Curated Notes vol.2

What I’ve learned throughout the last week? What inspired me or make me think? Here’s my second curated list of things I found thought-provoking. This week’s edition is focused on simplicity, minimalism and personal growth. Enjoy!

 

1. Keep things simple for a healthy long life

“Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.” ― Greg McKeown

You don’t need much to live a long healthy and happy life. Get enough sleep, move, eat well — mostly plants, and not too much. Interact socially. And take some time to reflect on what you are grateful for.

It’s really that simple.

2. Create better user experience through designing elegant solutions

“As designers, we’re creating complex, multilayered interactions which are all part of a huge compound process. Simplicity is a standard requirement for (almost) all interfaces. Yet, it’s still not easily achievable. On the other hand, elegance is often more achievable and appropriate than simplicity.”

At first, I started to write a critique of designers misusing terms — simplicity and minimalism. But the more I thought about it, the less important these labels seem.

In my short article I tried to change the topic of the discussion and talk about user experience and performance instead.

3. Our cognitive control is the exception, while its absence is the rule

“As far as our inner life is concerned, the science of mind-wandering implies that we’re only rarely autonomous persons.”

The author describes that our minds are mostly sleepwalking. What he means by that, is that our thoughts are not navigated through our conscious efforts. They’re wandering from one point to another. According to him, we can obtain a higher degree of our mental autonomy through mindfulness practice (also known as meditation).

Why should you practice meditation? Over the centuries its main goal has always been a sustained enhancement of one’s mental autonomy, both in the eastern and western world. Thomas Metzinger believes that people without a higher degree of mental autonomy are not able to think critically. Therefore they can’t be politically mature citizens. He urges developing these skills not just on an individual level. Our societies depend on our capacity to attentional self-control. That’s why he calls for larger systematic changes.

4. Wabi-sabi teaches creatives to produce better work

This article is filled with highly nutritional food for thought. Plus it’s beautifully designed. I cherry picked this metaphor:

“Imagine that the ocean represents potential. Each person, object, and thing is a wave rising from it and returning to it. There are no permanent waves, there are no perfect waves, there are no complete waves. Every wave rises and falls.”

Is great design timeless? How it will be perceived a year from now, a decade from now or 40 years from now? — asks Patrick Altair in his article describing wabi-sabi and its connection to design.

5. Consistency Is Key: Improve By 0.1% Every Day

It’s easy to overthink when things go wrong. But why to focus on things we can’t control? Instead of thinking, the author suggests to take a step back, and focus on what lies within your control.

He continues in his Stoic approach:

”Focus on your mindset and actions — the only two things you can control.“

Being positive and consistent when things don’t go as you expected is difficult. As they used to say, you become what you do. Do small things consistently over time. If you want to achieve big things in your life focus on little goals, you can easily achieve every day.

6. Are you a “master procrastinator”? Learn how to change it

The author does not talk about procrastination precisely. Her bigger concern is with “making a decision.” Do you often fail to choose one thing over another deliberately?

Author Kris Gage, describes the types of procrastinators, including “I want to have it all” person and “I can’t pick until I know The One thing” type. How do we procrastinate? And how to change it?

7. Give away your privilege

 

They just nailed it so hard. This satirical video targets the obsession of social justice warriors with privilege. It just made my day.

8. Your opinions are shaped by social media filter-bubbles — how to change it?

How does your front page on youtube look like? What kind of videos have you featured? I’ll probably never know. Only thing I do know with a 100 % accuracy is that it’s different than mine. And different than anyone else’s.

“It’s a movie that the algorithmic engine believes you’ll like. Because it’s figured out your favorite actors. It knows what genre you skew to. The nightmares that keep you up at night. The first thing you think about in the morning.”

AI-driven algorithms used on biggest social media platforms are biased blackboxes, according to Natasha Loman. She outlines the current state of social media platforms — those that claimed to be “bringing us closer together.”

What they do in reality? They are creating obstacles to natural human interactions. Their impact is harmful and dehumanizing not just for their data-mined users but for their content creators too. Read more about the Youtube example in the article.

 

Loman’s whole article is very well-written. Her on point arguments will make you think. Yet, If you don’t mind hijacking your attention, biased world-view or watching the fake news, this video might change your view. Scott Gallowayunrolls more reasons why we should think critically about big tech.

9. Win every negotiation with game theory

What’s the best strategy to win any negotiation? Kevin Zollman, one of the leading game theorists in America today, says it’s patience. He suggests, acting patiently and unrushed can help you succeed.

He offers us some insights into how to use game theory in everyday situations. Patience is not his only advice though. According to him, by simply telling the other party to “take it or leave it” is another winning strategy. Played correctly can get you to a better position and be a winner in any negotiation.

10. Do you want to become a multi-millionaire? Do these 15 things immediately

Clickbait-ish, one might argue. Even I didn’t want to click on it, but I’m glad I did. Every now and then it’s great to read stuff like this. It’s easy to lose sight from the big picture when you’re busy in living the present. Read this out loud in Rocky Balboa’s voice (it should sound more motivational then):

“You can become the kind of person who does highly influential work. Your work can solve pressing problems, improve people’s lives, and get noticed by important people who share your work not for your sake, but for theirs!”

Hardy features essentials truths like, Simon Sinek’s: All successful people and brands have a clear WHY — and you should have one too. That you should invest in yourself and invest at least 80% of your time to learning. Or that you shouldn’t focus on time and efforts, but on results instead.

He outlines each of these actionable steps with a simple explanation and narrative. Maybe you’ll not be a multi-millionaire right away. But who knows. Try those for a month and let me know.


Happened while I’m writing this article: “A heavy-duty rocket from Elon Musk’s private company launches for the first time and aims to make spaceflight cheaper and easier.” Meanwhile a new Tesla Roadster is above the earth. The most hilarious thing? A dummy driver and a words “DON’T PANIC” on the dashboard computer.


What themes or articles had you found interesting last week? Had these ideas resonated with you? Let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts!🙏

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