The Opt Out Weblog

The Blog for Garrick van Buren's 'Opt-Out: The Survival Guide for This Modern Age' Book

Category: News

No, There is No Pony. Never Was.

Worried that their son was too optimistic, the parents of a little boy took him to a psychiatrist. Trying to dampen the boy’s spirits, the psychiatrist showed him into a room piled high with nothing but horse manure. Yet instead of displaying distaste, the little boy clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to […]

RSS – More is Less

“I define ‘better’ as something that doesn’t have an unread count. I have enough to-do lists in my life without having a giant unread list of articles in front of me.” – Justin Williams

Be Unafraid

“Fear-mongerers leverage our willingness to pay attention to fearful stimuli in order to generate attention. A fearful newspaper headline captures people’s attention. This draws people into paying attention to the newspaper as a whole, which is precisely the intention of headlines. Likewise, when TV anchors are spouting off fearful information, people are far less willing […]

Really Simple Sensationalism

“I strongly believe the contemporary fetish of liking and sharing cheapens the way we consume our information. Don’t get me wrong, I do see value in community driven content, but there’s also a lot of dirt and sensationalism. Some days it feels like I’m reading the front page of a cheap tabloid.” – Jef Claes

No Matter

“The news didn’t warn us about the death of the real estate market that was coming in 2008. And they weren’t suspicious about the war in Iraq. They can report on sports, but that doesn’t matter. More real people believe in climate change than network anchors. The news doesn’t echo our skepticism or pessimism about […]