Medley 223: Effortless Output, History, Polarization, Knowledge, Society, Remote Work, Mops, Earning...

This is the Monday Medley, a newsletter that goes out, you guessed it, every Monday. I republish it here for sharing and referencing, but if you'd like to sign up you can do so right here:

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Happy Monday!

Today's the day: Effortless Output with Roam V2 is officially open for enrollment!

You can go here to learn more about it.

I'm extremely excited about V2 because I've partnered with the amazing Tiago Forte and his Forte Academy to bring you a powerful new course not only on the mechanics of using Roam, how to use it to create your best work. Like how I use it to bring you this newsletter every week!

The course centers around working on a creative project together, so that by the end you've learned a ton about an area that's interesting to you and used that knowledge to create something new in the world.

There's a self-paced version if you want to go at it alone. But there's now also a live version where we get together every week to work on a unit of the course and complete our capstone project together.

I'm so so excited to be launching this, and can't wait to kick off the live sessions.

You can go here to sign up, and feel free to email me with any questions you have!

Alright, on to the Medley.

The World of Knowledge

🥊 I loved this piece by Ezra Klein on "why the media is so polarized and how it polarizes us." It's a very clear overview of the conflicting incentives in media today as its developed in response to the Internet, and some thoughts on what does and doesn't work for reducing those issues. One of the interesting points is how exposure to more varied opinions can actually make polarization worse:

"The result of the month-long exposure to popular, authoritative voices from the other side of the aisle was that respondents became more, not less, polarized. “We find that Republicans who followed a liberal Twitter bot became substantially more conservative posttreatment,” write the authors. “Democrats exhibited slight increases in liberal attitudes after following a conservative Twitter bot, although these effects are not statistically significant.”"

And how the limited airtime and decisions around what will drive the most clicks ends up deciding what becomes news in the first place:

"The fundamental thing the media does all day, every day, is decide what to cover — decide, that is, what is newsworthy... Here’s the dilemma: to decide what to cover is to become the shaper of the news rather than a mirror held up to the news."

🧠 And here's a good older read on the "use of knowledge in society" by Friedrich Hayek. The core point is how better economic decisions can be made by people on the ground, rather than by a central authority:

"If we can agree that the economic problem of society is mainly one of rapid adaptation to changes in the particular circumstances of time and place, it would seem to follow that the ultimate decisions must be left to the people who are familiar with these circumstances, who know directly of the relevant changes and of the resources immediately available to meet them. We cannot expect that this problem will be solved by first communicating all this knowledge to a central board which, after integrating all knowledge, issues its orders."

I also discovered a great new web highlighting tool, Hypothes.is that I'm playing around with an rather like. Bonus points since it integrates with Readwise!

The World of Work

👨‍💻 This is an insightful thread on what remote work might lead to throughout the 2020s. A couple of my favorite hypotheses:

"Work from anywhere RVs will become huge business. Associated business parks and services will spring up. This will happen even more rapidly as self driving tech emerges."

"Hobbie Renaissance: commuting and city living leave no freedom to do the things we are most passionate about. Working remotely allows us to surf or ski before work, travel more frequently, develop new passions."

"Quality of Life: disposable income will increase. It no longer makes sense to live in a high-cost of living city with a reliatively low quality of life. People will live close enough to cities to go into them 1-3 times a month. Rapid mass transit becomes very important."

🌬 As the world is changing towards more remote work, I wonder if there will be some new tailwinds to replace to quickly vanishing ones from the early 2000s tech boom:

"people can’t spend more than 100% of their time or money on the Internet. As we approach full online penetration, new companies will need to steal revenue and users from Internet incumbents to grow."

Perhaps there will be pre-COVID time-sucks that new companies can steal time from. Commuting and meetings both come to mind.

And if you want to build an online community, this is a really interesting read on "Geeks, Mops, and Sociopaths," and how you can grow while retaining some of the magic. I think Roam has done a really good job of this.

The World of Careers

🤔 This is a great speech by Jeff Bezos, transcribed by James Clear, on "What matters more than your talents." It highlights the importance of thinking a lot about your choices and making good ones:

"Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices."

"When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story"

👩‍🏫 And this is an important decision to make throughout your career: Is it time to Earn? Or to Learn? One common piece of advice I've heard and rather like is "Learn in your 20s, Earn in your 30s." That's part of why I like increasing the difficulty and optimizing for learning vs. trying to save as much money as possible right now.

The World of History

🎖 I've been listening through Dan Carlin's Hardcore History series on World War One, and this passage in particular stuck out to me. Leading up to the war, it was popular to believe there really couldn't be large scale conflicts anymore because the world was too interconnected. I hear that argument be used a lot today, and I wonder if we're just committing the same fallacy.

End Note

As always, if you're enjoying the Medley, I'd love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

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And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.

Have a great week,
Nat

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