I was planning to write something else for this section this week, but last night South African president Cyril Ramaphose delivered a scolding to the South African people relating to social behaviour in the midst of the COVID-19 battle. Cases here at home continue to rise and we seem to be entering the eye of the storm, after a long wait, but the fatigue of a 100+ day lockdown has certainly set in.
So many of my conversations with friends and family centre around hardships that we are all facing. Jobs are being lost, family members are dying, freedoms limited, career plans stunted, souls are crying out for help.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and it’s easier to sweep everything under the rug.
I just wanted to take a moment to remind you that in times like these, the more you speak out and talk through what you’re feeling with the people that care for you, the more peace you’ll be able to find. We have to lean on each other in times of difficulty and re-assure each other that this too shall pass.
This too shall pass.
Be kind to yourself and keep your head up high - whatever you’re going through.
Why You Should Read Old Books
I’ve been wanting to experiment with some video storytelling for a long time but have always talked myself out of it with some excuse like “I don’t have the right camera”, “I don’t understand how to colour-grade footage”, “I don’t have the right editing software”, etc…. This week, I got over that insecurity and made this video essay with my phone, a free trial of some editing software and a homemade tripod. And, in that context, I’m actually quite proud of how it came out. It’s not perfect, but the only way I’m going to get better is to make things. You can watch the video here.
The video itself is based on my latest blog post which you can read here if you prefer.
New Podcast: The Missing Star
On this episode of the podcast we talk about the future of e-scooters in the UK, Kanye’s presidential bid, a star that disappeared without a trace, AI writing original stories and Roam’s philosophy of networked thought. Join us for the conversation!
I’ve been following, with some dismay, the drama surrounding a potential de-anonymization of popular blogger Scott Alexander by the New York Times and this write-up lays out what has happened quite clearly. We have to have the mental fortitude to hear out contradictory ideas and let them compete fairly in our civic discourse. The more we censor ideas we don’t like, the more power we give them as they accrue ‘forbidden knowledge’ shine.
I can’t get enough of Jacob Collier. Here’s a live performance with the Metropole Orchestra that has been giving me goosebumps all week.
For those who want to take heed of the ‘read old books’ message I pushed this week, there’s this amazing site that has taken hundreds of the best classic books (that are in the public domain) and have reformatted them as pristine e-books that you can grab for free.
I’ve been digesting a lot of Tiago Forte’s work over the last little bit and have found him very persuasive. Here is a summary of his thesis about ‘building a second brain’ through thorough digital notetaking.
That’s it for this week, see you next week: same time same place!