In Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Taleb wrote that “news makes idiots of us because it gives us confidence, not insight.” Like a PhD in macroeconomic theory. Today is one such day in India, when after the Union Budget is announced, a lot of us will feel like PhDs in macroeconomic theory.
After all, media (television, newspapers, radio) and social media are all already filled with updates and “expert” comments on the Budget.
My wife has already prepared her questions to be asked after the Budget is announced – “What got expensive and what got cheaper? What can I shop more for?”
But I am not answering anything of it this time. Why? Because I am taking up this challenge of avoiding everything related to Budget for the next three days i.e., till the noise dies down.
Though I don’t watch and analyze much of Budget every year, and I don’t read much of news, as a ‘test’ of my ability to avoid all kinds of noise and especially such a loud noise like Budget’s that will surely hit me from all sides, I am going on a three-day diet of consciously seeking news related to what the FM would be announcing today (and the Budget won’t matter after three days anyways).
Are you up for it too?
You see, a Budget anyways won’t make any difference to your life. If you are already a spendthrift, you will continue to spend a lot even if things got cheaper or taxes are lowered. And if you are already frugal, you will continue to spend within your limits even if things get expensive or they don’t touch the taxes a bit. So how would this Budget really impact your life? Why give it such a big shelf space in your brain’s attic? Why waste precious time amidst noise?
By the way, if you are worried that by avoiding all news for the next three days, you may miss an opportunity if one of the stocks you own or are looking to own falls or rises due to Budget’s impact, don’t be. A 5-10% rise or fall in stock prices won’t make a difference to your decisions anyways. And if prices rise or fall even more, I am sure you will somehow come to know about it. 🙂
So are you up for the challenge? Let me know in the Comments section of this post if you are, and also let me know if you aren’t and why.
I’m asking you to take up this challenge as a test, but you have a choice to dump it.