Why paranoia? Because one must practically apply antisocial standards of suspicion and irreverence towards authority in order to overcome the learned helplessness and narrative capture by the information-industrial complex (the Cathedral). It is not sufficient to apply learned skepticism, because a skeptical deconstruction of the narrative is still subservient to the narrative, insofar as it is concerned with proving or denying constituent aspects of the narrative with independently-sourced facts. But soon enough one is met with the problem that there are simply too many competing narratives. There is no single simple “true” narrative that can withstand scrutiny and is simple to triangulate other than the main, institutionalized narratives. This is not ordinarily a deep take, but this is generally because people just find a “niche” market for their beliefs, which rarely benefit from the transition. This is because all popular media, insofar as it is easy to consume, or capable of passive ingestion, is dishonest. This does not surprise anyone, only when they realize what they too consume lies. Any media that does not challenge you with its intake is likely a form of propaganda, because it is impossible to approach anything vaguely resembling the truth with standard media.
I would posit that there are only two ways of transmitting actual information, which by necessity is complex and nuanced: symbolically, through highly encoded means (hermeticism), or through overpowering (and soul-crushing) detail. Either way, you will not be consuming this casually, which means that unless you are struggling and indeed suffering during your ingestion of information, you are not advancing but receding! Question yourself: why would it be in anyone’s interest not merely to inform you, but to do so for free? Further consider that in today’s media landscape most people don’t even choose to be informed, but are rather shown what their peer group believes, which will only more profoundly enforce in-group mentality. This is only one of many reasons why political factions have polarized than ever before. Hence my paranoid solution: don’t trust anything easy. Don’t trust anything on cable TV, don’t read the news, don’t even try to browse a book published in the last 50 years for God’s sake. Only lay eye on what your network recommends to you. Exercise rigorous informational hygiene. Scrutinize and sanitize all your info stimuli the way you scrub your veggies during the quarantine. Above all, trust only those people that are crazy enough to built their own operating system from scratch, using only the oldest and most esoteric knowledge.