“It is vain to do with more what can be done with less.” Thank you, Mr. Ockham

When it comes to gear envy, the struggle is real. I’m a photographer, and if it’s shiny, and someone’s gushing over it, or it’s $200 off retail, or its promise is to make my life easier, better, more productive, I want it.

Want.It.

Crave it.

Obsess over it.

Some people look at porn like I look at new gear.

Just yesterday, there was an ad on my favorite camera store’s web site, B&H Photo & Video. It was for a light. A hot light. One that stays on all the time. And I wanted it. It was LED. New. Brand new tech. I stared at it for 15 minutes. Twenty minutes. There were no reviews, so I googled it to see if anyone on the internet had one and was reviewing them.

No luck.

So I googled comparable lights. When there’s one company making a light, that means someone else started it first. I found all kinds of information, but said and done, I don’t really need this light. It’s not going to make me go out and shoot more. Although, I want to believe that having more tools in my arsenal would somehow make my life soooooo much easier.

Said and done, keep it simple, stupid. Take it easy, Azizi.

That quote above from Mr. William Ockham (Occam) is a good reminder. For a long time, I use to reference Ockham and his razor when discussing religion. His razor is a problem-solving principle that, when presented with competing hypothetical answers to a problem, one should select the one that makes the fewest assumptions.

Because you know what happens when you assume. 

There’s also a quote that I found in Tim Ferriss’ Tribe of Mentors with a similar tone:

“Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.” –Robert J. Sawyer Hugo

Lately, I’ve had to eschew some news, even NPR, for the sake of peace. Like you and you, but not you, I’ve been Trumped to bits. Trump trump trump trump trump. Trump.

There’s not a corner you can turn in this media diet market when his name isn’t the focus or mentioned. In stories ranging from world markets to kitties stuck in trees, Trump. In stories about flu to venereal disease, Trump. Not even porn is safe anymore.

“The world is a vampire.” Thanks Billy Corgan. 

On top of my Whole30 diet, I’ve had to really take stock of the media I’m consuming lately. I needed to just take a step back and review what I’m reading, and how it’s affecting me.

This conversation I had a while back keeps playing in my head. It was about reading “both sides” of the issues. It was about balancing “liberal” web sites with “conservative” ones.

This person I was talking to said that Matt Drudge was left-leaning, and I almost spit out my turkey and stuffing. “Drudge is as conservative as it gets.”

“No,” sayest my friend, “He links to New York Times and other liberal sites.”

“Linking to those sites does not make the liberal.”

Clearly, it takes very little effort to see the bias of Matt Drudge, or any blog or website. His slant is clearly pro Trump, pro Republican, and anti Liberal.

If you don’t take my word for it (I’m not talking about you, because the whole world knows except this one fella), but take his word: “I am a conservative. I’m very much pro-life. If you go down the list of what makes up a conservative, I’m there almost all the way.”[38]

My point is: if you (or I) do not recognize something simple, how can we work from a level playing field. How can we discuss, say Politics, if we don’t recognize resources as what they are or are not?

If we’re sitting around celebrating NPR as the most fair and balanced news source in the world, because they’re neither conservative or liberal, but straight down the middle of excellent journalism, then we both suffer from the worst case of the Delusions that the world has seen.

That’s like reading Breitbart or WND and thinking, “I’m doing myself a favor!”

As I near the 30 day mark on my Whole30 diet — or reset — I’ve also had to revisit and diet from my media consumption. The stuff/words/food we put in our body is clearly going to affect how we view the world, our place in it, how we feel about it.

I’m going to do my part to encourage others, but I’m starting with me. And little old me feels fucking GREAT right now. Better than I’ve ever felt.