I didn’t know I agreed with Henry David Thoreau  but apparently he wrote a fair bit about a New Economics. His key insight was to shift the unit of measurement from money to time. Is the juice worth the squeeze? He went out into the woods and built himself a log cabin in an effort to live closer to reality. His book Walden  includes an itemised budget of how long it took ‘Enry to earn his week’s sustenance. It was $61 or one day’s graft.
Thoreau asked us to consider not just the benefits of increased income but the cost of earning it on the amount of “life” we exchanged for it. Time is our only truly precious resource. Hence digital minimalism in the modern era.
“A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.” Carl Newport.
I’m reading a book called Digital Minimalism by Carl Newport (author of Deep Focus) and very much enjoying it. He’s developed a more structured philosophy of technology usage than myself so I’m benefiting from applying his concepts to my own life. I’m already doing most of what he recommends but it’s nice to have a bedrock of well-thought-out theory behind the little lifestyle tweaks. Newport lays out three principles of digital minimalism in part one.
1: “Digital minimalists recognize that cluttering their time and attention with too many devices, apps, and services creates an overall negative cost that can swamp the small benefits that each individual item provides in isolation.”
2: “Digital minimalists believe that deciding a particular technology supports something they value is only the first step. To truly extract its full potential benefit, it’s necessary to think carefully about how they’ll use the technology.”
3: “Digital minimalists derive significant satisfaction from their general commitment to being more intentional about how they engage with new technologies. This source of satisfaction is independent of the specific decisions they make and is one of the biggest reasons that minimalism tends to be immensely meaningful to its practitioners.”
This is sound stuff imo.
I’d already pared my work down to three hours a week  in a Thoreau-esque manner, figuring that what really matters is disposing of my precious life hours on things I enjoy doing. Newport advises that as a digital minimalist “you’ll take walks, talk to friends in person, engage your community, read books , and stare at the clouds.” Well, sir, I think you just described the entirety of my life. Actually, since I came to Moscow my life has been rather structured, simple, and productive. Four days a week it looks exactly like this (other days, no gym):
9:30 – Wake up
10:00 – Get brekkie at a breakfast menu cafe, studying Russian on my apps
11:00 – Gym
2:00 – Lunch at a business lunch restaurant
3:00 – Nap
4:00 – More Russian study
5-ish – Go walkabout for steps and daygame with a pal or two
10pm – Return home, bitching about the lack of sets.
Midnight – Go to sleep, with my Russian apps looping on review setting audio only until I start to drop off.
It was pretty similar in Serbia for the first five months of the year but obv learning Serbian instead and bitching even more about the lack of sets. At least in Moscow I’ve averaged 2.5 sets a day whereas there was no hope in hell of finding that many girls worth opening and accessible in Belgrade this or last year due to Covid restrictions clearing the streets and cafes.
I only read two websites ever, being Vox every day for about ten minutes and then Anonymous Conservative twice a week or so. There’s just nothing on the internet to interest me. I’ve almost completely cut YouTube out of my life – thank God – and the only use I’ve had for it lately was tactical analysis features on TIFO during the Euros. I never browse Twitter except for my rare notifications and today decided to just unfollow everyone to excise that malign influence from my life. So, almost no internet for Nick now and I like it.
I absolutely recommend you all ditch YouTube and Netflix. What pernicious time sinks.
I’ve even given up the true love of my life – video games. This has not been a conscious decision but I rarely feel any desire to play them, so I don’t. I’m currently 1/3 through Yakuza 6 so I’ll probably finish it eventually as I’ve completed Yakuza 0 thru to 5 already so might as well 100% the series. I’ve found that by the time I get home on the evening I have no desire to boot up a game. I either want to read a book or crank some Russian language. So, I figured I’d go with this while my natural desire is positive. Maybe get back into games when the weather turns.
In other news, I’ve taken on two new immersion training clients for five-day residential coaching in Autumn. I’m willing to take on two more, especially if you can do Russia, Ukraine or Czech republic. Email me if you’re interested. More details on the Coaching tab on this site.
 Having never read him
 Which I’ve not read but I’m sure I could find Walden in a crowd, wherever he’s hiding
 Sunday afternoon skype consultations
 Fuck me have I nailed this one in the past few years