Wanna Get Triggered? Read the Book of Uncomfortable Truths

Bill Masur – @futureinmindd – has written a controversial book.

And I’m kinda impressed because it started out as a series of controversial tweets which he then turned into his book.

It was a cool and interesting process which I watched happening in real time.

You can read his original thread here later if you want. But tune in below for my account.

So here’s what happened. Bill busted out this mad storm of crazy tweets. All sorts of politically incorrect stuff.

You know… things that you might think and keep to yourself, but might not care to broadcast too loudly beyond your own comfortable echo chamber of family and friends.

And then, in a very short space of time, his tweet-storm gained traction, got lots of likes and retweets, and next minute Bill turned it into a book.

I’m not sure if it was a week later. But it was pretty fast. Content aside though, just this approach on its own is pretty cool.

What I mean is this:

  • Bill used Twitter as a kind of Kickstarter for his ideas.

He wanted to see whether there was a readership for what he had to say. He wanted to test whether people would engage.

And it turns out there was.

And they did

Bill’s thread on Uncomfortable Truths has been re-tweeted more than five and a half thousand times.

And the likes are approaching 10 thousand last time I checked.

The thread was a kind of minimal viable information product. The response was a kind of informational market validation.

Now, retweets and likes don’t equal sales I hear you muttering.

But… this exercise of his proved that people wanted to read to what he had to say.

And that they wanted to share it with others. Bill could see that he was making a dent in the universe.

And then there is that greatest flattery of all. Others copied the idea and started their own threads of uncomfortable truths.

This imitation is another kind of validation in the marketplace of ideas that is Twitter.

The structure of his idea was viral. It became a kind of meme.

But let’s get to the content.

I’m a New Zealander and Bill is an American, so his first chapter on war was a bit jarring. Kiwis are a peaceful bunch generally speaking.

But it turns out Bill is against war. Or at least against war as a racket.

But that doesn’t make him some kind of pacifist wimp though. Bill sees war as a racket designed to drive sales where a handful of rich corporations are making a financial killing. Pun intended.

This was interesting for me, because from my position down under, it always seems like Americans are obsessed with war.

NZ doesn’t occupy foreign countries. So we don’t worry about this as much. Or perhaps… we just don’t obsess about war as much here.

Specifically, Bill is talking about sales of weapons. As a country, we sell sheep and butter. Quite different to weapons of mass destruction.

But in NZ we still have to live with the global consequences of the actions of superpower countries like the US.

And war is still used by our news media to sell advertising from products we don’t need.

But just so we’re clear, Bill isn’t against capitalism either.

In his second chapter, he talks about the value of learning to sell versus learning to code.

Sales (as long as you’re not selling the weapons of mass destruction) turns out to be the one skill that all of us use. And need to get better at.

By sales, what Bill really really means is the science and art of persuasion. And he says there’s nothing sleazy about this.

Unless you’re evil.

I agree.

What sales gives you skin in the game.

What else?

Bill rails against central banking and debt, declining testosterone levels in men, government interference in the economy and the effects of information overload.

It’s good stuff. But I have to apply a filter.

I have to apply my I’m-not-an-American filter and check how it fits my own reality outside of the USA.

And a further caution:

  • There is lots of content here that will polarise people.

Good

[Imagine that last bit said in a deep navy seal Jocko Willink voice].

There’s nothing wrong with agreeing or disagreeing strongly with something.

I certainly see some things from a different perspective.

But here’s something that particularly resonated with me.

Depression and anxiety are a symptom of too much consumption and too little creation. You were put on this earth to create.

I really like this.

It’s accurate.

On a personal level, since I reconnected a few months back with a very old hobby of mine – music creation – I have been happier than I have been in years.

So… buy the damn book and read it.

Get triggered.

Then have some interesting conversations with people you respect. Or even people you don’t.

Either way, it’ll make you think.

Click here for the link to Bill’s Book.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

2 thoughts

  1. Thanks Graeme – like your summary of it – not too sure about some of the some of the tweets themselves – but might take a look at the book out of curiousity. Interesting concept overall in terms of putting together a book. Wonder if the same approach would work with research?

    1. Yeah, I liked the idea of it too. The speed of turn around was impressive. We don’t have much traction here with Twitter as a platform though. Probably it shouldn’t matter as geography is no longer our master with the internet, but I think you need a large following to generate the feedback and the North American audience seems to provide that better. At least at the moment.

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