Skip to content

Marginalia - 1/29/2023

Lessons in various forms, Barnes and Noble, stop the deluge.

Paul Craig
Paul Craig
3 min read
Marginalia - 1/29/2023

Marginalia is a weekly synthesis of the flotsam, jetsam, and whatnot of the news cycle with a few dry, sarcastic one-liners here and there.


A lesson will be repeated until it is learned. The same lesson will be presented to you in various forms, until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
– Fr. Louis Guntzelman, Rules for Being Human, via Bits & Pieces
Rules for being human
Rules for Being Human - Bits and Pieces

Maybe you will move on to the next lesson.

Maybe you will forget the lesson you learned and be forced to repeat the remedial assignment.

The ultimate life maxim: Choose your behavior, choose your consequences.

The Barnes & Noble Turnaround

This company has been a failure at digital media, and has succeeded by embracing the most antiquated technology of them all: the printed book.
– Ted Gioia, "What Can We Learn from Barnes & Noble's Surprising Turnaround"
What Can We Learn from Barnes & Noble’s Surprising Turnaround?
Digital platforms are struggling, meanwhile a 136-year-old book retailer is growing again. But why?
What Can We Learn from Barnes & Noble's Surprising Turnaround? - Ted Gioia

James Daunt ignored the alleged necessity of "digital transformation," or "DX" as the technocrats love to say.

Daunt turned around Waterstone's, an ailing British bookseller. Now he's doing it again at Barnes & Noble. Ted Gioia details the level of Daunt's contrarian thinking in the link above.

I never have understood why one often is forced to go against the "prevailing wisdom" of the day to be successful. Daunt proves the existence of yet another instance of institutional groupthink... and is in the active process of smashing it to pieces.


So it’s good to stop. Not just taking in less, but taking in none. Even one day of stopping works wonders for the soul. Three days are better. A week even better.
– Rebecca Toh, "The Courage to Stop"
The courage to stop
“Stop” is a word I like very much. Every day we are buried in a deluge of new information, new content, new this, new that. We are collecting and watching and reading and listening but …
The courage to stop - Rebecca Toh

You have the choice of a deep life.

Deep reading. Deep contemplation. Deep relationships.

Today's society operates in a mode of surfaces... and the skimming thereof.

Eight million miles wide, less than a nanometer deep.

The information deluge... the hyperactive hive mind... it's eating away the human brain's prime reason for existence... thinking.

Step away. For a day. A week.

Read a book. A long book. A long, complicated book.

Take notes. Analog. Paper. Writing utensil... pen or pencil.

Save your sanity and your soul.

Paul Craig Twitter

Father. Husband. Practicing Stoic. 30+ years Printing and Substrate Technology. One step at a time.