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Information Diet

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Mar 25, 2023.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Everyone is focused on diet and exercise throughout the world and so many gyms are picking up active business due to health conscious citizens of this planet. Dieticians are picking up great consulting service to tell people what they need to eat. Many of the traditional foods that used to be prevalent in yesteryears are coming back in the form of healthy diets. So many debate forums are discussing how the traditional and delicious food that existed several decades ago are the best food to have healthy diet and all new introduction of international food has resulted in obesity and unhealthy food habits.

    But there are no forums to discuss about information diet. In a free world where freedom of expression exists, everyone has an opinion and makes it available in the public domain. Every house is filled with so much data depending on their previous searches on the world wide web. Because of such excessive information, one doesn’t have time to filter data or even verify the accuracy of information. There are some organizations acting as fact checkers and to utter surprise even those organizations are becoming propaganda machines approving the information that the corporate world or the government would like everyone to consume.

    Every food that is offered in the market is labeled as healthy without any evidence or facts associated with why they are healthy. Political information is expressed in the form of opinion than providing actual news of what happened. The search engines can decide what people can see and what they should not see. Most of the vaccine-related information is driven by the big pharmaceutical companies’ influence and the government. There are no ethical values practiced by those who share and those who publish information. The disinformation is not necessarily emanating from Russia and China but from our own print media, social media and television. Under the pretext of national security, individual privacy can be breached and the legislators we select will not raise a finger against such aggressive use of power against citizens.

    Therefore the filter needs to be fixed at the consumption level which means we need to fast when we need to and consume only what is essential for us to be well informed. When we seek information, we need to learn the reliable sources of such information instead of believing everything that is available in social and print media or even internet. Everyone should investigate the authenticity of information before using the data to come to conclusions. Even research on the internet may not be accurate unless it is validated through multiple sources. Especially, when statistical data are presented, one should be careful before accepting them. Sometimes, even graphs might be presented to impress the consumer of information. We all know every analyst was pumped up about the growing stock market before we faced the 2000 bubble and 2008 recession.

    Even if we get enormous information about a particular topic, we should first figure out what is real and unreal. It is like practicing exercising and diet when it comes to health, one should also be careful about mental health as excessive information and not able to discriminate the right information, one can become sick and influenced by the misinformation. Nowadays, even textbooks intended for children are fabricated to change the history that had really happened in the past.

    Therefore, there are three aspects one should focus on before consuming any information. The first is to establish whether the source we are using is reliable based on the historical data we had consumed from this source. Secondly, even before consuming the data, one should use discretion and cross verify whether this information appears correct. Thirdly, one should even determine what information is absolutely essential for us to lead an ideal life and what information is irrelevant for our lives. Most of the mental health issues are caused by consuming misinformation constantly and sometimes, it could be based on our perception of what had happened. Mental health is something that is not focused on by most people and it is essential for someone to lead a happy life.
     
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  2. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Whatsapp has made it competitive. The faster we spread the information, the more knowledgeable we feel. Who has time to check and counter-check?
    Food is a different game. There is a saying in Hindi- Khana apani pasand ka, pahanana dusare ki pasand ka- (Eat that you like, wear others like). Besides, we all know from personal experience what suits our digestive system, and what does not. Making some exceptions once in a while is okay.
    All in all, it is business.
     
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  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Hari Sir,

    It is true it is easy to pass on what we receive in WhatsApp and most of us do it. I am not a prolific user of WhatsApp even though I have this App, I use it to receive important information from my contacts. Frankly, I don't even have a family WhatsApp. Regarding food, it is always a thin line between what is good and what is tasty. Nutrients with the right composition of Carb, Protein, Fat and Fiber are to be taken and it is hard to measure them.
     
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  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    Indeed. Information needed or not it is just being flooded by friends and marketing men and government too. It is difficult to separate chaff from grain. Some are keen to get into line light or spotlight and post pseudo messages. Celebrities too are in this game. They have need to be in media daily claiming doing (miss)deeds. Many are interested by hook or crook in making people believe lies and utter lies. Best way to minimise flooding (unwanted undesirable) information is to never open such messages never get tempted to open and or read. A day declared holiday to gadgets or and atleast to couple of social website and WhatsApp group(s) would do wonders to psyche.
     
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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Thyagarajan Sir,

    You are right about planning social media time and restricting number of times we access social media in a day. I remember one of my students who was 14 years old (girl) brought into my class by her parents stating that she had become an addict to instagram. The parents decided to keep the phone with her but disallowed her from accessing any social media platform. She is allowed to use her phone only for my class and Bhagavad Gita classes.

    Initially, she had a lot of withdrawal symptoms including no interest in life. As she started attending classes, she interacted with other girls in my class and started smiling a lot. One class that I specifically customized for her was the risks of social media platform which was loaded with a lot of information from the experts. I just considered this as a lesson for all the children. This class was well received by both boys and girls, in general. There was some push back on phone games by some students.

    I give them follow up life applications such as monitoring the hours they spent on social media and everyone was prompt in monitoring the hours. Somehow, many of them tied it with the time they need to spend on home work and tests and they found some freetime to focus on their studies when they put a cap on social media time. I didn't prescribe any time and they decided on their own what should be the time in social media per day.

    Other popular life application was, "What is in my wardrob?" They all had a habit of buying school items every year whether they need it or not because the parents can afford to buy it. I told them to calculate how many clothes, shoes, school supplies they buy each year. They went way ahead on that by analyzing how many of what they own were used, how many times it is used, what is never used, etc. From them, it spread to the parents and the parents sent statistics of their own habits to support their children.
     
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  6. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    We are living in an age of information feast, There is a welter of information in the social media about everything under the sun. We need to seperate the grain from the chaff but at the same time "Information diet" will be a catchy camouflage in the hands of powers-that=-be to restrict our information access and feed us data that is comfortable for them.
     
  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Balajee,

    My information diet includes those propoganda effort both from the Government and powerful corporate carridor. I think this filter should remain only at our end. Let the information flow the way it is and we can determine what to receive and consume.

    I understand chicken in the US won't sell unless the word "fresh" appears in their products. Therefore, corporate world is having a battle with FDA when they said the chickens sold in the market should be marked, "Frozen earlier". They are objecting to it as anything that is frozen has a price difference. In my view, fresh chicken is one that is alive. :)

    Almost all marketing jargans used by the corporate with respect to food is over stated with adjactives.
     
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  8. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    Dear @Viswamitra
    I amaze at your Himalayan patience to put into great use your all round experience with your students which I am sure would nurture them well. A habit forms when practised as often as possible but within max 21 times it sets in and then it dies hard. whether it is good or bad - it simply stays. Once the habit is set in, it dies hard.
     
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  9. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Wonderful snippet by Viswa. I am reminded of making Keerai masiyal at home.

    We buy three bundles of green from the vendor.

    We remove grass pieces and weeds, wash the greens in a big bucket of water.

    When we cook the greens get reduced on boiling.The masiyal is reduced to nearly

    1/ 8 of the volume, the tasty Amrutham like dish which every

    one in the family can taste just two ladles.

    It is true that we get very little good information.

    It is also true that we have to be capable of absorbing and assimilating

    whatever little good things are handed over to us.

    I am reminded of a beautiful shloka from Bhartru Hari's Neethi Shatakam


    संतप्तायसि संस्थितस्य पयसो नामापि न श्रूयते

    मुक्ताकारतया तदेव नलिनीपत्रस्थितं राजते ।

    मध्ये सागरशुक्तिमध्यपतितं तन्मौक्तिकं जायते

    प्रायेणाधम मध्यमोत्तमगुनाः संसर्गतो देहिनाम् ॥

    Santaptaayasi samsthitasya payaso naamaapi na shrooyate

    Muktaakaaratayaa tadeva nalineepatrasthitam raajate

    Madhye saagarashuktimadhyapatitam tanmouktikam jaayate

    Praayenaadhama madhyamottamagunaah samsargato dehinaam 1.66

    A drop of water in contact with hot iron evaporates in no time and is lost.

    The same drop of water on a lotus leaf shines taking the shape of a pearl.

    If the drop of water gets into a pearl oyster it becomes pearl itself.

    This analogy can be applied to humans. The qualities one acquires depend

    on the quality of the person with whom one associates. The three illustrations

    given relate to association with people with levels of low, medium and high quality.

    Let us become oysters while absorbing information diet

    Jayasala 42
     
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  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Smt. Visalakshmi Jayaraman:

    What a wonderful response yours is! I am not sure why I missed this response for nearly two months. As you pointed out, what the information becomes depends on the quality of the recipient. Let us all become Oyster is a good call.
     
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