What I learned this week, December 3, 2021

How we uncancelled Jordan Peterson

Aristotle called man a ‘political animal’. Perhaps he should have said a ‘censorious’ animal. Some people’s urge to shut others up seems to be as strong as the baser drives to eat, drink and copulate. That is why, in the war for free speech, victory is never permanent, though you can sometimes win a local battle or two. Jordan Peterson’s visit to Cambridge this week was such a win.


Why a toaster from 1949 is still smarter than any sold today

My colleague Tom once introduced you to a modern toaster with two seemingly ingenious buttons: one to briefly lift your bread to check its progress, and another to toast it “a bit more.” I respectfully submit you shouldn’t need a button at all.

That’s because in 1948, Sunbeam engineer Ludvik J. Koci invented the perfect toaster, one where the simple act of placing a slice into one of its two slots would result in a delicious piece of toasted bread. No button, no lever, no other input required. Drop bread, get toast.


Sleep
Sleep

The seven types of rest: I spent a week trying them all. Could they help end my exhaustion?

When we feel fatigued most of us focus on sleep problems. But proper relaxation takes many forms. I spent a week exploring what really works


The crowd milling around in the Winspear Opera House, sipping their wine

How to Tell If You’re Oversharing (and How to Stop It)

Being authentic and personable is great! Constantly unloading on everyone around you is not.


A tough choice.

Want to Build Unbeatable Mental Toughness? Here Are 5 Surprisingly Effective Ways

Beating cancer made Yale Law grad Seun Adebiyi rethink his fast-paced life and become an entrepreneur.


Chapel, Thanksgiving Square, Dallas, Texas

How to Be Thankful For Your Life by Changing Just One Word

You don’t “have” to. You “get” to.


Here’s Why Movie Dialogue Has Gotten More Difficult To Understand (And Three Ways To Fix It)

I used to be able to understand 99% of the dialogue in Hollywood films. But over the past 10 years or so, I’ve noticed that percentage has dropped significantly — and it’s not due to hearing loss on my end. It’s gotten to the point where I find myself occasionally not being able to parse entire lines of dialogue when I see a movie in a theater, and when I watch things at home, I’ve defaulted to turning the subtitles on to make sure I don’t miss anything crucial to the plot.


What I learned this week, October 22, 2021

Cedars Open Studios 1805 Clarence Street Dallas, Texas

We Got Here Because of Cowardice. We Get Out With Courage

A  lot of people want to convince you that you need a Ph.D. or a law degree or dozens of hours of free time to read dense texts about critical theory to understand the woke movement and its worldview. You do not. You simply need to believe your own eyes and ears. 


The Great Resignation Is Accelerating

Who is John Galt?


How to Develop Mental Toughness

An expert’s guide to sticking it out through pain and suffering


The Wave that Washes us all
The Wave that Washes us all

After The Wave

When I was eight — I think — I drowned. Oh, no, not really. Not even to the point of stopping breathing and needing resuscitation. But … Let me explain.


They promised to destroy Big Brother. They became him

I actually am old enough (I was 13 in 1984) to remember this commercial live. In the decades since I have always been confused/suspicious/annoyed by the independent freedom-loving spirit of the ad and the locked-down hegemony of Apple itself. Every Apple product I’ve tried has frustrated me because there was something I wanted it to do… that I knew it could do… that it wouldn’t let me do.

That’s why I run Linux.

The PC Guy and the Mac Guy
The PC Guy and the Mac Guy
PC and Mac guy meet Linux Godzilla
PC and Mac guy meet Linux Godzilla


The ‘untranslatable’ emotions you never knew you had

Have you ever felt a little mbuki-mvuki – the irresistible urge to “shuck off your clothes as you dance”? Perhaps a little kilig – the jittery fluttering feeling as you talk to someone you fancy? How about uitwaaien – which encapsulates the revitalising effects of taking a walk in the wind?


Giant Eye Sculpture, Main Street, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

The Great American Eye-Exam Scam

Why is it so difficult to get a new pair of glasses or contacts in this country? It’s easier pretty much everywhere else.


After attending the start of construction – I rode my bike by here to check up on the progress. It’s going surprisingly fast. Which is good – I want to live long enough to cross on the bridge.