We live in fascinating times. I have more information at the tips of my figures than any King did. For most of human cultural history, not having access to information was the obstacle. Now it is the opposite. We are drowning in data.
The gifted mind 300 years ago learned multiple languages, found rare books, and studied difficult and hidden knowledge. She sought as much knowledge as possible. The gifted minds today learn how to ignore, how to say no, and how to control the type of information that demands their brain’s glucose. He seeks filters.
We need to take some time creating Cognitive Filters.
Here is how my meatsuit goes about this task.
Remove the Dictated
The most useful filter to implement is to remove information from your life that you have no collaborative control in. This is Mass Media. By the nature of this medium, the information is meant for the statistical “average” person. Every individual is an exception to the norm. Literally, no person is the statistical average. Don’t watch television. Don’t listen to the radio.
There is too much wonderful information being synthesized and shared by intelligent people to justify passively consuming information contorted around selling advertisement space.
Refine Social Media
This medium can be a useful tool. It can be an attention pit too. Know why you use it. I use it because it allows me to stay connected to meat bodies I cherish who don’t share the physical space around me. I also use it to share my work. So, refining means eliminating wasteful usage and people.
For usage, I try to keep my social media dance to when I share work, and at the end of the day when I am winding down. As for people, I try to delete a few people a week. People who don’t add to my awe, interest or understanding of this little life bubble we inherent are the ones that go.
The core here is to customize what information gets to you. The first two rules are reducers, this rule is true addition. You want to be exposed to the rhythmic ebb and flow of culture. But we live in times where you are responsible for constructing the canal through your awareness that the information will flow.
My online resource is reddit. Any website that allows you to control and customize the categories of information that flow to you will work. Monthly I’ll look through my current customization and try to reduce and refine the canal.
Podcasts and Audiobooks
Again, the power is in your hands. You get to choose the type of media that gets to you. There are hundreds of quality podcasts and thousands of books covering every topic a human can understand. Use these mediums.
My personal favorite. Humans crave flow. Reading is a way to achieve flow. Read. The beauty of books is that once you read a couple, they begin to point you to other books, and soon, you have a shelf of interconnected books and an Amazon que of the next 13 you’re excited to read.
The connecting thread through all of this is that you are responsible for the kind of information that gets to you, and you should gratefully accept this responsibility and mold it to support you into becoming the human you want to be.
Here is a interview with Robert Greene where he touches on this idea.