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The Paradox of Abundance - David Perell

The Paradox of Abundance - David Perell


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Abundance: Both Good And Bad

Abundance is a paradox. Environments of abundance are bad for the median consumer but extremely good for a small number of conscious ones. Average consumers are doomed to the tyranny of instinct. Meanwhile, consumers at the top are propelled by unlimited access to nutritious food and information....

  • Americans are overweight, not because of scarcity but because of abundance — just like the news.
  • At the same time, wealthy and health-conscious Americans have never been in better physical shape.

The healthiest people control their diet with surgical precision. They...

News and food consumption are near-perfect metaphors.

We already use terms like “food for thought,” “I need to digest an idea,” and “she has a thirst for knowledge.” This is also why writing is so healthy for the mind. Just as you’ll improve your food diet if you start cooking, you’ll impr...

Gresham’s Law is a finance concept that states that bad money drives out good money until only bad money is left.

This law can explain why the median consumer reads low-quality information online. On the Internet, low-quality content drives out high-quality content, as the...

The Explore Tab on Twitter is the most important newspaper in the world. It’s littered with celebrity gossip and exaggerated political drama — both of which yield a wide reach but incentivize empty content.

And yet, as the Paradox of Abundance predicts, Twitter is also one...

Ideally, a world of information abundance would bring the best to the top. Using a classic Econ 101 argument, competition should benefit consumers by improving quality.

Practically, curation platforms would wade through millions of posts every day and highlight the best of the best. But t...

As a society, we can spend less energy following the news and become more informed about our society. The act of reading the news carries symbolic weight.

People in power won’t fear the pain of a journalist’s bite unless the news maintains its legitimacy. Likewise, even if reading the new...

Skip the news cycle, but double down on measured consumption. Ignore society’s recommendations for what to consume and refresh your learning habits like you’re shaking an etch-a-sketch.

Remember, what you should consume looks nothing like what you were taught to consume. Rebel against the...


If you diet, invest, and think according to what the ‘news’ advocates, you’ll end up nutritionally, financially, and morally bankrupt.

The modern media environment helps a small number of savvy consumers, just as it destroys the lives of millions of mindless consumers who are paralyzed by fear, anger, and misinformation. Careful consumers use the information at their fingertips to compound their wisdom while compulsive ones drow...

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