If you’re like me, a middle-aged optimist’s soul trapped inside a pessimist’s brain, you’re struggling with feelings of both burnout and information overload. The Internet has created too much content (most of it demoralizing), but too little substance that’s actually enriching and worth your time. It’s the old signal-versus-noise problem, and it’s probably harming your mental health. 

So we’re trying out a new weekly feature for our paid subscribers. Starting today, I’m going to send you an email once a week or so that provides you with some signals that explain what’s really happening in the world, so that you don’t have to spend so much of your time — and risk your sanity — looking for them in all the gaslighting noise. 

As you’ll see below in the first edition, what I send you will not be a rehash of all the great journalism being produced by The Lever’s team of reporters. Instead, it will be a mix of must-read stories from around the world that I’m reading, missed nuggets buried in fine print, and fun-but-worthwhile distractions reminding us that there is still beauty and joy amid the dystopian hellscape (yes, fun is still allowed!). You’ll also get a glimpse of my own personal idiosyncrasies and interests, which you can feel free to ignore and/or ridicule.

Here’s my promise: This once-a-week email will respect your time and not make you work hard. It will aim to be brief (which admittedly this email isn’t), easy to read, substantive but not pedantic, and hopefully an enjoyable experience.

Now, I can already feel The Lever’s managing editor Joel Warner shaking his head, wondering why I’m adding a weekly email to my overstuffed weekly workload that already stresses me out. 

It’s a fair question, but I have an answer. I decided to launch Sirota’s Signals because there’s an efficiency here. Since part of my job as a journalist is spending hours and hours and hours sifting through the noise without being driven to insanity and self harm, I figure: Why not at least pass on some of the good stuff I find to you, our beloved paid subscribers who make our work possible?

So here’s the first edition — feel free to reply to this email to let me know what you think, and also to send me suggestions for next week. And if you hate it, just click “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of this email to toggle off Sirota’s Signals.

Rock the boat.


Sirota’s Signals — February 15, 2024

Why does Jon Stewart mentioning painfully obvious and indisputable facts freak out so many liberals? How did Henry Kissinger conceal his crimes? Which generation is really behind the stalled push to expand Medicare? Who do one in five of your fellow Americans now believe is a covert government operative working for Dark Brandon? Answers below.