The news, tech and science briefing that brings focus to a world of infinite information.
No likes. No clickbait. Just the knowledge you need to be an informed, responsible citizen.
Reclaim your brain from the media vortex.
You work hard to achieve the benefits of a low-information diet: improved focus, less anxiety, and more time and energy for the relationships and goals that really matter.
You’re also a knowledgeable citizen and an active participant in your community and world. You’re driven to stay educated and informed. But even the slightest peek at a news site (or worse, social media) opens up a vortex of unlimited stimulation – which is a huge risk to your mindset and productivity.
The sad truth is that no one can “just check in” anymore. Even the best publications live and die on page views, and everything about their design is built to suck you in and keep you clicking. And if you do manage to take a few days off, you risk totally missing something valuable, because the “more more more” of the 24-hour news cycle means a great article might evaporate if you don’t catch it in time.
You’re smart. You’re accomplished. You’re productive. But when it comes to the infinite inputs of media, your brain is working against you. It’s simply impossible to effectively filter the visual, auditory and literary overload without the risk of getting sucked back in to the addiction and anxiety of click-driven news.
We all cope with this challenge in different ways.
Tune out completely, and you risk losing touch with the important events and movements in your world. Try to limit yourself, and you waste precious mental energy fighting a futile neurological battle against every click. Rely on your friends’ Facebook echo chamber, and you’re just screwed.
For eight years, I’ve searched for a neurologically balanced approach to staying informed.
I’m Rob Howard, the author and founder of Hiatus. I’ve spent the last eight years working to bridge the gap between the benefits of a low-information diet and the desire to be a knowledgeable, engaged participant in my democracy and my world.
My background in journalism, publishing and design has taught me that there are great reporters out there telling stories worth reading. The fact that the traditional newspaper and magazine industry has been upended by infinite, inexpensive competition in the Internet age hasn’t changed the value of journalism, but it has made it a hell of a lot harder for an individual to separate the wheat from the chaff.
I’m also a web developer and technology entrepreneur with an inside perspective on the business models and design techniques behind click-addicted news. It’s no secret that our digital world is built to light up your brain with constant check-ins and perpetual motion. No matter where you look, no matter what web site or device you’re on, everyone’s angling for one more minute of your time.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with lots of competition or with making money from advertising impressions. The problem is that the result – an environment of infinite inputs and unlimited stimulation – no longer accomplishes the most important goals of the individuals news organizations say they serve. A deep dive into a great publication used to be a thoughtful, deliberate experience. It’s now the neurological equivalent of a sitting down at a shiny, spinning slot machine.
I searched high and low for a solution that could provide me with a slower, calmer, more neurologically balanced experience without resorting to cutting myself off from the events of the world. The challenge is that publications have financial needs – and at the moment, the best way to meet those needs is to turn your web site into a thinly veiled casino. Even if they have the best intentions, there’s no immediate payoff for publications to slow down your engagement. They’re competing in an industry of “more more more.”
That’s why I created Hiatus – to redesign the experience of engaging with your world.
I’ve spent decades building a thriving career as a technology entrepreneur by merging my background in journalism, design and advertising with my passions for web development and lifestyle design. My start-ups have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, TechCrunch, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report, and my clients have included Harvard, MIT and The World Bank. Through it all, I’ve spent thousands of hours cultivating a low-information lifestyle that allows me to achieve focus in my personal life and career while staying involved in my community and my world.
Hiatus is the simple, powerful tool I’ve always wished I had.
Introducing Hiatus, a new way to get your news the old-fashioned way.
Hiatus redesigns the experience of reading the news to deliver a slower, calmer, neurologically appropriate balance that keeps you informed without hijacking your brain.
Hiatus is a straightforward, insightful summary of the week’s events, delivered to your inbox.
Every week, I’ll send you a short-and-sweet exploration of current events, in a form that’s easy for you to digest and is specifically designed as a one-time, focused learning experience, with no distractions. Since I don’t care about clicks, I do things differently:
No likes, comments or social sharing
No clickbait or over-the-top headlines
Each issue will include a briefing on current events – a mix of government, technology, science, business and entertainment – and an occasional deep dive into a specific focus area or outside resource – such as a book or documentary – that I think is particularly insightful, educational or fun, so you can spend focused time on something that’s truly valuable (and avoid the urge to aimlessly surf).
With Hiatus, you can finally ditch the vortex of unlimited information – without sacrificing your role as an informed, educated, active citizen of the world. And you can stop fighting an endless, unwinnable battle of willpower to reclaim your time and focus – because you know everything you need will be delivered to you in a simple, relaxed, respectful weekly e-mail.