When someone has been nasty and sarcastic to me I always want to take the high ground and be nice to them…but I want to be nasty back more than I want to take the high ground (and I only want to take the high ground to show I’m superior).

Primary Source Material

#77: Primary Source Material, with John Roderick - CMD Space podcast from Rerlay FM

Primary source material is original content, not commentary (which is a secondary source). In this podcast John argues that we should seek to create primary source material and not add to the echo chamber of noise around this product or that.

I think about this podcast from time to time as I wonder if I’m creating primary source material, or if I’m adding to the same talking points of many peers. Sometimes I measure myself better or worse by this yard stick.

I’m not completely against commentary though. Well thought-through comments can add unique insight and perspective. In some cases, the commentary can become a primary source all of its own. Looking at the commonplace books of Da Vinici, Sacks and more show that commentary can be more than meaningless waffle.

In Da Vinci’s case, his notebooks were not just commentary, but also original content. I hope this site will emulate that mix of primary and secondary content.

I annoy myself by overthinking if this blogging platform or that is better. I really ought to just use one and stick to it…having said that, I really like how the WordPress semantic linkbacks show comments under articles. I would love to see manton hosted microblogs support.

Got to send beta feedback thanks to finding a bug 😌

A Break from Podcast While Traveling

I’m a huge podcast fan. It’s one of the core things I use my smartphone for (along with taking photos, sending messages, satellite navigation, and wasting time on social media including youtube) but I’m going to do an experiment this week.

I’m not listening to any podcast while commuting.
As I listened to Jocelyn Glei’s interview of Cal Newport in the hurry slowly podcast, I heard Cal describe a digital detox and how the people who got the most out of it were hoping to do things differently afterward (not just take a break). It made me wonder what it would be like to not use my smartphone for 30 days, what issues would I face.

The thought of not being able to listen to a podcast on my train ride home made me nervous. Which is almost certainly a sign that I should continue along that path.

After my initial discomfort, I realised that there were some great possibilities and options from not listening to any podcasts on my commute.

  • I could read a book
  • I could write (well that’s more difficult when the train is crammed full)
  • I could think and reflect
  • I could plan
  • I could call my family in the UK (yes I could be that guy)
Of course, not listening to podcasts on the train doesn’t mean I won’t listen to any podcasts at all. I can still listen at home, or while walking. But by not listening on the train, I create an even greater buffer before I need to look at my smartphone. I can simply not use it before work.

And so for this week, I’m taking the commute less travelled (by me at least) and eschew podcasts while commuting.

Join Analog Social Media - Cal Newport πŸ”—

Join Analog Social Media - Cal Newport πŸ”— >When you take an activity like social media, for example, and zoom in close, you isolate behaviors like commenting on a friend’s picture, or encountering an interesting link, that seem mildly positive. What harm could there possibly be in clicking a heart icon?

When you zoom out, however, the cumulative effect of all this swiping and tapping seems to add up to something distinctly negative. Few are happy, for example, after allowing yet another movie night to devolve into side-by-side iPad idling.

Yeah, that last part was a little uncomfortable to read.

I think you can also argue that reverse tends to be true of analog social media. The initial energy it requires can be great and the rewards can be small, but overtime the effect is magnified.

I learnt that in Spain where I’d put off meeting up with friends or going out due to feeling tired and knowing that an evening spent speaking Spanish would leave me further drained. And yet every time I did go out, I’d be more energetic in the long run.

After a few months of using Station I have come to the conclusion that it’s basically a slightly prettier version of a worse performing Google Chrome. This may be unfair but it makes my work mac freeze all the time.