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What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#51)

Learned last week: Reasons to be cheerful, rules to live by, a new tool for writing, and more.

Favorite quote:

Good stories always beat good spreadsheets.

Chris Sacca

A project that seems to be working pretty well: The (home) office door.


Reasons to be cheerful: reasonstobecheerful.world was a new find (for me) of interesting reads with an optimistic bent. Check out the The Necessity of Nuclear as one example.


Some rules to live by: The 12 ‘Other’ Rules for Life was put together over a couple of weeks of posts by Marcus Purvis. Here are a few favorites:

Rule 6. Read like your life depends on it because it does
Read fiction and nonfiction, one compliments the other. Fiction helps your creative mind and nonfiction gives you information which can become knowledge.
Rule 7. Know that love is a verb
There are many couples who fall out of love. There are countless people who no longer love the work they do. Don’t be like them. Play an active role in loving what you do and whom you spend time with.
Rule 10. Everyone gets 24 hours
You’ll never find time for anything, you have to create it. If you don’t create time for you, someone else will take it from you. You can’t spend time, then go earn more of it. You can’t buy it, rent it, or borrow it.


Avocados are more valuable that illegal drugs for Mexican cartels: Avocado Cartels: The Violent Reality Behind “Green Gold” is a great read for a recent history of both cartels as well as the avocado trade.

Mexico produces nine out of every 10 avocados eaten in the U.S. The lion’s share dangle from long lines of leafy green trees in Michoacán, home to nearly 5 million people. In 2017, the strife-torn southwestern coastal state sent an astounding 1.7 billion pounds of Haas avocados to the U.S.

And in the notoriously troubled state of Michoacán, which is plagued with corrupt police, failed governance, and plenty of guns, all those avocados have been a magnet for organized crime like flies on a giant vat of, well, guacamole.


New music I’ve been enjoying:

Two recommendations this week:

DJ Shadow – Our Pathetic Age is an ambitious double album released in our (pathetic?) age of 28 minute “albums”. Good write up here.

Motherless Brooklyn (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is great jazz album that I’ve been listening to in the mornings, and a movie I’d like to see.


New tool I’ve been using: Grammarly. Much more than a spell checker, it has great suggestions for rephrasing and even predicts how your tone will be percieved. The browser plugins are ace.


Favorite book excerpt:

“I felt the same gut empathy … that I used to feel, unwelcome and against my better judgement, for George Bush in those moments when even he seemed to dimly apprehend that he was in way over his head. One reason we rush so quickly to the vulgar satisfactions of judgement, and love to revel in our righteous outrage, is the it spares us from the impotent pain of empathy, and the harder, messier work of understanding.” (Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing)


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By Nick

I'm a father, husband, son. I love reading, drawing, writing, being active, having a beer or a glass of wine with my wife, and am curious about everything.

Comments welcome!