About Good Infection

Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.
-C.S. Lewis

Garbage By Default

There is an abundance of negativity and ignorance in our world. Our brains are constantly bombarded with negative propaganda from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep. It comes from television and mainstream media, the internet and social media, radio, social circles, billboards, and so on.

Almost everything in society fills our brains with garbage by default.

The friction which results from ignorance can be reduced only by the spread of knowledge and the unification of the heterogeneous elements of humanity. No effort could be better spent.
-Nikola Tesla

To rise above the negative memes that permeate modern culture, we must not only make an effort to avoid them, but replace them with practical philosophy, wisdom, and good ideas. We must take the initiative to cultivate positive influences.

Positive Influences

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
-Jim Rohn

The quickest way to improve life is through positive association.

Who we associate with has an influence on us, whether we like it or not. And there is no such thing as neutral influences — everything and everyone is either a net negative or a net positive in your life. As a result, I believe we need to make an effort to always choose the positive. Because who we surround ourselves with, and the ideas we surround ourselves with, is a major key to the progressive realization of our ideals in life.

The Magic of Books

Books are a uniquely portable magic.
-Stephen King

One of the most common ways to get into the minds of the greatest thinkers that have ever lived is through books.

Books are an incredible technology for absorbing the wisdom of the world, but they have limits. Books require a great deal of time to read, which is oftentimes worthwhile. (I’ve always believed that even one good idea can make a book worth reading.) But they usually contain a great deal of filler as well. Once read, however, the essentials can usually be boiled down to a concise set of key ideas and notes.

Re-Reading

People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.
-Samuel Johnson

Whenever I read, I almost always take the time to highlight the most noteworthy passages. We do this because we find these snippets significant and meaningful. Not only does it improve comprehension to read this way, but it leaves a valuable compilation for us in the end. But how many people actually go back and re-read them?

After reading, I transcribe those highlights into text files on my computer. That way, instead of having to re-read a book, which is very inefficient, or having to skim through to look at my highlights, which requires having the physical book, I can do so more efficiently by just going through my text files. In about 20 minutes, I can remind myself of the most powerful insights gathered from my initial investment in reading.

Good Infection

Putting those text files online, as a way of making them accessible from anywhere, was my next step. That’s how Good Infection started. It’s primarily a way of scratching my own itch. But the site has grown steadily in traffic over the years and other people seem to find value in them as well. So my plan is to continue publishing more summaries, mind maps, and notes over time.

As for the name, I borrowed the phrase “good infection” from C.S. Lewis, who originally used it in a Christian context in one of his books:

Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection, if you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.

Despite the religious context, Lewis is basically describing the power of association and influence. This is why I believe the phrase has a much wider, secular application. If you broaden the context, it applies to the transmission of any valuable source of knowledge or wisdom. So I thought it would be an appropriate name for this site.

–Ratko