupidity, so I need to avoid that. I find that if something very important is happening locally, someone will tell me.
I also subscribe to something called the Rose Colored Roundup, which is a weekly newsletter of good news. It is often the high point of my week. https://www.rosecoloredroundup.com/

 
pollinator
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I understand the problem, but being uninformed has consequences. That, to me, is the crux of the issue.

Most of us live in democracies where our vote is determined by what we know of the world around us (okay, that's a bit simplistic and optimistic, and ignores learned political bias). Being less-informed can impair our critical thinking, increasing our gullibility, making it easier to sway political forces with deceit. Knowledge is our weapon against that.

I will admit that I really dislike the sensationalism. It's so perverse that an orange asshat can derail legitimate reporting on important news with inane tweets. I have no need to hear about the dumpster fire down south; I'm sure the whole world smells it.

I really dislike the way that american politicking has infected other countries. Canadian progressive regressive conservative politicians have been trying to emulate the american model for some time, thankfully without any real success until the Ford brothers. I am hoping that the current Premier of Ontario will do for the social democracy and environmental movements what Agent Orange has done for Democrats in the states, pulling the political pendulum so far to the right that the backswing causes the pivot to jump to the left, leaving us looking more like the successful Northern European countries we most admire.

I know that not all people are able to handle the news in the same way. I, myself, have suffered from anxiety attacks for some time now, albeit not, to my knowledge, triggered by or connected in any way to the news media.

But one cannot simply opt out.

Those sensitive people are the ones we need, not necessarily on the front lines, but voting in our ranks to move forward, to enhance and protect the rights of all individuals, to help promote an egalitarian society where everyone gets the assistance they need, not only to survive, but to thrive. Only a thriving system creates enough profit (fine, excess, or whatever better accords with iterations of the Third ethic) to reinvest, to recapitalise either in onesself, to the benefit of the system, or outside onesself, to the benefit of the larger system.

So I think we need to change a few things.

I think the politics of division need to be penalised harshly. The opposition party, or whatever you want to call the people on the other side of a political issue, can't be treated as sub-human animals; really, the less respect we show each other, the further apart we drift. At this point, both sides are being used against each other to let moneyed people without either conscience or vision take more money out of the pockets of the poor, to hoarde, Smaug-like.

Decorum should be returned to politics. Sound-byte news reporting should be done-away-with. Conduct unbecoming a politician should be a thing, should result in expulsion from public service, and should require less than sexual assault (I am, in no way, slighting sexual assault; rather, I think that being mean should qualify as conduct unbecoming). If a child shouldn't hear the words, tone, or message coming out of a politician's mouth, it should be conduct unbecoming. It could easily extend to any in the public service to anyone paid by the taxpayers, including emergency service personnel, civil servants, but especially our elected and appointed representatives.

I tend to get my news through a service called Flipboard that gathers news from a variety of sources, some behind paywalls after a few free articles a month, but one can use the onboard filters to decide what subjects, and what news outlets and publications, get chosen.

So if you don't want Breitbart or Fox, out they go. If you want news from specific international outlets, you can select that. If you never want to hear about american politics, except perhaps peripherally, you can deselect it as subject matter.

I would avoid social media as a source of news. No good can come from that.

I think that if politics hadn't gone so far out of its way to be mean and divisive, this would be less of an issue.

Here's hoping the sensitive have success getting informed without becoming depressed.

-CK
 
Nina Jay
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Thank you everyone!

Nicole: I share that feeling about wanting to be an informed citizen. It is important to the functioning of democracy, definitely.

Tereza: Congratulations on having successfully got off social media! I'm still kinda sorta following it, but very little. On those  occasions that I need to check our farm's FB messages or want to share some farm related info (for which FB is great, I must admit), I often come across news there. I try to just ignore them but it's difficult. I think social media is probably the worst way to receive news for sensitive people. I've shared news there myself... commented and ranted on them...  that hasn't done anything good for me and I don't think very many of my friends enjoyed those posts either... so I decided  a long time ago to stop doing that. And have mostly kept that promise :-)

I do think social media COULD theoretically be a good way to receive news and be an active citizen. However I think social media would have to undergo massive reconstruction for that to happen. If social media was moderated, more discussion-forum-like and paid for by not the advertisers but the actual end-users I think it could work for me. Especially if the end users' payments were used to pay journalists to write more in-depth and looking-for-solutions-kind of articles.

I'm glad you've found a good newspaper - that means they are out there! I still have to find mine. The bigger newspapers in my country have in my opinion become overwhelmingly negative. Everything is bad, the problems are huge, etc. etc.

Chris: I agree sensationalism is the biggest problem. It has become more common, I feel, in my country too. Even the not-for-profit news organisations funded by the government have had to follow this trend, so as not to lose their audience I guess?

Many people seem to like the news the way they are, that's for sure. People have said to me "just filter that stuff", "use your own judgement", "don't be so sensitive", "you live in a bubble" etc. And they are right, from their perspective. As I'm getting older however I'm more inclined to think that well, this is what I am: I am sensitive. I can't filter that negative stuff. Or I can, if I absolutely have to, but it will consume too much of my energy. Still, I agree, one cannot simply opt out either.



In addition to the posts here, I got a helpful suggestion by Purple Moosage from a forum member who hadn't yet earned enough apples to join this conversation. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing it here:

"I like government news websites, like CBC and BBC. Since they don't depend on advertising revenue, they are less sensationalist and often have nicer stories/local colour stories/science news and dont have a paywall.  I tend to look at the news in the morning, not the evening, as I handle it better, and often look at the headlines on Google news to decide if I want to read the news that day. Headlines are often enough... ok. Serial killer on trial? Do i really need to know more details or read every article? Definitely not! I also often listen to CBC radio. They have lots of news programs and science programs and comedy that isn't  as hard hitting."

I'll be trying BBC to see how it feels like!
 
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I'm an historian. I run a museum (as well as a farm & heritage skills school & acres of organic/permaculture/biodynamic gardens.) --We tend to be busy.

In my head and in my life I mostly live in the 1800's. And something that is obvious from comparing the now to the then, is that back then people where mostly only concerned with what was happening around them. Something occurring in what later became California or in Europe, may not be heard about for three months. You didn't really know about a rain storm three counties over, or a tornado in Kansas. There was no drum beat and scrolling news across the bottom of the screen. The only screen was on the window (if you happened to have the money for screens.) And people tended to be much happier. They ate dinner with their children, by candlelight, every night. They sang songs together in church. They grew their own food, and life was good.

Now every single event happening anywhere in the world is instantly reported. And it seems so much is going wrong that the world is going to heck. The problem is that none of those "WORLD EVENTS!!" have much effect on any of us on a daily basis. Its just shock "reporting" to attract notice & viewers and therefore attract dollars in advertising. Most of what is announced for "NEWS FLASH!! and BREAKING NEWS!!" is just the usual stuff that has always happened in a very big world.

We are now actually living in very calm and wonderful times compared to much of human history. There's fewer wars and conflicts worldwide than practically any other time. There are fewer people living in abject poverty. The economy (at least in America) is better than it has ever been. Times are very very good, IF, you stop listening to the constant nonsense of the American MSM. So my suggestion is to do what Grandma did. Play with the children more. Grow more flowers in your garden. Plant more trees, read fewer newspapers. Then, if you must, listen to Rush Limbaugh and Hannity and Fox, then also listen a bit to ABC/NBC/CBS. (Don't ever ever listen to CNN) Then walk the middle ground. Keeping in mind that little of anything you hear from farther away than 100 miles means much to you today. If we all did that, the world would be a heck of a lot more peaceful.

Jim

www.ohiofarmmuseum.com
www.johnbrownohio.com
www.stonegardenfarm.com

P.S. By the way, we are currently looking for one or two good people to come live here. Most especially mothers with children.




 
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For me, as someone with a liberal bent in the USA, watching the “comedian” news shows often works. I’ve done less of it lately, but I find the YouTube clips of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight often cover serious issues, well researched, that I’m glad to know, about in a way that doesn’t make me super depressed. Of course, it only works if you like his style and politics. I think there are several other shows like that with different hosts. If you find one you like, It can be helpful- though probably not always the top headlines.
 
pollinator
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Nina Jay wrote:
I've found a few news media that I can follow without too much anxiety:

- Permaculture Magazine. It's mostly about positive things but also about the bad news. The bad news are combined with what one can do about it, so I'm not left feeling as helpless and powerless.


I had signed up for the news letter of Marjorie Wildcraft and had to resign because too many titles were fear based! (I can stand them but I disagree, and I will explain below)

Even if there is a given solution after the alarming title, why do we have to clic because of a negative reinforcement (R-) instead of a positive reinforcement (R+)?

For those who do not know, positive and negative mean there + and - so plus and minus.... nothing to do with positive and negative in the common sense. The signs + and - have 2 meanings!

So, the sort of news you are looking for are the ones based on R+, which means they add a pleasant feeling.
The news you are NOT looking for are the ones based on R-, which means they remove an un-pleasant feeling.

And the news that first try to make you afraid, do so because they want you to read/hear them in order to remove the un-pleasant feeling they first created!

Sorry, this is exactly what Paul tries to avoid when he says to not be angry at bad guys.... I fully agree with the idea to not fall into the common copywriting that exploits the feeling of alert/urgency to make you act! Our culture is actually addict to negative reinforcement, because it succeeds at making you active even when you are already exhausted. And the usual action that they want you to have is *clic*!

(copywritting is the art to write those texts we receive and that exite us to do something by creating an emotion such as fear or curiosity, and the anxiety to loose something if we do not clic)

How do I get news? If something is important enough, everybody will be talking about it! But little by little you can also get out of the fear to miss something important, and focus through R+ ! Which is whatever gives you satisfaction, pleasure = something more than the satisfaction of having things done.

We get addicted to something when it removes an un-pleasant feeling, so this is R- (reinforcement of a behaviour that removes something unpleasant). This is quite tricky to make the difference with R+, which is the reinforcement of a behaviour that adds something pleasant. In both cases a behaviour is reinforced, but through very different pathways in our body. We are litterally wired to hear an alarm bell when we feel some threat to our well-being, and we have to do something to remove the bad feeling. The best known remedy for addiction is connexion. Connexion is what gives us our best R+ in life.

Addictions are self-reinforcing in a loop. At the beginning they can be R+, but as their effect goes away, you get anxious if you are going to get what you need. So if you notice you relax when you first smoke, shortly the lack of nicotine (which looks like acethylcholine for the body receptors) will create an unpleasant state that will need more nicotine to go away. So from R+ you switched to R- !!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Lina Joana wrote:For me, as someone with a liberal bent in the USA, watching the “comedian” news shows often works. I’ve done less of it lately, but I find the YouTube clips of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight often cover serious issues, well researched, that I’m glad to know, about in a way that doesn’t make me super depressed. Of course, it only works if you like his style and politics. I think there are several other shows like that with different hosts. If you find one you like, It can be helpful- though probably not always the top headlines.



Yep very good! Whatever uses humour and makes you laugh even at serious things is discharging the anxiety of what we feel powerless to change !
That is why we like humorists and why they so often make us laugh at ourselves or our culture!

Lately it has become more and more difficult to laugh because some people feel laughed at, instead of laughing together.
 
Chris Kott
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I think Last Week Tonight is definitely a cut above, a next step up from the recent forerunners of the genre that started with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Jon Stewart, I think, played the slightly shocked hyperbolic normal centrist, with just enough sarcasm to make light of heavy subject matter. There was an element of satire.

Stephen Colbert, in his persona as Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report, was funny, but sometimes hard to watch for me, as the hyperbolic right-wing supporter he played was a bit much for my tastes.

Colbert's current persona, I think more representative of his own self, is more relatable, which, I think, was the idea.

Trevor Noah, now of the Daily Show, is interesting in his own right. He's hilarious, and delivers depressing commentary in a way that, while making you sometimes want to throw your hands up at things, will have you doing so with a laugh, most times.

But John Oliver is something else. I love how he doesn't chase the news cycle. He will spend time on current events during his openings, but after that, the episode is concerned with a single, well-researched topic relevant to some aspect of current events. He informs on the topic being discussed, patterning his discourse sometimes with what has been referred to as a "truth sandwich," which offers what is being said on the subject in the mainstream media, what outlets on either extreme might be saying, and a contrast with a more objective assessment of the issue from cited sources. A breakdown of the politics behind the conversation is usually offered as well. And he's funny.

Honestly, I wish everyone could get their news from John Oliver. Whatever the perceived bias, the topics are well-researched and the arguments spot-on.

We need more John Oliver in the world.

-CK
 
Tereza Okava
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Xisca, you said something that I noticed too. I love to follow the homesteading/permaculture folks on youtube, it is a great resource and blessing for me, but I have a real hard time with the fear-based clickbait (and fearful language). The S may hit the fan, but I am kinda trying to enjoy my life before that, I don`t need any more panic.

Nina, so many times people told me 'just filter'. My work is very solitary and I had built a whole bunch of online community, but after what, 10 years of facebook and trying to unfollow/block at least one negative thing every time I went online, I still could not stop the flood of crap. YEARS. and I was pretty heavy with the blocking/weeding out/unfollowing. The algorithm just kept throwing panic/strife/clickbait in my face and like you, I`m too old to filter out the bad. I.e. i have lost my patience, and now I have the right to just blame my crotchety-ness on being an old lady. ^waves cane threateningly^
 
Chris Kott
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And I will get some flack for this, but beyond the point where we can discuss openly and have constructive discourse, some people and ideas just need to be laughed down. It is sometimes the only solution to mindless self-aggrandisement. If that is the basis for a particular demagogue's influence, then laughter is probably the best way to take them down a peg, and the best way to let reason be heard over tribalism and hate speech.

I suggest equal parts laughter and silence, each when the other was expected. Like laughter during a particular speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations, or silence, more recently, at a Middle East policy conference in Poland.

-CK
 
pollinator
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I got happier when I got rid of my tv seven years ago.  I think a big part of that meant I was no longer comparing my life with what I saw on tv--and not just in advertising.  People on tv always look beautiful, young and well dressed.  Their houses are always clean and tidy and beautifully decorated.  They are articulate and funny, have articulate and funny friends, and their problems are solved quite easily in under an hour.  But I digress.

Within the last year I was in the doctor's waiting room, and the "news" was on.  There was a story about refugee children drowning in the Mediterranean;  there was sad music playing during the voice over.  Sad music, to reinforce this was a sad story.  I thought, this isn't news, it's entertainment:  they're manipulating my emotions with words, video and music.  It made me quite angry, actually.  Was it an important story the public needed to know?  Maybe.  But I don't want to be told what I should be thinking about, let alone how I should be feeling.

I consider myself a sensitive person;  I have a lot of empathy.  However, since the death of my son almost two years ago, I've had to reevaluate that empathy;  I no longer have enough emotional energy to spend on other people's problems, but particularly on things I have no control over, like world events.  For my own mental well being, I have chosen to give up listening/watching/reading about it.  Do I need to know about it?  I honestly can't answer that question, but I can say I'm happier without knowing, at least for the time being.
 
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It is indeed taxing to listen to the news these days, and our relationships with even dear family members get frayed. Turning off altogether brings 'some' comfort, but I realized a long time ago that it is also part of the problem. So I dedicate a specific amount of time to 'dealing' with the negatives news. Then I turn everything off until tomorrow and concentrate on what gives me joy: a good book, article on gardening/ permaculture. I think of grafting trees, going through seed catalogs, sending a thank you note, give surplus seeds to neighbors, have a cup of comfrey tea. Built a piece of furniture, collect resources to build a winter run for my chickens.... In this, I am deliberate: I actually make lists so it gets done.
That leaves a tiny portion of my time to "dealing with it". At first, I even used a timer. Let your family in on your decision too: Even those who do not agree with you are suffering this stress. This is one place where you can actually agree and work together cherish it. It will improve the relationship, guaranteed.
How do I deal with it: I dedicate myself to ONE action, and one action ONLY that I can DO TODAY. Perhaps a small donation to a good cause, making a phone call to one of my Members of Congress [Local and State], sending a political email, writing a political article. Think of it as doing your good deed for the day. Then, turn it off, move on to what gives you joy and do not allow interruptions. It is not easy at first, but if you do not have a plan, it is downright impossible, and you always feel assaulted, worried, frayed and stressed.
In this I thank my Mother who taught me that I am but one, little, relatively inconsequential person in a sea of millions of individuals. I need to be humble and not take on the responsibility of the whole world on my shoulders. Just the tiny part that I can change, here today. Yes, I have duties and responsibilities, but so does everyone else. I cannot force them to do what I'd like them to do. And that is the way it should be.
Yes, "il faut frotter sa cervelle à la cervelle d'autrui" (Montaigne) but "Il faut cultiver notre jardin". (Voltaire)
Montaigne indicated the necessity to debate others in order to learn and form an intelligent, informed opinion [You have to rub your brain to the brains of others].
Voltaire indicated the [need to grow your garden]: Improve your conditions and those around you right where you are.
The balance between the two will make you zen. You will achieve PEACE. [at least internally].
 
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After first stopping a war and setting things in motion to impeach a president, I went for a decade ('73 until '85) with no radio, television and of course, back then, no computer or cell phone...no phone at all in fact.

We were busy raising children and goats and rabbits and chickens and horses and  trying not to starve on the back forty

When we moved up the mountain and got a radio the first news I heard was that the government had bombed the Move folks out east https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOVE   WOW! I thought the world was ending...

And then we picked up a 12volt tv and they were saying 'DAMN' out loud right there on tv !!!

I have not gone on a news fast for that long again but try for short periods in order to get my sensitivities back.

Too many outrageous things have become 'normal'...too many events deserve our outrage.



 
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I sometimes go a few months without checking out the news. And it's not lack of Interest. I get busy with other things. If I hear that some horrible disaster has happened or some important person has been shot, I attempt to look it up on YouTube. I didn't check out the Western news once while I was in the Philippines for 2 months. When I came back I found out that everything was moving along just fine without me knowing these things.

I find it funny when I'm in a public place and people, usually middle-aged males start talking about whatever has been bugging them. It's usually a scandal that has names attached, not something where you'd have to know something about policy. Or a diatribe concerning how wealthy someone is compared to himself. Not really news to me.

You really see how slanted things are toward a certain political view, when you travel abroad. I was hard-pressed to find anyone in the Philippines who was against the shooting of drug addicts. In the western news that's all we hear about their new president.

There's a lady who frequents my favorite Starbucks, who crows about getting rid of her television several years ago. It was giving her news and opinions that she didn't like. So now she's on her laptop all day, but safely inside a Facebook bubble where everything she believes to be true is reinforced at every turn.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Lina Joana wrote:For me, as someone with a liberal bent in the USA, watching the “comedian” news shows often works. I’ve done less of it lately, but I find the YouTube clips of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight often cover serious issues, well researched, that I’m glad to know, about in a way that doesn’t make me super depressed. Of course, it only works if you like his style and politics. I think there are several other shows like that with different hosts. If you find one you like, It can be helpful- though probably not always the top headlines.



Indeed, sometimes, "laughter is the best medicine" says the Readers'Digest. Perhaps we could compile a list of comics for comic relief. It is very true that laughter, deep, full throated, uproarious laughter acts as a trigger that releases all the stress of the world at once. In the evening we often watch some good old clips of George Carlin, or Carole Burnett. For those who prefer political cartoons, my fave is Andy Borowitz. [Yep, I confess I'm as liberal] Look him up. He is really funny.
 
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I'm in the U.S.  Being of a slightly more conservative bent (I hate that we have to resort to a 'us or them' sorting), I am kind of enjoying listening to Glen Beck.  He is a fairly gentle soul with a firm grasp of sarcasm.  He gets beat up by the conservatives for not being conservative enough and beat up by the liberals as 'one of those conservatives'.  His focus is more based on what is right from a moral point of view and what is possible from a practical view.  You probably won't always agree with him, but he's pretty funny and likes to deflate the balloons of stupidity that get floated out there every day by both sides.

I have started to take my news in smaller doses.  It's better for my blood pressure.  Most of the news sources on both sides are doing their best to pump up emotions and talk about the same 5 minutes of news for a couple of hours.  You need to watch both sides because each side reports only the news that will help their narrative and ignores news that goes against their narrative.  

At the risk of being crucified, Fox news tends to be more middle of the road.  During the last election someone did a study of how many positive and negative articles were published about Trump and Hillary.  Fox was fairly middle of the road (slightly biased towards Trump) while the other major sources were about 95% slanted against him and for Hillary.  Of course most of the conservative talk show hosts were about 95% pro Trump and against Hillary.  I saw something similar during the Obama years.

The current polarization is not too extreme compared with some of the 19th century stuff.  (deaths from fights between groups of men trying to keep each other from the voting areas were considered normal and an expression of a vigorous democracy.  One of the arguments against giving women the vote was that it would inhibit the 'manly expression of political opinion'.)  What is different is how one sided the news is.  You could fit the owners of most of the news sources in the U.S. in a van pretty comfortably.  That tends to swing things one way, since they are all similar ages (grew up in the 60's) and run in the same crowd.

As was noted above, historically, this is one of the best times in history to live.  Famine, pestilence, war and epidemics are for most of the world, at historic lows.  There remain major problems to be faced, but given what we have to work with (shaved monkeys with a tendency to greed, laziness and short sighted behavior) we are doing pretty well.  We still have pollution, (but the Ohio river hasn't caught fire in decades).  We have corruption in high places (but the army isn't auctioning off the rule to the highest bidder as they did at one point in Rome), we still have warfare, (but no one is exterminating 2 million people in 3 days and building pyramids of the heads like in Mongol times).  We get upset when we loose a 8 or 10 people in a thousand to a disease when that would level would have been a point to celebrate during most of history.  

It's funny when you realize that prior to the 19th century, all cultures had slaves (and saw nothing wrong with it).  It's pretty rare in the western world for a child to die in childbirth and almost unheard of for the mother to die.  We are in a historical sweet spot.  Enjoy it.  

 
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Probably get chided for this but.......

Colbert Report


John Oliver

Funny news. It's all the serious stuff but with jokes.

Ah see many people said this. Sometimes I think it's sad that this is the only form of news I actually trust. I know the rest are just trying to scare me into SOMETHING.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Tereza Okava wrote:Xisca, you said something that I noticed too. I love to follow the homesteading/permaculture folks on youtube, it is a great resource and blessing for me, but I have a real hard time with the fear-based clickbait (and fearful language).


Thanks I feel less alone!
I was desperate "ho no, even in permaculture..."
I have twice sent a message saying that I was going to unsuscribe if they were going on with the same type of email, so I did, as anyway I got no answer... If we could get that they change this point, I would be so happy!

Thanks everybody for all the courageous and personal answers! I can feel how much our emotional parts are touched by this subject, and feel the sadness of the maybe impossible choices between information and keeping some kind of strength for doing all the positive things we can do for the world!
 
Chris Kott
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I am most definitely not a sensitive person as described in this thread. I don't think that sensitive people do themselves, as individuals or in the organisations they comprise, any favours by what is essentially sheltering themselves from the world.

That is not to say that I like or agree with the fear-based edu-tainment being sold as news these days. I find, though, that especially with my more sheltered friends,  the ones best capable of weathering the negativity shitstorm are those who engage with it intellectually.

Realistically, we have to confront and resist this horror porn masquerading as news programming. I suppose just not watching, and maybe not supporting the advertisers of offending programs, is a tacet support of this idea, but active, vocal support will get it done faster.

You shouldn't have to filter the news for content, and the news shouldn't have to seek to sell itself.

-CK
 
Nina Jay
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Mick Fisch wrote:  Most of the news sources on both sides are doing their best to pump up emotions and talk about the same 5 minutes of news for a couple of hours.  You need to watch both sides because each side reports only the news that will help their narrative and ignores news that goes against their narrative.  



That's very true. Ideally I would like to have at least two sources of news: one from the political right and one from the political left, for a more balanced view.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Chris Kott wrote:I don't think that sensitive people do themselves any favours by what is essentially sheltering themselves from the world.


I am not but I respect what people feel best for themselves without offending them for what they decide to do for their own good!
Yes, they do themselves the best favour they can!
In matters such as individual sensibility, we cannot fully understand others so the best is to believe them about what is good for themselves.

If I imagine new as "bombarding us with damaging emotions", our individual system will choose the possible reaction, and this is not the mind that chooses! So the reaction will be fight flight or freeze or fawn (for the 4 Fs though I do not like the words), and nobody can contest this sort of choice. Some people will go against their choice and will prefer to make some sort of sacrifice for a cause, but this is a personal decision...
 
Chris Kott
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I suppose being ruled by your emotions and reactions is all that is left for the human animal, I suppose?

What a foolish idea mine must be, to temper emotion with reason.

Life is rife with unpleasantness. Yes, the news is unnecessarily unpleasant, and the aim is to garner a larger viewership than the competition.

But sticking your head in the sand while the tide comes in is a great way to drown.

I wish that for every sensitive person seeking shelter, there was another sensitive person willing to weather the storm, to tame it with reason.

Hiding or running away from it only gives it power, and takes yours away.

I used to hate numbers. I still do, sometimes. I sometimes still dislike logging in to my online banking. But not doing my banking doesn't make it all okay, doesn't pay debts down, and doesn't ensure that I have money enough to feed me and mine.

I used to have hypoxic episodes where I would almost lose consciousness, the most extreme symptom of an anxiety disorder. I didn't realise that as I became increasingly anxious, I wouldn't exhale completely, until my lungs were full of spent air, but my muscles were so tense I couldn't exhale, and I had no room for fresh air.

I still get anxious, but I recognise the symptoms early enough that I can circumvent the hypoxia. So I know that it is possible to reason through even physical manifestations of paralysing psychological stress.

So maybe I am, in part, a sensitive person. I just realised early on that I couldn't  function either paralysed by my fear, or paralysed by utter disconnection from the world in which I live.

Let us not mollycoddle our sensitivity, and cherish it as a prize. Being intuitive and emotionally available and connected is a treasure. Embracing the kind of sensitivity that leaves one utterly incapable of reason or action isn't to be lauded, in my opinion.

-CK
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Chris Kott wrote:I still get anxious, but I recognise the symptoms early enough that I can circumvent the hypoxia. So I know that it is possible to reason through even physical manifestations of paralysing psychological stress.

So maybe I am, in part, a sensitive person. I just realised early on that I couldn't  function either paralysed by my fear, or paralysed by utter disconnection from the world in which I live.

Let us not mollycoddle our sensitivity, and cherish it as a prize. Being intuitive and emotionally available and connected is a treasure. Embracing the kind of sensitivity that leaves one utterly incapable of reason or action isn't to be lauded, in my opinion.

-CK


I am sorry if it is hard that I offer some of my training without the complete training, as I cannot do more in posts! I can point to the words you use, to show you where is the sensitivity, and show that "staying informed" is at another place.
We are sensitive because of our ANS (Autonomic Nervous System), and information arrives at the cortex/reason/intellect. But informations also go to the limbic (emotions) and also to the ANS! We have 3 parts in our brain, it is called triune.

I understand what you did, but science about it would not call reason what is awareness! You recognize the symptoms so that you can do something about it. Beyond what you do, you have certainly felt that something was evolving inside you, on its own. We have what is called an inner wise or an organic intelligence! This is the ANS at work...

Yes you are sensitive, so sensitive that for feeling less, your system chose to freeze sometimes and in some cases, for your good. This is like the fuses of the electric system! It is a protection.
AND ALL THIS THREAD IS ABOUT PROTECTION!

About your last sentence... well, it is not that much about embracing or that it is to be lauded, but that the reactions of the ANS are there. Each person tries to find solutions and tips, but what we know about how we work shows the limits of the cortex, and that each part of the brain must do its part without doing the job of the others! It is not so nice that we can find ourselves incapable of reason or action, but it does happen. It can be acute or chronic, like anxiety.

So when I say this is about protection, I just refer to the title of this thread: sensitivity needs self-care. Staying informed is also self-care, if we considere that it can create anxiety if we do not know what happens around!
So I like that this is taken to us for reflexion: how can we combine the 2 and create as much feeling of safety as we can? FEELING SAFE is of paramount importance to function as live beings! Ok, we are in the forum of politics, so I can even say that left and right might be how people do not agree about what make them feel safe!

At the moment we have this to solve:
- If I get no news, I do not feel that safe.
- If I get the news the way they give them to us, I do not feel safe at all!

My way to go is to not need the news and think that if I cannot change something, I'd better relinquish...
As long as I am not accompagnied enough to feel secure, I do not fight. If I feel fight desire inside, well I can find local ways to DO something... Everything feels better to me than being in a battle where I will have to surrender, because the fight will still be inside, or I might loose all my energy and remain worthless...

And yes I would do something with others, to obtain that at least in permaculture, they stop using the common triggers that are made to become consumers, using our fears and hopelessness. I am all about having hope and doing things together, but not that it be used as manipulations.
 
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I gave up TV many years ago. Rarely listen to radio. Never participated with social media. Permies is the closest to social media as I get. First learned of a few news items via cider press. In my opinion the mainstream media is so biased & advertising driven & politically driven & much worse that I ignore it completely. Some of my news comes through a veteran/police/first responder organization. That is very right wing. Don't necessarily agree with that aspect so I balance that info with news from well educated aware millennials & some other older friends who are deeply involved with the very serious hot topics of the world. People who take action rather than just complain about the situations. Insider news you might say. If something really bad or urgent happens I do hear about it very quickly. I take all that info, dig into it deeper & then form my own opinion. It is a bit of an ostrich head in the sand approach but it seems to work for me. I simply don't care who slept with whom or what the game score was or have any desire to be peddled the latest & greatest chemical goop. More concerned with where the fox & hawks are today or if a pasture fence got trashed in the big storm or a better way to grow tomatoes, etc. Observation is probably my most valuable news gathering technique.

Sensitivity goes out of the picture very fast once you've experienced a few things first hand. The horror. That's too much info already. Don't ask.
 
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Nina Jay wrote:Does anyone know about a news site/ magazine that's more general, has world news, but is written in the same way like I described above (Permaculture Magazine)?



We have about 30 free-to-air TV channels in Sydney.

Like elsewhere in the world, there's the glossy channels owned by media moguls with plastic people who typically sensationalise stories, focus on bad things and, in some instances, create stories to fill in slow news days.

However, there's two national broadcasters who are government (publically) funded but not answerable to government. ABC TV and Radio covers the entire continent and transmits ‘… to more than 46 countries across Asia, the Pacific and the Indian subcontinent’. SBS TV predominantly covers the country. Both are available online.

They are not glamorous productions, though are near free of advertising, providing local and world news, current affairs, and cultural entertainment. It's a double edged sword for politicians because they often get a hard grilling, but it’s a place where they can get their faces seen nationally.

These are the TV channels I watch as they don't sensationalise, almost free of time wasting advertisements, mainly don't show graphical images without due warning, and just present the facts without all that posturing and attention seeking the corporate channels use.

Importantly, the news on ABC often includes science, arts, health, business, sports reports; and, a very special ‘Fact Check’ component where politician’s comments/statements are analysed for accuracy and given a ‘score’ – answerable to the Australian Parliament.

The channels are available on multi-platforms – the ‘internet’.

Search:

ABC TV (Australia) – predominantly Australian content, but a bit of a cultural mix mainly involving Aboriginals and neighbouring countries cultures.

SBS TV (Australia) – focused on international news and current affairs. Documentaries, educational programs, drama, movies (many with subtitles), etc. They aired one of my favourite comedy movies, Norwegian: ‘Get Ready to Be Boyzvoiced’ – hilarious!

 
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The best suggestion I can make is to find someone you trust who is less sensitive and invite them for "tea and what's in the news" for an hour every week. Socialization face to face has been shown to help one's health, and you will probably get the outline of the most important things happening. Hearing the news a week or so old, (the way it used to work 150 years ago!) takes away much of the hype for me at least.

Getting the highlights is important. We have a family saying, "It's canoe trip time." My sister and I used to go on week long canoe trips to the back of beyond and would hear no news. News has such a short half-life, that months later we'd hear about something and wonder how we'd missed the memo - duh... we were on our canoe trip!
 
Nina Jay
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I got another helpful suggestion via Purple Moosage and the sender gave me permission to share it here:

" I have a good source which I have relied on for decades. The Christian Science Monitor is published in Boston, USA and has free online content. They also have a couple subscription products, but the print weekly is only available in North America. It is remarkably fair and clearly does not incite fears. In every story their focus is on understanding the background to a situation, and highlighting solutions or progress. That follows from their founding mission, "To injure no man, but to bless all mankind." The mission statement was written over 100 years ago, obviously.

Some people might assume it is a religious paper since it is published by a church, but it is not. It is very well-respected and has won at least seven Pulitzer prizes. When I was in University, it was one of just three newspapers indexed in the library (pre-Internet days). There is one "Christian Science Perspective" article each day, which is clearly labeled. The correspondents are not all church members, and quite remarkably they still have correspondents posted around the world for in-country and regional perspectives. I'm a bit biased, as I am a church member, but you will find many journalism professors around the world recommending the paper. "
 
Nina Jay
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Chris Kott wrote:

I used to have hypoxic episodes where I would almost lose consciousness, the most extreme symptom of an anxiety disorder. I didn't realise that as I became increasingly anxious, I wouldn't exhale completely, until my lungs were full of spent air, but my muscles were so tense I couldn't exhale, and I had no room for fresh air.

I still get anxious, but I recognise the symptoms early enough that I can circumvent the hypoxia. So I know that it is possible to reason through even physical manifestations of paralysing psychological stress.

So maybe I am, in part, a sensitive person. I just realised early on that I couldn't  function either paralysed by my fear, or paralysed by utter disconnection from the world in which I live.

Let us not mollycoddle our sensitivity, and cherish it as a prize. Being intuitive and emotionally available and connected is a treasure. Embracing the kind of sensitivity that leaves one utterly incapable of reason or action isn't to be lauded, in my opinion.

-CK



I agree, it is possible to reason through psychological stress. I do it all the time. It's just that it's exhausting for me because of my sensitivity: there's so much to reason through

There are techniques that help with this, I've personally only scratched the surface of the subject, but I'm learning more of those techniques all the time and it's fascinating and empowering.

I read with keen interest everything Xisca Nicholas wrote, it makes a lot of sense to me.

Maybe I or someone else might even start a separate thread for all the ways one can handle the sensitivity and function better in our not-so-sensitive world.

I read (I think it was on Caroline van Kimmenade's website Happy Sensitive) an allegory that I think fits this situation with respect to news & sensitive person:

All the negative energy (fear/ sadness/ anger -inducing info in this case) is like water that leaks through your roof. As a sensitive person, you have this "leaking roof". You can learn techniques how you can catch the water (with buckets) so that it doesn't harm your house. But you still have to carry the buckets out and that takes energy. As permies we might design an ingenious system of watering our garden with the water leaking through the roof It's still a fact that the roof leaks.

I think you're very wise to see the sensitivity as something to cherish. Being intuitive and emotionally available and connected is indeed a treasure.

Perhaps a better allegory then would be that of a treasure to be used sparingly ?
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Nina Jay wrote:

Chris Kott wrote:I used to have hypoxic episodes where I would almost lose consciousness, the most extreme symptom of an anxiety disorder. I didn't realise that as I became increasingly anxious, I wouldn't exhale completely, until my lungs were full of spent air, but my muscles were so tense I couldn't exhale, and I had no room for fresh air.

I still get anxious, but I recognise the symptoms early enough that I can circumvent the hypoxia. So I know that it is possible to reason through even physical manifestations of paralysing psychological stress.



I agree, it is possible to reason through psychological stress. I do it all the time. It's just that it's exhausting for me because of my sensitivity: there's so much to reason through

There are techniques that help with this, I've personally only scratched the surface of the subject, but I'm learning more of those techniques all the time and it's fascinating and empowering.

I read with keen interest everything Xisca Nicholas wrote, it makes a lot of sense to me.

Maybe I or someone else might even start a separate thread for all the ways one can handle the sensitivity and function better in our not-so-sensitive world.



I am available to work on this with who wants to, because yes we can design something for the care of the people!

Please do not view it through the prism of "negative" energy only, because is it a protection system of our body! Reasonning to control it is available to some people but not all, and can also freeze deeper. (I would compare to our body stocking toxins that cannot be removed. Better than letting them free, but they are still there and stocking up has a maximum) Catching the water is a first phase, but be HOPEful that most leaks of the roof CAN be repaired, because our body was designed to do this, and we just sometimes mess up and do not let the right conditions establish themselves for the body to do its job quietly. We do not have defects but a type of biology/physiology that needs respect of the "mode of use" like any other species including plants.

Permaculture means to respect the biology and work with it. Same as we discover plants roots network, working like a "brain", we know we have 3 parts of the brain, and the ANS is 1 of the, I think 12, systems of the body. The ANS is also the "antenna" that connects us to the outside energies, and one part known as the ventral vagal branch is responsible for connexion in mammals and seemingly birds too, allowing the feeling of empathy and pleasure to be connected.

We can easily understand that this has been wounded when we felt betrayed or abused for example. Of course NEWS are often about what some humans have suffered because of other humans! Can you compare it with the feeling you have if you see one of those videos showing humans or animals helping other humans or animals? You heart melts! And this does not make our heart bland and weaker, but gives us strength! This is the power of the ANS! This NS - Nervous System - is far from being "automatic and stupid"! It is indeed autonomic so that it can be like a computer program and manage all that we have to do, and free our cortex brain for the other type of intelligence we humans have developped so much.

Our culture has just passed the limits of wanting our cortex to do too much and despise what is autonomic, though it makes us live and is life saving and life organising. Yes it works like a marvelous software to make our body adapts to inimaginable complicated situations. This is why I admire the coining of this expression "organic intelligence"! We need access to this science as much as soil science. And who better than permie people can use this art?
 
Xisca Nicolas
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The new thread is live here!

https://permies.com/t/103023/Organic-Intelligence-takes-care-people

I am not sure I posted it at the best place but I had to make a choice!
 
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I get a daily email from "Pocket".  It's free.  They send me links to several journal articles a day.  Tech news, climate change, banking news, forgiveness programs for student loans, political issues  They are from major publications:  Atlntic, the economist, the new york times, the new yorker, I don't know wha.  I have a 'liberal' or 'progressive' ointof view, and they don't send me articles that make me roll my eyes.

And a magazine fromthe UK called the Economist, gives news of the world region by region, as well as covering the broad scope of news, plus book reviews.  A friend of mine subscribes, and I get her copies after she is done.  That also does not leave me full of rancor and disgust at the barrage of noise from the usual suspects, braggarts and simpletons that think shouting louder is a communication style.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Here is an example of good news!
https://homegrown.co.in/article/803469/an-assam-based-entrepreneur-has-invented-leak-proof-eco-friendly-bamboo-bottles

that I prefer to the email from the grow network that had as a title "xisca, Last year, "superbugs" killed 700,000 people worldwide..."

Yeah for the eco-friendly bamboo bottles!
 
Chris Kott
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I detest targeted marketing disguised as news; even if there's no product on offer, they're still marketing something that I don't want, usually a conflicted or toxic worldview.

I mean, it's important to know about the superbug epidemic. It's one of the practical health-oriented reasons why industrial feedlots and over-stocked pens that require prophylactic use of antibiotics are an unworkable mess, and why many people are eschewing mass-produced grocery-store meat. Presenting the information in a way that engenders a fear reaction, though, is like resorting to a boogeyman argument with children.

We don't need bad things reduced to the status of "boogeymen for adults." That's where, I think, the horror porn of news comes in.

What we need is news presented in a method so comprehensive and balanced that there's no room for hyperbole.

Failing that, there's Last Week Tonight, whose last episode, by the way, was a brilliant analysis of the whole Brexit fiasco. John Oliver waxes hyperbolic, but to emphasize the ridiculousness of rationally inconsistent and untenable positions, not to stun you with a reality horror show.

Apart from being more selective of sources, I think a healthy amount of desensitization through judicious application of reason would do everyone a world of good. I don't think allowing onesself to be paralysed by one's sensitivity is an evolutionary advantage, do you?

-CK
 
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At this point, the "news" I value the most is from twitter. Individuals posting what's going on in their communities. I don't think there is a news source out there that I wholeheartedly trust. I read the Guardian and Mother Jones, but they are very mainstream. I ignore ads completely on all social media. While I have a TV, we only stream, so no ads. When I have been in hotels and have watched regular TV, it just reminds me why I don't want that. It's painful how bad it all is.

I don't know. While, I would describe myself as a sensitive person, I have PTSD, being in denial hasn't worked out well for me. Years of therapy and accepting reality has worked out much better for me, but we all get to make those choices for ourselves. Wish everyone well in finding a path that works for them.
 
Nina Jay
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Chris Kott wrote:

Apart from being more selective of sources, I think a healthy amount of desensitization through judicious application of reason would do everyone a world of good. I don't think allowing onesself to be paralysed by one's sensitivity is an evolutionary advantage, do you?

-CK



If you mean me by "you" then my answer is as follows
No, I don't think allowing myself to be paralysed by my sensitivity is an evolutionary advantage.

Maybe I haven't expressed myself very well if that's how you understood it. That's not good, so thank you Chris for pointing it out. I'll try again

I am a sensitive person. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with that. Just like there would be in being something else.
I'm looking for ways to cope nevertheless.
I'm looking for ways to stay informed.
I'm really grateful for all the great suggestions I've received in this thread. Thank you everyone so much ♥  
I'm optimistic that at least one or two of all these great suggestions will work for me - and that many others will find one or two that work for them!

The evolutionary advantages of there being sensitive people within the human species is, I think, a different conversation altogether.
(I don't know if there are any. I'm curious about it though. There might be, for all I know.)

For the purpose of this conversation here I think I'd just want to say that  being sensitive does not necessarily mean being paralysed by it.
(I have been paralysed by it, many times, but again, I think that's a different conversation.)

This conversation is about the positive solutions.
And there seem to be so many of them! Thank you all, again!
 
Chris Kott
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Sorry, that "you" was omnidirectional.

I hadn't intended to set it up as a sensitive or case-hardened either/or sense. Let's look at it another way.

Let's say that, at some point, people are born with the ability to read people's thoughts, or even just to sense their emotions. I can see a number of specific advantages in a number of business, medical, and hospitality fields.

I can also see how it would be a severe disadvantage living in a city and not being able to turn it off, or to filter what you sense. Going out amonst people at all might get harder depending on how crowded and how emotionally charged the scenario.

The best course of action for those sensitives would be to develop mental barriers or techniques that would allow for selectivity.

Does that logic not hold in our case?

-CK
 
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Chris Kott wrote:The best course of action for those sensitives would be to develop mental barriers or techniques that would allow for selectivity.


This is a mental theory and a nice wish!
This is like asking the eye diaphragm to shut and open quicker. And also that would make life a permanent vigilent state...

The mental part is not the one that is touched first by bad news... and people who make themselves tough with some sort of mental barrier might be the ones that will develop stress induced body tensions... I have been following these sort of studies for the last 9 years... Have a look at the thread I made and I psoted the link above, and there I have posted names to look for and a link right now, showing how complex and surprising it is to scientists!
 
Chris Kott
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I think it's more like choosing to hear one voice in a crowd, and letting the rest exist in your hearing as white noise.

Or I suppose we could go the desensitization route depicted in Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange."

All this information, though, as complex and interesting as it is, is pretty useless to the point of helping us adapt to our changing world, isn't it?

How do we use this information about interactions between the ANS and the other two systems to either overcome or compensate for over-sensitivity? Judgemental as it sounds, an organism that can't adapt to its environment, or alter that environment, will not thrive; if all individuals of that species fail to adapt, that species goes extinct.

-CK
 
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