Hello Friends,

This edition was the most difficult to write, not because I don’t have things to cover, but because I no longer know where to pitch this.

Much like the COVID-19 outbreak, all things seem unimportant any longer. Over the past fortnight since the last edition, at some points it felt like the whole fabric of the world was going to fall apart, but we are getting through things and trying to return to some normal. Of course some things need changing for the world to continue, and although some of us don’t speak up and walk with you, we are behind you every step of the way.

With that said, it doesn’t change the fact that things do continue, and can continue alongside more important issues. It may mean that things become less important but struggles like this should allow us to reframe our existence and find out what really matters to us.

What we once considered smaller things in life have suddenly become critical to people. Walking with my family has become significant to me, as has exercise and cycling specifically that I have spoken about before.

The real dichotomy of the situation is that cycling really shouldn’t matter to me, as with all sport in the current climate, it appears on the surface a pointless endeavour. Nothing is achieved by it, I am not serving a purpose and you could argue it is not essential. But the real beauty of sport and exercise is that taking part is so important to us.

I have seen some usually upbeat and active people going through a painful process of looking at their activities with critical eyes. Whatever your interest they have taken on some weird oxymoronic place in many peoples lives that it is both essential and non-essential simultaneously. Whatever it is that you take part in shouldn’t make you feel bad for carrying on.

This may be the place technology takes for you. You understand that having the latest phone or computer doesn’t matter in the slightest, but also matters a great deal to you.

Being A Blogger

When first starting out publishing to the internet I had no idea what I wanted it to be. I had no idea how Wordpress, or much of the web, worked and would update my HTML site by building a new page and linking to it from an index.

It seems strange now looking back at the few months I spent doing that before getting to grips with a CMS. But all I was worried about was writing a post and getting it online. That fact I didn't even know how to publish to the internet properly but spent so much time making sure I did leave me with nostalgia for simpler times. Times when I thought of myself as a writer, so I did what I though writer did and that was publishing often.

I wasn’t worried about stats, or SEO, or optimisation of any kind — I just wanted my word on the internet. I wanted for a very long time to join the ranks of a large publication and write away all day until I ran out of ideas — but now I couldn't think of anything worse.

Compared that to todays world and you would think things would have improved. Yet whenever I think about writing anything now I am filled with dread unless it heads to my blog. I don't have to worry about anything that content writers need to worry about, I can write exactly what I want and hit publish.

As Paul Jarvis wrote about in his excellent I’d rather be a blogger post, the hassles and strains of content producers should not be any of our concern. I used to want to be a writer, but now I love being a blogger.

Bionic Reading

No, this isn’t come kind of machine enhanced version of what you’re doing right now. It’s something I stumbled across by pure accident in the setting of my favourite Reading app Reeder, and I think everyone should know about it.

Bionic Reading claims to allow you to consume written text with “more focus, awareness, and sustainability”. Which sounds like a marketing ploy to tell you something that hacks your brain. It does take a little getting used to but when turned on I can tell the difference and can read much more fluidly and my eye is guided through the article. There is quite a bit of science behind it, but give it a go and see what you think.

When you know. You know.

I often think back to the first time I met my now wife. I knew as soon I met her that she would be something special to me, but at the time I wasn’t sure what. It is only when something seem like destiny and things ‘click’ that we often attribute this to something higher — be it god or whatever.

Too often I am quick to try different tools and apps, simply because others are using them, when things have already clicked with my workflow already. I already know that my reliance on apps like Todoist is the best thing for me, so I have give up fighting. When I know something works for me, I now know to leave it alone.

Inside the heartwarming world of Hot Wheels collecting
What seems like a simple hobby can take you across the world.
Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost
People really do circle past the same tree over and over again—it doesn’t just happen in movies.
The Russian Family That Cut Itself Off From Civilization for More Than 40 Years
The Lykov family left Russian society under persecution in the 1930s and remained hidden until 1978.
The Facebook Groups Where People Pretend the Pandemic Isn’t Happening
Online role-playing has taken a turn for the downright mundane.

Books

I enjoyed writing a few words about the books I am reading so when I feel the urge I will include them here. I rad around a book. Week (dependent on size) and they vary all over the place — so don’t expect just tech stuff.

I am currently reading The Bhagavad Gita which is a bit out there, but very thought provoking, but by the time this newsletter goes out I will have started Facebook: The Inside Story just to keep going with my origin story fixation.

Before I go

This week seemed a bit preachy. I hope it didn't come across that way. My thoughts and feeling swirl a lot at the moment as I am sure most peoples do. There is lots going on in the world that can feel overwhelming — but do your bit, stay safe, and wash your hands.

🤙