The sad, beautiful fact that we're all going to miss almost everything

March 17, 2013

If “well-read” means “not missing anything,” then nobody has a chance. If “well-read” means “making a genuine effort to explore thoughtfully,” then yes, we can all be well-read. But what we’ve seen is always going to be a very small cup dipped out of a very big ocean, and turning your back on the ocean to stare into the cup can’t change that.

I still haven’t totally accepted the premise of the article, and fight tooth-and-nail to stay on top of everything I’m interested in, but I’m also not blind to the fact that it’s an impossible, even silly, battle. Even forced specialization and topic-specific apathy can’t help you in this day and age. The best you can do is to be honest with yourself about the things you really enjoy learning about (and dismiss out of hand damn near everything else), become as efficient as possible at digesting information related to those things…and then sleep as little as you can get away with. #YOLO? ;)

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