We’ll be there today!
We’ll be there today!
We’ll be there! Our zines can be purchased by clicking here.
I’ve come across some writing on Substack that is really well-done, much better than the low bar set by mainstream publishers. I surely would have used Substack or something similar back when I was blogging more frequently.
It’s amazing how much the blogging world has changed over the past ten years. While blogs used to hold the majority of the conversations, now they do not. I often see the websites of best-selling authors that have zero comments on their blogs.
Of course, all the conversations have moved to social media. My issue is that these companies are disproportionally benefiting from this arrangement. The participants are the ones creating the conversations and potentially creating value. The companies profit from this while the participants make nothing.
Twitter is nothing more than a website - a large server. The main reason they’re successful is they have created a critical mass and achieved a network effort. I’m sure someone could build a clone of Twitter in a short period of time. For such an unremarkable product, the economic gains seem outsized.
I hope that online conversations will eventually shift back to decentralized platforms.
I’m reading an interesting book, “Stop Reading The News” by Rolf Dobelli.
The book makes a number of persuasive arguments why people should stop reading the news on a regular basis.
The book also challenges readers to go 30 days without news to break the habit. I’m game for the challenge.
I’m already 4 days in, and so far it does seem to be a beneficial change.
Really neat way of creating community during covid: link.
Good habits can improve long-term health. However, it can be challenging to stick to new habits in the short-term. Plenty of New Year’s resolutions fizzle out by February.
Fortunately, a good amount of research has been done on habit formation. It appears to take around 10 weeks (on average) for a new, healthy habit to become automatic. There is some variation due to how complex the habit is and when it is performed.
A simple template has been developed to help establish new habits:
An interesting study looked at the the frequency of checking email and stress levels.
The control group checked their email at their normal rate, which was about 12 times per day. The experimental group was instructed to check their email only 3 times per day.
The group with limited email checks displayed significantly lower daily stress levels and improved well-being.
There are two other items of interest with this study. First, the experimental group actually checked their email 4.7 times per day on average, exceeding the target of 3 times per day.
Second, even though limiting email reduced stress, participants still found this difficult to do:
“Most participants in our study found it quite difficult to check their email only a few times a day,” says Kushlev. “This is what makes our obvious-in-hindsight findings so striking: People find it difficult to resist the temptation of checking email, and yet resisting this temptation reduces their stress.”
Digital discipline is an important skill than can improve overall health.
Clarence Bass had a great post this month on why New Year’s resolutions usually fail.
He discusses how people often rely on willpower to stop bad habits. The results are typically poor.
Instead, Bass recommends to forget about bad habits and focus on positive actions instead:
“Better yet, focus on positive action. Forget what not to do. Focus on what you can do.
Don’t waste precious willpower worrying about your bad habits. Focus on realistic positive steps on the way to achieving your goals.”
The same idea holds true for those wanting to reduce screen time. Instead of focusing on restricting screen time, focus on replacing it with healthier offline activities.
Hobbies such as music and art have a long track record of improving well-being.