Fast news used to be tomorrow’s paper. Then it used to be the article on the website. Now it’s the tweet.
Fast news prioritizes the creation of emotional reactions, like all social media. It’s optimized for visceral, emotional reaction — optimized for likes and shares. A lot of times fast news is also fake news. The fast, fake news goes viral like wildfire and the apologies and retractions go unread.
Fast news is instant gratification news. Fast news confirms biases.
Slow news is reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee in the morning. It’s getting the emotionless facts after they’ve been peer-reviewed and edited.
Slow news is reading, consuming and thinking at your own pace. Slow news means it’s ok to read about something and not have an instant reaction.
Slow news makes you think about new things and from a different perspective. Slow news is deliberate. It’s made for the masses yet still personal. Slow news requires discipline by writer, editor, and reader.
Slow news is how information is meant to be consumed. Slow news allows you to digest and learn.
Where you choose to focus your energy has an outsize impact on success and happiness.
Ryan Holiday joined us at work in June 2020 to discuss The Obstacle is the Way, life after COVID-19, and other tips for success. We got to spend around 45 minutes listening to a lecture from him followed by Q&A. My notes are below.
In life we don’t control what happens but we do control how we respond.
Accept reality unflinchingly. Accept that you have a lot of power over everything else.
Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies are muddled by crisis. Great companies are improved by crisis.Andy Grove
Two main reasons for his success:
1. Develop mentors – find people who have done what you want to do. Attach yourself to them. Put up with anything. Do any job. Play any role to get into a position to learn from them.
2. Read widely and learn from history and those who have gone before you.
Most people have been doing modern marketing for 150 years. Tactics change but you can learn a ton from people like David Ogilvy in 2020. People focus too much on tactics instead of principles.
Paid media can be boring and earned media has to be interesting. Do things that are so interesting that others want to share them. Boring media is expensive.
As the world becomes crazy, it necessitates normal order within ourselves. If you have more time on your hands, use it to create more order and structure. Structure creates presence and focus.
We tend to think of obstacles as one-time occurrences. The reality is more of Murphy’s Law, we are always bouncing into new problems each day.
Obstacles are bigger in our imagination than they often are in reality.
His morning routine: wakes up early and first thing he does is avoid phone for a minimum of three hours. Don’t let outside noise interfere with your day.
Make before you manage.Tim Ferriss
Do your most important thing of the day first before you get sucked into the world.
If you put off the things that require focus, concentration, and clarity, you have a million excuses to not do it later in the day.
Stillness is primarily about owning the morning.
Stoicism isn’t the absence of emotion, it is the absence of destructive emotion.
You pick each day if you want to have alive time or dead time. Dead time: Sit back and watch time tick away. Alive time: you do everything you can to be successful. You can waste years as Dead Time.
Are you using your days or are you watching them waste away?
Ryan Holiday’s 2020 Book Recommendations
Saw a tweet the other day where somebody announced that they were signing off from Twitter for two weeks because it had become too addictive.
The top reply: “just do it, don’t tell us.”
A maxim for life in 2020.
The Levels of Problem-solving:
Level 1 — You solve the problem.
Level 2 — You solve the problem that caused the problem.
Level 3 — You avoid the problem that caused the problem.
Level 3 is the most valuable but hardest to see.
“I’m a believer in the ordinary and the mundane. These guys that talk about ‘quality time’ — I always find that a little sad when they say, ‘We have quality time.’ I don’t want quality time. I want the garbage time. That’s what I like. You just see them in their room reading a comic book and you get to kind of watch that for a minute, or [having] a bowl of Cheerios at 11 o’clock at night when they’re not even supposed to be up. The garbage, that’s what I love.”
When you realize there is no such thing as “quality time,” when you become okay with “garbage time,” you end up getting the best kind of time there is. You get the moment right in front of you.https://forge.medium.com/theres-no-such-thing-as-quality-time-58db618c099d
New storefronts and restaurants were likewise optimized for the image. Considerations like comfort, accessibility, and acoustics were secondary to visual appeal. It was as if the landscape itself had dysmorphia, altering its physical appearance to fit an arbitrary standard that undermined its primary function. But maybe I had it backward. Maybe the point of a physical space was no longer to shelter physical people. Maybe a storefront was a marketing tool for a direct-to-consumer internet start-up, the way a website was once a marketing tool for a brick-and-mortar store. Glossier. Everlane. Warby Parker. The Sill. Walking into such places felt like walking into an app. They always looked smaller in person, like actors who are shorter in real life.https://nplusonemag.com/issue-36/essays/my-instagram/
Problem: Oftentimes, when I’m using Google I’m searching for informational content that gives advice. What’s the best type of t-shirt to buy? How do I cook this steak? Why do lightbulbs flicker when they turn on? How much does a vanity cost?
The search results for a lot of these queries have been monetized to death. Instead of real recommendations, you get sponsored content from a shirt company, a cooking blog saturated with affiliate links, remarketed for lightbulbs, etc.
Soultion: The quick hack I’ve been using lately for queries like this is to add reddit to the end of the query. This restricts the results to anonymous posts on reddit that are far less likely to be monetized content. I’ve found you get better advice from real people this way. You hear from actual people who tried to find a substitute for cream cheese in a recipe, not from a content writer who is talking in hypotheticals.
Restricting to the search results to reposes by real people greatly improves signal to noise ratio for informational/advice queries.