My Favourite Media - What I Watch, Listen To, and Read

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, and reading Julian’s post on the same topic motivated me to finish.

I plan to keep this up-to-date as my preferences change.

Please let me know what I should be watching/listening to/reading that isn’t here in the comments!

How I Consume Content

In general, I try to be as deliberate as possible in consuming content.  

Here are some general principles:

  • I try to avoid the news as much as possible: I don’t read news websites, I try to resist political Twitter, etc.  There is very little information here that changes my life on a daily basis, or needs to be acted upon.

  • I try to avoid starting new TV series.  They are extremely time-consuming, and past experience has shown they can distract me for days at a time.  When I feel like watching something, I’ll try to make it a single movie/documentary/etc.

  • I try to avoid consuming for the sake of consuming.  If I don’t feel like doing work, and want to watch something instead, I’ll try and watch sports, or a good movie, from my list of movies I want to watch (not a Netflix movie I know nothing about).

  • Twitter and Instagram are definitely where I spend the most social media time.  Instagram can be distracting, but also good for learning and inspiration, particularly if you’re into photography.

  • Twitter can be a fantastic look into what many brilliant people are thinking, particularly in tech.

  • Email newsletters are also a great way to stay up-to-date and have other people filter content for you, helping improve indiscriminate consumption.

  • I try to read books by topic, and also like reading all of an author’s works together.  You can learn more about how I read here.

  • I wish I listened to more podcasts - I think they’re fantastic.  The reality is, I just don’t currently find the time. I don’t usually commute, and can’t listen while I’m working.

What I Watch, Listen To, and Read

TV Shows (current):

  • Billions - Fantastic acting and look into the world of finance in New York.

  • Silicon Valley - Can verify it is scarily accurate.

  • The Grand Tour - If you like cars, this is a very entertaining hour.

  • Last Week Tonight - My only conscious dose of news, though the main segments are less trendy.

TV Shows (past):

  • Peaky Blinders - Love the setting and acting.

  • Californication - A classic about California life and challenging family dynamics.

  • Dexter - Fantastic acting, interesting premise.

  • True Detective - Great acting, great pacing and plot building.

  • The Office - A classic.

  • Archer - Some of the best dialogue out there.

  • Sherlock - Great stories, equally good acting.

  • House of Lies - Underrated, but extremely entertaining (and likely closer to reality than most would admit).

Podcasts:

  • The Tim Ferriss Show - I just don’t find time to listen to more podcasts.  This is very entertaining and a good range of topics & guests.

Films:

  • The Departed - One of my favorite endings, full of great acting, and set in Boston.

  • Seven - My favorite of the psychological thriller genre.

  • Casino Royale - One of the biggest changes to the Bond francise in years, a dark, gritty look at how the Bond character was formed.

  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels - I generally love Guy Ritchie films, and the London underground setting.

  • Snatch - Another Guy Ritchie classic.

  • Seven Pounds - Will Smith struggling with life’s biggest questions.

  • Shooter - Best sniper movie of the modern era; fan of the book too.

  • Miami Vice - Got terrible reviews, but I love the Miami/oceanfront setting.

  • Interstellar - Mind-blowing every time, particularly if you’re familiar with the physics portrayed in the movie.

  • Fight Club - Another great movie in the psychological thriller area.

  • 300 - Always inspiring.

  • Like Crazy - One of the best romantic films I’ve ever seen.  Won’t necessarily make you feel good, but much more realistic.

  • Adventureland - My favorite feel-good summer flick.

Blogs:

  • Nat Eliason - Consistently interesting content.  SEO specialist, among other things.

  • Julian Shapiro - Long guides are outstanding.  Blog is very good too.

  • Tim Ferriss - The person I follow most consistently across platforms.

  • Ryan Holiday - Stoicism forms basis for a lot of his writing; also does marketing.

  • Fred Wilson - VC offering regular, interesting content.

  • Alex Iskold - My managing director at Techstars NYC, writes very clear content for startups.

  • Wait but Why - Long-form blog posts about big questions and topics.  Really like a series of shorter books.

  • Farnam Street - A website dedicated to improving thinking.  Great content on books, learning, and more. Based in Ottawa too!

Twitter:

Instagram:

Email Newsletters:

  • The Hustle - Daily digest of what’s happening in tech and business.

  • Mister Spoils - Daily email of IG accounts to follow, a product, a song, and a story.

  • Farnam Street - Weekly email of new content on Farnam Street blog.

  • Nat Eliason - Weekly digest of what’s interesting/new content.

  • Seth Godin - Daily blog post on marketing/life/business.

  • Benedict Evans - Weekly digest of what’s happening in tech.

Authors:

  • Robert Greene - Long, life-lesson books interspersed with examples from history.

  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Contrarian views on a wide variety of things, including predictions, forecasting, and more.

  • Cal Newport - Productivity and work guru.

  • James Clear - Expert in habits.

  • Tim Ferriss - Wide-ranging productivity and learning expert.

  • Dan Pink - Research-based books on a wide range of useful topics.

Books:

Other Sources:

  • The Athletic - If you’re into sports, this is the best content I’ve found.

  • The Economist - I no longer subscribe as part of my effort to cut out news, but if you have to read news, this is fantastic analysis, with a more Euro-centric feel (UK specifically).

What else should I be watching/listening to/reading that I’m not?

Let me know in the comments.