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Philosophy of Personal Performance Systems

Philosophy of Personal Performance Systems
By August Bradley • Issue #8 • View online
In this Issue:
  • Philosophy of Personal Performance Systems
  • Productivity Cults
  • New on Mind & Machine
  • Human Knowledge
  • Our World Transforming
  • Business Transforming

A huge welcome to all the new subscribers from my Notion YouTube channel! It’s awesome to see this community growing quickly, with 612 new members since the last issue two weeks ago.
Thoughts & Reflections
Philosophy of Personal Performance Systems
Friday I joined Marie Poulin on the Notion Office Hours series (a live Crowdcast, also streamed to YouTube - 2 hrs). Marie has been a remarkable guiding light of the Notion community, and it was a thrill to explore my approach to a Notion “Life Operating System" implementation on the show. (If you’re unfamiliar with Notion software, I introduced it several issues ago.)
A debate broke out during the live-stream in the viewer chat column as Marie and I discussed the conceptual and philosophical underpinnings of such a personal performance system. Some wanted us to get on to the technical implementation aspects of a Notion build-out. Others valued hearing about the more philosophical and psychological influences on the system design. 
To me, the two are so deeply intertwined they cannot be separated. To design a life-guiding system without a philosophical underpinning based on extensive self awareness, is to build an empty shell — a generic cardboard box without any resonance and without any foundational connection to your ideas, beliefs, and core motivations. Not only would you not follow it, but even if you did it wouldn’t lead you anywhere meaningful.
So to build a life-guiding system, one needs to think deeply about one’s values, aspirations, and relationships with a wide range of influences — both internal and external (again, fundamental to systems thinking). It’s aided by an understanding of how other people have struggled with and resolved similar issues. Studying how others have built their personal systems is not just about the technical implementation, but about the purposes and principles around which those systems are constructed — and why they succeed when so many personal systems do not.
Productivity Cults
I shared a tweet a few days ago having fun with the nerdy tendencies of many of us focused on personal performance/productivity. 
August Bradley
Twitter skirmishes between @NotionHQ, @RoamResearch and @evernote are the height of productivity nerdiness.

Well-organized digital gangs procrastinating from actual work by debating the best way to work.

#Productivity #Knowledge #NoteTakingApps
The Notion crowd smiled with me (my people!), no peep from the Evernote crowd (they’re too practical for such things), but I got actual push back from the Roam crowd — including from Conor, the creator and founder of Roam.
Conor White-Sullivan
Have you never been on a construction site?

Builders talk about their tools all the time!

Better yet - the picasso quote

"Art critics talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. ... Artists talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine."
If you don’t know Roam Research, it’s a fascinating new tool for collecting information, capturing your notes and thoughts, and creating a network of bi-directional links and relationships between all this information. It forms a sort of neural network and facilitates thinking and discovery of new insights. 
I’ve been playing with it and really like many aspects, will share more impressions on it in the future. I’m a fan, though for me it performs a specialty satellite role on the side of my central Notion system.
Despite my playful self-deprecating tweet, I loved the response from the #RoamCult (as they’re known on twitter). I love the earnestness. Conner and the Roamers believe deeply in the importance of knowledge tools. I love the passion. Because these things matter, they make a massive difference in peoples lives. And I love the sense of community, of unapologetically embracing something meaningful together. I might just be a closet #RoamCult member, but don’t tell anyone. 
I’m certainly in the Notion cult, a term used in the recent New York Times article to describe the dedicated following that has proven product-market fit for Notion. This following helped the company raise $50 Million dollars in a VC funding round they lined up in just three days, at an incredible valuation of $2 Billion.
Joining cults has never been so productive.
The Medical Futurist on Fighting Pandemics with Emerging Technologies, Now & In The Future
The Medical Futurist on Fighting Pandemics with Emerging Technologies, Now & In The Future
My recent guest on the show was Dr. Bertalan Mesko, also known as The Medical Futurist (YouTube Video and Audio Podcast). He’s the Director of The Medical Futurist Institute, delivers keynote addresses all over the world, and runs a popular magazine and YouTube channel on the future of medicine with an emphasis on how technology will shape healthcare.
With the Coronavirus pandemic underway, we get into the nature of pandemics, what stages to look for in the evolution of the COVID-19 crisis, and what we can expect with future pandemics. Then we discuss how emerging technologies are being used to fight the virus, and how we can better prepare to fight future pandemics by leveraging Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Genomics, 3D Printing, and other advanced technologies.
Access & Subscribe to MIND & MACHINE directly:
Human Knowledge
Our World Transforming
Thank God for the Internet
Business Transforming
Notion's VC Funding: The Most Anticipated Deal in Silicon Valley
The Verge Tech Survey 2020: How people feel about Apple, Google, Facebook, and more
Heard on Twitter
Shane Parrish
Simple —> Complicated —> Simple

At first things appear simple. As you learn more they become complicated. As you learn even more, they become simple.

Simplicity on the other side of complexity is understanding.
Thanks for Reading!
Thoughts and feedback on the newsletter or on anything covered within are always welcome, just hit reply.
The thing I love most about writing this newsletter is follow-up interactions with readers. My hope is this emerges into a community. So please hit me up with any thoughts, questions or ideas. I would love to hear from you.
Signing out!
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August Bradley

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