Ben Casnocha reviews *Create Your Own Economy*

I am delighted with the review, which is more like a review essay, with many interesting observations on internet culture as well as on the book.  The essay title is "RSSted Development."  Excerpt:

…the intellectual and emotional
stimulation we experience by assembling a custom stream of bits. Cowen
refers to this process as the “daily self-assembly of synthetic
experiences.” My inputs appear a chaotic jumble of scattered
information but to me they touch all my interest points. When I consume
them as a blend, I see all-important connections between the different
intellectual narratives I follow a business idea (entrepreneurship) in the airplane space (travel), for example. Because building the blend is a social exercise real communities and friendships form around certain topics my
social life and intellectual life intersect more intensely than before.
And I engage in ongoing self-discovery by reflecting upon my interests,
finding new bits to add to my stream, and thinking about how it all
fits together.

Cowen maintains that these benefits enhance your internal
mental existence; how you order information in your head and how you
use this information to conceive of your identity and life aspirations
affects your internal well-being. Because a personal blend reflects a
diverse set of media (think hyper-specific niche news outlets in lieu
of a nightly news broadcast that everyone watches on one of three
networks), and because each person constructs their own stories to link
their inputs together, the benefits are unique to the individual. They
are also invisible. It is impossible to see what stories someone is
crafting internally to make sense of their stream; it is impossible to
appreciate the personal coherence of it.

The way the benefits of info consumption
habits accrue privately but are perceived publicly approximates
romance, Cowen adds. Compare a long-distance relationship to a
proximate one. In a long-distance relationship, you have infrequent but
very high peaks when you see each other. Friends see you run off for
fancy getaway weekends when the sweetheart comes to town. Yet
day-to-day it is not very satisfying. In a marriage by contrast you
have frequent, bite-size, mundane interactions which rarely hit peaks
or valleys of intensity. The happiness research that asserts married
couples are happier than non-married ones and especially happier than
couples dating long-distance is not always self-evident. Outsiders see
the inevitable frustrations and flare-ups that mark even stable
marriages. What they cannot see is the interior satisfaction that the
couple derives by weaving together these mundane moments into a
relationship rich in meaning and depth, and in writing a shared life
narrative that is all their own.

After reading the essay, I wonder how many blogs Ben has in his RSS feed…


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