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Issue #399: The case for focus

Issue #399: The case for focus

Jan 16, 2019
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #399: The case for focus

This tweet from Michael Goldstein flew down my Tweetdeck yesterday and it resonated with me so I figured I'd share it with you freaks. The distinction between being studious and being curious is not something that I think about very often, but, upon reflection, is probably something that deserves some more mental bandwidth.

Being hyper-cognizant and particular about how one spends their time and focus allows an individual to establish deep knowledge and understanding of a subject. Ideally, individuals are drawn to things that interest them and study them intently, eventually sharing their specialized knowledge or craft with the world in an effort to contribute to society. Being curious and attempting to become a full-stack human loaded with exposure to a range of topics may seem advantageous, but may lead to some dead ends. I know from experience.

My early 20s was a period in which I bounced from finance to UX design to software sales in an effort to learn as much as possible the full stack of the tech and finance sectors so I could become a Product Manager. When I started interviewing for PM positions, I quickly began to realize that I was unqualified for the position because I had never built anything. Despite my wide-ranging understanding of different parts of the stack, I had never sat down, focused and built something from scratch. This realization was part of the catalyst of the inception of this rag you're currently reading. The act of focusing on this newsletter and intently studying Bitcoin has helped me become a better person (I think) and improved my quality of life.

I think this line of thinking can be extrapolated to other aspects of life. Deciding to focus on one sport instead of three in high school so you can become really good at one as opposed to okay at three is a good example. (Obviously, there are outliers.) I would also argue you can associate the studious mind with low time preference and the curious mind with high time preference tendencies. A favorite example of this is the Fyre Festival debacle that has been in the news again due to the documentary about it that recently dropped on Hulu. Billy McFarland, the mastermind behind the beautiful shit show that was the Fyre Festival, is an incredible example of an unfocused, curious person jumping from trend to trend without ever producing anything of substance. I posited this yesterday on Twitter and had this exchange:

Upon reflection, I have to admit I don't know if I completely agree with our boy Aaron, I do think there is at least some credence to the Saifedean-ian line of thinking that high* time preference banking policy leads to shittier quality in the world. At the very least, I think we can all agree that high time preference individual thinking and acting, as displayed by that chode Billy McFarland, contributes to shittier quality in the world. And I believe there is a good argument to be made that the culture of conspicuous consumptions encouraged by loose monetary policy is the biggest enabler of this high time preference societal mindset. Definitely a theory to keep exploring.

I know I just triggered some of you. sry not sry.

Final thought...

Ready for the beach already.


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