I pay close attention to my information diet which consists of a lot of daily, weekly, and monthly intake. Some electronic, some print. I still need a lot of print since I can’t read long articles on my computer screen without hurting my eyes.
For the past few weeks I’ve been debating whether to add The Economist to my weekly subscription list. So far I’ve read the Economist from time to time when I see it around. Recently they have covered some of the biggest stories far better than other outlets. Plus, as I try to get up to speed on international happenings and stay on top of the jaw-dropping effects of globalization, The Economist does international news as good as anyone.
The $129 annual subscription cost is nominal, for me it’s a question of time. I take each new “information committment” seriously. Let’s say I spend 30 minutes each week reading the Economist. This means I will spend 28 hours a year, not insignificant. As part of my tried and true philosophy – “for every new committment you take on, drop one of equal committment” – I need to think about what I will drop to make those 28 hours become available. First, I have unsubscribed from 20 RSS feeds that simply weren’t getting the job done. Even if I only spend seconds skimming through those posts, that adds up over time. Second, I have stopped reading Fortune. Third, I have more or less stopped reading the San Francisco Chronicle (except local sports scores). Finally, I expect that while I will be a returning captain for the basketball team this winter I will have less administrative work than I did last year thus freeing up add’l time.
So with that, I welcome the Economist to my information diet, whose inspirational mission is “to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstrucing our progress.”
2 comments on “A Slight Modification to My Information Diet”
The Economist is the best news source out there. Period. You are correct in that it is a big time commitment though: pretty dense text all the way through. But it is the most objective, insightful and reader-friendly news magazine out there. I’d say it’s a solid pickup.
I started reading the Economist over 10 years ago when I was applying for the Rhodes/Marshall scholarships. I can say without reservation that if you can only read one magazine, it should be the Economist. Not only does it avoid the US-centric point of view of most US weeklies, it is also laugh-out-loud funny.
The best way to get into it is to start with the sections that you already know something about (US, Business, Finance & Economics, Science & Technology, Books & Arts) and then slowly branch out from there into the other sections. After a while, I actually found myself interest in where Michael Howard was leading the Tories, what role the Lib Dems should play, and when Gordon Brown is planning to replace Tony Blair!