Hello beautiful human being 👋
It’s been a LONG time since the last issue of the Fireside.
I’m sorry for the long delay but I’ve taken a couple of weeks off in Cuba in the beginning of January and, for those who don’t know (including myself before booking), Cuba doesn’t have access to the Internet.
Well… technically it does.. if you buy a scratch card for $1… for an hour of very slow connection… only in specific areas… and if you can spell your date of birth in Sanskrit… in reverse order.
So long story short, I decided to be completely offline for 14 days and… God, did I need it! No email, no Twitter, no Whatsapp, no bullshit. I don’t think I have been disconnected for so long in 10 years.
If you haven’t tried yet, please do it, even just for 3-4 days.
Trust me, it will help you cure your technological addiction and you give you a bit of perspective.
For example, I’ve come up with my personal equation of happiness.
What is making me think 🤔
- 🤓 Nat Eliason deconstructs a simple framework to broaden our perspectives, learn more effectively, and accelerate our personal development. This can easily be one of the best articles I’ve read in a while.
- ⛓ Everyone talks about blockchain technology and how it’s going to change the world, yet ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for it. Read this article if you need a fresh perspective on this crypto-mania.
- 💣 The evil twin of the previous article, this post from the NYTimes explains why the blockchain technology is important and why you must see “Beyond the bitcoin bubble”. (I particularly appreciated this post for trying to explain WTF is happening without using tech-jargon).
- 🇨🇳 China is implementing a gigantic system to monitor the “trustworthiness” of its citizens, where every purchase, message, even one’s friends are given a score. People with low ratings will have slower internet speeds; restricted access to restaurants and the removal of the right to travel.
- 👋 Not that you asked for it, but I’ve written a review of my 2017. Amazing read if you want to waste 5 minutes of your life.
What I'm reading 📚
I’ve just finished “Blitzed” by Norman Ohler, a rather unusual book about one of the most overlooked aspects of WW2: the drug use (and abuse) by the Nazi Army. When it comes to Nazi war victories and horrors nobody thinks of drugs, yet Ohler (with the help of thousands of previously classified documents) reconstructs a world where methamphetamines and other performance-enhancement drugs (including cocaine) were routinely administered to soldiers and generals. Ohler’s hyperbolic style is sometimes completely unnecessary, but worth a read.
PS: If you are looking for inspiration for next year, I’ve made a list of my favourite 5 books of 2017.
- 🐊 Scientists found a dinosaur tale preserved in amber… it has feathers. (note from the editor: I chose the crocodile emoji because it’s the closest animal to the dinosaur. I’ve officially requested the dinosaur emoji on Twitter. Please support my cause.)
- 🌏 We humans are not really designed to grasp concepts like “billions of years”. Carl Sagan has developed a nice trick that involves… a footstep analogy.
- 🚅 Timelapse of 1,500 Chinese workers building a train station in 9 hours (!!)