Another month, another newsletter. So far the response has been great, which stimulates me to keep on doing this. Let’s dive in!
💻 Learning to program
I am learning to code. Understanding computers opens a new world of complexity; a different approach to thinking. I plan to further develop my programming skills over the next years.
To stimulate learnings we (my friend Aaron Via and me) are working on a new side project called Sheepfinder. It’s a simple tool that locates your Instagram followers on a map. I focus on design + frontend (HTML, CSS, and JS), while Aaron is working on the backend (Python/Django). We hope to launch in the coming month, so stay tuned.
If you want to dive into programming yourself, I can recommend the book Learn To Code Now, as well as this Udemy course.
🇸🇬 Singapore: The promise of a visual futurists
I spend a few days in Singapore. This city is magically streamlined, I call it: ‘Asia for beginners’. Everything works like a breeze.
My experiences in Singapore reminded me of a tweet from Paul Graham. He shared a video of paintings from Syd Mead, ‘a visual futurist’. Side note: What a great word, I would love to be a visual futurist. As a kid in the 70’s, Paul Graham imagined that the world in 2019 would look like the paintings of Syd Mead.
For me, Singapore is closest to that promise. The skyline is a mix of cutting edge skyscrapers accompanied by fascinating modern architectural marvels. Metro’s arrive on the second, and the city is super clean.
The country has long had an obsession with hygiene and cleanliness. Singapore famously banned the import of chewing gum. The first-time penalty for the selling of gum can be as high as $100,000 or a prison sentence of up to two years.
At the end of my trip to Singapore, there was one more futuristic surprise waiting for me. Changi Airport in Singapore Is the World’s Best Airport.
The airport has a JUNGLE.
The complex is an impressive dome in glass and steel surrounded by a multi-level indoor jungle with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at its center. Truly futuristic and closest to the promises of Syd Mead.
📖 Reading club: What did I consume?
🎯 Atomic Habits - James Clear: This is one of the most useful books on changing your habits. I’d recommend this book over most books aimed at helping you get control over your life. It makes you think more strategic about your own life.
One of the latest changes I made?
Airplane mode mornings.
I don’t put my phone out of airplane mode before I have done my writing. Better focus, and a morning for yourself. Let’s see how long I can keep this up. ;)
🦶How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big - Scott Adams: A hilarious book of life advice built around stories from Adams’s experience becoming a famous cartoonist, among other endeavors. Love his stuff on systems versus goals:
“If you do something every day, it’s a system. If you’re waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it’s a goal.”
“Goal-oriented people mostly fail. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, you will constantly think that you are not at your goal until you reach it. If you fall short you’re still a failure. The only way to reach your goal is to lose the 20 pounds. It’s a state of near-perpetual failure. What you want is a system that increases your odds of success.”
🏋️♂️ How I Train Like an Athlete: In response to this article I made a list of how I learn like an athlete. I encourage you to do the same. You can find my response on ‘How I Train Like an Athlete’ here.
📚 Go slower, think, take notes, and come back later.
Here’s a good piece on “why books don’t work.”
Ever dealt with the following?
“Picture some serious non-fiction tomes. Like Thinking, Fast and Slow. Have you ever had a book like this—one you’d read—come up in conversation, only to discover that you’d absorbed what amounts to a few sentences? I’ll be honest: it happens to me regularly.”
“I’ll realize I had never really understood the idea in question, though I’d certainly thought I understood when I read the book. Indeed, I’ll realize that I had barely noticed how little I’d absorbed until that very moment.”
Andy proposes Spaced repetition in the form of a digital platform as a good way to combat this. Until such a platform is there, I will keep using Tiago Forte’s methods around “building a second brain”.
I keep detailed notes on my books. If you’re interested in how to get more out of books I can also recommend How to Remember What You Read by Farnam Street.
To avoid forgetting everything you read: go slower, think, take notes, and come back later.
📸Photo of the month:
We do weekly hackathon sessions here in Canggu. One of the highlights of the week for me for sure!
That’s it for this month. If you’re enjoying this memo, I’d love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up.
You’ll have the next edition of Kent’s Memo next month. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your feedback. Did you like the newsletter? Does the idea of sharing hook you in? Or perhaps you detested it? Either way, firing off a 30-second reply with your opinion would be invaluable.
Until next time!