A jot a day: Wednesday, October 18, 2023

A jot a day: Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Some links

• I loved this article on creativity so much that I have kept a window open on my phone to post about it. The one thing I read over and over from creatives is: just do it and the inspiration will come. I am trying to do that by writing here every day this week.
Tech doesn’t make our lives easier, it makes it faster “We don’t just live in any economy. We live in a mega-scale corporate capitalist economy, and in such a setting technology is never used to save time. It’s used to speed up production and consumption in order to expand the system. The basic rule is this: technology doesn’t make our lives easier. It makes them faster and more crammed with stuff.” (via: Apex Money) I saw a quote recently on AI that said something like, “If you won’t bother to write it yourself, I’m not going to bother to read it myself.”
• I also had a link to Unbound books open. It’s a publisher that publishes crowdsourced books. I love the idea.
Shrinkflation continues to be an issue. Honestly, it would be interesting to see if standardization of what constitutes a “family size” or “club pack” would help here. But you just have to look at the Sisyphean task of trying to compare toilet paper packages to know what a fool’s errand it all is.
How to Avoid Tax on Severance Pay in Canada
• Today is the Canadian Financial Summit. It’s got a nice selection of interesting speakers (and some I don’t like at all) and topics. You can get a “free” ticket right from the website.


I’m old enough to remember when the Internet wasn’t a group of five websites, each consisting of screenshots of text from the other four.
– Tom Eastman

This one hurt: I remember seeing a tweet where someone was saying that they don’t watch videos on TikTok but wait until they appear on Instagram…like an adult! It’s so meta that I saw that tweet discussing a TikTok video…on Instagram. Recently, I have been served up a ton of Reddit posts on Instagram as well, which is why this quote shook me to my core. I am constantly battling with myself over my (even) meagre presence on social media.


I finished The Art of the Good Life and I can’t say I recommend it. Sometimes when I read a book I feel discomforted because the content doesn’t line up with what I believe so I take the time to process it so that I can either change my mind and add the perspective to my thoughts on the issue. Other times when I read a book I feel discomforted but continue to read because I feel like the book is a weak attempt at pushing someone’s beliefs and/or politics on me.

With a book like this which is a series of observations it had both levels of discomfort in it which makes it hard to review as a whole. While I want to review it more in-depth at some point my overall conclusion is that this is just another piece of #FinBro hot takes that really only seem to apply to rich white capitalists.

What I liked about it is that he starts the chapters with storytelling, which makes it highly readable and interesting. Humans are designed for storytelling, afterall. He has some interesting observations and enjoys quoting famous people (I am a sucker for quotes). He also has some good actionable advice, such as in the “Managing Expectations” chapter, and I do love the idea of subtraction being the key to appreciating what you have.

What gets confusing is his hero worship on the one hand (Munger, Gates and Buffet make multiple appearances) and then on the other he states that we shouldn’t put people on a pedestal because their innovations would happen regardless of their existence. He also seems to think that he is singlehandedly bringing back Stoicism into the modern world when in fact it’s been the dominant philosophical thinking of the 2010s in the blogosphere. It’s very odd that he thinks that it’s fallen out of fashion when clearly it has been very much in fashion.

I wish his editors had done a better job because this book is rife with contradictions such as we should definitely study marginalized people and their history but that we shouldn’t make it our focus. When I finally got 48 – The Secretary Problem, I basically just disengaged. Here is how the chapter starts:

Let’s say you want to hire a secretary (sorry: PAs). A hundred women have applied for the role, and you are interviewing them one by one in random order…

He then goes on to use gender-neutral language for the rest of this story about how to hire candidates efficiently using math. I just found that lede so antagonizing: the only reason to say that the candidates were women and to make a snarky comment about PAs wanting to be respected. It was just such an odd thing to do when their gender had absolutely nothing to do with the problem at hand.

While there is a notes section I find a lot of his arguments aren’t really arguments at all. I wish he had more references to back up his points but if we look at it as a purely opinion piece, sure, it works.

When I first picked it up I thought that it may be a book to add to my collection permanently because it had some salient points. But it starts to go off the rails and becomes a bit hypocritical part way through. In the end, what reading this book has taught me is that I really need to take notes about where I get my book recommendations from! I can’t remember what blog recommended it but I wish I did because that would tell me more about how to see their recommendations going forward.


I slept horribly last night which means that today will probably will find me sitting in my living room watching episodes of Golden Girls. I am on my second cup of coffee and I am still super sleepy so I don’t see myself doing much today.


We ended up watching Death Becomes Her which has a hugely star-studded cast for this type of movie, which is probably due to the director.

The Youngest: 10/10 Literally perfect. Funny, goofy and I love how it was done.

The Eldest: 9/10 It was hilarious and very fun. I thought it was pretty creative.

Mr. Tucker: 7/10 Pretty sure I saw it when it came out but I can’t remember. Anyway, it was thoroughly enjoyable in that early 90s fun, yet thin plot and primitive CGI kind of way.

As for me? I enjoyed it although as I mentioned it was strange to see so many A-listers in what is a campy horror/comedy. It really brought me back to the days where the newspaper had two full pages of movie listings – remember they would say things like, “40 WEEKS IN THE THEATRE!” because the amount of time it ran was determined to be a measure of how great the fil was? I really miss the days of studios taking chances on weird and novel scripts. It feels like everything that hits the theatres now are remakes or superhero movies with the odd art house film breaking through. I get why they do it: why take a loss on something new when we can just do another Star Wars spinoff? But I feel like we have lost something culturally because of it.

Also, I am old: get off of my lawn!

Happy Wednesday, I hope you are having a great day!

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