Take Time To Think Deeply And Read Deeply

by johnandterri

20140910-Pyrenees-83-square-EditAs I have said so many times, our long Camino walk was a wonderful opportunity for us to spend long times in thought. Time for us to have a “complete thought” or to think more deeply on things. It was a very special gift we both got from our long walk. We so enjoyed the long periods of silence and time to “think deeply”.

I recently finished reading a thought provoking book written back in 1986 called, “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman. This book has really got me to re-think some things and to change some of my behavior regarding how I approach how I acquire knowledge. What I took away from this book was how important it is for us to stop consuming information that is short, fragmented, superficial, irrelevant, misplaced and not in context. It is like eating a steady diet of appetizers and never sitting down to eat a nice meal that really satisfies and nourishes us.

This book has motivated me to make some changes, as I said. First, I have decided to prioritize the written word over television/video (I was largely doing this already), second I have decided to avoid consuming fragmented and short written articles that don’t really increase my depth of knowledge. I am staying away from lots of disconnected facts and information that is not in context and jumps from one subject to the next.

I realized what I really craved was information that required I expend time consuming it (the opposite of where we are largely now,  think Twitter). I decided when I am consuming information, I did not want to be amused (that is why I am shunning TV) but I wanted to learn and grow in knowledge by a healthy diet of information that will take time to consume (like a wonderful prepared meal).

Shortly after I read this book, I was listening to a podcast about the man who founded Twitter, Evan Williams, who has started up a new business called “Medium“. I have been reading in depth articles by quality writers on a huge variety of subjects on Medium now for a couple of weeks and I am hooked. It is ironic that the man who founded Twitter would now start up a business that is just the opposite!

Medium provides information from excellent writers and each writer provides you information that is in full context, not fragmented and they allow me to read more “deeply” on a variety of subject matter. It is not about increasing the breadth of knowledge as much and increasing deep of knowledge. I highly recommend downloading the app to your phone or tablet or dialing it up on your computer.

I also give Mr. Williams some huge props for getting rid of all advertising (and the associated revenue) on this site. He has just recently moved to model that provides some of the articles without charge and some you can get if you pay ($5/month). This makes sense to me. If you want quality writing without ads that really informs and increases your knowledge, then people will recognize that and pay for it.

So I will  leave you today with the challenge to take more time to “think deeply” and “read deeply”.  Here is an article I read this week as an example of what I am talking about.

Adventure as Medicine

I loved this article by Rebecca Thomas. It takes about 7 minutes to read. It made me think how the Camino de Santiago pilgrim walk really can really be a healing medicine for us.

Blessings and all good,

John

Photograph of the Week

Tweedy Lewisia

This week’s hike was to Chiwaukum Creek near Leavenworth to photograph the rare Tweedy Lewisia, a very rare wildflower. I like this image because it places the flower in its context (growing on a very rocky area).