You’ll notice a few slight changes to the newsletter formula, mostly just in the Making subsection. Nowadays I do a lot more than just write, and write more than just the blogposts — wanted to address this in a nice, easily viewable way. But that’s all from me, let’s get into it!
🔨What I’ve Been Making
New writing: On the blog: Myths of People and Heroism. The first post follows up on the parasociality discussions I had in earlier articles, whereas Heroism is all about finding what being a hero means in the modern day. On Ko-fi, I wrote a free article describing my lessons learned from NaNoWriMo.
New video/audio: I’ve begun to convert the old video summaries from Youtube into podcast form, as promised. Here’s the first one on Building a Startup with Anxiety.
New in Apalla: Many, many new knowledge cheatsheets available on Apalla now. You can buy these individually, but take in mind a subscription to the Substack gives you all of them for free :)
Other projects: I’ve got a new SOTU update coming later this month. It’ll be posted on Youtube as a video, but rehosted on the blog and of course linked here as well. Most of my “other project” updates are in this video, so I’ll wait on updating here until it comes out.
📚What I’ve Been Reading
When the Traffic Firehouse is Pointed At You - Have you ever wondered about those strange posts on Youtube, Facebook, and elsewhere that seem to get millions upon millions of views? This post goes over the secret warehouses that use dark patterns to build some of the most popular content on the internet.
How to Write a Computer Emulator - This post is self-explanatory, but it provides a pretty neat deep-dive on how emulation works in the first place. This guide, as far as I can tell, applies to all levels of hardware emulation — not just specifically desktops but video game consoles and mobile devices as well.
How To Improve Your Mindset - If I had a nickel for every time I’ve talked about mindset over the years, I wouldn’t feel the need to talk about mindset and would instead be chilling somewhere in the Caribbean. At this point, it’s one of those topics that I’d rather let other people speak on for me. So here’s a post by Taylor Pearson that does just that.
Build a business, not an audience - I don’t agree with this article at all. I believe there is a definitive place for curators and summarizers on the Internet, given the wide array of content — most of it terrible — that is flooding it every single day. In this case, you might be wondering why I’m recommending it. Well, I think Greenfeld is right in one crucial point, which is that most people do curation for the sake of curation itself. It’s true that curating is easily the fastest and most efficient way to provide value on the Internet. But that doesn’t mean that you can just turn yourself into a robot and mindlessly curate things without thinking about what you’re doing (Unless you create a robot to do it for you. Then it’s rather clever). Make new value first. Take the value you make, and summarize it. Take content that fits with your value, and curate it. Find your niche first, then worry about all that stuff.
LEGO designed a set that can’t be taken apart - This is a rather short post talking about a very specific line of LEGOs, but there are a lot of implicit engineering lessons here. What if you engineer a product, only to realize that your short-term solution creates long-term problems? What if you develop a fix that can’t be fixed further? Engineering in a lot of ways is the speedy, structure-averse field compared to the perfectionist, structure-seeking field of science and research. But that doesn’t mean you have an excuse to not plan out ahead of time.