A note-taking system helps you get more out of what you read

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I’ve been a reader all my life, but like most people, I’ve fallen off the wagon before. It’s been about ten years since my last “no-reading” relapse. It lasted about a year. I was content to let it go longer, but Aldous Huxley had other ideas.

When Brave New World ripped open my brain, addiction is too soft a word for what I felt. It was nirvana.

Over the last ten years, my reading habits went through a few developments. The first came shortly after devouring Huxley’s novel. I became obsessed with trying to read as much as possible. I…

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Maybe I should start at the beginning. Not the very beginning, but early enough so I can set the stage appropriately.

I grew up playing sports and come from a competitive family. My family couldn’t even play monopoly without it turning into an all-out war. Being crowned champion was important in my family. Losing a game was grounds for teasing or worse. When you strive to always be the best, not fulfilling that goal is damaging. I learned this lesson many times throughout my childhood.

Looking back on it now, I wonder if some of my issues stem from that.

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In 1948, George Orwell published Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel. Many consider it the quintessential dystopian story, a must-read for those who view themselves intellectuals, and above all, a harrowing look into what our future could hold.

Its themes of totalitarianism, mass surveillance, propaganda, and historical negationism don’t feel out of place today in 2020. These ideas are more relevant than ever despite the novel hitting the shelves 72 years ago.


Simple. As the election comes to a close, one thing is sure, Donald J. Trump is not going anywhere. In fact, Trump will likely be a fixture of the…

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Like most people, the pandemic gifted me with the wonderful experience of working from home. When the lockdown first began, my job wasn’t made for telework, and it left me with too many free hours. A couple of months in and I was ready to save my sanity and my bank account.

Around this time, while my wife and I were once again arguing about what to watch on Netflix, she casually asked me, “Can you really make a lot of money from copywriting?”

It caught me off guard. I was vaguely familiar with copywriting, but it wasn’t something we…

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In December 2019, the opportunity of a lifetime landed in my lap. I got word a Fortune 500 beverage company selected me to be an intern on their communications team. I was thrilled. I’ve worked in the communications field for roughly 16 years and looked forward to learning new ways to communicate. Even more so since I had zero experience in the corporate sector.

Then 2020 reared its ugly head.

Despite the lockdown, the company told me the program was still a go. I would just be working from home instead of going into the office. …

It ain’t easy that’s for sure.

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I’m 5'6" and currently tipping the scales at a little over 200lbs. Based on the antiquated BMI charts America has used since the 1830s I am firmly in the obese category.

Yes, I know the charts are no longer considered the best measurement of a healthy weight, but my love handles and man boobs are a visual accurate assessment of the extra weight I carry.

My wife tells me I carry it well. She says she likes me with a little meat on my bones. I nod my head but it’s a huge mental struggle for me. When my wife…

It’s costing you money.

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I'm going to be brutally honest with you. Are you ready? The world doesn't need another handmade soap company on Etsy. I understand you use all-natural organic ingredients (which, I might point out, is the same stance as roughly half of your competitors). Oh, you use natural dyes and essential oils? Oh, you're catering to the handmade soap loving and the essential oils crowd? I applaud your efforts but, how much did you make last month?

Was it the elusive $10,000 month? $500 a week? $100 a day?

I understand those numbers are what the "gurus" said you would make…

There are no people on this spacecraft. (Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash)

“Across the sea of space, the stars are other suns.”

- Carl Sagan

Nick Bostrom is an interesting guy. A Swedish philosopher whose ideas on existential and superintelligence risks should scare the hell out of you. If they don’t, then you may not understand how smart this man is.

Or maybe you’re clinging to the last shreds of your sanity as you experience this existential crisis.

I became aware of Bostrom after he was on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. …

Ty Alexander

Reader 📖 | Writer 📝 | Thinker 💡

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