The best things I’ve read last week

This is a weekly update on the best things I’ve learned this week, from a variety of sources. The theoretical target audience are overachievers coping with the era of networked capitalism.

Our trendwatch at work is an update-or-die business. We have to keep up the goings of digital transformation, and filter through the hundreds (thousands?) of lists, must-dos, must-haves and buzzwords. A big part of the work is to select which ones are going to keep up in the zeitgeist and which ones will just fade. Not to mention the futurology and the flying cars. The trendwatch for me, particularly, concerns what digitalisation is changing in the life of people.

To make this keeping up more reasonably efficient, I have tweaked and calibrated a number of media sources that are growing with accuracy and relevance. They are in one circle closer to me than the RSS feeds and news I follow and go public in my Twitter account — if you are into consumer studies in digital era, I recommend we connect there.

So the articles published here will be usually divided in slow reads, quick reads, and “stay in the know” — these last ones are articles you don’t really need to read, but knowing that someone is talking about those may be relevant. Once I finish, I categorise them a little bit — heartfelt, hacks, productivity etc. The bottomline is that they are all interesting, somehow, and a lot of people are talking about them. Chances are you have read some, chances are this can be a topic of conversation in your next meeting or social gathering.

This is the first edition, so I’ve included the best pics from September.

Farnan Street
Rules For a Knight

Ethan Hawk has created/researched/invented a few ethical, moral and politeness rules for a true knight, and the internet loved it.

5. Cooperation
Each one of us is walking our own road. We are born at specific times, in specific places, and our challenges are unique. As knights, understanding and respecting our distinctiveness is vital to our ability to harness our collective strength. The use of force may be necessary to protect in an emergency, but only justice, fairness, and cooperation can truly succeed in leading men. We must live and work together as brothers or perish together as fools.

The New York Times
Why Do Anything? A Meditation on Procrastination

The procrastinator contemplates his deed and realizes all its future imperfection, but — fallen creature, “man of the world,” part of the “infamy of Creation” that he is — he must do it. The procrastinator is both contemplator and man of action, which is the worst thing to be, and which is tearing him apart.

The Guardian
A world without work is coming — it could be utopia or it could be hell

Workers’ preferences are easy to understand. Work is not just a means for distributing purchasing power. It is also among the most important sources of identity and purpose in individuals’ lives. If the role of work in society is to shrink, other sources of purpose and identity will need to grow. Some people will manage to find these things for themselves: pursuing passions too uneconomic to live on or engaging in voluntarism, just as many retirees find satisfying ways to fill their days. But others will find themselves at a loss.

So you think you can fake your own death?

Don’t get too creative: Wannabe death fraudsters concoct ingenious ways to create the illusion of a corpse to fool — or befuddle — law enforcement. Mortuary worker Jean Crump collaborated with a few friends to defraud several insurance companies out of $1.2 million.

NPR news
What If Evolution Bred Reality Out Of Us?

There has been an increase on articles discussing philosophically the nature of reality. Have fun.


The Seven Types of Email and How to Deal With Them

The New York Times
How to Pick the Fastest Line at the Supermarket

The Fast Co.
How Writing To-Do Lists Helps Your Brain (Whether Or Not You Finish Them)
Seth Godin
A checklist for (adding the value to) new projects and ideas

This project you’re working on, the new business or offering, what sort of value does it create? Who is it for? What mindset and worldview and situation?
Is it paid for by organizations or individuals?
Does it solve a new problem or is it another/better solution to an old problem?
Will a few users pay a lot, or will a lot of users pay a little?

Useful mental models

The Guardian
27 podcasts to make you smarter
It’s hard to find podcasts that are not trying to lease new stand up comedians. These are picks on Art, History, Science and general studies.