The Essay Is the Unit

While I was reading “The distraction-free iPhone (or ‘Why I’m happier since I disabled Safari’)” I noticed a bunch of icons alongside different paragraphs.

Obviously, before finishing reading an article about short time span and productivity (how many productivity articles have been written in the past couple months?!), I had to know what those icons were.

As I suspected, they were discussions that medium.com allows to have on each single paragraph.

I believe this is wrong.

The smallest unit of an essay is not a paragraph, a sentence, or a word. Its the essay. Motivating and promoting people to dissect and discuss bits and fragments of an essay is a recipe for misunderstandings and half-baked thoughts. I understand the motivation, but I believe it sets up the stage to have the wrong kind of discussions.

FWIW, the article itself, “The distraction-free iPhone (or ‘Why I’m happier since I disabled Safari’)”, is good and a worthwhile experiment. Not an insightful comment, but hey, I’d rather try the experiment Jake proposes before commenting on it.

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