A Thing on Think Pieces and Its Followup

Dan Hon wrote a piece (of what?) called “Something Is Happening; And It Might Change Everything

It’s pokes fun at a pervasive kind of internet pseudointellectual herald that often turns out to be, well, sound and fury, signifying nothing. There’s a serious side of it, that we can waste a lot of time getting caught up in artificial enthusiasm for a new thing, or in the piece, the idea that we can become smarter than everyone else by consuming the perfect information.

It’s kind of a cliche for this blog at this point, but what matters is your work. Not that it’s genius or ingeniously sourced, just that it’s deeply yours. Distraction is everywhere, useful information is rare.

The followup is called, “An Important Update to Yesterday’s Think Piece

You Know That Blank Feeling You Get Just After You’ve Finished a Particularly Brutal Shift at Work and You Can’t Even Think?

I can’t add much to this title, except that I was thinking about all the mess of social media most of us wade through from time-to-time—or even most of the day, for some—and how to deal with it as it washes over us. Dan Hon laid out some decent philosophical razors in this Medium piece. I like him.

Value Added

Along the digital hygiene self-examination track I’ve roared into headlong, I made my way slowly through Dan Hon’s newsletter (worth subscribing to, if you’re interested in informed ruminations on tech and its intersection with human life) wherein he talks about the difficulty in discerning whether social media corps. are engineering quirks of our brain reward system to get us addicted to the feeds they dangle, or if it’s just a coincidence of their format.

Basically, I wondered, is it just easier to make a decision about what we value? Do we value our time to make things and—even the precious moments we rarely find to just sit and do nothing—more than the endless stream of discrete information that’s overloading us?

Sorry, leading question your honor, withdrawn.

As creators, makers, we probably want our work to be valued. But if we don’t carve out time for it—probably more than we think we need—it doesn’t receive the raw input that imbues much of that potential value. In my opinion.

The Feed takes value from us. It takes it in the form of our time, our focus, and our personal data. We’re attempting to put value back into the world. Perhaps we should consider if we need a lot more of our own raw value to be able to do that.