31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Insights on Being Well-Read

What is the true point of a bookish life? Note I write “point,” not “goal.” The bookish life can have no goal: It is all means and no end. The point, I should say, is not to become immensely knowledgeable or clever, and certainly not to become learned. Montaigne, who more than five centuries ago established the modern essay, grasped the point when he wrote, “I may be a man of fairly wide reading, but I retain nothing.” Retention of everything one reads, along with being mentally i...
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05 MAY 2018 by ideonexus

 “Judge the value of what you have by what you had to gi...

The principle of an opportunity cost does not at first glance seem hard to understand. If you spend half an hour noodling around on Twitter, when you would otherwise have been reading a book, the lost book-reading time is the opportunity cost of the tweeting. If you decide to buy a fancy belt for £100 instead of a cheaper one for £20, the opportunity cost is the £80 shirt you could otherwise have bought. Everything has a cost: whatever you were going to do instead, but couldn’t. [...] ...
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17 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 80/20 Rule for Production VS Consumption

As James explains, you can read everything you want about waking up earlier—from sleep habits to the Circadian rhythm—but when the alarm goes off, the only thing that matters are the strategies you’ve actually tried. “The biggest issue around the myth of ‘I need to learn more’ is that somehow learning and doing are mutually exclusive. And they’re not at all. You should certainly be taking in new information and exploring continually. But you also need to be exploiting the infor...
Folksonomies: productivity
Folksonomies: productivity
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08 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Focus on Producing Information, Not Consuming

The production of information is critical to a healthy information diet. It's the thing that makes it so that your information consumption has purpose. I cannot think of more important advice to give anyone: start your day with a producer mindset, not a consumer mindset. If you begin your day checking the news, checking your email, and checking your notifications, you've launched yourself into a day of grazing a mindless consumption. [...] But there's something else that being a producer do...
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29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Government Internet Shutdown Mobilized the Masses

The government could have been smarter. The best way to divert our youth from politics would have been to give them free, unlimited internet access a few days before the protests, and drop the price of beer and condoms – all the while playing “Be safe, live long” songs on the radios. The youngies would have been watching porn, WhatsApping and YouTubing, and would have been too distracted to think about politics. Shutting down the internet achieved the opposite. Far from limiting youth ...
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17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 The Collector’s Fallacy and Tsundoku

One of my favorite Japanese words is tsundoku (積ん読). Aside from being a fantastic pun, I think it’s captures our shared problem pretty well: “Tsundoku” is the condition of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. Buying books does not equal reading books. We all know that. Yet, so many end up victims of tsundoku anyway. Why? One problem, I think, is that collecting feels like learning. Each time we discover a new productivi...
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01 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 The Twelve Life Areas

Values & Purpose Your deeper, underlying, fundamental values and wants. Your philosophy of life. Your sense of purpose, vision, and meaning. Do I have a sense of purpose and direction in life? What do I want out of life? How do I want the world to be different? What is my philosophy of life? What are my fundamental values? What do I truly value? Contribution & Impact How you give value to the world, make a difference, and have a positive impact. How am I giving value to the worl...
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01 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Acquire as little software as you can get by with, and st...

Acquire as little software as you can get by with, and stick with it. That's hardware critic Richard Dalton's advice. It's easy to get so caught up in the constant onrush of improvements and "next generations" in the software market that you wind up forever getting ready to work instead of working. You can buy last year's computer cheap, get last year's software, which runs beautifully on it by now, take the month to get fully running with it, and then turn your back on the market for a coupl...
Folksonomies: productivity
Folksonomies: productivity
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29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 You were never actually accomplishing anything by watchin...

If you ask someone what they accomplish by watching the news, you’ll hear vague notions like, “It’s our civic duty to stay informed!” or “I need to know what’s going on in the world,” or “We can’t just ignore these issues,” none of which answer the question. “Being informed” sounds like an accomplishment, but it implies that any information will do. You can become informed by reading a bus schedule. A month after you’ve quit the news, it’s hard to name anything u...
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29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Most current-events-related conversations are just people...

“Because it helps you participate in everyday conversations!” is a weak but at least meaningful answer to the “What is accomplished” question. But when you quit playing the current events game, and observe others talking about them, you might notice that almost nobody really knows what they’re talking about. There is an extraordinary gulf between having a functional understanding of an issue, and the cursory glance you get from the news. If you ever come across a water-cooler conve...
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