Sometimes you can’t get what you want… because you don’t know.
I read The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli. It turns out he’s maybe a little less than above-the-board with his references, so the ideas that were so helpful may come from bunches of other people.
The most potent part of the book for me was at the very end, chapter 99, Why You Shouldn’t Read the News. It was so good that I searched out the author’s website and found the long form, somewhat earlier version of his thoughts. Apparently they’re very much inspired by Nassim Nicholas Taleb,
The key thought, for me, is that
People find it very difficult to recognize what’s relevant. It’s much easier to recognize what’s new. We are not equipped with sensory organs for relevance. Relevance doesn’t come naturally. News does. That’s why the media plays on the
new. (If our minds were structured the other way round, the media would certainly play on the relevant.) The relevant versus the new is the fundamental battle of the modern man.
I find the argument (not all the points, but the overall argument) compelling. I’m aggressively pursuing the relevant rather than the new. It’s hard work, but I think it’s a good change of focus.
You know, those lame posts where the person promises that they’re the king of good intentions. That soon the blog posts will flow like honey in the promises land? That’s me right now, isn’t it?
Back soon, I think.
I love sunshine. It’s been a beautiful few days in southern West Virginia — highs in the mid-teens (that’s 55-60 in Belize and the good ol’ USofA), sunshine, warmth.
And most of all, kids playing outside. After being somewhat-cooped-up for the winter, my kids are climbing trees again. Getting stuck in them with alarming consistency, but having fun, playing, running around.
Last night, we played and ran, ran and played. We ate chicken burgers (and veggie burgers… a different adventure altogether) and grilled vegetables. It felt like a summer evening. Windows were open, tulips are peeking through in the front bed.
It is good.
I only started listening to audio books last year. I blame Sam. He talks about audio books a lot. He likes them. The first audio book I listened to was Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. It really helped that the reader was fantastic. I’ve listened to 10 more audio books since then, some of them great, and some of them not so. I’m not good at it yet. It annoys me because I lose my spot or get distracted from listening and can’t figure out how to get back to where I was.
I also started reading ebooks more frequently within the last year. Whether it’s on my laptop, phone, or tablet, that’s an experience that feels to me very analogous to book reading. Our public library is doing a great job of making both audio books and ebooks easily available for download (thanks Overdrive… now, why didn’t you call me when I sent you my resume two years ago?).
Of course, I still like a good print book. They smell the best. They feel the best. I process them the fastest. I never have to worry about the book telling me that someone just posted on my facebook wall. You know, the small stuff.
How are you reading?