If wisdom was as simple to acquire as reading, we’d all be wealthy and happy. Others help you but they can’t do the work for you. Owning wisdom for oneself requires a discipline the promiscuous consumer of it does not share.~ unattributed from, https://fs.blog/2020/07/thinking-for-oneself/
I’m often thinking about the distinction between “consumer” and “producer.” Each of us of course variously take on both roles in our myriad daily activities. But today I want to talk about this—it’s in the above quote—common mistake with the concept of a consumer: Reading does not destroy that which one reads! We are not consumers of media, (books, television, social media, etc..)
Yes, we can get into pragmatic word-play—and I’m pretty durn good at that. But that’s not where I’m going with this thought. I’m fully aware that there’s a softer definition of consumer which colloquially means what one does when aiming one’s retinas at a television. But we have other, and better, words for that. (Such digression being left for another day.) Rather, I want to be specific about the word consumer. Let’s please stop using it in contexts where destruction is in fact not happening. When it’s used specifically, then the word can do more work
Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, and are often studied in psychology and behavioral economics.~ List of cognitive biases from, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases
While that may seem blasé, it’s worth a look.
…ok, back? Great.
Now gape dumbfounded at the majesty of a modern image format, SVG mixing a magnificent design, with infinite scalability, dynamic styling and clickable links. Just click on this already:
Hey also, as far as I can tell, the word “blasé” correctly written as a word in English does include the diacritical mark. I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me there were any properly English words with accents, but it seems that this is now a thing in the last century or so! (to wit, https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-English-words-that-take-an-acute-grave-accent-or-any-other-diacritics-if-you-prefer )
Labor, on the other hand, sets its own pace. We may get paid for it, but it’s harder to quantify… Writing a poem, raising a child, developing a new calculus, resolving a neurosis, invention in all forms — these are labors.
~ Lewis Hyde
I’m alway cautious about reading clever nuances into language. Sure it makes terrific sense to distinguish between, “mindless stuff I do for money”—my phrase, not a quote from Hyde—and “heartfelt stuff I do”. But is that in the semanic definition of the words? …in the common usage of the word?
I’m not certain what to do with this; It simply struck me as worth sharing.
I am tempted to give a talk sometime that consists of nothing but applause lights, and see how long it takes for the audience to start laughing.
~ Eliezer Yudkowsky
This is a short piece which shines some good insight into the darker corners of how people use language.