Noises versus voices

In the world of social media and forums, where news are not without bias even on official medium, there are noises everywhere.

Most of these noises are plain shilling or, in another word, "snake oiling". Disguised in beautiful words.

Voices are few and valuable.


Filtering noises

We can save ourselves time, energy, and at times money, if we can quickly differentiate between noises and voices; listening to what confer value while ignoring those that do not. 


The skill is developed by encountering countless shilling or "snake oiling" (hopefully not falling prey to) and realizing their obscure objectives sung in somewhat similar tune. Their tunes are always one-sided and highly biased. Value propositions may not be well-backed by data. They use words that sound exaggerative. 

We will know we finally "got it" when we find ourselves debating or refuting these crap shills and not blindly internalizing them as "truths". 

As my general rule of thumb, anything that are voicing opinions ought to be taken with a pinch of salt unless you are sure of the speaker's credibility. We won't want to follow opinions into the abattoir.


When we gross over facts, we will naturally form opinions. Our opinions are shaped by our experiences, expertise or beliefs. 

How about forming opinions on opinions?

To do that, we need to either enhance our personal experience in the topic of concern (try and we know), improve on our knowledge in the topic (expertise) and reform our beliefs. Then challenge the opinions instead of letting them trap our thinking.


There is, however, a tricky subset of noises. 

They come from the people who are close to us and it is something dangerous. 

We tend to let people who are close to us ingrain their beliefs more easily and sometimes subtly. What might otherwise sound absurd from a stranger might sound logical or correct - perhaps by pulling on our heartstrings.


Read for Ideas not Opinions

Always look for ideas when browsing and less so for opinions.

Mindful noting of snippets and articles that give you the "light bulb" moment - that inspire or spur you to find out more. They are the good voices.

Good voices point out new possibilities and concepts, help us connect the dots and expand into new arenas.


Dismiss what you don't understand as noise?

It is a funny phenomenon - to simply dismiss what you don't understand as noise. This has happened many times to me. 

How I regretted missing value and opportunities because of that.

If we only stick to things that we can easily understand and not move beyond our inertia, we will not progress.


You are your own noise sometimes

The brain tends to generate fear, uncertainty, doubt (FUD) on negative news. These FUD can become overwhelming noises in your head which can impede the ability to make rational decisions.


The same goes for FOMO. When you hear everyone talking about how good somethings is, you want to jump right in to reap the same profits.

The only problem is - if you are one of the last to hear the good news, the profits to make are probably already gone. Who would want to share free lunches of limited supply with others? You might end up washing the dishes instead of getting a free lunch.


The most powerful voice

It is none other than your own. 

Silent the noises.


Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash


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