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Tomorrow Smiles - 7 Takeaways No. 146
Reading, Disney, Boredom, Sensationalism, Voice Recognition, People, Tomorrow
1. “Reading is not a luxury.”
These 38 Reading Rules Changed My Life – Ryan Holiday – (Medium)
I’ve been falling behind in my book reading of late, so stumbling across this was timely. There really isn’t a substitute for reading, reading books, and reading good books. There’s no shortage.
When we read, we aren’t learning to impress people, to win some game of mental gymnastics. It’s to get better, to find things you can use in your real life.
While the items might sound like they’re mostly about non-fiction, I often find many important and timely lessons in the fiction I read as well.
Do this: Read. More.
2. “What If Disney Ran A Hospital?”
s16e02: Consensual Hallucination; Hospitals; Warm, Statistically Plausible Generic Platitudes – Dan Hon – (Things That Caught My Attention newsletter)
What caught his attention, documented in section 1.3 of this newsletter edition, is some of the technology involved in a recent emergency room visit. If you’ve ever been to emergency or urgent care, you’ll know you’ll get a custom (and hard to remove) wristband with bar codes and other information about you. Then, when you bounce from one interaction to another, all they need do is scan your wristband to ensure they’re working on who they think they are.
Hon likens it to the wristband used at Disney theme parks. That led him to examine things like user experience, queuing theory, and other aspects of the visit that Disney is exceptionally good at. Couldn’t some of that research be applied in the hospital setting? Better informed (and less frustrated) patients waiting (and waiting and waiting) seem like a good thing, yes?
Do this: Avoid needing the ER, but if you go, distract yourself by viewing it as a theme park. Think about what technology you wish they used to improve your visit.
3. “We need to stop fearing boredom”
Eight Ways to Banish Misery – Arthur C. Brooks – (The Atlantic)
Brooks analyses some of the happiness-related philosophy of Bertrand Russell. The item on boredom caught my eye, because it’s something I see so often: so many people are desperately afraid of being bored. They’re unable to just “be”, and do nothing.
Be comfortable with what is going on around us, whether it’s exciting or not
I’m reminded of my parents, who both read quite a bit, but also took time to just sit and think.
Do this: Be.
4. “The Darwinian bloodbath that is the internet”
The Double Bind Theory—Or Why Sensationalism (Unfortunately) Works – Evan Armstrong – (Napkin Math via every.to)
An analysis of why digital media seems nothing more than sensational clickbait headlines and content.
Extremely edgy is easier to consistently achieve than extremely high quality. We are in an all-out war for eyeballs, in every category of personal life and business. Truly great material can stand out from the sea of things beckoning for our attention. But edgy is easier to achieve than excellence.
It’s easier to write a clickbait headline than it is to write quality content. The system rewards the former.
Do this: Reward quality.
5. “What about writing with your voice?”
Is it possible to “write” using speech-to-text software? – Johnson – (The Economist)
Speech recognition has finally come of age. Various services offer to record meetings in real time, or have you upload a recording to be transcribed. Depending on the quality of the speaker, audio, and transcription software, the results can be pretty impressive.
However, there’s a catch when attempting to use it as a replacement for writing.
Speaking into writing relies on a much better human brain than the one we currently possess. Writing is hard. There’s a reason it can’t be done at the speed of speech, in real time.
I can confirm. Years ago I struggled with voice to text as I dealt with a bout of carpal tunnel. And yet, today, it’s my primary means of “typing” on my mobile device … with occasionally interesting results.
Do this: Look into voice recognition. It’s in most modern operating systems. It’s a great alternative to the teeny-tiny keyboard on your smartphone.
6. “You are not for everyone and not everyone is for you”
He Said It. It’s Worth Attending, Then Doing Something About It – Julia Hubbel – (Walkabout Saga)
The essay is essentially a long quote from Anthony Hopkins on making some of the hardest choices we can make in life.
… the most important thing you can do for yourself and for everyone around you is to protect your energy more fiercely than anything else. Make your life a safe haven, in which only ′compatible’ people are allowed.
This is hard, since we’re so often taught that we need to please everyone and be liked by everyone. Letting go of that preconception is both uncomfortable and freeing.
Do this: This is an essay worth reading.
7. “Tomorrow smiles and makes lofty promises”
Tomorrow Is Not Your Friend – Stephen Guise – (MiniHabits blog)
This may be more practical for some than the Buddhist “there is only the present moment” philosophy. It’s an exploration of the reality that tomorrow never truly comes. Even so, we build habits based on pushing things off to the next day.
We aren’t opposed to doing the right things, but we’ve simply trained ourselves to put them off indefinitely because tomorrow is sexy.
Do this: Do today what you can do today.
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More random links & thoughts
Nature TTL POTY 2023: Winners Gallery – “POTY” = “Photos of the Year” – Some amazing photos.
The Mobile Revolution vs. The AI Revolution – Interesting comparison of the AI revolution to past revolutions (industrial, steam, etc…)
Walkabout Saga is a blog by writer Julia Hubbel. She writes often on aging, and adventure travel while aging, and staying healthy while aging. Her essays are always thought provoking. This week’s “You are not for everyone and not everyone is for you” came from here.
Full (and growing) list on the sources page.
What I’m Reading
Ancillary Justice – Ann Leckie
Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It – Ethan Kross (audio)
It Can’t Happen Here – Sinclair Lewis
The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations for Clarity, Effectiveness, and Serenity – Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman