#4 What to Read, or should you Listen instead

The Invaluable Amazon's free sample, The Audio Revolution & How do you share?

Hey, Hunter-Gatherer!

With everything going on, I hope you're safe and happy. Thank you for all the responses on "Should you Read News?" It felt timely to share our final stand on the state of News. (Link)

In the last letter, I asked if you ever met someone online and went on to become friends in the physical world. As people recounted their stories to me, I noticed something interesting: Almost all friendships were initiated over a piece of content shared online.

Direct sharing of content may not earn you the likes, but it strikes up interesting conversations. Also, the content that you recommend is obviously often really good. If I have to find the best content I’ve ever come across, I can search all the links on my WhatsApp.

Here I share some of the most interesting content I’ve ever come across. And I am always eager to continue the conversation and exchange more thoughts. Let's keep this interactive.

🛠Try this

You can definitively decide whether to buy a book or not simply after reading the first chapter from Amazon's free sample. An article or book will tell you if it’s good within its first few pages/chapters.

In the previous letter, I introduced you to a former journalist & the editor of The Browser, Robert Cottrell. The Browser is a newsletter where he sends you content that can utterly surprise or delight you. He browses 1,000 pieces daily and has read over 3,000,000 pieces over the last 10 years of curating content for the Browser. From his vast experience, he points out:

If a piece doesn't start well, the chances are vanishingly small it will end well.

And hence he finds Amazon's Free Sample almost too good to be true. Now you can simply read the first chapter of any book and definitively decide whether you want to continue or not. That’s where the core idea is laid out.

Be ruthlessly decisive in your consumption. Information isn't scarce anymore, your attention is.

I often read a random chapter of a (non-fiction) book and move on. We all experience a certain guilt or anxiety to leave a piece of content in-between. But this is the very feeling I encourage you to get over. The statement that "you've to sit through till the end to get it" is an inefficient use of your time over the long-term. In the age of Internet, if there was something good in the end of a book, chances are someone has already written a blog that starts with it.

Tweet: My "Intellectual Ethic for Recommendation"

These are insights from the podcast, Robert Cottrell: Secrets of Reading with David Perell.

Cottrell is one of the most prolific curators I have ever come across. He's the perfect archetype for the Hunter-Gatherer we aspire. In the 4 letters so far, we've now discussed discovery, choosing, & saving content. I'm slowly nudging you to imbibe the Mindset of a Curator:

Image: Mindset of a Curator by Tiago Forte

The "Mindset of a Curator" is the intellectual ethic of Hunter-Gatherer.

  • Public → Private

  • Novel → Timeless

  • Sensational → Subtle

  • Consuming → Digesting

I will pause here, and wait for your thoughts on this.

💡 Think about this

The kind of urgency that really changes minds isn’t a feeling we learn with our eyes. We learn by hearing it: in intonation, in phrasing, in private, in our car radios and headphones.

- Alex Danco

Different mediums create different understanding on the multi-sensory stage of our attention. A medium creates messages.

The father of media theory, Marshall McLuhan, echoed a timeless insight: "The Medium is the Message." He said, "Society has always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of communication."

Danco explains: We live in a world of information, and we often think of information in terms of sensory input coming at us. But that’s not really information. Information isn’t what we’re told; it’s what we understand.

We focus more on the message, whereas we should be equally focusing on the medium itself. We focused on the Internet itself, and this newsletter was born.

Alex Danco focuses on the recent explosion in audio consumption.

He begins:

If I told you about a piece of consumer electronics technology that:

  • A billion+ people own and use every day

  • Has changed those people and their world in some pretty radical and consequential ways

  • Gets more important every year, but not much attention – and the little attention we give it is mostly a sideshow that misses the real story in plain sight:

I’d be talking about these.

Image of Earphones, Headphones, etc.

Read Full Blog: The Audio Revolution by Alex Danco.

Respond to this

Where do you think you most often share/send (any type of) content?

You may reply to this E-Mail, or via WhatsApp. I'll compile the responses and share the key insights in the next email.


PS. Everywhere on the Internet as abhishek1point0.
PPS. For any thoughts, questions, or suggestions, you may directly to this E-Mail.

Check out Previous Letters.

Previous Letter: Should you Read News?

An Encore...

Spoiler Alert: Your attention deficiency is not a vice, it's a virtue.

If you're someone who is struggling to develop a reading habit or stuck on that one book for months, I want to assure you that it's not your fault. These are 3 pieces that changed my perception of reading and helped me develop a habit for it.

(Based on Insights from Naval Ravikant)

by Farnamstreet

  • Tiago Forte: "ADHD becomes the ability to switch rapidly between things, and to become deeply absorbed in something if it truly interests you (a common, but a much less well-known symptom)" (Full Twitter Thread: Vices becoming Virtues)

Or, you can simply talk this out with me! 😃