I really appreciate WordPress Reader. I think it’s elegant in both appearance and function. I say this is a simple user and not a tech expert. I am nothing of the sort.
Of course, even WordPress Reader can’t handle the most important task related to news feeds: careful curation. The more interconnected our world gets the more important it is to filter “news” from “noise.” To get an idea of what I’m talking about you should look at stock charts. These two will do. The first chart is noise. The second is news.
The best filter you can every apply to any news source is time. Unfortunately we as human beings don’t have nearly enough of that.
More and more I try to practice information discrimination. As far as I know that’s a term I made up myself. What it means is to think critically about your information consumption – particularly your digital information consumption. Identify agendas, biases, etc. This requires a great deal of critical thinking. It also means you need to be aware of digital pollution – toxic information that, to put it bluntly, makes you stupid.
Some examples of digital pollution:
- Vicious blogs shouting into the political echo chamber
- Chain letters that propagate on social media (particularly those with a political agenda)
- Redactive memes (again I’m talking mainly about those with a political or social agenda)
The internet has put enormous megaphones into the hands of every member of the great, ignorant mass of humanity. Some of this stuff is quite funny, but it’s the digital equivalent of junk food. It shouldn’t dominate your information consumption (just like you shouldn’t make Twinkies a staple of your diet). This may sound elitist. Rest assured that it is. I am a firm believer in technocracy. I do not believe Average Joe is equipped to manage a world of ever-increasing complexity.
What does any of this have to do with WordPress Reader?
Despite how slick it may look, WordPress Reader is just a tool. It’s only as good as your reading list.