Cake
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    • Ok, so this is a weird one.

      I recently ran across a blogpost, referencing a blog post some 7 years old, referencing a book written a decade prior. Each of which is hugely influential to the way I look at world, media and information flow in general. Let's unpack it...

      Manfred in the title of the post is the main character from Charles Stross' SF novel Accelerando. It goes from near-future (at the time of book writing), to technological singularity to far future. It's a great book (although Charlie basically disowned it), but the truly mind-blowing (and I do mean mind-blowing) part is the first third, the near-future part of the book. And it's a theme of a blog post, written by Warren Ellis (writer, not Nick Cave's musician pal), author of (among other stuff) influential comic book series Transmetropolitan.

      I do recommend reading the book, but the blog post hits the important ideas:

      It's this part that hit me like a ton of bricks:

      Do you ever feel like that upon waking?  Six hours behind the moment.  Sleeping took you off the road to the future.

      It so perfectly summed up what I do most of my waking time: trying not to be behind the moment. I know many people prefer to take it slow, to unplug, but knowing that so much cool and new and exciting stuff is going down right now, I simply cannot bear the thought of being left behind. And so, my relentless media diet.

      Anyways, here's an update from the 2019 perspective, by a Turkish writer and activist Ahmet Sabancı:

    • Fantastic!! I spent an hour following those links, pondering.

      Interesting enough, I think blogs and newsletters are creating a similar filter. You don’t need it to be locked down but instead, people have to actively want to receive those words you’re putting out. This makes it harder to go viral but easier to reach people who you really want to reach.

      Aside from the 6-hour thing you mentioned, ☝️ that quote got me. I find the world fascinating and I want to know as much as I can about it from all the best sources. So my subscriptions are multiplying like rabbits because my perception is we have to pay for the best. That’s a sign I really actively want to receive those words.

      One thing I’m finding is I have a strong desire to go deeper than most people do and in so doing I felel like I have to trade off not being as broadly knowledgeable. For example, spending an hour deep ending on this post is my thing. Rapid context switching leaves me unsatisfied.

      Anyone else?

    • It is said that an expert is someone who knows alot about about a specific, narrowing field of knowledge focus. So much so that the more one becomes an expert, when they will be perfect, they will know everything about nothing.

    • I like that very much.

      I don’t suffer much social media fomo, apart from my book club where I hate to miss a book, and I certainly don’t think I’m missing out when sleeping. As a frequent SciFi reader I’m more someone who wonders how long it will take for the actual world to catch up to my literary and imaginary one.

      I tend to think of the internet as a shallow place. When I want depth on a subject, I go for books, not looks. That said, I’m starting to wonder if I have enough time left to read all the books I’ve already bought, yet I keep buying more. So maybe I am missing out by sleeping, LOL.

    • I think social media and forums are ways to sustain our human need for socializing but as you mention, we ought to take a step back and see what exactly do we expect from internet, what do we understand by socializing in this way. Is there sense in turning these into cultural or scientific pantheons? On occasions, I have seen extremely helpful knowledge sharing while at same time being very loosely delivered and mixed with not so useful information, depending on venue. This makes it unfortunately a waste of time to sift through and actually recognize something valuable when it comes up. I have faced numerous times the conundrum of being avid for knowledge only to waste my research energy and end up swallowing tons of redundant, useless information - because of this. Picking up an accredited publication sure beats this every day. With art, things are allot fuzzier, but still there is a reason terms like "classics" do exist.

    • I alternate in my approach. Certain things I'm ok with having just a general idea, a shallow understanding. That's 'knowing something about everything' part. But, from time to time I go off the deep end in certain area and spend an inordinate time ingesting everything I can. That's 'knowing everything about something' part. Both appeal to me, at different times.

    • The internet is too vast to be generalised about that way. Sure, you won't find deep understanding and nuance on Twitter. That's not the place for it. Twitter is grab bag of anything and everything. But, if you're after specific, deeply technical knowledge about a certain subject? The internet has your back too. Want to know about (or even make your own) mechanical watches? Go to WatchOtaku. Have an interest in rocket engines and spaceships? Atomic Rockets. Interested in jazz? AllAboutJazz. And so on.

      I'd wager that for any subject you may think of, there is a dedicated, deeply knowledgeable and highly engaging community dedicated to it somewhere on the Internet. If you don't know about it, you just haven't looked hard enough.