2 min read

Check These Out pt. 1

In the age of middling Google search results, astroturfed Reddit threads, and decaying institutions, trust is scarce. How do we know what products to buy? Which books, podcasts, and movies are worth our time? What foods are healthy? Where to travel & spend our time?

Over the past few years, I’ve sourced my best recommendations not from organizations, but from individuals. People IRL or public figures I trust.

I like that trust is shifting towards the individual. Individual reputation is more fragile than institutional reputation, so people work harder to maintain it. And in turn, we consumers become more responsible for whose basket we put our eggs in.

So, in the spirit of giving back to the personal network that has worked to curate the world for me, I’ll be periodically sharing my own list of what I’m experiencing, pondering, and exploring to you guys. Let’s get into it.

  1. Book I enjoyed: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. I recently read this book to learn how to share my journey in public. The book is easily digestible - it uses simple language, contains hand drawn art on almost every page, and is packed with insights. My favorite quote: “It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” The internet is increasingly how we learn about others and the world around us, so if you want to give yourself, your project, or your idea the best chance of being known, the Internet is its best vehicle.
  2. Product I love: HEY email. In this day and age, every internet account is tied to your email, so if you’re locked out of your email, you’re locked out of the internet. It pays to pay for quality. HEY isn’t the only option, but over the last few years I’ve come to appreciate the detailed yet opinionated control it gives me over my email. I especially like the Feed (all newsletters shown in a infinite scroll, feed-style format) and the Screener (you have the ability to screen all new senders in or out of your inbox, independent of spam filtering). Most importantly, their support team is highly responsive - a human has always responded to me within a few hours, even on holidays and weekends.
  3. Youtube Video: Thanks, Lemon by the vlogbrothers (3:51). On the surface, it’s a montage of Hank's legs as he walks through his town as he eulogizes his dog Lemon. Visually, it's a repetitive video - just disembodied legs that cross streets, tread on grass, and hurdle curbs. Yet despite the repetitiveness of the video, it’s difficult to look away, and as the video continues it creates this strange feeling that it's YOU on this sad walk, thinking these beautifully sad thoughts. There’s an art to this simple yet impactful filmmaking, and it’s one of my favorite YouTube videos of the year. Shoutout to my lil bro Haroon for showing this to me.

Hope you enjoy these recommendations. Have a wonderful weekend!