- Deep Loafe
- You Are When You Consume
You Are When You Consume
on when to use your memory
From the top:
Welcome back, friends.
Read time: depends on your speed of read
Meme theme: Succession
See you out there.
In 2022, I listened to 28,545 minutes of music on Spotify.
Given a 16-hour waking day, or 960 minutes, that’s 29.73 days. I listened to Spotify for one entire month out of my year.
This got me thinking: Where did it go? What impact did it have? Can I measure any of that impact?
So next I thought: Could I attempt to quantify the number of bytes of information that I consume every day?
Then I thought: What counts as a byte?
Obviously songs count. YouTube videos can be quantified. E-books count. Podcasts have a size value.
But what about conversations? Observations about city parks? A presentation from a coworker? Disrespect from a stranger? Wondering whether the people changing your oil are actually changing your oil? You can’t see it happening, after all.
Whether student loans will be forgiven?
What about stress over bills and money?
Whether I’m being a good friend to my friends?
Feeling like you don’t want to put the kids to bed tonight?
‘Wishing’ I could’ve just done what I wanted to do with my time today?
Thinking that you’re maybe not playing (remember play?) as much as you’d like to be and that might be why you feel a bit depressed?
Frustrations that the car I don’t know has actually had its oil changed is one of the worst “assets” I’ve invested in because it can’t increase in value and is a necessary hassle?
The thoughts get longer.
The bytes start to feel indefinable.
It starts to feel like I lose brain space.
But I have more than enough room necessary to hold my month of Spotify plus all of the other thoughts and bytes that fill the other 11 months.
Is there enough room, though? Should I be limiting some of what I consume in order to retain more quality information? Should I be more selective with my bytes and choose to listen to a lecture by Richard Feynman instead of a 24 minute version of “Dark Star” by The Grateful Dead?
I’m not convinced that’s the choice.
I think the choice is about is choosing the setting in which we consume what we consume, rather than volume of what we consume.
According to Scientific American, the human brain can hold 2.5 petabytes of memory. If that were digital storage, that’d be 2,500,000 gigabytes. Or, 2,500,000,000 megabytes.
Which, as the article notes, is roughly three million hours of video.
Or, 2.5 billion minutes of audio.
The average file size of a Kindle e-book is 2.6 megabytes. So that’s roughly 961,538,461.54 books.
So, it feels like we’ve got a lot of room to play with. But how are we playing with it?
Even though our brain can store that much memory, we obviously can’t access or recall all of it.
Can you remember what you made on your 8th-grade algebra test? Or what you had for a snack on July 10th, 2009? What about even more impactful things like who all was in the wedding party at your best friend’s wedding?
As far as I can tell, you have a ton of memory. You can give yourself a break from thinking that you should select every podcast carefully because you can only remember so much. That’s true, but it’s the wrong mindset.
Instead, when you consume what you consume is more important that how much. Here’s what I mean.
I work from home. I spend a lot of my in the vicinity of my kids, and my wife Sadie. I have the space and freedom to do that. But, just because I’m around them most of the day doesn’t mean I’ve been necessarily present with them that day.
Instead, when we go on a walk together or when I get down on the floor and push cars around, that’s when I’m doing it well. That’s when the stage has been set for me to really experience their presence.
Back to when vs. how much we consume content: I probably listen to 80%+ of my podcasts on walks. I save them until I have the time to walk. I don’t listen to them around others. I curate my setting so that I’m more likely to experience them instead of just hearing them. It always work, but the effort is in the when.
This isn’t scientific or brilliant by any means. It’s just what makes sense based on how I consume most everything else.
For example, I listen to The Grateful Dead in almost any setting, and at any point: on the way to the grocery store, while making coffee in the morning, or while running. Doesn’t need to be highly curated.
It’s just good bytes going in that I enjoy and can spare.
I don’t remember most of the 28,545 minutes of music I listened to on Spotify in 2022, in the sense that I can’t recall all of the song names or remember the lyrics to even a small percentage of them.
What I do remember is that I got really into The Shins in the Spring of 2022. I remember they made me feel happy.
I remember making a playlist called, “A Great Leap” when I left my job and needed the kind of music that people make about great leaps.
I got really into Casey Neistat videos in in the fall of 2022 and I remember watching a new one every morning while I drank my coffee and marveling at his creativity.
When to consume, and in what setting: that’s what I keep in mind with what I want to do with my 2.5 petabytes of memory.
That’s what I remember.
Stuff I’ve Been Into
This was a helpful read. Some highlights:
The modern day job description is written with the primary purpose of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Spoiler Alert: the ideal candidate doesn’t really exist.
Succession. Last season. Just so good. I really don’t have a lot to say about it other than I think it’s just really good.
This week I should be uncovering my garden, doing some final prep, and then planting. I am thrilled.
Welp, have a great week. Thanks for reading.