information vs. ideas

These thoughts stem from reflecting on my current mental state and trying to figure out how I got to where I am now: depressed, angsty, depleted, and burnt out. The last few months, and especially the last few weeks, have been incredibly taxing for me on my psyche.

I went from “living the dream”, being self-employed, and running my own business to working for “the man”, in the blink of an eye. I went from blissfully following COVID19 stay-at-home orders, and being my best hermit-self; to having my heart and soul completely crushed as I watched our global cultural awareness begin to come to grips with the reality of racial injustice and police brutality.

On some level, I think that my mental state has a lot to do with how I’ve been consuming information, and how that strategy tends to drown out ideas and inspiration.


When you are a conduit for information: you consume, internalize, and regurgitate the interesting bits.

Consuming information can be largely mindless; and if you let the information hijack your brain, you feel the information more viscerally, and begin to unwittingly overheat and burn out.


When you are a conduit for ideas: you consume, become inspired, and create new and interesting things.

Consuming ideas can be mindless too, but when you consume an idea, it becomes illuminated with all of the other tangentially related connections floating around in your mind. In some cases, this new illumination can trigger a eureka moment that changes your life and the world.

This is an interesting mental model that I’ve started to see in myself. In many ways it feels like the more “information” I consume, the more burnt out I become. Just keeping up-to-date with what’s happening on Twitter, Facebook, and the news has become wholly exhausting. The more “news” and “social media” I consume, the further downward I spiral.

Ideas feel different, though. When I consume a new idea, I fall into a natural optimism where I can’t help but be motivated to remix the idea into something new.

For me, creatively remixing thoughts and ideas is the nuclear fusion of optimism and motivation.

I guess what I’m saying is: It feels like it’s time to stop mindlessly consuming information about how fucked we all are, and time to start collectively thinking our way into a better future, together.

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