Who Can We Turn To?

“On the web, there’s a certain kind of encouragement to never ask yourself how much information you really need,” Merlin Mann says. “But when I get to the point where I’m seeking advice twelve hours a day on how to take a nap, or what kind of notebook to buy, I’m so far off the idea of lifehacks that it’s indistinguishable from where we started. There’s no shell script, there’s no fancy pen, there’s no notebook or nap or Firefox extension or hack that’s gonna help you figure out why the fuck you’re here,” he tells me. “That’s on you.”

But see, the thing is that you couldn’t walk into a book store without hitting shelves of authors trying to answer that question. Whether they succeed or fail, there is a concerted effort towards substance and meaning. Even movies – not all of them obviously – make statements or indictments or capture moments in time.

I hate that online we’ve just resigned ourselves to the fact that “it’s on you.” I can’t think of one writer I read who I can honestly say is trying to make my life better – efficient or smarter yes, better no. That’s so shitty because it’s what art is supposed to do.

So I guess the question is, what sites are flying under the radar that are working towards that higher level? Those are the sites I want to read, or better yet, the writers I could sign.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.