161: Stolen Focus, with Jean MacDonald

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This meow system has been a part of my workflow for four years now.

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Nice. I didn’t have to zoom in to recognize the publisher of the books on your desk. I started buying from O’Reilly in the early 90’s. Their books and software helped me set up our first lan and intranet.

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What’s that keyboard?!?

Standard Apple Magic keyboard that came with my iMac Pro.

(I use a Drop CTRL on the iMac Pro)

Yes, my comment was a bit tongue in cheek. I know about your "Museum of Well-Intentioned Keyboards ". :slight_smile: I came across it when I was looking into getting a mechanical keyboard.

I did, a Keychron K8 Pro. The Drop CTRL was a bit out of my price range.

I did purchase a different Drop board, this one:

That’s all the keys I could afford.

:slight_smile:

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:joy: I miss things sometimes.

Sounds like a good sign for my keyboard storage tub!

Re: Audiobooks vs eBooks vs physical

I prefer Audible for fiction but also for general information and history, etc. A Kindle is my choice for non-fiction that requires study and/or reflection.

I rarely buy physical books unless that is my only choice because I like having the majority of my books available wherever I happen to be. And because I have moved a few times in my life (40+). Before ebooks there were only a handful that I kept over the years. Today I have around 600 - 700 (80% digital).

IMO the Kindle’s killer feature is adjustable font size. Something I never thought about until I had been reading for 40 years or so. :wink:

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About Johann Hari’s Stolen Focus, I bought it after listening to the show. I started reading it and I thought it was pretty good, until I checked out the author’s wikipedia page…

The guy is an engaging writer, but not a reliable source of information. If you read it, fact-check everything…

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I really enjoyed the cadence of this conversation between the three of you. Hope you can have Jean back again.

Yeah, Hari is a giant yikes for credibility, which often bums me out when I hear something interesting or insightful from him. It’s like a broken clock: it’s not necessarily wrong, but I can’t trust it to be right just because I like what it says—I need to check a working clock for that.

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Thanks for pointing this out, I was pretty excited about the book after the show.

Will tread carefully with this one.

I just listened to a recent episode of Huberman Lab on how to improve your focus and concentration. If you’re interested in a more science-based approach, check it out. The guy knows is stuff and seems trustworthy. I sometimes wish he went in more detail about some studies, but most of his shows are over two hours long already…

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Very good podcast. Pretty sure he’s a Stanford professor so about as qualified as they come :+1:

Wow, that’s really disconcerting. Now I wish I hadn’t bought his book. Unless it’s a very well-known author, I bet a number of people have now added the “check the author in Wikipedia” step before they buy their book or recommend it to others. Too bad.

I don’t really want to fact-check everything in a book. And how can you fact check the personal conversations that make up much of his book?

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Even that isn’t a guarantee a book/article is credible. In 2003 a reporter for the New York Times resigned because “. . . it became clear he had plagiarized, or outright fabricated, dozens of stories he’d allegedly written for the paper.”