make something to learn more about what's inside you
+ things that moved me
I know I’m being my “best self” when I’m making something.
When I feel unsettled, it’s usually because I haven’t sat down to write in a while.
Unsettled is a good word to describe the weirdness of modern life, and I think one of the main reasons many of us feel unsettled is because no one feels like they’re getting much done. Which isn’t surprising when you consider that people are spending upwards of 6 hours per day consuming digital content.
Here’s an excerpt from an email I received a few weeks ago from a Sublime believer:
Only decades ago, the average person had one source of information, if any — the local newspaper. It’d take an hour, tops, out of their day. 1 hour out of 16 waking hours, or 6%. The rest of the day was spent making, creating value, conversing with others — 94%. Desires were simple — work for food and housing and a way to get around, find love, raise kids, build something great, fight for justice for your peers, see the world. Today, the average American spends 8 hours a day consuming digital media. 50% of our waking hours. What happens to the world when people spend half their time watching other people? When their thoughts of themselves and of the world and their desires are now shaped by taking in other’s experiences 50% of the time, up from living their own lives for 94% of their time? I think that’s an enormous question that anyone building a software product should ask themselves.
An easy way to lose oneself is to consume so much we lose sight of who we are and what we value. Creating is the opposite. The more we create, the more likely we are to figure out what’s really inside us.
And I don’t mean getting more people to start a Substack, or build an audience. There’s a peculiar kind of sadness that comes from adding more words into a bottomless pit when you’re motivated for the wrong reasons.
On a podcast with David Perell,
More and more, I’m realizing pulling myself and others out of passive consumption mode and into creation mode is something I really care about and am willing to work very hard on.
Things that moved me
I don’t love writing; I love having a problem I believe I might someday write my way out of.
I have been feeling this deeply – on getting feedback:
A tradeoff occurs every time you get feedback. You become slightly more mainstream, slightly more aligned with the zeitgeist. You become marginally more of an exploiter than an explorer , standing on the shoulders of the giants who conceived the paradigm you’re striving to build upon. This is very effective when you want to align your work with others. But you also stray from the path you were exploring.
This, fromwhich I instantly added to my collection of “things to come back to when I’m feeling meh”:
To really like my work I have to look at it with different eyes. I have to forget everyone who did it better or faster, and remind myself that no one has ever done it quite the way I have. I have to remind myself that the people I compare myself to probably compare themselves to others and that if they let their self-doubt keep them from creating I’d never have been inspired by them.
The timeless wisdom in the 38 Letters Rockefeller wrote to his son
- reflecting on living a laptop life (filed under Relatable)
Among the mistakes is my decision to live a laptop life. You know what I mean: I am a laptop person. Everything happens in this rectangle, this sparkling jewel of modern industry. Here is my work, much of my play, much of my social life, all flickering and disappearing at 60Hz. Most of what I have done on earth is information that only flares into reality at the behest of server farms and liquid crystals.
Kind of seems fake—plasticky, insubstantial, illusory. Like, some guys build log cabins. Some guys own asbestos plants. So real, so textured, so surrounded by decaying leaves, so saturated by manly sweat. So much of the sinew and the cellulose. Meanwhile I write blogs.
This two minute clip is fantastic. “Being intellectual is a terrible danger”
A great chart.
- on climbing out of the crypto rabbit hole
I’m slowly working through Byung-Chul Han’s The Disappearance of Rituals. It beautifully juxtaposes a community without communication – where the intensity of togetherness in silent recognition provides structure and meaning – to today’s communication without community.