So much about nothing

There is an old Seinfeld episode where Jerry gets involved in a conversation with a model while on a flight. At one point in the conversation the woman says to Seinfeld, “I never met a man who knew so much about nothing.”

I couldn’t help but think about that line when I read C.S. Lewis’ comment on reading the newspaper. He said

I think those are very wrong who say that schoolboys should be encouraged to read the newspapers. Nearly all that a boy reads there in his teens will be known before he is twenty to have been false in emphasis and interpretation, if not in fact as well, and most of it will have lost all importance. Most of what he remembers he will therefore have to unlearn; and he will probably acquired the taste for vulgarity and sensationalism…

The problem with becoming obsessed with the news of the day is that we get so caught up in what is new and breaking that we end up mistaking it for what is true. Far too often, what is new and breaking is nothing but new and breaking.

And in that way we wind up knowing so much about nothing.


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