Calm Also Has A Coefficient

Check this out. What you will see is the usual pithy insight that Seth Godin brings to us daily. Read this piece carefully, and think about it. The wisdom here? Lots of people, cable news stations in particular, make money by selling panic. Be it elections, pandemics or hurricanes, bad news is profitable news.  

His recommendation for dealing with all of this? Cut the cord with these fear mongers. No need to be constantly checking news feeds. Five minutes a day is enough to get the big stories.  

Bottom Line. As he always does, Seth got me to thinking. What accounts for this narcotic-like addiction that most of us have for moment-by-moment updates on stories that are likely to scare the hell out of us? Several bodies of knowledge provide the answer here. A major principle of Behavioral Economics is that people are risk averse. A bet needs to have a possible reward of $1.00 if the downside is the loss of $.50. Evolutionary Psychology also teaches us that humans are programmed to avoid danger, and to make rapid judgments as to whether a new situation is threatening. SO. We are seeking constant updates so that we can “keep an eye on” potential existential threats.  

Seth’s point? We are not on the savannah with our ancestors anymore, scanning the horizon for wild beasts. In 2020, it is more adaptive to stay calm and do the work that is necessary.  A darn good point, especially in the first quarter of 2020!  

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