Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan (132)
I propose that if you want a simple step to a higher form of life, as distant from the animal as you can get, then you may have to denarrate, that is, shut down the television set, minimize time spent reading newspapers, ignore the blogs. Train your reasoning abilities to control your decisions; nudge System 1 (the heuristic or experiential system) out of the important one. Train yourself to spot the difference between the sensational and the empirical. This insulation from the toxicity of the world will have an additional benefit: it will improve your well-being. Also, bear in mind how shallow we are with probability, the mother of all abstract notions. You do not have to do much more in order to gain a deeper understanding of things around you. Above all, learn to avoid “tunneling.”
Why is the toxicity of information paradox a paradox? Simple: information and facts are not knowledge. As we search and act in a world that contains more information than ever, we must confront this paradox daily. Yet, indeed, more information is often extremely valuable. Lying, dishonesty, and manipulation often hide information in order to deceive others - transparency benefits us in this situation. Second opinions in medicine and health endeavors often prove critical to our chances of restoring our wellness: more information is not, in some cases, a bad thing. Clearly, there appears to be an information filtering balancing act that we must engage - a balancing act that Nassim Taleb refers to in the paragraph above.