“Your are what you eat.”
We’ve all heard that, and we know that there’s a lot of truth to it. Wholesome, healthy foods = healthy bodies. Junk food = unhealthy bodies. Now push past food. Think about everything you consume: news, entertainment, lectures, studies, political discussions, music, movies, plays, TV… We are all, to a great extent, products of our respective media ecosystems. Quality in, quality out. Right?
Whenever I find myself sitting across a desk, a drink or a screen from someone whose opinion on something is different from mine, I always wonder what brought us to opposite sides of that issue. Do we really experience the world differently? Are our respective filters different? Are those differences accidental or by design? Has this person explored the topic from all angles or only from one side? (Have I?) Does this person get his or her information from reputable news sources or from shady websites? (Do I?) Does this person’s tastes in TV shows, movies, books and music perhaps reveal a cultural blind spot? (And right back at myself.) Is this person missing a piece of information or insight that I have access to? (Am I the one missing a vital piece of information or insight?) Finally, what is the smoothest path to finding common ground?
The answers to all of those questions can usually be found in understanding what path(s) this person took to arrive at their conclusion (or which path I should have taken, in the event that I should be the one who didn’t think it through all the way).
In the spirit of transparency, here are my weekly brain-feeding habits (good and bad). I won’t include books, movies and other long-format content since they aren’t recurring. If this gives you insight into how I use media to filter the world around me, good. Somewhere down the road, it might even come in handy if you ever need to change my mind about something.
- My Facebook newsfeed (The best stuff ends up here.)
- Pulse (iPad app)
My Sources For International News:
- BBC News
- CNN International
- France 2
- NBC News
My Sources For National News:
Where Do I Watch Sports:
- Cycling: Whatever channel shows the Tour de France.
- Olympic Games: Whatever channel shows the Games (summer/winter).
- Soccer: Whatever channel shows the World Cup.
- Tennis: Whatever channel shows French Open, US Open, and Wimbledon finals.
That’s about the extent of my interest in watching sports on TV.
My Sources For Political Opinion and Features:
- Fox News
- The Rush Limbaugh Show
- Washington Post
- Raw Story
- The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
- The Nightly Show (Comedy Central)
- Last Week Tonight (HBO)
- The Late Show with Steven Colbert
- Real Time with Bill Maher
- The Guardian
My Sources For Business, Science, Technology, Culture:
- Fast Company
- The New Yorker
- Mother Jones
- The Onion
- The Oatmeal
Industry blogs still I read about once a week:
- Shiftcomm.com (Christopher Penn)
- ScottMonty.com (Scott Monty)
- Holtz.com (Shel Holtz)
- WithoutBullshit.com (Josh Bernoff)
- Shankman.com (Peter Shankman)
- Web Strategist (Jeremiah Owyang)
- V3B (Shelly Kramer, Daniel Newman)
- Two Minute Reads (Gary Vaynerchuck)
Bookmarked resources I use daily:
(See what I did there?)
Industry Podcasts and Newsletters I subscribe to:
Websites I avoid like the plague:
- nbc.com.co (Not to be confused with a legitimate NBC website.)
- The Blaze
- Before It’s News
- Fox Nation
- Natural News
- WorldNet Daily
- Food Babe
(I just can’t.)
What TV Fiction I Watch Regularly:
- Peaky Blinders (Netflix)
- Sense8 (Netflix)
- Daredevil (Netflix)
- Marco Polo (Netflix)
- Penny Dreadful (Showtime)
- Homeland (Showtime)
- Ash vs. The Evil Dead (Starz)
- The Flash (CW/Hulu) *
- Arrow (CW/Netflix/Hulu) *
- Vikings (History/Hulu) *
- Z Nation (SyFy) *
- Agents of Shield (ABC/Hulu)
- Black Sails (Starz)
- Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Walking Dead(AMC) **
- Fear The Walking Dead (AMC) **
- True Detective (HBO) **
- Mr. Robot (USA)
- Blindspot (NBC) *
- From Dusk Till Dawn (Netflix)
- Banshee (Cinemax) *
* I know that a few of those shows are pretty campy but sometimes, my brain just craves rainbow sprinkles.
** As Frank Herbert would say, “crap writing is the show-killer.”
- Pandora stations: MC Solaar Radio, Fever Ray Radio, Massive Attack Radio (gym, office)
- NRJ (French radio station) recordings on Tune-In Radio (bike/run/travel)
- Channels 2, 3, 11, 51, 52 on Sirius XM (car)
(I prefer random songs to even shuffled playlists. It keeps things fresh.)
I said I wasn’t going to list books, but here are the last 10 books I have read (or re-read):
- The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
- Alias Grace (Atwood)
- The War of Art (Pressfield)
- Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail ’72 (Thompson)
- L’Ile Mysterieuse (Verne)
- The Legend of Bagger Vance (Pressfield)
- Oryx and Crake (Atwood)
- The Shining (King)
- The Thin Red Line (Jones)
- A Storm in Flanders (Groom)
That just about covers my most current media snapshot. Feel free to post yours in the comments or write a post like this one and share the link here.
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And if fiction is more your speed, check out The Nemesis Engines, Vol.1: The Peacemakers. Think Jules Verne meets H.G. Wells, with a World War I twist.