There's a point at which the news ceases to serve you, and only feeds the part of your brain that wants to reduce uncertainty.
I have reached that point.
Unfortunately, the world is extremely uncertain right now. And I just gotta learn to live with that.
First, though, I wanted to break the habit of checking the news as often as I was. I figured I could, in the short term, block the news-related sites that were distracting me most often, e.g.: Twitter, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
To block these sites, I reached for an age-old trick: Modifying
/etc/hosts to map certain urls to localhost (example below).
## # Host Database # # localhost is used to configure the loopback interface # when the system is booting. Do not change this entry. ## 127.0.0.1 localhost # TO STAY FOCUSED 127.0.0.1 twitter.com 127.0.0.1 www.twitter.com 127.0.0.1 mobile.twitter.com 127.0.0.1 www.mobile.twitter.com 127.0.0.1 nytimes.com 127.0.0.1 www.nytimes.com 127.0.0.1 washingtonpost.com 127.0.0.1 www.washingtonpost.com 255.255.255.255 broadcasthost ::1 localhost # Added by Docker Desktop # To allow the same kube context to work on the host and the container: 127.0.0.1 kubernetes.docker.internal # End of section
So, instead of the stream of "holy sh*t" headlines I was checking every hour, I now see (pardon the Dutch 🇳🇱):
Works like a charm!
If, like me, you're on a Mac, you'll want to run
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder afterward editing
/etc/hosts in order to flush your DNS cache.
Also, I should note that messing up this file can have bad consequences... so make a copy before you toy with it, okay?
Otherwise, stay inside and enjoy your weekend.
Also, as a post script, I should mention that my new deal with myself is only to check this Axios one-pager on pandemic updates. We'll see how that goes.