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Everybody already knows
When I came across the image I sent out to Second Breakfast the other day, I thought it was a cool depiction of how cars and people are incompatible.
After taking it in, I also thought to myself that it wasn’t very novel. “Everybody’s probably already seen this.”
I have a tendency to do this about so many things I discover.
“Everybody has a Substack newsletter now.”
“Everybody knows the main complaints about Prop 13.”
“Everybody knows who Henry George is and what his ideas were.”
“Everybody has heard of Mailchimp.”
“Everybody has seen Empathy Wines by Vaynerchuk.”
Why do I forget that 10 seconds ago, I had never seen that image?
It feels like a version of Crichton’s Gell-Mann amnesia effect. Just like how we forget journalists aren’t experts, once we learn a fact, we forget what it’s like to not know that fact.
This problem is exacerbated by Twitter bubbles. Oftentimes I roll my eyes because it seems everyone I follow on Twitter is reading Sapiens and Atomic Habits and Poor Charlie’s Almanack and is engaged in a collective party of confirmation bias.
But even if it’s true that everyone I follow online is reading all the same stuff as me (they aren’t), I need to remember this is a tiny fraction of my actual life. It’s a self-selected group based on my interests.
None of my IRL friends are on Twitter.