Friends! Welcome to the very first issue of Hearts & Minds. A start, I hope, of good things to come. If you’ve subscribed, my thanks to you. It helps to know this newsletter is actually going somewhere instead of out into the void of cyberspace.
The important thing for me with this newsletter is to keep it sustainable and consistent so for now it’s monthly but may, at some point, become fortnightly, even weekly. I also plan to play with the look and format of this newsletter as I come to grips with the software it runs on. Let’s try things out. See what works – watch this space.
And last, but not least, a Happy Birthday to Paul McNabb! (Your wife reminded me it was today ;P)
I hope you all enjoy the newsletter.
I blog once a week at StuartHollyoak.com on writing, philosophy, poetry and anything else that tickles my curiosity. Here’s a selection:
I love this book. If you’re something of a brainiac or you’d like shortcuts to higher levels of thinking, well with the help of mental models you can do just that.
Some of my favourite models include: first principles, inverse thinking, entropy, leverage, opportunity cost, and many more!
A fascinating piece that frames the struggle of living during a pandemic as a marathon (or even an ultramarathon!) and also explores the nature of endurance. Pandemic or no pandemic, how far can we humans push ourselves?
Can you guess what it is?
I bought this beast of a book last week. 1,145 pages! This biography on Robert Moses, a man who, for better or worse, shaped New York into the city we know today, won the Pulitizer Prize in 1975.
I saw Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool on Netflix a few months ago and this song caught my ear soon as I heard it. Picture a heartbroken French woman wandering city streets. Quintessential blues.
A short looped tune from an indie flash game I played about ten years ago. Pure bliss.
Menacing yet vulnerable, I think. I discovered this band about two years ago thanks to the YouTube algorithm. One of the very few times I appreciate algorithms spying on me.
Wow. I may be biased because I knew this won the Oscar before I saw it, but you have to see this. Parasite is the story of the Kim family who try to escape poverty by tricking a rich family, the Parks, into hiring them, and then things go wrong – and not in the way you expect them to either. Bravo.
Check out Lessons From the Screenplay’s analysis of the film’s symbols and themes after you’ve watched it – but only after!
This film was shot in one take (or as close to one take as filmmakers can get right now) and it’s one hell of an experience. The story is a simple journey of two soldiers crossing No Man’s Land to deliver a message that will save 1,600 lives.
When the case of her daughter’s murder goes cold Mildred Hayes (McDormand) hires three billboards in her hometown to provoke the local law enforcement into action. Powerful and occasionally hilarious.
The tree in my back yard is blooming again. I forgot how purple its flowers were.
Ah, the colours of spring.
Until next time,