Actively managing the relationship between signal and noise in a person’s life has become a popular idea in certain corners of the internet. I have to credit Shane Parrish of Farnam Street (one of the best blogs/newsletters around) for exposing me to this wonderful way of thinking about how I arrange my life.
It’s in reference to something known as SNR or signal-to-noise ratio. …
I’d been on a roll recently. Last month, the words seemed to flow forth from brain to fingertips, spilling onto the keyboard with a graceful ease that is quite unfamiliar to me.
Between my non-fiction work here and the novel I’m writing (yeah, yeah always working on it), I was averaging close to 2,000 words a day which for me, is pretty much the ultimate goal. If I can hit 2,000 words on a regular basis, I’m thrilled. I don’t even care how good it is. Honest to god.
But then something happened.
I woke up today and tried to…
Stephen King said it best when he said, “if you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” There have been many moments that have changed my life as a writer, but perhaps none more so than the moment I realized if I wanted to do any serious writing, I needed to dedicate myself to doing some serious reading.
Writing is the most important activity in the life of a writer, obviously. But reading holds near-equal importance. It’s right up there on the podium in a close second place — photo-finish close…
There is evidence that non-human animals experience grief, mourn their dead, or behave differently when the end of their life is imminent. Certainly, there is a case to be made that other animals are at least aware of death. To what degree is unclear.
But as far as we know, we are the only beings on this planet that are so acutely and painfully conscious of our own demise for such a large portion of our living days.
It is both a blessing and curse to move through this world with the full, inescapable knowledge that every last one of…
Yes, it’s true. It is now trite to say that we are living in Orwellian times. To make the remark that something is straight out of 1984 has become quite the banal observation. But of course, things don’t often become banal or trite or enter into the realm of cliche without possessing a healthy and powerful dose of truth. Real-world examples of memory holes, newspeak, doublethink, thoughtcrime, and untruth abound. One is often left wondering how to withstand the daily barrage of bombshells, scandals, and tragedies without succumbing to the inevitable emotional fatigue. …
Richard Dawkins once wrote, “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia.”
It’s a mesmerizing passage. Eloquent and true. But how many of us actually feel that we are lucky to die? …
Last month, Atomic Habits by James Clear, surpassed 3 million copies sold worldwide. When I saw the announcement pop up on my Instagram feed, it reminded me of something: I had purchased one of those 3 million copies about a year and a half ago and never read it. It was sitting on my Kindle, collecting digital dust. Well, better late than never I figured and dove in.
It probably took me less than a week to read, which for me qualifies as quite fast. When I’m able to get through a book that quickly, it’s usually a solid indication…
The instant I read the following passage I became a happier person:
“There’s a friend of mine, a Persian guy named Behzad. He just loves life, and he has no time for anybody who is not happy.
If you ask Behzad what’s his secret? He’ll just look up and say, “Stop asking why and start saying wow.” (The Almanack of Naval Ravikant)
Simple, elegant, and brilliant.
Stop asking why and start saying wow.
The corners of my mouth crept up into a smile. It was working already.
Because it was true.
Life is filled with ‘wow’ moments. The only…
When Will Smith was 12, he and his younger brother were tasked with rebuilding a wall outside their father’s storefront. The brothers promptly told their dad that such a feat was impossible but the slim odds weren’t enough to get them off the hook.
So, they started by digging a foundation nearly six feet deep. They mixed concrete by hand and every day after school, they went to work rebuilding the wall.
It took them a long time.
At one point, Will recalled looking at where the wall used to be and thinking, “there’s going to be a hole here…
Twitter users sure are witty, aren’t they?
A lot of times though…they’re just copying and pasting one of a handful of witticisms they’ve picked up while using the platform (many that have been repeated ad nauseum already), [inserting current event or morally outrageous occurrence here when appropriate], and not doing any real creative or intellectual legwork of their own.
All the while, they manage to rack up piles of those coveted fake internet points that seem to be the unit of account for some of the dumbest and most pointless status games ever played by human beings.
technical writer by day | indie author & blogger by night