Tying up ideas in knots

There are so many “recommendations” around treating your “reading-pile”. I usually don’t leave anything for “future”. While I love reading books, I have found a working solution for annotations (and recall), I still prefer the current way of reading individual long-forms and blogging about it.

Treat your to-read pile like a river | Oliver Burkeman

And so, for example, the reading recommendations I encounter via Twitter are much more tailored to my concerns than those I might encounter via a newspaper, because I choose who I follow on Twitter; it’s like having a thousand assistants scouring the infoverse for whatever might pique my interest. My challenge, information-wise, isn’t about finding a needle in a haystack. It’s that I’m confronted on a daily basis, in Carr’s words, by “haystack-sized piles of needles.”

The allegories in the write up linked here appear impressive, but have no clear take-aways. What’s the needle? What’s the haystack? What’s the “filter failure and filter success”?

Confusion prevails because we still don’t understand the digital medium. It would take significant effort to understand the nuances around achieving “inbox-zero” through a combination of filters, keywords, and being proactive around managing emails. If you start the day by opening up Gmail, it’s the worst thing anyone can do. Gmail is only a vessel for spam. Free email is a misnomer, because it refuses to give you any degree of control.

As such, you’d only tie up your ideas in knots. Address the basics, the distractions, and figure out the solutions for your unique time-management. Discipline is the keyword, and no internet course can address that.

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