Welcome to What Not to Think About. On this blog, Big Think's editors will pick the stories that are making headlines elsewhere but which we encourage you to ignore. Why? We are drowning in information, so much so that filtering out the garbage can be as helpful and instructive as pointing out the gems.
So here is the roundup for our first post, What Not to Think About on December 7, 2011:
1. Breaking News: America Is Still At War With Japan
Happy Pearl Harbor Day! The fact that Sasha and Malia Obama's private school in Washington is serving Asian food for lunch today has not gone without notice. The story has made waves in the right-wing blogosphere ("It can't be a coincidence!" some are saying) and has been picked up and given prominent placement on the Drudge Report and other sites. Apparently not only is Obama a secret Muslim, but his daughters must be secret Japanese spies, or something like that.
2. Our Poll Says the Same Thing!
Why do media companies sponsor polls? One reason is to get publicity and give themselves something to talk about. We recommend you don't pay much attention to the results of the latest New York Times/CBS News survey, which shows pretty much the same results as every other poll tracking the Republican presidential horse race. However, since the Times spent good money on the poll this non-news makes the Times homepage: Newt Gingrich has pulled ahead of Mitt Romney in Iowa, where on January 2, 2012, a very small and unrepresentative group of people will participate in an archaic process known as the Iowa Caucus.
Now here's the payoff: the poll made @BreakingNews on Twitter!
3. Mark Zuckerberg Kills Animals
If Mark Zuckerberg's account can be hacked, then no one is safe on Facebook. That might be true, but this story is really just poorly disguised billionaire voyeurism. So what can we glean from this breach of privacy? Apparently Zuckerberg is staying true to his 2011 resolution to only eat meat from animals he has killed with his own hands. This apparently includes a goat, a pig, a chicken and a lobster.