Sherlock Holmes famously considered our brains to be like a little empty attic, which we stock with objects of our choosing. Since attention is finite, I don’t want to decorate my attic with stuff that doesn’t make me dream. This isn’t the same as only reading about stuff directly related to work; it’s about transversely choosing which different types of information will make my attic sustainable and unique.
All the information we have available only increases our stress levels and diminishes available time. We consume much more than we create, we read much more than we think, and it should be the other way around. We have to make sure we consume the things that truly matter to us, but only so that we have time to create something that matters to someone else.
Getting informed is a means to an end, not an end in itself. And life’s too short for bad information.
24. I used to lie back in my teenage bed and feel love – so much heart-busting love, just this surge of love for everything, everything, everything…
25. Now I lie on the couch with my brains bashed out and my tools and my toys all lying around, and I wish I could feel that way about really anything, anything, anything, anything…
Every minute a new impossible thing is uploaded to the internet and that improbable event becomes just one of hundreds of extraordinary events that we’ll see or hear about today. The internet is like a lens which focuses the extraordinary into a beam, and that beam has become our illumination. It compresses the unlikely into a small viewable band of everyday-ness. As long as we are online - which is almost all day many days — we are illuminated by this compressed extraordinariness. It is the new normal.
The good news may be that it cultivates in us an expanded sense of what is possible for humans, and for human life, and so expand us. The bad news may be that this insatiable appetite for supe-superlatives leads to dissatisfaction with anything ordinary.
A wise woman once said, “If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. … Imagine immensities.” Welcome to the age of immensities.
I feel this so hard.