On the Friday of the week before last, for the first time in over six years, I missed a daily post. I didn’t do it intentionally, or with any malice of forethought. But somewhere on a drive up through the rural north of Zimbabwe, whilst crossing a river at the Mukumbura border post (we were the third car to pass through there this year), I realized that I’d just forgotten to prepare anything.
And almost before I’d remembered, I’d already forgotten. I arrived at a tilapia fish farm on the south bank of Cabora Bassa, where I was distracted by fry in cages, sunsets, and Mozambican beer.
This every day commitment…
The blog has been a steady evolution for me. There was a time when I did a lot of daily business news summaries, to force myself to read Bloomberg and the Financial Times. For a bit, I tried writing regular book reviews to encourage a personal habit of reading economic-related non-fiction. There was that series on behavioural economics, under the somewhat unrelated title of “Office Politics”. Then I started writing full-length daily feature posts.
But always daily.
It was almost a badge of honour. Every weekday, Monday to Friday, Rolling Alpha released something that I found interesting and relevant. Sometimes I wrote it. Increasingly, it was an infographic that I re-shared. Or a slightly-edited older post that still reflected an inner belief (or turmoil!) for some theme that was re-enraging social media.
The trouble with “daily”
It’s the problem with daily postings for over half a decade – in general, you’ve written about the thing that’s incensing twitter multiple times. And you haven’t really changed your mind.
And honestly, I don’t believe that’s because I’ve become bigoted in those debates. Being open-minded has been as much a discipline as the daily-ness of it all. And if anything, that has been RollingAlpha.com’s central lesson for me – that my world view is always anecdotal, and while I can choose where to turn my gaze, my biological eyes and neuro-receptors and brain chemistry are the inescapable predetermined filter. And it’s not so easy to see the filter through the filter, as it were. But thank God for neuroplasticity and the inclination toward truth. It’s why I tend to be contrary for contrary’s sake – deep down, I suspect that might well turn out to be my saving grace.
But I digress. The real reason that I find myself reposting is because the arguments have not changed. Practically speaking, there are only so many points of view in a debate. Professional hunting is either good for the environment, or it isn’t, or there’s a better alternative that we should be adopting instead. Land redistribution is either good for the economy in the long term, or it isn’t, or there’s a better alternative that we should be adopting instead. And most of it boils down to internal belief structures anyway – which makes it all a bit futile. So there’s little to do but re-present the debate for the potentially interested.
And what I’ve thought about for the last week or so is whether it’s worth spamming your newsfeeds and inboxes for the sole objective of never missing a day.
Many of my readers have made this comment independently. Apparently, I need to give you the space to miss me.
The truth is that I have also become guilty of the worst of millennial sins: engaging in content proliferation, rather than content origination.
Part of that is a function of having already produced too much content. The other part is a function of having built my real-world business into something that demands a lot of my time.
So I am embracing a new kind of discipline.
Quality over quantity.