The optimism in Internet browsing is palpable. Browse long enough, and you will have a ‘hit.’ Like gambling, which it mimics, lay browsing is a losing proposition. A better way to spend your time is to focus on known knowns—excellent teachers, communicators, etc.—and core ideas, insights, and big hits of a discipline (along with learning how disciplines solve problems). The rationale for the first is obvious. The rationale for the second point is three folds:
- Because we often scavenge information, many of us are not well versed in the core principles of the discipline (and adjacent disciplines) we purport to specialize in or want to learn about.
- The core ideas, the big hits, etc., by their very nature, are important and illuminating.
- Many of these big ideas are accessible, partly because people have spent time thinking about ways to communicate the points. So you will find excellent distillations of the points, and you will find that many of these ideas are on your knowledge frontier (things you can learn immediately).
Or, if you are disciplined enough, focus relentlessly on finding new things in a narrow niche. Going from gambling to anything else is not easy. The highs won’t be as high. But the average high and ROI is a lot greater.