Arguments for Depth: more from Deep Work

What follows is more work from my zettelkasten (contained in a single entry, on this occasion).

Note that I did listen to Huxley's Brave New World on cassette tape — yes, I'm that old — many years ago; I'm simply using the To read backlink — Obsidian's terminology — for everything I want to read or read again, for simplicity.

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Tags: #book #freud #jung #technopoly #esm #flow Title: Deep Work Author: Cal Newport Published: 2016 ISBN: 978-0-349-41190-3

  • Pg 2: Sigmund Freud was Carl Jung's mentor and friend. Then Jung published contradictory material.
    • I am fascinated, and deeply impressed, by a mind that conceives of this tower, travels to it regularly, away from the practice and patients that are surely the beginning of most of his great thoughts, and then publishes such a seminal opus against this larger-than-life figure, in his world, but also in the world of everyone around him.
  • Pg 67, under the heading The Cult of the Internet: Neil Postman is quoted, on a term that it's implied he coined: technopoly. That such a culture doesn't make its alternatives illegal or immoral. “It doesn't even make them unpopular. It makes them invisible, and therefore irrelevant.” Postman died in 2003.
    • I enjoy the Internet. I may have been an unintentional adherent to this philosophy, at one time. I don't believe I have been for many years, however.
    • I still enjoy hacking, in the traditional sense, but I believe I'm well aware of what works well on the Internet and what doesn't. Postman didn't even live to see the first tech bubble burst, or not completely. I don't think anyone could live through that without developing a healthy skepticism of technology writ large. And then there was the fallout of 2016: now everyone should understand the Internet's potential for targeting and magnifying our cognitive biases on an unprecedented scale, with truly dire consequences.

[[To read]] Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  • Pg 77, under the heading A Neurological Argument for Depth: most people feel that life is something that happens to them; that the shape of their lives, writ large, is outside their control. Decades of research suggest just the opposite, according to Winifred Gallagher. In what she calls the grand unified theory of the mind, “our brains instead construct our worldview based on what we pay attention to.”

    • This is deeply satisfying to me. It's taken me a long time to come to a similar conclusion — that is, that some thoughts not only warrant little attention: they are actually damaging, and need to be stopped — but I do feel I've been living by it for many years now, much happier than I was as a young man, for the most part.
  • Pg 84, under the heading A Psychological Argument for Depth: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theory about human happiness is validated through his work with Reed Larson, broadly called the experience sampling method or ESM.

    • Achieving a mental state he called flow is directly related to the amount of satisfaction one has in their life.
    • While achieving this state in one's free time is certainly possible, its unstructured nature can present challenges.
    • Deep work, on the other hand, lends itself to flow, by its very nature.

End of Day 48

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