Put context ahead of content

Where have your come across some of the most remarkable facts in recent times?

The answer is invariably some place on the internet – on Youtube or Whatsapp perhaps. 20 years ago, the answer to this question would have likely been a book, a newspaper or the television.

I don’t really need to point out how most books and newspapers are more reliable sources of information than the internet mediums that have replaced them. Nevertheless, the internet has prevailed over them for several reasons.

This phenomenon points to a broader principle behind how our minds work. We pay more attention to content (the piece of information itself) rather than context (where it came from). This has resulted in the flood of less reliable but more sensational information that we find ourselves drowning in.

Information is like food. Once you have consumed it, your mind has already assimilated it and it is an integral part of you. And just as you are careful about what you eat, be mindful of where you get your information from.

 

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