If you have an intellectual minute, read Avoid news by Rolf Dobelli
I highly agree. I have not watched TV for years now (we don’t have a subscription and I did not bother installing an antenna) and I’ve been practicing a healthy news diet for more than a year now. It really helps, especially with focus. The justifications in the article are sound, and I highly agree with this article. Nothing important passed my attention - someone always tells me. I am sometimes in an awkward situation when I don’t know that our country’s president said something stupid again, but I am actually proud of it.
I try to learn more about internal structures of the world by reading books. I add to the suggested diet by reading books which I know I won’t agree with to challenge what I believe. I also try to talk to people with opinions highly different than mine.
Also read this article by N. N. Taleb which explains why noise explodes faster than data (and thus why you should read less news, not more). Warning: equations ahead! :)
If you are trying to replace news with some really interesting reading, I highly suggest Taleb’s Antifragile and Dobelli’s The Art of Thinking Clearly. Both are both interesting and very valuable. They will both also improve your life, not only stimulate your intellect.
What do you think?