The News: A User's Manual

The News A User s Manual The news is everywhere and we check it constantly but what is it doing to our minds The news occupies the same dominant position in modern society as religion once did but we rarely consider its impa

  • Title: The News: A User's Manual
  • Author: Alain de Botton
  • ISBN: 9780241146477
  • Page: 456
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The news is everywhere and we check it constantly but what is it doing to our minds The news occupies the same dominant position in modern society as religion once did, but we rarely consider its impact on us In this dazzling new book, Alain de Botton, the bestselling author of Religion for Atheists, takes twenty five archetypal news stories from an aircrash to a murdThe news is everywhere and we check it constantly but what is it doing to our minds The news occupies the same dominant position in modern society as religion once did, but we rarely consider its impact on us In this dazzling new book, Alain de Botton, the bestselling author of Religion for Atheists, takes twenty five archetypal news stories from an aircrash to a murder, a celebrity interview to a political scandal and submits them to unusually intense analysis.He raises questions like How come disaster stories are often so uplifting What makes the love lives of celebrities so interesting Why do we enjoy politicians being brought down Why are upheavals in far off lands often so boring De Botton has written the ultimate manual for our news addicted age, one sure to bring calm, understanding and a measure of sanity to our daily and sometimes even hourly interactions with the news machine.

    One thought on “The News: A User's Manual”

    1. When is the last time you heard something new in the news?Considering all the time spent reading, watching and listening to the news, what did you learn from it? What do you remember? What remains of all this information aside some vague ideas about the economy, the other side of the world, your compatriots? I was wondering about these questions myself and decided that instead of reading the news, it was time to read about the news. Alain de Botton, an author relatively unknown to me before my e [...]

    2. (originally published at nomadreader)The basics: The News: A User's Manual is a manifesto for what we should want and demand from news organizations, as well as a critique of their current offerings. My thoughts: I majored in journalism as an undergraduate, and although I walked away from my desire to ever be a journalist, I still have a deep love for journalism. I spend a lot of time with the news, as a consumer and as a critic. I assumed I was the target audience for this book, but de Botton o [...]

    3. Poor Alain de Botton gets a lot of stick for his pop philosophy, especially here in the UK. I’ve read most of his books and quite like them (The Art of Travel is probably my favorite), and I admire the work his School of Life does, especially on bibliotherapy. I didn’t get a chance to read this one all the way through because my Edelweiss download expired on publication day, but from skimming it I’d say this is among his weaker works.The premise, that laymen need help in figuring out how t [...]

    4. Admiro grandemente a capacidade de Alain de Botton de descodificar e simplificar temas complexos e apresentá-los com leveza e humor, sem por isso deixar de ser rigoroso (pelo menos, tanto quanto me é dado perceber). Este livro é particularmente interessante, numa época em que a facilidade de acesso à internet móvel nos torna ainda mais sujeitos à exposição constante às notícias.Ficam alguns excertos, para amostra (nota: li o livro numa tradução brasileira):Nós evoluímos de uma soc [...]

    5. This book studies the effects of the news on modern mentality, viewed through the prism of 25 news stories. Nothing innovative to me, but the writing was informative, clear and perfect for those with even a mild interest in the subject.

    6. Alain de Botton is a modern-day philosopher who has tried to make the examination of topics as diverse as Religion, Happiness, Proust and Travel accessible to a wider audience. In his latest book, de Botton tackles the all-pervading concept of The News which he considers to occupy a position of power and influence comparable to that previously held by faith and religion in earlier civilizations. In this user’s manual, de Botton delves into how the media deals with politics, economics, disaster [...]

    7. Started well but I was weary of it and de Botton's seemingly repetitive arguments by the end. "Wouldn't it be great if the news was nicer?" He doesn't really tackle why the news is the way it is, or the influence and culture of large news organisations. Crucially, any personal experience or perspective is lacking in comparison to his better works such as The Art of Travel, which makes this a fairly tedious read over the long haul. Also, I usually enjoy his books because I learn about something n [...]

    8. (More to come later at fictionalskills). I'm a huge Alain de Botton fan. I've read 11 of his books. That's why I'm giving this book 3 (really 3.5) stars. De Botton takes the best bits of his previous books and applies them to "The News." The book lacked the original research and observations about the specific, eponymous topic that I love so much in his other work. "The buildings we love reflect qualities we want to see in ourselves," an idea I adore in"The Architecture of Happiness,"seems slopp [...]

    9. Alain de Botton is again brilliant in The News: A User's Manual. He discusses how politics, economics, and disasters are covered by the media - or rather mis-covered. He encourages more narrative in news and less "objectivity" which he points out is almost nonexistent in today's news which is usually deeply biased. A quote:"A contemporary dictator wishing to establish power would not need to do anything so obviously sinister as banning the news: he or she would only have to see to it that news o [...]

    10. Took me two days to read and it feels like that's how long it took to write. I thought there might be some material in it that would be useful for school, and there was a bit, but it's very, very slight. I can imagine that journalists would be infuriated by this, as de Botton just doesn't seem to know enough about the media that he thinks needs to be reformed.

    11. Appropriately enough, I read ‘The News: A User’s Manual’ during a weekend of news-avoidance. There has been too much news lately and it stresses me out to constantly confront the apparent collapse of society, the economy, and the environment thanks to Brexit, Trump, and climate change (to name but the three main headings of news I read). I recommend completely avoiding the news at weekends as a relaxation technique. This is probably easier if, like me, you hate smart phones and don’t hav [...]

    12. Alain I love you but you were trying to be a philosopher, a writer, a psychologist, and a social commentator in this book and it just ends up in disarray. The author writes beautifully; every time I read a book of his, my brain involuntarily marvelled at how someone could have such an astute mastery of the Queen's english. It's absolutely enjoyable to read a book that's made of beautiful sentences. But this book, oh, where should I start. Under its seemingly organised structure, the writing is i [...]

    13. Moving from a time and a society in which the news was hoarded by a select few at the top of the social ladder, to the seemingly-sudden abundance of mass-produced newspapers in the mid-19th century, to today's situation in which we are saturated with readily-accessible, constantly updated news 24/7, cannot fail to have its repercussions. And not only because of the constant access, but because of what constitutes 'the news'. Alain de Botton, populist modern philosopher, here scrutinises six diff [...]

    14. Ik hou van hoe de Botton zaken op een boeiende manier in vraag stelt. Aangezien ik zelf al een hele tijd een manier zoek om met het nieuws om te gaan sprak dit boek me erg aan, en ik heb het bijzonder graag gelezen.

    15. A fascinating take on the modern news industry, The News: A User's Manual is Alain de Botton's latest success in applying philosophy to every day life in the time in which we now live.Taking inspiration from the term check the news, the aim for the author is to create 'an exercise in trying to make this ubiquitous and familiar habit seem a lot weirder and rather more hazardous than it does at present.' In this, he succeeds, as he covers almost every theme beloved by the mass media, including pol [...]

    16. Dear Alain, your most recent work is a cut way above that book you wrote about spending time at the airport (LHR?). In fact, I would recommend your latest as highly entertaining material during a monotonous trans-Atlantic flight. Nice assortment of fascinating excerpts, framed by your usual wit and philosophical insights. I agree with what you said recently, "The news takes us to the edge of something deeply interesting – but then abandons us at the process Aristotle calls catharsis -- that ex [...]

    17. This book was recommended to me by the Sacramento (CA) Public Library's new Personalized Recommendation System. It was the first book I tried, and I was wonderfully delighted! A. de Botton, with a philosophy background, covers each section of the news: Politics, World News, Celebrity, Disaster, and Consumption. He first offers illustrations of headlines or stories, giving us food for thought. He then proceeds to analyze the reasons these articles are chosen for the news; these are not simply "to [...]

    18. Dissapointing two stars book.It was just such a simplistic take on the theme. The general theme is, wouldn't it be great if news were not so boring, written like literature, educated the masses on economy, humane in giving celebrity gossip, etc; please add your own idealistic gripe. To which, the only sensible response would be, "well, yes so?"Everything were discussed fleetingly, even the caution about news being dictated by advertisement, a crucial subject that I've read partially on Noam Chom [...]

    19. I was not impressed by The News the same way as by de Bottons’ other titles. His analysis of the news and newspapers is very predictable. Practically many of us are on the same page, but there were no new insights or revelations. Yes, we are surrounded by news that superficial, sensational and very often misleading. Yes, we are addicted to gossips, consumerism and envy from the news. With new technology it is easy to drown in the endless ocean of news. The problem is where to stop, whom to bel [...]

    20. I'd really like to give this three and a half stars if I could.This book reads like a research paper or essay you might write in school. Tirelessly researched and presented from angles like celebrity and culture, the author has you contemplating how news has changed and want the public deems important.Newspapers and print media have used manipulation for years via language and placement. Social media has made the broadcast of events immediate and the sharing of these events global. Quick read if [...]

    21. interesting topic, but shallow. i felt like large portions were unexplored, and the book, merely a compilation of observations. some observations were interesting, but not enough to hold the book together. the first half was definitely better than the latter part (The chapter on Consumption was the worst, the ones on Politics and on World News, the best). nonetheless, i don't regret reading this, as it urges us to think more about the news we consume everyday, and how it might be better presente [...]

    22. As always, after finishing one of Alain de Botton's books, you look up with a fresh perspective on something that had seemed sorted and steady in your mind; the world seems to be a slightly brighter and more interesting place. Here he takes on that multi-headed behemoth, the Media, and slowly dissects it and its relationship with us so that we can better understand its motivations and faults. A very good read, well narrated, though the production (the music, and the constant interruptive numbers [...]

    23. Alain de Botton (já meu queridinho antes da leitura, pelo canal do youtube que tem) traz não somente reflexões sobre o contexto atual do Jornalismo como também tenta apresentar soluções, alternativas e possibilidades de encarar isso de forma diferente e positiva. Bem recomendado para quem cursa Jornalismo ou se interessa pelo tema.

    24. Absolutely crucial. We do need instructions on how to deal with the news. It is not neutral. Here are two quotes I loved: “Though anger seems a pessimistic response to a situation, it is at root a symptom of hope: the hope that the world can be better than it is. The man who shouts every time he loses his house keys is betraying a beautiful but rash faith in a universe in which keys never go astray. The woman who grows furious every time a politician breaks an election promise reveals a precar [...]

    25. I don’t follow the news but I often feel guilty about it. I used to watch and listen to the news all the time but now I find that it serves little purpose. In fact, in today’s culture the news is mostly meant to entertain. And I find that kind of entertainment distasteful and counterproductive to gaining wisdom.I am a big fan of the author and he did not disappoint with his insightful explorations of the motives and desires b hind our insatiable appetite for news. We are indeed a species of [...]

    26. I always appreciate Alain de Button's take on why we behave the way we do. I don't always agree with him, but I do like that he gets you to think with regards to history and philosophy.He does well picking apart our tendencies towards the news as well as the tendencies of the people that give us the news. His ideas here are intriguing and fresh as always.I do wish there were a bit more practical advice on how to filter the news, but that is a complex problem that perhaps can't be placed on our p [...]

    27. I don't think I've ever experienced a state of euphoria-like happiness when reading a book until now. Alain is officially my new favourite author. And how did I not know he was the genius behind The School of Life?!?! Mysteries

    28. In "The News: A User's Manual", Swiss-born essayist Alain de Botton, who now lives in London, analyzes the problems of the present-day media and gives some recommendations as to how the newsrooms of the future can better fulfill their public duties. He examines the prevailing features of six categories of news - politics, world news, economics, celebrity, disaster, and consumption - and tries to pinpoint the areas in which the media around the globe tend to fall short of keeping the public prope [...]

    29. Here's my review from The List:In this engaging and thoughtful book, the popular philosopher and co-founder of London’s School of Life, Alain de Botton, turns his attention to the news in its various forms. Specifically, he seeks to question the generally accepted positions of authority held by Western news outlets, and to offer some perspective on the effects of our incessant consumption of news from sources that multiply exponentially every year.Beginning with the point that news ‘now occu [...]

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