Whats up everybody
Today I want to talk about reading.
I released my Life Training Log on Monday. I shared it with my Instagram audience, and one of the repeat questions I got was
“what do I read about?”
I could be irate and rage at this question, but I checked my emotions and questioned how it was someone could reasonably ask this.
Because it’s not the first time Ive been asked.
Many young people today do NOT see value in reading. And I don’t believe it is because they are inherently stupid and don’t like to read. My audience is not dumb, and my content is not brain dead simple content by any means.
Rather, I believe young minds, having grown up in a rapidly failing education system that is American Education, they’ve not been taught how to use their mindpower to think, learn, and be curious about the world.
There is a sentiment that “no one reads anymore”.
This is only a half truth though. People read A LOT, literacy is at an all time. The reality is not that no one reads, but that no one reads about anything to any significant depth.
Social media is the easy to blame culprit for this. Whether you are on twitter or not, the twitter format has taken over the way people consume written “content”.
3-4 sentences, written in a style for maximum attention.
Additionally, you have youtube, instagram, tiktok, and facebook. Youtube is watched, not read. Instagram is essentially “photo blogging” if done well, and visual trash if done poorly. Facebook favors short-form updates.
The proliferation and rapidity of communication channels the past 2 decades, they favor Speed and ease of consumption. To read anything at length requires too much time.
Even in longer form content such as blogs, there has been a marked decline in writing quality the past decade. This has been commented on for some time.
People Lack the Ability to FOCUS
But thats an easy observation to make. Im not the first or the last person to comment on the dopamine addiction dynamic of modern society.
There is another loss thats been experienced, that rarely gets mentioned
When did this start? I don’t truly know. In the Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom, he laments that university education has become relativistic, no longer teaching critical thinking and western canon, no longer providing instruction in how to think deeply on anything. Pop culture aids in the process, using an emotions and addiction model to engage without depth.
Move forward to 2021. What has been lost?
Many things, but most of all I believe that curiosity has been severely stunted, especially in younger people (generation Z)
I say stunted, not eliminated. Human beings always have inherent interest in the world around them, we need to in order to navigate it.
But that curiosity, which ideally would be cultivated through learning to APPLY it, experiment with it, to use imagination, to chase after half formed threads of thought and dive into a subject or idea or world, and to Create from ones own mind
thats not present.
The American mind is Epistemologically bankrupt
“To think” is to follow a top down narrative given by someone else.
Everything must be reduced to topical subjects, bullet points, top 10 lists, listicles
“Thoughts?” is considered a question that can be asked. Not how what when where why, just “thoughts”. Give me “thoughts”.
Maybe its because my audience has gradually begin to skew younger, or because I have gotten older, but I continuously receive questions now in which the person asking, usually a young man, he does not KNOW how to ask a question.
“thoughts?” is popular. Or stating a subject, and then awkwardly asking to “talk about it”. So often, the questions sounds as if they were literally typing them into a search bar
Has the Internet has ruined thinking by favoring SEO and “up to date” information over HISTORICAL and proven information?
Maybe it has.
10-15 years ago, I can fondly recall being able to research fitness and health by finding blogs and OLD information sources, books, articles, magazine pages that people had uploaded online. Now I cannot find ANYTHING of that nature, its buried within search engines.
What dominates is approved sources, usually ones with a decisively mainstream and left wing bias. (if you cannot notice this, bless your heart and enjoy the Platonic Cave you currently live in).
Information overload has diluted the quality of Information, and Knowledge. But that is sideways of the Point…
In a developing mind, the ability to read is taught because it develops the ability to THINK. We can use reading as information acquisition, we use reading to explore worlds, subjects, ideas and we engage with them because reading is NOT a passive experience.
We are not watching a movie where the story is visually presented. Reading requires visualization by default.
Reading is exploration of the SELF. It is a tool, a power that can be turned external and internal. We create ourselves through what we read, we see our world differently by what we read. What can be Read is immortal, it can never die.
But You Dont Know Any of This If You Were Never Taught Nor Able to Enjoy Reading
The American education model of forced reading and memorization for the sake of standardized testing, and the decline of teaching critical thinking, along with the abandonment of Western Canon, and the Woke takeover (and soon to be coming Critical Race Theory takeover),
America is mass producing idiots. Perhaps this sounds blackpilled, but it is reality. When standards decline, a society declines, and the very concept of standards and merit is being removed from education itself.
A society that does not read will never be free. It is a society of slaves.
Reading can Free you, change you, create you, but only IF
My directive to read for 1 hour daily is not for the sake of quantitative score keeping. Reading is for the exploration and development of SELF. Are you someone that THINKS and reasons? Do you have imagination? Can you SEE the world beyond what is seen?
That is what reading does. Reading can set you free from anything and everything.
But you must be willing. And you do not need anyone’s permission
Don’t Ask Me What Books To Read
Do this. I mean it, do this.
Go to library. Or a bookstore if thats more convenient. Walk through it in its entirety. And every book you see with an interesting cover or title, grab it.
Bring all of them to a table, read the first few pages.
Whatever captures your attention, keep reading.
So, what are you reading today?
I created the AJAC Life Training Log to help you live a life of purpose. It’s not a book. It’s a worksheet that you download and write down on it your vision, goals and workouts. Yes you physically write them with a pen. That’s how you impress them deeply into your mind.
It also has a big prompt to note down what you will be reading today. Use it.
Love you all,