How the media brainwashes us

We see what we expect to see, what we’re looking for. And we can’t see all that much.

The bottleneck that characterizes our ability to receive information explains why we cannot intelligently absorb all the information presented to us on TV screens.

The scrolling text, sidebars, and stock prices don’t make us smarter or better informed; they make us stupid. While we are watching such a busy array, we can’t efficiently think, discriminate, or make critical judgments.

When we are tired or preoccupied—conditions psychologists call “resource-depleted”—we start to economize, to conserve those resources. Higher-order thinking is more expensive. So too are doubt, skepticism, and argument.

From the book, Willful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan

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