Fight Club

I want you to hit me as hard as you can

Hi again, I’m Steve Makofsky and this is a semi-whenever list of interesting articles, podcasts and videos that I come across during the week. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it, have something new to think about, and share it with your friends. In case you forgot, this is in your inbox because you asked me to send it to you. You can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of this email.

"The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club."
"The second rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club."

While I have never read the book by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club is one of those films that takes everything you are watching, puts it into a blender and turns it inside out (much like 2020). LitHub describes it as "the existential dread of having everything you’ve been told to want and still feeling empty."; put simply, Fight Club is a critique of the struggles of the world.

If you are a long time (since March) follower of my blog or this newsletter, you've likely recognized that I've been heading on the journey to understand Stoicism during this pandemic. It's been a personal exploration that's a combination of trying to deal with self-discovery as I turn 50 next year, a methodology for dealing with 2020, coming to terms of having heart issues and the realities of that, coupled with constant work stress and sleep issues. It’s a lot.

I am unaware of many other films other than Fight Club that touches on all the virtues embodied in what Stoic believe: Wisdom, Justice, Courage and Moderation. This week's "End Thoughts", draws on one of the more darker scenes of the film in which the concept of 'Memento Mori' is rooted in; Marcus Aurelius is quoted as saying 'You could leave life right now... do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life.'.

Do yourself a favor; do not be Raymond K. Hessel (watch below after the links).

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Tim Urban is one of my favorite writers on the Internet with Wait But Why. I recently re-watched his fantastic TED Talk on 'Inside The Mind of a Master Procrastinator' and it reminded me of how much I appreciate his humor, style and storytelling techniques - Watch

You know them — the 'heroes' — the folks that publish code at midnight, work crazy ass hours and burn out to meet deadlines. An interesting look if we decided to 'punish the heroes' instead of rewarding them for going the extra mile. Instead we should be rewarding the people who make death march projects unnecessary by simplifying scope - More

People always ask me (as someone who has spent a ton of time research and working on privacy and security) what the 'safest' messaging tech is, my answer is always for them to use Signal. No one but the person you are talking with can read your messages (Facebook can't track you); heck — even Edward Snowden recommends it. A super fascinating look at 'The Inside Story of How Signal Became the Private Messaging App for an Age of Fear and Distrust' - More

A look at the driving factors between drive when facing adversity, and the potential depression that comes from the lack of it - More

Over the last several years (and honestly this is something that I have been slacking on over 2020), I've tried to study the public speaking qualities of folks I admire such as Guy Kawasaki (Watch: The 10/20/30 Rule) and Nancy Duarte (Watch: The Secret Structure of Great Talks) in order to create my own unique style with presenting and storytelling. From the archives, a great article on the traits of becoming a powerful public speaker - More

From this weeks travel reads (do you remember travel?) a look at St. Matthew Island, one of the most remote places in Alaska. 'To set foot on this scatter of land surrounded by endless ocean is to feel yourself swallowed by the nowhere at the center of a drowned compass rose' in 'The Island That Humans Can’t Conquer' - More

Even though the memory of summer is fading fast, who doesn't like S'mores. Here are new ways to supercharge your S'mores - More

In order to move from 'time measurement' to 'time management' and how to focus on results instead of hours of work, some great strategies in here - More

Another look at the danger of deep-fake technology and that they are 'dangerous not only because they make people believe that false things are true, but also because they make people believe that true things are false' - More

I'm not sure if I'd agree with the thoughts here around 'why' so many advocates of agile and scrum methodology feel this is it's success is based on. But the concept of Parkinson’s Law, where 'work complicates to fill the available time' is very real - More

I have always heard that walking is the best way to think out a problem or relax. Your body chemistry changes — more blood and oxygen is getting to the muscles and brain. Here's a good look at 'Why Walking Helps Us Think' - More

End Thoughts

I know who you are. I know where you live. I'm keeping your license, and I'm going to check on you, mister Raymond K. Hessel. In three months, and then six months, and then a year, and if you aren't back in school on your way to being a veterinarian, you will be dead...

Raymond K. Hessel, your dinner is going to taste better than any meal you've ever eaten, and tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your life.