Culture Learning Lifestyle

No streaming

Replied to (

This feels complementary to David Cain’s idea of a Depth Year — because without access to an endless, immediately satisfying catalog of online streaming, the amount of content you could consume would probably be a lot less, which could nudge you to give what you do take in deeper consideration.

This is something I think about occasionally because I naturally tend towards a MORE MORE MORE intake mindset. This mind garden is one tool I use to push myself towards more contemplation, and using more of my time for thinking versus reading or watching.

I also can see the appeal of taking a break from streaming with the frustration I’ve had with Tidal and the poor quality of streaming movies I’ve seen (e.g. sound sync problems in Dune, dithering in Tangled) 😉 But… someone’s suggestion in the comments of trying a month feels way more doable 😂

Culture The Internet

Complementary: what is real?

TikTok by Seema R (@artlust)

–> critique and “critical thought” being viewed as negative is anti-intellectual

–> enjoyment and critique are not mutually exclusive

–> important to consider why something was shared online


Choose reality while you still can by David Cain

–> some people can’t seem to tell which online videos are staged

The Media Insider did a pretty good video illustrating a phenomenon Jean Baudrillard pointed out in the late 20th century: art and culture starts out focused on depicting the real world around us — nature, people, and the cosmos — but ends up focused on depicting art and culture itself.

Not only are people losing the ability to discern between reality and fabrication, but they’re losing the sense that there is anything better, or more important, about reality.


Comment by Amy Letter on the article Did the internet ruin culture? by Max Read

The “culture” this creates is one in which everyone is raised to believe they want to be famous. The desire for attention comes first, the “how can I GET that attention?” question comes after.

This is the flattening. Earlier un-flattened nodes (people!) had an idea of who they were and what they believed and what they wanted to create and if they created it they might step back and say, Yes, I want to Share This. But the new rules reversed that. Now it’s “I share therefore I am; holy crap I haven’t shared anything, I feel myself disappearing…

See also: On Tyranny — truth is important

A connection between rejecting criticism with complaining about cancel culture, and the recent moves to block moderation, which will destroy social media platforms as a means of communication and information sharing if implemented.

Getting Shit Done

Crack open projects you don’t know where to start

Liked How to Get Started When You Just Can’t Get Started by David Cain (

You cannot pull apart an uncracked egg, because it’s smooth and edgeless. The whole point of the first step is to change the egg into the kind of egg you can pull apart, by giving it a place for your fingertips to go.

I like this analogy for a perspective shift to make it easier to start something. I find I often need to start working on a project to figure out how to approach the whole thing. I’m working on a new website now and many of the steps I wrote out for myself before starting have turned out to be dependent on other steps I didn’t think of, or that I thought could come later. But that’s fine, I’m adapting my plan as I go.

Getting Shit Done

Monk Mode: time-limited commitments

Liked How to Change Your Momentum in a Week or Two by David Cain (

Monk Mode, as I conceive of it, is a way of leveraging this principle to a less intense degree. You still focus on a certain kind of self-development work for a short period (perhaps writing, meditating, practicing piano, or lifting barbells), you still commit to a list of no-no’s during that time (perhaps no alcohol, no social media, or no sugar), but aside from that you live life normally.

Essentially you’re committing to a new lifestyle standard in certain respects, but for a short enough time that you can sustain the effort to the end.

Similar but more intense / concentrated version of his Depth Year idea.

Learning Lifestyle

The Second Price

Liked Everything Must Be Paid for Twice (

One financial lesson they should teach in school is that most of the things we buy have to be paid for twice.

There’s the first price, usually paid in dollars, just to gain possession of the desired thing, whatever it is: a book, a budgeting app, a unicycle, a bundle of kale.

But then, in order to make use of the thing, you must also pay a second price. This is the effort and initiative required to gain its benefits, and it can be much higher than the first price.

A new novel, for example, might require twenty dollars for its first price—and ten hours of dedicated reading time for its second. Only once the second price is being paid do you see any return on the first one. Paying only the first price is about the same as throwing money in the garbage.

I believe this is one reason our modern lifestyles can feel a little self-defeating sometimes. In our search for fulfillment, we keep paying first prices, creating a correspondingly enormous debt of unpaid second prices. Yet the rewards of any purchase – the reason we buy it at all — stay locked up until both prices are paid.