New Addition, Critical Ignoring, Favorite Substacks | #204
November 12th, 2022: Greetings from Austin. My mom was in town this week and we did some fun wandering around the city, checked out the LBJ museum, and got some barbecue. A pic from walking around this week:
This Week’s Sponsor
This week’s sponsor is a friend of the newsletter, Devin Faddoul and Adda Financial. I’m excited to feature him because he’s been thoughtfully sharing his own journey toward indie life with me over the last year. He’s just launched an investment advisory firm, but this isn’t your parent’s firm that takes 1% of your wealth each year (still crazy that people do this!). Devin is a fee-only advisor who is bound by the fiduciary standard and acts as a partner and coach focused on long-term relationships. I don’t use an advisor now but when/if I do it will only be a fee-only one.
Traditional work isn’t for you. Neither is a traditional financial advisor.
You deserve a guide that’s blazed the trail, someone to help build your dream lifestyle.
Introducing Adda, financial planning for young people that think differently.
#1 New Addition!
We are adding another member to our Pathless Path in March. I have always wanted to be a parent and could not be more excited. Please send any and all dad tips!
Going to try to record a podcast with Angie this week or next and talk about our current paths and what’s next. Send me any questions you have.
#2 Critical Ignoring > Critical Thinking?
It’s rare that you stumble upon interesting new phrases or coined terms in Academia but I really liked this idea from a recent paper:
Critical ignoring, according to the authors is “choosing what to ignore and where to invest one’s limited attentional capacities.”
It’s an acknowledgment that we live in an attention age in which there is unlimited information and the scarce resource is time and attention. They go on:
Traditionally, the search for knowledge has involved paying close attention to information—finding it and considering it from multiple angles. Reading a text from beginning to end to critically evaluate it is a sensible approach to vetted school texts approved by competent overseers. On the unvetted Internet, however, this approach often ends up being a colossal waste of time and energy. In an era in which attention is the new currency, the admonition to “pay careful attention” is precisely what attention merchants and malicious agents exploit. It is time to revisit and expand the concept of critical thinking, often seen as the bedrock of an informed citizenry
Almost everyone I know who writes online has developed complicated personal systems to block and filter information. A common heuristic for many is to pay attention to what other people are talking about. This worked well enough for most people for a long time but it seems to be in an age of information overload because of how fast the “current thing” changes.
The approach I’ve landed on is to block aggressively and then follow and subscribe to things that I sense I might remain curious or interested in over the long term. For me, writing and reading about work is definitely one of those things. Other topics I enjoy are things about the internet, the creator economy, Taiwan and Asian history, history in general, and technology.
In addition, I try to avoid leaning too heavily on any single institution as a medium of information. This is why I don’t watch cable news ever or subscribe to any single news website. I don’t want a highly skilled team trained in the arts of persuasion to be shaping how I think. My approach instead is to follow individuals and I try to think about this like a diversified portfolio of information, optimizing for the long-term aliveness of my own curiosity.
The authors offer three approaches to filtering information. I think self-nudging and don't-feed-the-trolls are two powerful stances that most people should have. Filtering false information is probably harder than most people think so “checking sources” is probably impossible for most people.
#3 Twelve of My Favorite Substack Writers
Once you critically ignore, you have time to go deeper.
Substack just released a mention feature so I thought I’d test it out to make some shoutouts to people’s writing I enjoy:
- and The Diffis an excellent synthesis of the world through a financial lens. Every issue makes me think or see something in a new way
- probably writes the most ‘I wish I had written that” essays of people I follow. He seems to have learned some similar lessons about orienting your life around the things that matter to him and I hear he’s working on an interesting book…
- has musings on life, money, creating online, and educating in Moontower Weeklyand having fun with his kids. He’s my probabilistic guru for thinking about life in bets.
- writes Ribbonfarm Studioand as one of the elder statesman of the weird internet has a great perspective on events like Musk's takeover of Twitter:
- writing Val's Palsabout her early career journey. Generally thoughtful and deep perspectives. Excited to see her continue to write (gentle nudge)
I connected witha couple of years ago and she’s been on a cool journey living and working in many places. More importantly, she continues to ship, which I love. Letter from a learn-it-allis her newsletter and she just wrote about her own 12-hour walk here:
- is dropping meme-fueled takes on the financial economy that are smarter than anything I’ve seen on the internet in kyla’s Newsletter. She told me she conceives all of her TikToks as poems which 🤯 - watch for our podcast on Monday
- is writing about being Post-Nomadand finding a “home” in the world with kids, different ways of orienting around work, and climbing in the northeast
Liberty’s Highlightsis a great pseudonymous newsletter that’s been going for a long time (issue #350) that I stumbled upon recently. He does a great job of making it his own style and riffing on various markets, financial, and other topics
Strange Loop Canonby Rohit - fascinating deep dives on "Exploration, of ways to push the frontier of our knowledge forward, and bridge the gaps between Business, Science and Technology"
Not Boring by Packy McCormick- Packy might write more words than most people on the internet. I've really been enjoying his "Weekly Dose of Optimism" issue in which I always stumble across unexpected things.
- is a pretty great writer, who writes about comedy, being a dad, and life in general. I especially liked his reflections on being Ukrainian
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