There's nothing important enough to be serious about. Only things that are seriously boring.
I've always loved buttons and dials. When I was a kid, the flashing consoles of Star Trek and Star Wars were the height of sci fi cool. Stereos and electrical panels were exciting, I kept wondering "what do these do?"
Last year I read a book that seemingly everyone was raving about. I made it about 60% through it when the author took a sudden turn from logically progressing an argument to stating a badly formed rhetoric idea as truth. I put the book down and in a sigh resigned myself to reevaluate everything I had just read.
A few weeks ago, I was inspired to give the book a second chance. And I'm glad I did.
It turns our the rhetoric idea was a several pages long example of fuzzy logic, that the author deconstructed, without judging the idea. Just logically laid out. If it hadn't been for my automatic revulsion to the idea itself, I would've noticed that a year ago.
Skeptically questioning everything is essential to progress. But cynicism has a tendency to creep in. I'm glad I let go of this cynicism and explored more.
I loved when Snapchat introduced the Stories format. It suited the platform perfectly and became a sort of passive social channel that I used to enjoy when social media was new. But I haven't given much thought to what the rise of Stories means, both as a platform, and as a media format.
Stories is not a technology, nor is it a feature. It is a media format, or even a genre, in the way that a magazine or a murder mystery or a 30-minute television program is.
I came across this quote via Farnam Street's newsletter, and it both resonates with me trying to improve myself, and shows just how long people have struggled with learning:
"Intelligent individuals learn from every thing and every one; average people, from their experiences. The stupid already have all the answers."
If you’ve read my posts before you’ve probably heard me complain about Twitter before, and I’ve thought about it some more:
I loved Twitter when it was in its infancy, the distributed social asynchronous communication let me learn from and get into contact with people who shared my interests from all over the world. It was empowering.
But Twitter is changing. It's no longer designed as a platform for discussion, but as one for publication.
This new Twitter feels way-to familiar. It looks like Twitter have reinvented the web comment. Same format, same bad tone, same bad social grace. Good job Twitter.
The only real difference between a blog, twitter, and a news site is interface. That's how powerful design is in informing behaviour.
We’ve come full circle. The 2000 era internet is back! Newsletters are now The way people publish content online. They’ve replaced blogs almost perfectly after the short blip of social media became a garbage pile of algorithmic ads.
Just like blogs they’re trending each other’s content, intermittently updated, and completely distributed. There no one newsletter service.
Because the Pull Behavior (go out and find information, spread it by creating more information, making it easier for others to find when they search) we so loved about the web is over. It’s been replaced through lazy social media with Push Behavior (I want something now, just keep gushing everything to me and I will “curate” what I want.
It’s a brave new world.
I’ve witnessed and anguished over the decline of my favorite social media, Twitter, for years. Now it seems everyone is talking about the implosion of Facebook and all the algorithmic feed platforms like Instagram.
Today I realized just how much people crave chronological feeds of what people wish to say. I’m sure you’ve seen stories like this:
It turns out that while social media is dying. The reason it exists in the first place is still just as valid:
“Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation...” — Oscar Wilde
Whatever made these companies think it was ever about anything else?
Sometimes you just need a swift kick in the ass. Sometimes, you need some brutal truth:
So how to we do this? This is how:
Stop avoiding failure. Stop focusing on the outcomes, but instead focus on the work itself. If you're interested, this is the research referenced.
You have dreams right? Things you want to do, stuff you want to create or complete? We all do. But then life gets in the way. Maybe we're finding it hard to find the time? Maybe we keep getting interrupted? Maybe we're just to afraid to act.
The truth is that's all bullshit. The reason you haven't achieved what you're dreaming about is that is requires growth, and growth hurts. Specifically it hurts your ego. In this fantastic article, Amy Hoy pokes you right in the ego and tells it like it is.
...So what's your dream again?
Cultivating a selective focus is the only way to make real progress towards your goals in life. This is an excellent article by James Clear based around investment advice by Warren Buffet. Advice doesn't get much better than this.
I noticed this trend for the first time while visiting Berlin a few years ago. Hipsters love print, and are growing bored with short form "journalism" and blogs. So magazines are coming back.
I love Monocle for their magazine, but I'll keep spending time in Soda Books and Under The Cover to find new things to read. Truthfully though, even in these sublimely designed magazines, most of the articles are just filler. Just like in "journalism" in general.
I've had a love for notebooks since I was a kid. I've always doodled, sketched and written on paper with relish. But since collage the habit has waned because it's just not efficient enough.
Now I just need to figure out if writing on paper is worth the lack of search and tags and get journaling, or if I'll just build a digital tool for the same.
I'm currently reading Hitch22, the amazing writer Christopher Hitchens self biography. And when such a great write refers to W.H Auden as the best writer of his generation, I had to read him. Well Auden touched my like little poetry ever has. Simply amazing prose.
I had never read Bastiats Candlemakers Petition before today. I had heard it described, but reading the original I'm struck by how insane protection politics really are. Take three minutes and read it yourself.
Perfect home by Claesson Koivisto Rune This is just a dream home. Imagine sitting there reading or planning out a new project.
I'm a tall white 34 year old man from Sweden. I've never been able to purchase clothes that really fit. I've bought custom tailored shirts for years.
Is it too early to just go old school, and wear suits the entire time? I've always been comfortable in classic outfits. It fits my personality quite well. And I've basically been using a personal uniform for ten years (blue jeans, white shirt, leather jacket).
I'd like to pair down. My wardrobe as much as the time I spend on outfits. Are suits a smart way to go, or will I be spending too much and drearily wearing the same thing every day?
I’ve always been impressed by people detailing their setups for activity. It’s part inspiring and part a treasure trove of tips. So with a head nod to Thord who inspired this one, here’s my setup going into 2018.
What I do
I mostly do consultant work, front end development and UX design. But I also do some product development, which means writing and creating content. So my time is split pretty unevenly between: Design, Development, Entertainment and Creativity. I figured these might be good categories.
Design & Development
- MacBook Pro 13” (space gray, touch bar edition) — I spend 90% of my time on this machine. I wish I didn’t, but until I finish KodApp I can’t properly work on my iPad Pro. The MBP is great though, it’s no longer as overwhelmingly better than the compition that MBPs used to be. But this is still a fantastic machine.
- iPad Pro 10.5” (silver) — my favorite device by far. I use it with two external keyboards, the Apple Smart Keyboard an Apple Keyboard in a Canvas cover, and the Apple Pencil. Can’t get enough of it! Everything I can do, I do better on the iPad. It’s just a much more limited device. And strangely, those limitations create both focus and creativity.
- iPhone X (space gray) — I’ve had an iPhone since the iPhone 3G so you can imagine how well integrated into the ecosystem I am. The iPhone has captured more memories and facilitated more opportunities in my life than anything else (except maybe the internet itself). I could not be happier. And th X is simply the most iPhone of any iPhone so far.
- Apple Watch (series zero) — I’m forever greatful to the Apple Watch for helping me catch my ex cheating, it had gone on for a long time and might’ve gone on a lot longer without the Apple Watch. But truth be told, I don’t use it that much. I wear it every day but I read the time, temperature and measure my sleep. That’s about it. When there’s a nicer watch available with these featres (there are some already but none have caught my eye) I’ll switch to that.
- iPad Pro 10.5” — Already wrote about this device, but couldn’t list creative tools without it. That’s how good it is.
- Notebooks and pens — I’ve always carried around a ton of notebooks and pencils to draw and sketch on. While I’ve been trimming these down over the last year I’ve also added a new habit: Every morning I journal in my Field Notes with my 0.7mm black Muji pen. It helps me stay acountable and learning.
- Kindle Oasis — I read. A lot. And this is the best reading device I've ever had.
- Nintendo Swith — I've always loved gaming, even used to work with game design, and this magical console has completely rekindled my sense of childlike wonder for gaming.
- Apple TV — Netflix machine.
- Paper by 53 — Probably the best sketching app ever. Use it with my Apple Pencil every time I start fleshing out ideas.
- Figma — This is collaborative Sketch, in the browser. It's amazing, and allows you to prototype directly.
- Keynote — Sometimes I have to present design, and I usually use keynote for that. Why? It's free and beautiful and easy to use.
- Atom — Fantastic text editor for all your coding needs.
- Zeit Now — The best collection of cloud tools for developers I've ever used. Check out everything Zeit does, and never use anything but Now as a dev environment.
- Digital Ocean — If, and it's increasingly rare, Zeit's environments aren't configurable enough.
- Field Notes — Great looking notebooks, for sketching and journaling.
- Paper by 53 — Like I wrote above. Everything starts in Paper.
- Spotify — For music, tried Apple Music, but I just missed curated playlists way to much. Before you say it, no, Apple Musics playlists are not even close.
- Podcasts / Overcast — I try to live with defaults to understand users in all situations. But Apple Podcast app is just so bad I keep coming back to Overcast.
- Audible / Kindle — I listen to books as much or even more than I read.
- Twitter — The only social media I've ever truly loved. The company is doing everything wrong now a days, but I still love the free exchange of ideas. Wish someone could build a next generation of this.
- Bear — My note taking app of choice.
- Things — All my todos organised in a GTD system. Beautiful app that's a pleasure to use, all day every day.
- Fjällräven G-1000 — my daily laptop bag. This is basically my office.
- AirPods — The best headphones I've ever owned. Always with me, always in use, always work.
That's it! That's all the stuff I use on a daily basis.