Discover more from Stay Curious
1️⃣2️⃣2️⃣ Broken Windows, Power of the right question, Case against travel
Ideas from John Maeda, Andrew Chen, Stoa Blog, Jitha & more
Hi and welcome to the post #122.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” - I was hit by this idea twice in the last couple of weeks. I met two entrepreneurs who are trying to make the book buying experience more fun.
The_book_baee caught my attention with the beautiful packaging (and her sales pitch during the conversation), whisperingpages.in used a small snippet from the book (and a beautiful handwritten note) to pique my interest.
I have not yet opened these packages, so I don’t know what’s in there. But, I loved these ideas and the cool vibes these folks brought to the conversation we had.
Here’s what I collected:
Let me know if you’ve come across any other interesting ways to discover books.
We’ve a fantastic lineup for today:
🤖 Design & Artificial Intelligence
🪟 Broken Windows & Slippery Slopes
⏭️ The Next Next Job
❓ Power of the right question
🧳 The case against travel
🎾 Wimbeldon’s grass courts
And much more…
Let’s get started.
1. Design and Artificial Intelligence
John Maeda’s 2023 “Design in Tech Report” focuses on “Design and Artificial Intelligence”. He has put a 26 mins long video with an abridged version of his talk as well as the slides on this page.
For someone who is just starting on understanding AI, the presentation does a fairly good job sharing the core elements of the subject. His presentation style is unique, I’ve not seen decks like this before.
A couple of slides for the keep:
Credit: John’s presentation
I had covered FS blog’s post on John’s “Laws of Simplicity” in #54, in case you are interested to learn more from him.
2. Broken windows & Slippery slopes
Another gem from the folks at Stoa. “Broken windows and slippery slopes” warns managers & leaders that showing apathy or ‘don’t care’ attitude can be disastrous for the morale and culture of their teams.
Showing that you ‘care’ and something ‘matters’ is a strong signaling method and helps shape behavior in fairly predictable ways.
This snippet from the post is worth bookmarking:
3. The Next Next Job
If you’re at a career juncture and are evaluating multiple options, Andrew Chen’s “The Next Next Job” is a good read. It shares a framework for making big career decisions.
“What do you want to be your next next job? And why can’t you get it right now?”
That’s the core of this framework. Finding the answer to this question guides towards what you should be optimizing for in your next job. As you identify your strengths & weaknesses, some of the gaps can be a helping factor in deciding your next gig.
Andrew also suggests some gaps/questions that are worth looking into.
I find this a reasonable approach in the middle of the ladder phase. It can be a good approach in the early stage when you want to take big swings (like start on your own in the next next gig or move to a different field/function).
What do you think?
4. Power of the right question
Jitha’s “the right question is a force multiplier” is aptly titled. It expands on the following premise:
Questions are far more powerful than answers.
They frame the conversation. You can only answer questions that are asked.
The right question takes you right to the essence of a problem, and helps you solve it.
He picks up insights from his earlier posts and stitches a beautiful piece that’s a delight to read. There’s a lot to take away, in case you’re up to it.
The following snippet is my favorite and has given me a highly actionable tool.
5. 100 Things I know
Mari Andrew’s “100 things I know” is a compilation of tidbits that made her life better. She has a way of summing up her life’s lessons that makes this one a super fun read. And you are free to pick up an idea or two for yourself.
Here’re some of my favorite bits:
I always know the answer, deep down inside, and so do you. When making a big and difficult decision, flip a coin. You’ll either get the answer that you (secretly, subconsciously) wanted, or you’ll get the answer you realize you DIDN’T want, and all will become clear. Don’t trust the coin; trust your inside guts.
I know how desperately tourists want their picture taken. Always offer to take photos of strangers who are attempting selfies. And take a bunch of angles so they have options!
I know anticipation can soften despair. Always have something on the calendar that you’re looking forward to.
I know that “I don’t know” is a full sentence.
6. Light reads & videos
Some interesting blogs & videos from not so usual topics of interest.
The 2-step "loci method" for memorizing absolutely anything by Stephen Johnson
Instead of relying on innate ability, memory athletes enhance the performance of their memories through mnemonic strategies. Such techniques include the use of acronyms (like ROYGBIV, to remember the colors of the rainbow), chunking (like breaking down a 10-digit phone number into three parts), and associating information with visual imagery.
The case against travel By Agnes Callard
When you travel, you suspend your usual standards for what counts as a valuable use of time. You suspend other standards as well, unwilling to be constrained by your taste in food, art, or recreational activities. After all, you say to yourself, the whole point of travelling is to break out of the confines of everyday life. But, if you usually avoid museums, and suddenly seek them out for the purpose of experiencing a change, what are you going to make of the paintings? You might as well be in a room full of falcons.
7. Everything else
Some random goodness from the internet:
Why isn’t Ukraine a global superpower? I wish our history lessons could be like this. Posts like this teach the history (and the reasons for the various trajectories) much better by connecting the dots between geography, business, race & cultures and more.
9 questions that Patrick Campbell uses to be a better manager (via Jitha’s post).
The grass courts are now in session. A fun and informative read on Wimbledon - the only grass court Grand Slam.
Searching for Maura - a heart touching visual essay by The Washington Post covering life, death & the journey beyond death of Maura. Maura had come to St. Louis from the Philippines to be put on display at the 1904 World’s Fair.
Singapore in colour - the Straits Times’ digital graphics team and photo desk teamed up to programmatically extract Singapore’s hues from thousands of photos. Another beautiful visual essay to treat your eyes.
Shinrashinge creates magical moving photographs with his art. I could not believe what I saw when I saw these the first time, simply magical.
Gosh! I have overdone this section this time. So much goodness to share, I could not keep myself waiting for another week!
That's all for this week, folks!
I hope I've earned the privilege of your time.
Please leave a comment or send a message with your feedback. It’s highly helpful & encouraging. If that’s too much of an effort (or not required), at least hit the ❤️ at the start or end of the post to show your love.