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February 19th, 2019

In Philosophy

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Don’t waste your life on Twitter

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

The energy that goes into writing tweets is also energy that could instead go into works of lasting value. I’ve noticed that with all of my favorite writers, the moment when they turn to Twitter seems to be a moment when their production of high quality books/essays seems to go into decline. One of my favorite economists had a 10 year streak when he was absolutely on fire, then he started tweeting on Twitter, and his production of books and essays almost vanished. When it comes to fiction writers, I could also put J K Rowling into this category.

Everyone should beware of small, frivolous activities that keep us from achieving our life goals. And it seems Twitter is almost uniquely destructive in this regard. Not quite as bad as meth, but not a whole lot better either. And social media, in general, sucks up too much time, for too many people.

If you want to do something great with your life, be careful how you spend your time. If you’d like to create a great game, or a write a great novel, you need to focus on that. Don’t waste your energy on Twitter.

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"I wish I could go back," said Anna. "I guess I thought it would always be there, and I could go back and learn more when I was older. But now I'm older and it's gone."

"All the great art scenes are like that," said Mariah. "Renoir's career was half over before the term Impressionism caught on. And Fitzgerald and Hemingway had given up on the Left Bank long before the place was overrun by talentless hacks who wanted to imitate the Lost Generation lifestyle. And the Beats had mostly left San Francisco before busloads of visitors started to do tours of the Haight-Ashbury. When Johnny Rotten couldn't work with the Sex Pistols anymore, he left and the London punk scene began to die. Later on, he said he regretted his decision to leave. Everyone thinks they can go away and come back later, but they never can. When Joan Didion and her husband left New York, she quipped that some other couples were staying too late at the party, but that gets it all backward. The party ends whether you want it to or not, and it takes an unusual arrogance to celebrate the end of an era that some people will remember as the best years of their life. Hemingway lived in Paris during his twenties, but he didn't write about his experience in Paris until he was in his sixties. No one ever knows they're part of an art movement; it's something you only see afterward."

"But if we only see it in retrospect, then how can we find the next great art scene?" asked Anna. "What do I look for?"




Also read this true story about a startup I worked at in 2015:




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3 COMMENTS

February 20, 2019
10:41 am

By Just An Observer

A couple of my favorite bloggers started doing twitter. Instead of permanent additions to knowledge, there is a long stream of interesting but ephemeral tweets.

March 30, 2019
4:51 am

By Orbay

I agree, but you consider a great game a great achievement, not money from wasting other people’s lives?

It may be better that you waste your time on twitter than cause millions to become zombified, especially when they are young and without guidance or restrictions on such things.

Your standards of greatness are unambitious.

March 30, 2019
5:31 pm

By lawrence

Orbay, with any type of creative endeavor, I think you’ll find 90% of the output is mediocre. That is true for paintings, poems, sculpture, novels, and games. I don’t think I would suggest that novels are uniquely good or games uniquely bad. But if the question is “What should a person do with their life?” my point is it is best to focus ones energy on producing work that at least has a chance of having lasting value, rather than wasting one’s energy on something ephemeral, which will be forgotten.

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