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The Ocean Named Twitter

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 of the world’s top intellectual communities. It’s the bedrock of most of our social and intellectual life. It’s a place to make friends, raise your ambitions, and connect directly with people at the top of their fields. And yet, most people use Twitter to consume information with no nutritional value.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

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....

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

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.

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...

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.

News and food consumption are near-perfect metaphors.

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.

  • 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.

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