Newsletter link below. Thinking in public and learning out loud.
473 words @jmestn

Mass curation is not curation

Ultra-super-mega round-up blog posts, the ones that list "the best 250 resources for X", are near useless.

Mass curation is not valuable curation.

The quality of recommendations are dependent on two things:

  1. The person making the recommendation must be able to separate good from bad, and ideally, great from good.
  2. Accompanying context is provided to explain what separates the recommendation from its alternatives.

Heuristic: Ask an expert in any field for a recommendation and they will give you a handful of options to choose from. A handful. Sometimes it's a big handful, but it will never be as much as 25/50/100+ options.

Mass curation is not curation. 

Place better bets

You're gambling whether you know it or not.

When you send an edgy text message.

When you board a plane.

When you apply for a new job.

When you start reading a new book.

When you make a purchase.

Before your body makes a move, your mind has already subconsciously placed a bet on your next action returning a reward greater than the cost it takes to make it.

No decision is exempt from gambling as no action comes without a cost. There is no such thing as "free". There is always a cost of choosing one path over another.

Want to place better bets?

Make asymmetrical bets, where the potential upside is much greater than the potential downside. When in doubt, limit your downside such that being wrong stings but doesn't cripple you in any way.

Creating content on the internet is an asymmetrical bet. Content is cheap to produce, yet it can lead to big payoffs: new jobs, new friends, and/or refined thinking.

If you lose your bet on creating content, you lose the hours you invested. If you lose your bet running a red light, you lose your life.

Improve your life by becoming a better gambler.

Do you believe in magic?

I catch myself believing in magic sometimes.

There are many ways to get things done. On one end of the spectrum there are unsexy fundamentals. Do enough unsexy fundamentals and you will get results. Everybody knows this.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is magic. Magic supposedly works, according to the witches and wizards who have supposedly used it, but it is unreliable and rarely re-created.

The 80/20 solution is found somewhere between unsexy fundamentals and magic, but it's easy to wander off and get lost while looking for it.

Guarantee results by practicing unsexy fundamentals.

Look for 80/20 solutions where they exist, but don't wander too far.

Stay away from magic.

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This is the first post of my active notebook. Here you'll find my unpolished thoughts not yet ready to be molded into a blog post.

This site will follow the basic format of a digital garden, a concept I first discovered through Anne-Laure Le Cunff.

I will try to make it a little less ugly soon.