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On the news, Gamestonk, and Hanlon's Razor

On the news, Gamestonk, and Hanlon's Razor
By Tom Littler - Notion & myKanban • Issue #31 • View online
Welcome to the 164 new productivity people who’ve joined since last Sunday. We’re now a smart & curious group of 1631!

Hey guys,
This week I quietly released a free course ‘5 Days to Better Notion’. The purpose of the course is to teach the most fundamental Notion principles.
These principles give you the power to create any productivity system you can dream up. I’ve had some great feedback so far and looking forward to seeing how you find it.
Why The News Isn’t Helpful, And What To Do Instead.
This week I published this article explaining why I don’t actively read the news. We dive into the theory of signal v noise, a concept that can be useful when thinking about what type of media you choose to consume.
I argue that the news is bad for both making sense of current events, and for our mental wellbeing. News often seeks to evoke in us unhelpful emotions such as anger or hatred to bait us into reading it.
When I’m trying to make sense of the world I’ll always try and identify relevant, long-form literature that’s stood the test of time to help me. This is one of the strategies I suggest adopting to news consumption, along with a few others.
Of course the one current event it’s been possible to escape this week has been the whole Gamestonk debacle.
I inevitably got sucked into it and while it certainly thrilling to believe I was going to be a millionaire for a few minutes, the constant watching of the GME stock price absolutely killed my productivity!
I’m still trying to make sense of the orgy of meme stocks this week. Will this be the end of shorting companies as we know it? Have power dynamics between the 1% traders and the average joe really changed? Are company valuations that have nothing to with value a good thing?
Fundamentally, I believe share prices should reflect the value of the companies. This means capital flows to where it can be put to it’s most productive use. Tripling Gamestop’s market cap means they can issue more stocks and generate more capital. But then what? Inject it into a clearly failing economic model?
I can’t help but be wary that this meme stock bubble we are in has the potential for pretty severe consequences for global productivity.
Hanlon’s Razor
I bloody love a mental model. If there’s a simple heuristic I can use to short cut length decision making processes count me in. You don’t have time to analyse everything.
I frequently re-read the Farnam Street blog, this week I reminded myself of the mental model of Hanlon’s Razor:
‘Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.’
How often does it happen that someone does us wrong and we immediately take it as a personal attack? Your friend forgets to call you or your boss forgets to credit your work?
If we can reframe these slights as just the other persons’ neglect we can deal with them in much healthier ways. This isn’t to say neglect is ok – it’s not, but it’s somewhat easier to cut someone out of your life because you believe they are absent-minded than it is if you think they are out to get you.
This Week on Youtube
The SIMPLEST Repeating Tasks System in Notion
The SIMPLEST Repeating Tasks System in Notion
What I'm Reading
Passion in a relationship is commensurate with the amount of uncertainty you can tolerate.
Considering the amount of advice style books that I read I’ve rarely read anything on relationships.
In ‘mating in captivity’ Esther Perel talks us through the complex dance between stability and adventure, emotional connection, and passion.
There’s a lot of counter-intuitive stuff in this book that Esther explains through the use of stories with past clients of hers.
Would definitely recommend this to any simps out there!
Exciting stuff in the prototyping department of myKaban this week. We got photos from our manufacturer of the second revision of the trays we are using to store the stickies.
If you got some use out of today’s issue, spread the word by sharing this link with a mate! Keep the subs rolling…
Did you enjoy this issue?
Tom Littler - Notion & myKanban

Hey, I'm Tom, a product manager and startup founder living in London.

We talk productivity, mental models and all things you need to live a life full of purpose.

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