What We’re Reading

A few good pieces we came across this week …

Struggle porn

This is great:

I call this “struggle porn”: a masochistic obsession with pushing yourself harder, listening to people tell you to work harder, and broadcasting how hard you’re working.

Struggle porn has normalized sustained failure. It’s made it acceptable to fly to Bali and burn through your life savings trying to launch an Amazon dropshipping business. Made it reasonable to keep living on your parents money for years after graduation while you try to become #instafamous. Made LinkedIn into a depressingly hilarious circlejerk for people who look way too excited to be having their headshot taken.

Working hard is great, but struggle porn has a dangerous side effect: not quitting. When you believe the normal state of affairs is to feel like you’re struggling to make progress, you’ll be less likely to quit something that isn’t going anywhere.

Follow through

Embarrassing:

The average reader made it 2.4% through “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty.

“A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking: 6.6%

“Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman: 6.8%

Addiction

Everyone intuitively already knew this:

A new study conducted by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania has shown — for the first time — a causal link between time spent on social media and depression and loneliness, the researchers said.

It concluded that those who drastically cut back their use of sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat often saw a marked improvement in their mood and in how they felt about their lives.

Cost of living

Gulp:

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 2.46.41 PM.png

Momentum

Helps to know the right people:

For artists, professional success seems often to depend on an early endorsement by the right set of galleries … [researchers] were able to create an early-success score for each artist by averaging the prestige ratings of the museums or galleries which showed that artist’s first five exhibitions. Remarkably, this simple early-career score gave the two researchers all they needed to predict an artist’s future success.

Advantages

Yes:

The most uncrowded path to profound wealth is often subtle improvements in an existing industry so beautifully boring as to not attract attention from those attempting to sharpen a unicorn horn instead.

Have a good weekend.


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