Depth Over Breadth

Every time my birthday comes around, I experiment with a new limitation. I’ve found myself placing a priority of breadth over depth. My interests are often too wide for my own good. I’ve written about how this leads to a lack of focus. I’m pursuing the idea of further narrowing my interests to better serve me. Being well-aware that I am creating my own personal bubble with this experiment, I am still curious about what it will result in.

I am enacting block filters on top of block filters to fortify my experience on the internet. I am using the terminal command

sudo nano /etc/hosts

to get a lot of this done and the menubar app Focus to handle it even further. I am unsubscribing from all newsletters and feed in an attempt to apply the HELL YEAH! or no philosophy to what I actually consume. This is an attempt to eliminate the mindless browsing that I find myself doing nearly all the time when I am in front of a computer.

This is going to be a year of saying to myself: That looks interesting, but no.” For recreational entertainment, I am narrowing down my interests to the following:

📚 Reading

Reading is vital to me, so I am allowing myself a little more variety than other mediums. I have noticed my difficulty with finishing books lately. This is due to either a reduction in my attention span or an underlying change in my interests (either too wide or too specific, hard to tell).

Some of the writers I follow are still coming to me as feeds and I am ok with that, for now. I am considering reading only physical books or temporarily removing e-books and opting instead for what I can find at my library. Something about return dates, may actually encourage more in-depth reading.

🎥 Movies

I have considered this and made a blanket rule of no sequels and no remakes. Beyond that, I was unsure of how to approach this category. Actors? Directors? Genres? Documentaries? No movies?

Undecided on this still. Leaning toward only watching nature documentaries.

📺 TV | 5

I am intent on only watching new episodes of the following shows. Nothing political or topical. No more John Oliver, the Daily Show or Colbert.

  1. Gilmore Girls
  2. Halt and Catch Fire
  3. Silicon Valley
  4. Stranger Things
  5. Vikings

🎧 Podcasts | 5

This would probably be my biggest form of media distraction. I am looking to limit my consumption to 5 podcasts regardless of how often they update. I am completely addicted to podcasts and I would rather not be.

🎹 Music | 20

I was that person who was happy with leasing” my music from a service like Spotify. Well aside from it not providing all of the music I really wanted, it just became another catalog to browse endlessly on. I’ve set this list as the music I listen to for the year.

  1. Big Country
  2. CFCF
  3. The Field
  4. Genesis/Peter Gabriel/Phil Collins
  5. The Icicle Works
  6. James Blackshaw
  7. Laraaji
  8. Lubomyr Melnyk
  9. Michael Hedges
  10. Psychedelic Furs
  11. Rei Harakami
  12. Cocteau Twins/Robin Guthrie
  13. Ryan Teague
  14. Ryuichi Sakamoto
  15. Simple Minds
  16. Sin Cos Tan
  17. Sons of Hawai’i
  18. The Stone Roses
  19. Talk Talk/Mark Hollis
  20. Tears for Fears

There should be enough new wave, ambient, contemporary classical, and pop to hold me over for the year.