Structuring Your Info Diet

Since coming to college, I feel like I have been browsing the net a lot more. It's been nice these past few weeks because, for a variety of reasons, I actually see myself typing up stuff more, and reading more. I'm happy that I've got this opportunity because I'm able to get more of my thoughts on paper.

I was at the library earlier today, and I remembered how I used to go into the library and just read random books. Now I just read random stuff on Hacker News.

I'm trying to point to a paradigm here which says something like, "As a human, you're going to be consuming information. That's just how the world (plus your conditioning and the current incentives afforded by your local social structure) works. Therefore, one of the highest leverage things you can do is to place filters on what information you consume."

There's also the related thing where going on to sites like Reddit also give you some amount of dopamine. And though I've taken some preventative steps, I feel like the overall Good Thing to do would be to just go to my "To-Read" list more often.

Something about how, when I want a hit of novelty, my brain first says, "Let's check out what's new" instead of saying, "Let's check out what's on my list of stuff I wish I was reading".

I definitely think this is doable…I just haven't done it.

(On a meta-note, I realize Muse has gotten a lot less legible compared to mindlevelup back when it was on Wordpress. Part of this is because I think my thoughts have gotten less legible. But also I'm not putting a lot of effort into being clear to others. I think this is fine if I'm just trying to get ideas out on paper, but there's something about all this that feels unclean and inelegant. Maybe pushing for more explicitness would also help make my thinking more clear. Something something brain fog.)

So, yeah, anyway, the point here is to be mindful about what you're taking in.

Not too earth-shattering, except that I'm not acting on it, which is why I'm bringing it up.

There's also the question of exploring vs exploiting. I think I'm still early on in my life where I can benefit a lot from new ideas. This then brings up the question of what sort of randomness procedure I should be using.

Is the front page of Hacker News something that will bring up random things which are useful? Or the front page of Reddit? Or a random link from your collection of your links? (Maybe this would be a good Firefox extension…) Anyway, it seems like there's still a question here of what process you're using to generate the randomness, and what the actual distribution looks like.

Last Updated: 2020-02-18 17:44
First Published: 2020-02-18 17:44