Every Friday I highlight the most interesting or entertaining items from my media diet of the past week.
- The Building Blocks of Tech (substack.com): Interesting look at the “no code” movement and the rise of creator platforms like Roblox and Airtable—powerful tools for non-programmers.
- Education, First Class Flights, Chauffeurs and Bribery: The Secret Life of a Private Tutor (outline.com): Feature article from the Economist. “Education is now a global battle: far more people in a wider range of countries are competing for slots in the same, few elite institutions.”
- How Apple Is Organized for Innovation (hbr.org): Apple’s invisible innovation: its functional organizational structure and leadership model.
- How to Write Well (danielmeissler.com): Short piece with some useful tips from a prolific blogger.
- I Am an Uighur Who Faced China’s Concentration Camps (varsity.co.uk): Ӧmir Bekali, an Uighur Muslim, recounts his imprisonment, torture and indoctrination by the Chinese state.
- The Incredible Story of the Great Cannonball Run Boom (gq.com): The Cannonball run is a legendary but unsanctioned 2800 mile auto race from New York City to Los Angeles. COVID-19 cleared American highways of traffic which led to a rush of record-breaking attempts.
- Introduction to the Zettelkasten Method (zettelkasten.de): Longtime Zettelkasten practitioner and creator of the software program The Archive, Sascha Fast, offers an excellent introduction to the powerful note-taking system.
- Knowledge Building Blocks: The New Meaning of Notes (fortelabs.co): Note-taking guru Tiago Forte ponders the question “what is a note?”
- The Last Days of Stan Lee (aarp.org): A quartet of bad actors (including his daughter) allegedly exploited and abused the Marvel legend in his final decade. Sad.
- The Need to Touch (aeon.co): “The language of touch binds our minds and bodies to the broader social world. What happens when touch becomes taboo?”
- The No Code Generation Is Arriving (techcrunch.com): Content creation, data generation and computer engineering are being democratized by a new wave of tools that reduces the barrier to entry and raises the ceiling on what is possible.
- The Taboo of Admitting Some Kids Just Aren’t Good at School (businessinsider.com): Fredrik deBoer’s new book “The Cult of Smart” argues against the idea of equality of opportunity (he instead advocates for equality of dignity, rights and political equality).
- Why Do Virtual Meetings Feel So Weird? (sapiens.org): The crux of the problem: virtual meetings omit or fail to capture essential non-verbal communication.
- The World Needs Nuclear Power, and We Shouldn’t Be Afraid of It (forbes.com): “Any sustainable, long-term solution will include one important component: a transition to energy sources that don’t result in additional carbon dioxide emissions.” Scientist Ethan Siegel argues that nuclear energy is the best way to generate large amounts of clean energy.
- Heavyweight: Bobby (gimletmedia.com): Bobby Lord was an aspiring punk musician when he got recruited to record a cheesy jingle that became one of the most reviled McDonald's television commercials of all time.
- Infinite Loops: James Clear—Constructing Habits & Systems (infiniteloopspodcast.com): James Clear offers fantastic insights on asking effective questions, writing as an antidote to confusion, habit formation, and more.
- Mac Power Users: Research Apps (relay.fm): A look at several note-taking apps including DevonThink, Tinderbox, The Archive, Roam Research, and Obsidian.
- Seth Godin: Writing Every Day (perell.com): The Purple Cow author talks to David Perell writing, creativity, and imposter syndrome.
- This American Life: The Walls Close In (thisamericanlife.org): Three stories about feeling trapped: a college professor is trapped in an elevator with his kids, a pair of Nicaraguan political dissidents seeks amnesty, and a pit orchestra that plays together nightly for nearly 3 decades.