astukari Newsletter #76 - Play Your Own Game
I’ve switched up a few of my focuses when it comes to building, shipping, and overall productivity. I’ve tried to run everything out of a single dashboard, which shows my current projects/todos and things I’m interested in (eventually) doing. I’ve become once again fond of the “scatter-shot” approach to developing new products and ideas — one because, well, it’s fun, but perhaps more practically because I still haven’t really “gotten off the ground” yet, so I’m allowed to try a bunch of new things and see what gets the greatest value back. It’s a strategy that’s worked for me so far and one I’d highly recommend to others also starting out.
🔨What I’ve Been Making
Progress in the Long Term - As time moves forward, an interesting thing happens: things progress. We take for credit the fact that human life seems to be advancing in a variety of different categories, rather than stay stagnant and volatile. But this raises the question: what does the endgame look like?
The End of Journalism - A Post-Truth world heralded the end of journalism as we knew it. And — in the wise words of Buzzfeed — “That’s a good thing!”
📚What I’ve Been Reading
Play Your Own Game - I’ve written a lot in the past about how you should focus more on improving yourself in comparison with yourself rather than improving yourself in comparison with others. This is essentially the Morgan Housel equivalent to those thoughts, which I of course have to recommend.
Experimenting with Programmatic SEO - Alright, in all my interest (and simultaneous disdain) for the world of automated content writing, there is something I didn’t consider. I said that, eventually, all SEO writers would be out of jobs — I didn’t say that the SEO writers will just become SEO programmers. I guess you better get learning Python if you’re interested in staying in the content marketing game. This might honestly be a strategy I steal for projects where I can’t really be arsed in writing content for them.
Predicting Mortality from Credit Reports - There’s not much to go off of in terms of insights here, but it is a rather fascinating little study. You could make a pretty good morbid joke with the fact that mortality is “especially correlated with unsecured loans”, but also the idea of mass data being used to develop health predictions is something that is equally fascinating and scary.
How does a Game Engine Work? - In the world of literal games, here’s a pretty great breakdown of what a game engine is and how it’s made. I’d recommend reading it even if you aren’t a videogame enthusiast because there’s a lot of good ways to extrapolate this structure to complex systems on the whole.
Secrets of the Death Chamber - Perhaps a bit exaggerated and overly dramatic in writing (given the subject matter I suppose you can’t blame them), this is a really good narrative look into the world of capital execution, one in which I’ve always been interested in but find surprisingly closed off. Capital execution is, by definition, a very strange sport — we aren’t allowed to kill people unless the state says it’s okay, which by logical deduction gives the state authority over your life. A rather unnerving thought, though it has seemed to work out well enough for most of us. For the executors and their victims, however, there enters the murky world of the bureaucracy of killing.