June 15, 2018

Where to find more?

Without a stream of links, shared by friends, appearing constantly on the phone screen, where do people find things to read and explore?

I deactivated my Twitter account last week—I have been grappling with an overwhelming cognitive load and removing that from my workflow has given me capacity to focus on other, more important things—and the thing I miss most about the platform is the easy access to ideas.

A carefully collected Twitter stream is a fount of thought-provocation. More than the pithy thoughts or conversations, I appreciated the links and recommendations: articles to peruse, books to read, recipes to try, places to visit, ideas upon which to ruminate. The grand majority of the links in this fortnightly (sometimes weekly) roundup came from twitter recommendations.

Where does one find new things to explore, endorsed culture, without a stream of recommendations?

Of course, I still subscribe to about a hundred RSS feeds, and have my micro.blog account. My list of books to read is never-ending. In reality, I don’t need to seek out much more, but yet I crave the influx of recommendations that keep me excited and invigorated.

(Upon reflection, this influx probably has lots to do with the overwhelming cognitive load. Perhaps I should relish this respite from recommendation.)

Where do you, dear reader, find the things that keep you engaged, the articles and explorations that make you want to learn more, to write more?

A powerful, important post by Mike Monteiro: we totally suck at dealing with suicide. Includes some amazing passages. This one is the most poignant among them:

When you hear that people struggle with depression” I want you to know that struggle is the most real word in that sentence. Every day can be a fight. And every morning that struggle starts again. Someone who has to wake up and fight 365 days a year isn’t selfish, they’re exhausted.[…]

Read the whole post. As Mike says, we all struggle with depression in our own ways, but I can relate so much to what he says here.

I wrote a small post about remembering Anthony Bourdain that mostly consists of links to the remembrances of others:

Bourdain and Spade brought joy and light and brilliance; we didn’t see the darkness that sat behind that luminescence.

Oh, and here’s a map of every place Anthony Bourdain visited on No Reservations, Parts Unknown, and The Layover.

Every place Anthony Bourdain visited on his television shows

A few more things to read and explore:

We’ve evolved to give more weight to our flaws, mistakes and shortcomings than our successes.” So how do we break that hardwiring and be kinder to ourselves? I’m particularly bad at being kind to myself; it’s something I need to work more consciously.

An open, honest, beautiful, and important call-to-action from Patrick Rhone: we need you. Well worth reading and re-reading.

This book review of The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion has articulated so many of the things I think about when I think of urban planning these days. I’m putting the book on my to-read list.

In our highly designed urban spaces very little is accidental: hard stools in coffee shops and restaurants ensure brisk customer turnover, classical music in malls drives away teenagers, and plantings subtly direct pedestrians away from high-income neighborhoods. When one becomes cognizant of the armrests on benches that hinder sleeping, or handrail designs meant to thwart skateboarders, these elements begin to appear everywhere in the built environment.

As someone who has taken Tramadol for back pain relatively often, this story about the Tramadol-fueled opioid crisis in Nigeria absolutely terrifies and saddens me.

Yesterday, the World Cup finals began. It is my favorite sporting tournament; it is the world’s favorite sporting event. Of all places, the New York Review of Books captures its history and spirit perfectly:

Ninety years ago, Jules Rimet welcomed commerce into international soccer to launch a competition wherein, he wrote, foundational violence is subsumed to discipline and the rules of the game.” Today, we’re living in times when rules-based approaches are being scorned and smashed—and even Rimet’s global institution has been shaken by the crass logic of cash and political exploitation by strongmen. But on the fields where World Cup teams play, and in the bars and living rooms and cafés where we get to watch, his vision persists.

There are many reasons to be scared of the effects of climate change, but the arrival of a global dust bowl and the health issues it will cause is definitely among the big, underreported concerns.

Do you wear glasses? If you do, chances are your spectacles were made by one of two companies—two companies who are now merging and taking over a $38 billion industry as one.

The only residential home Zaha Hadid (one of my favorite architects) ever completed is in the middle of a Russian forest, and it’s just as stunning as you’d expect.

Residential home designed by Zaha Hadid

If you listen to any podcasts at all, you’ve probably heard of the Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder, who seems to do the music for dozens of podcasts in my queue. My friend Ashley had the chance to interview the musician, and it was as strange and surreal as you’d expect it to be.

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