Dmitry Petrov Back

What do you read?

There are some habits that I developed during my life that sometimes give me pure moments of joy. The reason that happens is mostly due to the fact that I don’t know exactly what I get and I don’t do it to achieve something, it’s plain curiosity.

One of them is browsing maps. Earlier that were paper maps. now it’s Google Maps but the principle stays the same - I just scroll through the map in any direction and sometimes find some interesting stuff (like this circular house in Moscow).

Another one is reading signs or just looking around at cars and buildings. Here is one of my recent findings. How cool is that?

Or here is one more - whenever I see someone reading a book I immediately start googling the name and in many cases I end up reading something fascinating and new to me.

What unites all of this is pure randomness of the process - you don’t know what you get. It can be total crap, it can be a pearl, you don’t know and this is the essence.

Anyone can name lot’s of random events that turned life upside down and that was the best thing happened to them. Moreover, in many cases it’s completely fair to say that random events played a far more important role that any specific plans.

What also unites all this pure randomness is that it’s impossible to optimize for, conversion is too low. Amazon or Spotify will be able to give you most relevant similar items to what you already have, but noone will be able to recommend you something that you don’t know you like, it’s always a bubble of some sorts.

It’s completely fine to be in such bubbles, since the experience is predictable and enjoyable, but you can already feel that you’re missing out and you don’t know what. Every single time randomeness disappears in one or the other area we gain something but at the same time we lose.

The closest to my heart is of course books. Since it’s all the smarphones and e-readers now, you cannot really say what people read, and that’s tragic, because some of them can read a book that will change one’s life. And no one will ask.

What I think would be really cool is to reverse this trend. Let every e-reader or smartphone to publish information via bluetooth to nearby devices. There is no point in that except feeding curiosity of others, but that already sounds fascinating, right? To do something for no reason, except letting others to experience a pure joy of randomness.