Life Strategy #1: Why I Am Only Reading Long Articles and Books

Life Strategy #1

I optimize for time, attention and deep thought (see How I Optimize). This is part of what I will say YES to and will guide me in what I will say NO to on requests for my time.

Starting in March 2018, I have disconnected from reading news as a daily habbit. I will read news (nytimes, Twitter) only once a week. If it is important someone will be talking about it, it will be in my weekly newspaper.

I am substituting that hour a day of reading news for

  • Listening to podcasts
  • Reading books like ‘Tell Me More’
  • Planning my long term passion projects like Impactful Engineer
  • Learning about how to teach my teenage daughter on how to think through decisions instead of what to do or what to do.

Maxwell Anderson writes about this on Medium:

https://medium.com/the-weekend-reader/why-you-should-only-read-long-articles-and-books-and-why-you-don-t-8ef75d62074c

There can be no real thinking in News reports because explaining takes time (i.e., space). So News is made up of statements rather than arguments, which has a serious effect on our minds. When News constitutes almost all of our reading, we fall into the habit of thinking that opinions are the same as thoughts. The News alludes to a debate but only shows us a clash of opinions. As a result, we forget how to carry on a debate, and fall back on polls.

Tony Tam

Senior Principal Architect @ Splunk Founder of ImpactfulEngineer.org & SFBadminton.org