4 January 2019

Friday Night Review - 01.04.2019

The first one of 2019…. let’s go…

Reading - Online

It concerns me to see so much pessimism, especially among young people since the 2016 election. Self reliance, hard work & optimism have always seemed central to the American Way in my mind.

— Ron Chester, One Person Can Change A Lot”

Ron’s right. Let us turn the pessimism into action. If you don’t like it and you have the ability to change it… then f——— change it. There’s more under our control than we believe.

When you zoom out, however, the cumulative effect of all this swiping and tapping seems to add up to something distinctly negative. Few are happy, for example, after allowing yet another movie night to devolve into side-by-side iPad idling.

The dynamic at play here is that digital activities that are mildly positive in isolation, combine to crowd out other real world activities that are potentially much more satisfying. This is what allows you to love Twitter in the moment when you discover a hilarious tweet, but at the end of the day fear that the app is degrading your soul.

— Cal Newport, Join Analog Social Media”

Newport nails in yet another plank in his digital minimalism platform. Digital Minimalism comes out in February. I’ve pre-ordered since I’ve read everything Newport has published and found it all insightful. Perhaps Newport thinks social media is like curry powder… in small doses it provides great flavor… and in high doses it ruins the dish.

I’m tending to think it’s more like arsenic… even a small amount can kill you.

Swing through a bookstore or library and pick up something fun, no matter how respectable or popular it is. Choose something that makes you curious. Read that book in secret, hold it in your heart, and tell no one.

Enjoy something, without the need to share it. See how it feels.

— Cheri Baker, Reading In Private”

I really enjoy Cheri’s insights on both micro.blog and her personal blog. This post smacked me square between the eyes. It’s a further insight on how social media has changed our lives… and not for the better. This advice from Cheri will be something I immediately implement. I am grateful to her for this wisdom.

Reading - In Print

Ah yes… the beginning of a new year… and already one book added to the list of books read.

Ryder Carroll’s The Bullet Journal Method was a fairly easy read… but there’s more to it than pretty notebooks. I’ll be posting a review of it soon.

Churchill & Orwell: The Fight For Freedom by Pulitzer Prize winning author Thomas E. Ricks caught my eye a few months ago. I’ve pulled it off the stack and dug in. Thus far, it is informative. I’m interested to see how Ricks pulls this off as refining the stories of these two complex human beings is indeed an arduous task.

Your Week

It’s been the first one of 2019. I think we all go into a new year with a mixture of hope and anxiety… especially these days. There’s only one mindset I have right now… and it helps me.

We’re here. We might as well keep going and do the best we can. Because the alternative is depressing as hell. And who knows what might happen if we try.

I hope adopting that mindset helps you.


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Radioactive I had these grand plans to furiously bang out thousands of words in January. But an event happened just before Christmas that slowed me down. I