Rules of “No”/Hidden in Plain Sight/Vtubers


Recomendo: issue no. 244

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The rules of “No”

In his newsletter James Altucher reveals how he decides to say yes or no to opportunities. Here’s what he wrote:
Two out of these three have to trigger for me to say YES:
  • KNOWLEDGE: Will I learn something?
  • FUN: Is it fun?
  • MONEY: Is it financially worthwhile?
James says no a lot more than yes. — MF


Hidden in Plain Sight
If you’re going to click on an exposé about exploitative companies who discriminate against BIPOC, you should start here. CC Paschal’s essay about her experience as a producer for Gimlet called “Hidden in Plain Sight” is beautifully vulnerable and powerful to read. It is also incredibly infuriating, so be warned: it will crack your heart open. — CD

Real time virtual characters
I am always on the lookout for the next new thing. I found one in vtubers. Vtubers are virtual characters that are streamed before an audience in real time, puppeted by their master behind the scenes. They have long been predicted in science fiction, such as William Gibson’s Idoru. These virtual characters appear live today on Twitch and YouTube, and interact with fans or guests in real time and use the latest motion capture technology so they appear “realistic”. They are rapidly gaining audiences. Their human host is acting out their role in their home, and voicing them. Their virtuality permits the characters to go in a new thousand directions, creating a new fictional space. Rather than point you to particular streams, I suggest this pretty good article  describing one of the most popular vtubers: CodeMiko is the Future of Streaming. — KK

Loop sound track on YouTube
Like many writers and programmers I like to listen to a loop of music over and over again as an inducement to work. It’s similar to writers who work in a cafe for its background hum. The familiar sound induces a flow trance that makes it easier to concentrate. Some loopers will loop a different track for a different project, but I have looped the same song for a decade. My loop is a Gregorian chant, Hymn of the Cherubim. In fact, as soon as I hear it now, I am primed to write. Popular tracks to loop include video game music, because these were intentionally engineered to work in the background and help focus. Tons of music, including video game tracks, can be found on YouTube, and the cool part is that you can loop YouTube. Right click on the Play button and choose Loop. — KK

Drain unclogger
I was dealing with a stubborn shower drain. Backed up and it smelled bad. Liquid Plumr had no effect. A hose and plumber’s bladder made the water drain slowly, but it clogged right back up again. I bought a jar of Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener and poured half into the drain and let it sit overnight. The next morning I poured in a quart of boiling water. Problem solved, and the bad smell is gone. — MF

How long would it take to hack your password?
Here is a scary visual: the time it takes a hacker to brute force your password. I’m not sure how accurate this is, but considering I still have some passwords that are 8 characters or less — and those can be cracked in under 8 hours — this chart is enough for me to calendar a time block for password management. — CD

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 03/21/21

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