Excellent advice/ChatPDF/2-minute burnout checkup

Recomendo - issue #355

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Excellent advice

In an act of unabashed self-promotion, I highly recommend you get my new book: Excellent Advice for Living.  It’s the result of 70 years of trying to live the good and right life. There is a lot I am now certain of that I wished I had known when I was younger. So I wrote down these hard-earned bits of wisdom into brief telegraphic lessons with as few words as possible (life is short!).  Here are a couple examples:

  • Rule of 3 in conversation : To get to the real reason, ask a person to go deeper than what they just did. Then again, and then once more. The third time’s answer is the one closest to the truth.
  • If you are looking for something in your house and you finally find it, when you are done with it, don’t put it back where you found it. Put it back where you first looked for it.
  • Taking a break is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.
  • To succeed, get other people to pay you; to become wealthy, help other people to succeed.
  • Productivity is often a distraction. Don’t aim for better ways to get through your tasks as quickly as possible. Instead aim for better tasks that you never want to stop doing.

There are 450 more! You can pre-order Excellent Advice for Living now; it ships in a week. — KK

Talk to a PDF

Upload any PDF (up to 10MB) to ChatPDF and it will generate a summary of the PDF and offer three sample questions you can ask about the PDF. Or you can ask it any question you can think of and the AI system will provide an answer in simple English. I had fun uploading Edgar Rice Burrough’s 1917 novel, A Princess of Mars, and asking questions about it. — MF

A Two-Minute Burnout Checkup

This Two-Minute Burnout Checkup helped me understand the primary factors of chronic stress and burnout. I can sense physically when I am nearing burnout, but before this I didn’t understand that it’s more than just feeling exhausted. This checkup evaluates six sources of chronic stress, including workload, values, reward, control, fairness, and community. You rate your level of stress from 0-10 for each one and add up all the numbers to get a score out of 60. I think this would be very helpful if I’m consistent in tracking my score everyday. Here’s a link to the survey. — CD

Prying and opening tool

The iFixit Jimmy is a blunt, flexible steel blade attached to a handle. Because the blade is so thin, it’s far more effective than a screwdriver for prying items apart. I use it to open battery access covers on electronic devices, or to carefully pry open laptops and phones for upgrading or replacing components. — MF

Customizing Airpods for sound

Apple AirPods Pro are not only state-of-the-art stereophonic headphones, they are also state-of-the-art noise cancelling headphones, and to a lesser extent, passable hearing aids for some people. In short, they are far more capable sonic devices than first appears. I keep learning new abilities they have. A great way to get a sense of what the Airpods Pros can do is outlined in this short article by Jason Kottke on “customizing your Airpods for even better sound.” — KK

Explore the atmosphere in a space elevator 

This Space Elevator is another playful and cute project by Scrolling up will take you on a trip to Space while exploring the atmosphere and its many layers, past high-dwelling animals and cruising altitude for aircrafts and different types of clouds. There’s even a press play button for elevator music along the way as you ascend. I don’t know if this is meant for children, but it’s fun and educational for me too. — CD

Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson


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