Web Miscellany: Compilation #99

Hello, friend! How are you? Things have been hectic around these parts. No, that’s a lie. My treatment for biotoxin illness makes me sleepy, so the 10 hours of sleep a night is the likely culprit behind my lack of time. In those few extra moments, I’ve been trying to reread some old books, get back into journelling, and restart my meditation practice. I used to get things done like a champ, but lately I’ve been more easily distracted. The pandemic has thrown me, and I’m sure us all, for a loop and I’m eager to reestablish some solid good habits.

I hope that your the week ahead is good to you. Here are a few links from around the web. Feel free to share anything interesting you’ve stumbled upon in the comments.

  1. Food for thought: “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” – George Orwell
  2. Rules for life: I often come back to this gentle “rules for life” list from the artist Nathaniel Russell: “Make things you want to see; learn about yourself and the world; put on your own shows; make your friends laugh; try not to drive yourself nuts or be too hard on yourself; try to be a good person; do what it is you feel like you should be doing.”
  3. Fun fact: In an experiment by the University of Minnesota, one group was just given a chocolate bar to eat, while the other group was given specific instructions. The instructed group rated the taste of the chocolate bar higher, and said they would hypothetically pay more for it. Another experiment involved knocking on a table before eating a raw carrot. Again, people enjoyed carrots more with the random little ritual before it. Recommendation: if you have a food you eat semi-regularly, develop a brief ritual for eating it.
  4. How do I get friends like that?: “I genuinely believe that the easiest answer to “how do I get friends like that?” Is to be one. In most cases, everyone else just follows by example, because they aren’t worried they’ll be wasting time and energy anymore.” In a similar vein, “”Want to get ahead in life? Start genuinely rooting for others to succeed. It’s as simple as that.”
  5. Vonnegut interlude: “I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope.” Love this!
  6. Extra effort: “More effort creates beauty and magic and remarkability… [it] is our best chance to do work that matters.” From Seth Godin. Have you ever received above-and-beyond customer service? How can you offer a bit more of that in your role?
  7. Time travel: Which were the best eras to visit various places? Interesting answer from economist Tyler Cowen.
  8. Become Your Own Influencer: “I’m not hopeful about much for the generations to come, but I am hopeful about this: that our disciplinary norms will continue to dilute, and our compasses of beauty will continue to reorient back to the self… That power will arrive not because we know how to dress like others, but because we know how to dress as ourselves.” Another great piece from Anne Helen Petersen.
  9. China Is Watching You: “It is one thing to have a system miscount the number of people who spent time in the produce section of a grocery store and quite another to have it misidentify an individual as the suspect of a crime. These are not theoretical risks, nor are they limited to Chinese suppliers.” My employer ditched their Hikvision security cameras due to the privacy and security associated with Chinese surveillance software. I’ve taken a deep dive into the CPP surveillance state and, as imperfect as the US may be, I am grateful we aren’t there just yet.
  10. Miniature Dioramas: Miniature Calendar is a stunning and wildly creative project by Japanese artist Tatsuya Tanaka, featuring miniature dioramas using common household objects and little plastic figurines. You can see a video with some of his process here. So clever and amusing!

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