"The First of the Gang to Die": Twitter, Facebook, and the Power of Networks

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Glasp

Jun 28, 20234 min read

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"The First of the Gang to Die": Twitter, Facebook, and the Power of Networks

In today's digital age, social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives. Among the many platforms available, Twitter holds a special place for me. Surprisingly, it seems to cater to my needs by providing useful information and allowing for easy navigation. However, the larger public often finds it challenging to engage with the platform, raising questions about its accessibility and user-friendliness. On the other hand, Facebook fails to capture my interest, and I can go for long periods without checking it. The content simply does not resonate with me. This raises concerns about the longevity of well-established networks when faced with the competing demands of life.

While social media platforms dominate our online interactions, it is essential not to overlook the power of reading. As Farnam Street reminds us, great minds read a lot, drawing inspiration from Bismarck's wise words, "Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others." Reading allows us to tap into the collective wisdom of those who have come before us. It is no wonder that wise individuals, such as Charlie Munger, attest to the significance of reading in their lives.

Reading not only exposes us to new ideas but also enables us to master the best of what others have already discovered. However, the approach to reading is crucial. It is essential to start books quickly and abandon them easily. Our desire to finish what we start can hinder our progress. Good books have a way of finishing themselves, captivating us to the point where we cannot put them down. Conversely, persisting with a bad book is akin to trudging through mud with a wheelbarrow full of bricks. Life is too short to waste on unfulfilling reads.

The key lies in finding a balance between skimming through a multitude of books and delving deep into a select few. Not all books deserve our undivided attention, but some demand it. The Levels of Reading, ranging from reading to entertain to reading to master, offer a framework to navigate the vast landscape of literature. Most of our reading time will likely fall between levels 2 and 3, where we seek to inform ourselves and deepen our understanding.

It is crucial to remember that reading speed is not a measure of success. No one cares about how fast we read or how many books we consumed in a year. What truly matters is the absorption of knowledge. The opportunity cost of diving into new material is potentially missing out on revisiting the best book we have ever read. Re-reading allows us to reinforce our understanding and uncover new insights that may have eluded us the first time. Embracing the blank sheet as we approach a book primes our brain for the knowledge we are about to acquire and reveals the gaps in our understanding.

Writing about what we read is an effective tool for solidifying our learning. It is through the process of writing that we often discover the limitations of our knowledge. Both conventional note-taking and the use of a blank sheet aim to connect new information with existing knowledge and highlight areas where our understanding may be lacking. By engaging in written reflection, we gain a clearer sense of what we have truly learned.

In a rapidly changing world, continuous learning is essential. Reading serves as one of the best ways to acquire knowledge and broaden our horizons. The ability to tap into the collective wisdom of authors who have dedicated their lives to understanding various subjects is a privilege we should not take for granted. By incorporating the habit of reading into our lives, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities and personal growth.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the power of Twitter: Despite its criticisms, Twitter can be a valuable source of information. Explore the platform and find accounts that align with your interests. Engage with the content, and don't be afraid to hop in and out of conversations. Twitter's unique ability to provide real-time updates and diverse perspectives can enhance your knowledge and understanding.
  • 2. Curate your reading list: Instead of focusing on the quantity of books you read, prioritize quality. Skim through various books to identify ones that truly resonate with you. Once you find those gems, invest your time and energy in fully absorbing their content. Revisit them multiple times to extract maximum value and deepen your understanding.
  • 3. Reflect through writing: Take the time to articulate your thoughts on what you read. Whether it's through note-taking, journaling, or writing blog posts, the act of writing helps solidify your learning. It reveals gaps in your understanding and allows you to connect new knowledge with existing concepts. By engaging in the process of writing, you actively participate in your own learning journey.

In conclusion, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become ingrained in our daily lives. While their popularity may fluctuate over time, the power of networks cannot be underestimated. Similarly, reading serves as a timeless tool for personal growth and knowledge acquisition. By embracing the unique qualities of each platform and incorporating the habit of reading into our lives, we can continue to learn, grow, and thrive in an ever-changing world.

Resource:

  1. "The First of the Gang to Die", https://500ish.com/the-first-of-the-gang-to-die-c9b0c5d93c13 (Glasp)
  2. "Reading Better - Farnam Street", https://fs.blog/reading/ (Glasp)

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