From Content Consumer to Creator

These blogposts will go on for some time. They are based on repurposing some of the content that I consume on a daily basis. I have been consuming content through audiobooks, youtube videos and podcasts. But this consumption has presented me with a unique problem. I have become a voracious consumer of content to the level of addiction. This is my first attempt at detoxing by sharing some of the great lessons that have made a lasting impression on my views. I have been writing notes using my favourite note-taking App, Roam Research. This application has helped me to link content that did not seem related previously. Right now, I have enough content saved, ready to repurpose and share.

Audiobooks

I have often wondered about the time I waste commuting to and from work or just shopping or visiting friends, especially when I am alone in the car. Music is great, but I have been listening to music for decades. It’s great entertainment, but I have reached a stage where I want more than just entertainment. I want to learn something new, and I think books are great for that. But I can’t read and drive. Instead, I can listen to audiobooks at more than the normal speed. Currently, I am able to listen at twice the normal speed without a problem. So I revisited Amazon’s Audible App and Apple’s iBooks App. I already had some books there, and I just started buying more books.

So far in 2021, I have read 30 books ranging from diet to stoicism. I have always had a copy of Plato’s Republic (which has ten books!) but never managed to finish reading it since my university days. In these dialogues, Socrates (or rather Plato) argues for a republic led by a philosopher-king. This time I managed to do so on Audible. Right now, I am listening to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr Stephen R. Covey. Stephen emphasizes the need to be proactive, to begin with, the end in mind, to put first things first, to think win-win in negotiations, to seek to understand others and also to be understood, to find synergies between your different skills sets and to practice good habits until they are second nature. It’s a really powerful book. Although I had heard about the book from several YouTubers, it was the recommendation by a participant from a Clubhouse room that finally convinced me to read it. I have read Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen and also Getting Things Done For Teens also by David Allen, which I have gifted to my teenage children. It comes with an accompanying PDF with easy-to-understand sketches. David Allen’s method is famously known as GTD.

YouTube Videos

I have watched many educational YouTube videos on science, health, fitness, business, technology, philosophy etc. One of the things I have started to do since subscribing to Roam Research is taking notes. I wish an application like this one had existed earlier but now is still a good time. I also wish I had started writing notes consistently on everything I have consumed, especially the book I have read since primary school. Roam is able to link the notes I take through Backlinks. I explain in more detail in my blog post-Enter Roam Research. Roam is a great way to build a Knowledge Management System or a Second Brain, as promoted by Tiago Forte. It’s also called the Zettelkasten System. Roam was founded by Conor White-Sullivan. I am using Roam to write these blog posts from the notes that I take on a daily basis in true Renaissance Man fashion, where I am not confined to one area of knowledge, but I can find linkages. This is information that I have learnt about through YouTube videos. There is so much great educational content on YouTube, but you will also find a tonne of entertainment. Although it is good to be entertained sometimes, it can become addictive unless you use it to learn how to entertain others. Educational content can also become a source of entertainment unless you start taking notes and repurposing the knowledge through blogging, podcasting, or making your own YouTube videos. I learnt a lot about COVID-19 from scientific experts on YouTube who read scientific papers and share what they have read. I can either read the scientific papers myself because I have a science background, or I can just watch these guys dissect the science.

Podcasts

For some time, I binge-listened to many podcasts on Apple Podcasts, including The GaryVee Audio Experience, The Joe Rogan Experience, the Fundamental Health with Paul Saladino, MD etc. I was hooked! The James Altucher Show and StarTalk Radio Show with Neil DeGrasse Tyson were the other podcasts that got me listening back to the first episode. The podcast style was different. It was conversational. I learnt a lot about Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin from podcasts like The Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network, the Bad Crypto Podcast and The Pomp Podcast. I should also single out The Tim Ferris Show, Making Sense with Sam Harris and Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner. There are many more podcasts, too many to mention in a single blog post! Roam will enable me to talk about all these in future blog posts. Podcasts replaced music as an entertainment option while driving. I was now switching between podcasts and audiobooks. But just like YouTube videos, I was running into the trap of consumption. It was difficult to drive and take notes until I discovered an application called Airr through a YouTube video by Nat Eliason. I imported my Apple Podcasts into Airr because it has the functionality to take notes on snippets of the conversation or presentation that I find useful and integrate with Readwise and Roam Research in audio or written form. Now for the first time, I could take notes from podcasts. That changed the whole game. Listening to podcasts is now worth the time. Besides, I can listen at twice the normal speed, but I can not read that fast—that application changed my life.

Conclusion

As I have stated in my introduction, these blogposts will go on for some time. I have started the process of repurposing the content that I have consumed over the years. In the past year, I have started taking notes for YouTube videos, podcasts and I am on the lookout for taking notes on the audiobooks that I listen to while driving. I want to consume less and produce more. Imagine if I could write more books than I have read, create more podcast episodes than I have listened to and upload more YouTube videos than I have watched? That would be very satisfying. I am currently fascinated by Clubhouse. I just need to figure out how I can avoid falling into the trap of listening to the experts and produce my own content instead. I will continue to use Roam Research for note-taking and writing blog posts. At least once a week!

Testing the Rode NT Mini Microphone

This is a test of the Rode NT Mini Microphone which I just bought on Amazon to up my podcasting game. I have not edited the audio after recording because I don’t have the time. I always look for tools that don’t require me to edit the footage afterwards. I believe this microphone is one such tool.

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Share What You Have Consumed

Today I watched a few videos on YouTube. The first video was about podcasting whilst driving. I have always thought about the time I spend while going to university, work or any long trip, mostly if I’m alone in the car. Music is a natural choice for many people.

I moved from listening to music while driving, to podcasts and audiobooks. After a few years, I realised that I could no longer learn anything new from the podcasts and books. Most podcasters repeat the same ideas in different contexts. If you watch YouTube videos of authors promoting their books in interviews, you will be disappointed with the book because they have told you everything in the book before you read it. Listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos before reading a book is not a good idea. I want to focus on podcasting, so the podcast is something I am willing to continue consuming. It helps me to keep track of new ideas in podcasting. I like podcasting because I can repurpose the podcast into a YouTube video and a blog post.

Anyone who can make podcasts should spend less time listening to podcasts unless preparing for a future host on a particular podcast. Youtube is also for research purposes if you are a podcaster, so is Facebook watch to some extent. Music is okay for occasions, not for blasting on the radio as you travel. I suppose for long journeys you might want to do so, but if you are a creator, its time you could spend creating actual content.

I also watched a video by Seth Godin, where he talks about productivity. He says that if you think that the content you are making is terrible, you should show us the wrong content. If you cannot display, it’s because you haven’t done any. In that case, you cannot say your content is terrible when you haven’t made any.

Seth explains why we have been brainwashed about where to put our energy, time, and focus. The human race has been experiencing disruption for over twenty years. We all have a microphone now, which means we are potentially all podcasters. The question is what we do with that microphone. You can be a force for good. You can share ideas or tell stories with that microphone. Seth says if its a hobby it’s for you and if it feels like work, then it’s for other people to whom it may be a hobby. You have to do something where you benefit from being yourself. Supposing you like debating, why not do that every day but record it so that you can share and convert it into a business that pays the bills. If you want to be a runner, you have to go running every day. To be a successful podcaster, you have to podcast every day. Seth blogs everyday. What can you do daily and enjoy it? Find ways to monetise that thing. Tom Bilyeu was interviewing Seth in the video. He warns against succumbing to our ‘psychological immune system’ which stops us pursuing the things that make us happy. Seth says that the hack is the hobby, not the something that brings you short term success.

Next, I watched a video about the gut microbiome and how it influences our food choices. The gut contains neurones and neural connections which control our thinking. The gut itself is nothing more than a massive bioreactor. About 2-3 kgs of the gut are just bacteria of all sorts. Each person has a unique microbiome. We produce 1-4 litres of gas daily we expose ourselves to microbes during or soon after birth. Antibiotics deplete the microbiota population in the gut because microbes make certain antibiotics toxic. The change in microbiome disrupts our eating habits and the way that we think. Stress has an impact on the gut microbiome—adrenaline and noradrenaline impact on microbiota. Gut microbes can also make you fat by affecting your food choices. Fast food is said to kill the microbes that make you thin. We can use gut microbes for gut microbe therapy.

I then watched a video where Simon Sinek talked about getting people to follow you as a leader. Simon warns that social media interactions trigger the same chemicals triggered when we take drugs like cocaine. Dopamine is one of these drugs and is very addictive. We have to be mindful of the effects of this on children.

Information is power. We can make consequential decisions based on the information that we consume. It is also essential to repurpose the information and share it with the people that listen to us.

That’s what I think. What do you think?

Share what you think will help others

Sometimes we wonder what t is that we should blog about. It’s not that difficult to figure if you remember that we are storytellers and that the human mind is a story processing machine. The story gives context to the ideas or sequence of events. If you come across something that you think others may learn from, then its a good idea to share especially if you put it into your own words.

On this blog I will share stories to do with nutrition, exercise, science and anything else that I find interesting. More importantly, I want you to be able to do the same and ultimately build a business around it. I will share what I know and ask when I don’t know.

Food Is Information

Every time we eat something, we are sending a message to the body. The body responds through the hormonal system. For example, when we eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose. When the glucose is absorbed into the blood vessels, the pancreas produces insulin. The insulin forces the glucose into the liver as glycogen for storage or into fat cells, again for storage. That’s how we become obese.

Transcribing my Podcast

Here is the transcript with no edits except my name: Hello there is Dereck again. So, I would really like to record a very short podcast, as an experiment of something which I think I might be doing from now on. So what I want to do is I want to record a podcast, and at the same time, I’m using a software called otter.ai. And I’m using this software to transcribe my voice. So, as I speak. My phone is right beside me. And the AI is transcribing what I’m saying, and reason being that I want to use that transcription. As a blog post. And obviously before I post the blog or I post it onto my blog. I will go through it with another application called grammarly.com. And I will edit the text, before I finally send it over. But I think just having done this, it saves me a lot of time that I would have needed to write a whole blog. So, the whole purpose of this is to repurpose, my content, so that instead of having to record a podcast to a video. Write it a transcript or write a blog post from scratch, which I can all do but the problem is the time to do that. And once you start fighting for time. I think that’s where issues of procrastination. Begin. You begin to put things put things off because you just don’t have the time. But if all you have to do is speak, and as you speak you’re recording the podcast. And at the same time. An intelligent artificial intelligence is is really just transcribing, he was saying that you know days no need to stress over time, or the time to do these things. So yeah, it is a short podcast, but also an experiment at transcription, to see how good this platform is or this software, this otter.ai really is almost three minutes now into the recording. So I’m just gonna stop the recording now, and I will talk to you about the results of this little experiment.

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Introducing Roam Research

Roam Research is a note-taking tool for networked and the reason why my content creation is going to the next level.

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Enter Roam Research

Roam Research is a note-taking app for networked thought founded by Conor White-Sullivan. It is as easy to use as a document but as powerful as a graph database. It is able to link all the documents written in it. I can see how I can build a personal search engine using this application. No matter what information you throw at Roam Research, it is able to organise it at the point of asking. Roam Research is an application of the Zettelkasten System. This method of indexing information for future use was devised by Niklas Luhmann. It is a great way to create a Knowledge Management System. Since my first journal entry on Roam Research, I have been figuring out how best I can use the platform. I use other Note-Taking apps such as Evernote but this is different and serves a unique purpose, as do the other applications. For that reason, I can use both applications at the time and I don’t try to compare them or find the perfect note-taking app. In fact, I use other Note-Taking Apps such as Notion and Obsidian and many more but the three mentioned here are the closest to Roam Research – a Note-Taking App for networked thought. I believe all thinking is networked but we force our thoughts to be recorded in a hierarchical order in folders and lists and retrieving that information to create new content is not always straight forward with any of these applications. I am attracted to Roam Research because it mimics the way that my brain works. It’s like my second brain. Roam Research uses Tags, Backlinks and Pages to create build a Second Brain and network my thoughts so that I can create new content. This is the first blog post that I have created using Roam Research.

Image Courtesy of Roam Research

Building a Second Brain

Building a second brain ensures that the ideas we capture on a daily basis can be retrieved to create new content. Tiago Forte has courses that teach people to build a second brain to help them become more productive. I have come across many ideas in almost 5 decades. Some of the ideas have stayed with me but others have fizzled away. I am growing my second brain using Roam Research. When I remember any idea of the keyword I just dump it into Roam Research. When I get time, I go through the ideas and expand on them. Slowly, the application finds relationships between the ideas and new ideas are created. This application gives my mind the freedom to jump from idea to idea and see linkages between them. My use of the platform has evolved and is still evolving and will continue to evolve. The lack of a rigid structure is quite appealing because I don’t have to worry about where my notes are going or how I will use them in the future. I know they will be there when I need them. The next stage of my experience with Roam Research is to see if I can use it to write a Dereck Tafuma Daily Blog. I know that I can easily write 2500 words or more a day and perhaps with the data dump here, I can be able to pull some of the information and use it to write my blog without spending a lot of time on it. I have chosen the following key terms for this blog post: Roam Research, Building a Second Brain, Tags, Backlinks and Pages, Networked Thought, and Productivity. They are all linked to the notes I have written on them. I have them all opened in the right-hand pane of Roam Research so I am getting the ideas directly from there. Each of those pages is also an unfinished piece of work which I can update or modify at any time. This is huge because it means I can continuously create new content using the information I already have and that information is easily retrievable. It is truly a second brain and it is there when I need it. The true value of a second brain is in the new content that I am now creating using the information I have collected from websites, YouTube, Podcasts etc. Consuming content for me is part of the research process. Any information that I collect must be available to create something new. Without a second brain, it is difficult to create new content unless you are simply documenting your daily life or vlogging. But if you consume content, then you need to make notes and eventually use your notes to create your own content so that others can benefit from what you have learnt. Roam Research makes it easy to build a second brain and create new material because of the bi-directional links that it creates between the information that you throw at it.

Tags, Backlinks and Pages

Roam Research uses tags, backlinks, and pages. Tags are the same as the tags that we use on other social media platforms to link content written about the words or concepts that have been used in the tag. On Instagram, you can follow tags to get content from accounts that mention the tag. The tag backlinks to instances where the term has been used. When I am writing an article, I can access the information associated with the tags that I want to write about. The plan is to document instead of creating as Gary Vaynerchuk says. If that is the case, then the blog is just a journal. And I have plenty to write in the journal. As I type, linked references begin to pop up at the bottom. Why are these important? They are important because they make it possible for me to use that information for my current article. they become evergreen content. For this article, I have used the following tags: #roamresearch, #zettelkastenlearningmethod, #secondbrain, #tags, #backlinks, #pages, #networkedthought, and #productivity. The tags backlink to every instance of the tagged word in all my notes on Roam. The pages behave exactly the same way that the tags behave. The pages have more detailed information that I have inputted already. To truly benefit from Roam, I have to write as many notes as I can. Every time I write these notes, I am making it easier for me to use them in the future. For the first time, I am writing down notes which I know I can use in the future. Even this article will come in handy when I write a future article. I use pages more than I use tags since they serve the same functional purpose.

Networked Thought

I have always had a very busy mind and I have often used various note-taking applications to record some of them. I have never found an application that could link these ideas together with the way that Roam Research is doing so. The advantage with Roam is that I don’t need to import these notes and ideas into it, I can simply start building my database from scratch. I have brought some notes into it, some articles and books that I have written in the past, some published and others still to be published. I know that now I can easily complete them and edit those that I have published for republishing. I am now linking them all together to create awesome content. My thoughts are now networked.

Productivity, Getting Things Done

Productivity means creating something that others can consume. I want to create as much content as I can. Roam is perfect for productivity because I have everything I need in one place. Prior note-taking places all the ideas I need in one accessible place. As an example, I have the word productivity in 8 different notes in Roam. I mentioned productivity under the pagesAi Writer, a writing app for books, Todoist, a to-do list, Evernote, another note-taking app, and other notes as well. This is amazing because context matters, and I can see how I have used the word repeatedly as appropriate.

Conclusion

Roam Research is perfect for Building a Second Brain and then using Tags, Backlinks and Pages to network my thoughts and improve on Productivity to create new content. As I said, my use of Roam is still evolving and will always evolve as I seek to improve on note-taking and content creation. I want to avoid consuming content without taking notes and creating more content.

Introduction to IGCSE Physics

  1. Forces and motion
  2. Electricity
  3. Waves
  4. Energy resources and energy transfers
  5. Solids, liquids and gases
  6. Magnetism and electromagnetism
  7. Radioactivity and particles
  8. Astrophysics

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