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Alain de Botton: "The News: A User's Manual" | Talks at Google

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Published on Mar 13, 2014

The news is everywhere. We can't stop constantly checking it on our computer screens, but what is this doing to our minds?

We are never really taught how to make sense of the torrent of news we face every day, writes Alain de Botton (author of the best-selling The Architecture of Happiness), but this has a huge impact on our sense of what matters and of how we should lead our lives. In his dazzling new book, de Botton takes twenty-five archetypal news stories--including an airplane crash, a murder, a celebrity interview and a political scandal--and submits them to unusually intense analysis with a view to helping us navigate our news-soaked age. He raises such questions as Why are disaster stories often so uplifting? What makes the love lives of celebrities so interesting? Why do we enjoy watching politicians being brought down? Why are upheavals in far-off lands often so boring?

In "The News: A User's Manual", de Botton has written the ultimate guide for our frenzied era, certain to bring calm, understanding and a measure of sanity to our daily (perhaps even hourly) interactions with the news machine.

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