“A Voice to Rise Above the Fray”
Reaching for a Calmer, Clearer World
Zachary Karabell advocates a new way of thinking that transcends the dogma, outrage and emotional triggers that cloud our judgment and impede our progress. The author of 12 books including The Leading Indicators and Peace be Upon You, Karabell uses history, technology, politics, finance, and national and international culture to show the world through a less distorted lens.
Data in today’s information age is delivered in a hailstorm of tweets, neatly-packaged punditry and emotionally-charged sound bites that often obscure our reality. We are wired to consume information with little analysis, to form flash opinions and defend them with bold certainty. But what would happen if we removed the “noise” and saw our world more as it really was — with less fear, anxiety and constant false alarms?
A Culture of False Alarm
Our world is expressed through vast amounts of unprocessed data spewed over multiple platforms, which we absorb with little scrutiny. Our sources of information are rife with hidden agendas and statistics lacking historical context, often misrepresenting the state of our progress. Without rigorous critical thinking skills, we gloss over complexities. We form opinions in absolute terms, and are increasingly susceptible to alarmist thinking.
The Inevitable Short-Circuit
We pay a significant price for our failure to penetrate the “noise.” We use outliers to define norms and rely on revisionist history to extrapolate the future. This imperils our ability to make meaningful decisions—to understand probabilities and distinguish what is possible from what is probable.
The Path to a Collective Calm
While our economy, culture and politics have evolved dramatically, our measurements of growth and success in many ways have not. The ascent of technology has boosted productivity and communication immeasurably, but we have not yet managed to properly mine data to access the information most relevant to our contemporary lives. If we shed absolute measures, and rise above escalating rhetoric, we could better navigate dyspeptic voices and more accurately separate real risks from fears du jour.
How to Question Your World
You know what you believe, but do you know why you believe it?
Can you trace a belief back to its inception? Can you isolate the factors that formed the basis of that belief and filter out the noise that corrupted it along the way? If you can, you may discover that your belief is built on a false reality, shaped more by distortions than by fact. Before you embark on an emotionally-charged course, ask yourself how you came to believe what you believe.