Well I had minor surgery yesterday so I’m probably laying in bed or on the couch right now reading. No running for me for at least a week, maybe two. Content should go out next week as normal.

If you’ve found my content helpful then new in 2019 I’ve opened up a Patreon page. You can help ensure that more helpful content keeps coming.

I Shipped

Monday was a rare double post day. I started by talking about how I take notes on the books I read. Then I wanted to talk about a fairly current issue in WordPress so I weighed in on how the WordPress community is making decisions lately.

Wednesday I got back to doing a book review on Where Good Ideas Come From. If you follow the link you’ll find audio and written versions of the review. I should have another one coming out next week on The Miracle Morning.

Friday Five

1. Thinkpad X210 better than a MacBook?

Geoff has a pretty cool post about his purchase of an old Thinkpad X210. Something very similar to this was my first computer for college as a hand me down from my dad.

The MacBook Pro’s are entirely uninspiring. In fact I think they’re a bad investment currently since it seems that you’re fairly likely going to have a keyboard problem, and let’s not even talk about the crappy feel of the new keyboards.

I just bought a Mac Mini yesterday which seems like the best compromise that Apple has currently. I’ll be using it to run some server stuff and keep DevonThink going for it’s AI in my research documents. An external 3TB hard drive will store my video.

The only thing going for Apple’s hardware right now is that it runs macOS and so many apps tightly integrate with iOS (my preference in operating system). I’d be seriously looking at Linux otherwise, and maybe with some more software research I could have a home Linux server and iOS as my main work operating system.

2. The false impression you’re saying more than you are

From Paul Graham in 2015:

If you want people to read and understand what you write, yes. Written language is more complex, which makes it more work to read. It’s also more formal and distant, which gives the reader’s attention permission to drift. But perhaps worst of all, the complex sentences and fancy words give you, the writer, the false impression that you’re saying more than you actually are.

For many things I write I aim for my 8-year-old to be able to get a decent handle on it. I also read most of my work out loud to smooth things out because my writing can sound odd otherwise.

Thank to The Newsprint for the tip on this.

3. A Guide to the Upsides of reading books

Zaria Gorvett for the BBC makes the point first that reading helps you build empathy by citing some studies done on the subject.

Then to get more reading in:

So now that you’re convinced of the benefits of reading, consider this: according to a 2017 survey of 1,875 people by the UK media regulator Ofcom, the average British adult spends around two hours and 49 minutes on their phone each day. To hit the daily target of an hour with books, most people would just have to reduce their screen time by a third.

It’s not that you don’t have time to read. It’s that you choose to put priority on other things in your life and then use that as an excuse not to read.

Don’t just say you want to read more, show me that it’s true by cutting some of the other stuff in your life in favour of reading.

It ends with a bunch of good tips to get your reading habit kickstarted, without building some big bag of obligation on top of yourself.

4. GaryVee the Minimalist?

Great video by Matt D’Avella…oh and profanity warning.

Dave Ramsey has been saying this same thing for years. You buy stuff you don’t care about with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like. We did Dave’s Total Money Makeover years ago and got out of all debt. It is the single thing that made it possible to survive a 2 year business downturn as I transitioned from being a developer only to a coach/writer.

If I had car payments or a bunch of debt to service I have no idea what would have happened. The 2 years was tough enough as it was, and we’re still coming out of it.

5. Diamond Mine or Coal Mine?

This is a great video from Matt D’Avella as he interviews Greg McKeown about essentialism. My favourite part comes near the end as he talks about a coal mine vs a diamond mine and our need to recognize which one we live in.