Recently, Rands posted a brilliant piece about making, “The Builder’s High”. I wanted to quote and put it here, but before I had time, John Gruber and Marco Arment did that first. It’s interesting to note which part of the writing they decided to quote. Gruber picked this:
The things we’re giving to the future are feeling increasingly unintentional and irrelevant.
Is there a Facebook update that compares to building a thing? No, but I’d argue that 82 Facebook updates, 312 tweets, and all those delicious Instagram updates are giving you the same chemical impression that you’ve accomplished something of value. Whether it’s all the consumption or the sense of feeling busy, these micro-highs will never equal the high when you’ve actually built.
I’ve never really thought about what to choose to quote. In previous posts I mostly just chose what sounded cool. For this Rands piece, for example, I was going to go with this sentence, because of its delightful flow and sonority:
You’re fucking swimming in everyone else’s moments, likes, and tweets and during these moments of consumption you are coming to believe that their brief interestingness to others makes it somehow relevant to you and worth your time.
Noticing how others picked the quote got me thinking. Gruber’s was short and didn’t directly convey what the article was about. But it is intriguing. Marco, on the other hand, picked a paragraph that did a great job showing how consuming social media noises and the act of building did something similar—but ultimately not even close—to our mind. If the goal is to give the reader a summary of an article, Marco did the best job between us three.
I’m not sure what’s the conclusion here. But I sure am going to think more whenever I write these quote posts.