The Comment is a weekly digest of the stuff that grabbed my attention or occupied some part my mind during the past week. Normally, it’ll be one thing that’s really been on my mind, followed by a handful of things that I found interesting. The Comment will be published each Monday at 10:30AM EST. The Comment #0 is a trial run so I can see what works and what doesn’t.
Thanks for reading.
## Going Twitter (app) – less
I’ve wasted a lot of time on Twitter reading news. Some of the feelings experienced included rage at the news, bewilderment at the hot takes, and ultimately apathy. This has been a pretty vicious cycle that’s rather exhausting. So I’m clear, there are very serious problems in our world today, a lot of them appear on Twitter. There are a lot of issues with abuse on Twitter. Those problems need solutions, a few of which can be found by having open discussions on Twitter. I’ve been listening to few podcasts and a common theme has emerged, social media and specifically Twitter, and to a lesser extent Facebook, tends to be detrimental to one’s mood. So I decided to just fallback for a bit and just focus on other aspects of the life.
“By changing your surroundings, you can place a hurdle in the way of bad behaviors and remove the barriers to good ones. I like to refer to this strategy as environment design.”
-James Clear, “Environment Design”
In order to really fallback, I needed to setup my environment (my phone) to put a hurdle in the way of bad behaviors, ie. wasting time on Twitter. I still hop on Twitter from time to time, using the mobile website, but it’s just bad enough where I don’t really want to spend a lot of time on it. I still read some news on Twitter, but not being able to access Twitter as easily forces me to think more logically about, really form a perspective on it, and gives me a chance to get all of the facts before reacting. Essentially, I let my thoughts breath a bit before attempting to form a response. Consequently, this has led to me desiring to do more writing. I don’t want to come off as uneducated or ignorant in my writing, so I’ve also been doing a lot more reading.
With that said, Twitter is still a great place for news. I use Nuzzel to aggregate the news that the people I follow share on Twitter. This is a great app for people who really don’t want to dive into Twitter’s realtime stream, but still want to be aware of relevant events and news.
// Entropy & Life
“Here’s the crucial thing about entropy: it always increases over time. It is the natural tendency of things to lose order. Left to its own devices, life will always become less structured. Sand castles get washed away. Weeds overtake gardens. Ancient ruins crumble. Cars begin to rust. People gradually age. With enough time, even mountains erode and their precise edges become rounded. The inevitable trend is that things become less organized.”
This piece from James Clear, on the surface seems very obvious, but I think he buttons it up nicely in the conclusion.
“It is nobody’s fault that life has problems. It is simply a law of probability. There are many disordered states and few ordered ones. Given the odds against us, what is remarkable is not that life has problems, but that we can solve them at all.”
When you think of the obstacles that can prevent you from being your ideal self, the ability to find a way around them is pretty miraculous. Given how chaotic life is, I find it amazing that I am where I am. There were a few decisions that I made that could have led me down a very different path. There are things, systems, made decisions, I didn’t even think about or have knowledge of, that were constructed in a way to that led me to where I am. Yes, things could be much better, but things could definitely be a lot worse. It’s this mindset that keeps pushing me forward, despite of all the things that introduce chaos into my journey.
// Ta-Nehisi Coates needs a title
Ta-Nehisi Coates has a new book out entitled, “We Were in Power for Eight Years”. He sat down with Ezra Klein from Vox where he discusses his career, how he views journalism in Obama vs. Trump eras, and the scenarios in which we overcome the racial wealth gap. I’ve read two of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ pieces, My President is Black and The First White President. I am absolutely a fan of his writing and I look forward to reading some of his earlier work.
// The Teachable Machine by Google
This is a neat website that perfectly demonstrates machine learning. Essentially, you teach the machine to recognize three things, faces, actions, or movements and you assign each of those things to an output. The output is either a funny cat gif, sound, or speech. After you train it, re-enacting your thing or action will evoke that output. It’s no flying car, but it’s pretty cool to play with.
// Gucci Mane “feels like he can’t fail”
His story is interesting because it’s a story of transformation and redemption. He goes to jail in 2014 on a felony gun charge, overweight, and on drugs and leaves in 2016 with a new attitude, in shape, sober, and with a new perspective. He has a new book out, “The Autobiography of Gucci Mane”, so Gucci has been making his rounds in the media. Checkout this 6 part interview with Malcolm Gladwell on YouTube.
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