“It’s not just that headphones carve privacy out of public spaces. It is also that music causes us to relax and reflect and pause. The outcome of relaxation, reflection, and pausing won’t be captured in minute-to-minute productivity metrics. In moments of extreme focus, our attention beams outward, toward the problem, rather than inward, toward the insights.”
The internet was made for aggregation. The abundance of information is impossible to swallow. So we pluck the highlights, the most useful stems.
If we gather all the data from our environment, we don’t have to do all the work. We puzzle it out ourselves.
Collecting artifacts online is a social experiment, a peer to peer network of bytes of genius. Unfortunately, knowledge can also be used to propagandize rather than do good. There are no limits to floating ideas that can become instantly contagious, like lighting a match.
But suppose cognitive bias does more to spread the plurality of ideas so we can make disparate connections, such as peanut butter and chocolate. The internet is more than just a copy-paste machine.
I’ve posted about the remarkable solo climber Alex Honnold before, detailing how he uses visualization techniques to train his mind to become immune to fear.
The folks at National Geographic and the producer of the 2015 film Meru (Amazon) Jimmy Chin have teamed up to document Honnold’s climb of El Capitan, the vertical granite rock formation located at Yosemite National Park.
“If you don’t have any fear to begin with, there’s a lot less to control.”
Said one of Honnold’s fellow climbers: “Free soloing El Cap is like doing an Olympic gold medal sporting event, where if you don’t get the gold medal, you die.”
A super-sensation seeker, Honnold literally dances with fear. As he says in the trailer, “If you’re pushing the edge, eventually you’ll find the edge.”
The film Free Solo is out now in select theaters. Click here for more info.