A bimonthly bookish newsletter for lifelong learners and wanderers alike. Full of timely, wise, and deliberately short assortments ranging from book recommendations and summaries, articles, introduction to thinkers, thinking concepts, and more. All shaped specifically for our morally confused and widely distracted age.
Hello online friends,
Two weeks ago, I sent the first edition of my rebranded newsletter - The Study, replacing Unstuck. The feedback was more than generous. Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad that you're enjoying the new format.
Now, let me share what I've prepared for you this week...
I'll be honest, I never liked self-promotion. And I still don't. Nonetheless, I believe the article I published a week ago - this one - is the most valuable read I've published in a while. I cover why modern media degenerates our lives, why we can no longer focus for more than 5 seconds on a single task, why we don't want to disengage from social media and similar platforms, and what you can do about it all.
Keep in mind that it's a long piece - more than 4000 words. I thought about writing this for more than 3 months. But I deliberately avoided starting until the idea fully materialized in my head. If you happen to like the article, it would be nice if you could share the important message I am trying to convey to others.
Here's the rest of the newsletter:
(If for some reason your email client decides to clip the email, click here to see the full content).
[NEW] No Filter by Sarah Frier: As the title suggests, No Filter is an attempt, extremely engaging I must say, to tell the story of Instagram with no filter applied. Technology reporter Sarah Frier, is taking us behind the scenes of now the most-used app that allows you to polish your virtual identity hoping that your real identity will benefit from this too.
The Path to Purpose by William Damon: According to the text, over 45% of undergraduates display serious signs of depression. The reason? Lack of purpose and direction. Thankfully, we have The Path to Purpose by William Damon. This short book aims to give parents the tools and the vocabulary to help their kids find meaning in life.
Support my work: My newsletter is sponsored by my dearest members. If you want to support my work and to get access to the full summaries, you can consider becoming a member yourself. This way, you'll gain access to everything on my site and give me the strength to continue doing what I do best - convert long books into short practical lessons.
Interesting books I recently added to my reading list (and hopefully will read at some point):
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan: A lot of people complain that the text is vague and hard to understand. Yet, the same people report that the book is full of profound thoughts. I guess you need to read the book to see what's the actual case.
The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen: The general concept of the book is tightly related to the conspicuous consumption idea. Or in other words, we spend money on useless goods and services in order to enhance our social standing.
The general idea is that a lot of times, the non-obvious or seemingly irrational solutions to problems are better adopted by the population.
Sounds strange, I know. But the argument is backed with the following statement: "Logical ideas often fail because logic demands universally applicable laws but humans, unlike atoms, are not consistent enough in their behaviour for such laws to hold very broadly."
Interesting words from books and around the web.
Escapism (noun): The tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.
Wu-Wei (noun): Wu-Wei is a concept literally meaning non-doing or "doing nothing." It's not, though, an invitation to relax or fall into laziness. It's a word that portrays free-flowing spontaneity, "effortless action" or "actionless action." It means being at peace while engaged in the most frenetic tasks.
Insipid (adjective): Without taste, tasteless (of people, activities, or entertainment). Uninteresting and vapid. Lacking a strong taste or character, or lacking in interest or energy.
Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, and philologist whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history. He is famous for uncompromising criticisms of traditional European morality and religion, as well as of conventional philosophical ideas and social and political pieties associated with modernity. After his death, his sister Elisabeth became the curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts.
Übermensch: An overman is the one who is willing to risk all for the sake of enhancement of humanity. An overman is someone who can establish his own values as the world in which others live their lives, often unaware that they are not pregiven.
Will to power: The will to power, according to Nietzsche, is the main driving force in humans. It is neither good nor bad. It is a basic drive found in everyone, but one that expresses itself in many different ways depending on what you find valuable.
"God is dead": A widely quoted statement by Nietzsche. He argues that we killed God because people focused their thinking on science, instead of pure faith. And while he was an atheist, he argued that by "killing God" we promoted an empty, nihilistic outlook on the world.
The Gay Science
Beyond Good and Evil
From my desk:
Why Consuming Short-Form Content is Sabotaging Our Long-Term Goals?: Reportedly, our attention span is getting shorter and shorter. But instead of the content that is being produced to help us increase our concentration, most platforms and publications do the opposite, they tailor their content to our inability to concentrate for more than 10 seconds. And instead of adjusting our media to the content, we adjust our content to the media.
From around the web:
10 Facts about Van Gogh: "Did you know that Van Gogh's painting career lasted only ten years? In that brief period of time his search for colour, light and the depiction of his personal interpretation of nature played central role."
The Trouble with Optionality: "This emphasis on creating optionality can backfire in surprising ways. Instead of enabling young people to take on risks and make choices, acquiring options becomes habitual. You can never create enough option value—and the longer you spend acquiring options, the harder it is to stop."
Survivorship bias is when we derive our conclusions based only on what "survived." For example, you start believing that your online business will succeed because you see so many successful entrepreneurs. However, we rarely think about the fact that the media only displays successful founders and never talks about those who have failed. And usually, in every industry and situation, the failed attempts greatly outnumber the successful ones. The presentation of success we see online is rarely the full story. Dig deep and see what didn't survive to make an appropriate conclusion.
Worth thinking about:
"You can't always wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
- Jack London
If you're into social media and books - I guess you are somehow interested in the latter since you're a subscriber - you can check my Instagram profile. Recently I started posting short snippets of the books I read there.
Why contribute to the expansion of the vain social media channels after writing a bunch of articles against these networks?
I'll share my reasoning in the upcoming newsletter.