Mixed Signals: Don't do it all

There's too much to read. Too many podcasts to listen to. Great TV shows to watch. Oh, and that new documentary I know I would love.

No. 20 – 9th of May, 2021

There's too much to read.

Too many podcasts to listen to. Great TV shows to watch.

Oh, and that new documentary I know I would love.

Good. That's how it should be. The longer my lists of 'things to consume' grow, the more selective I can be. The more I can guarantee I'll spend my time on something incredible.

The goal isn't too do it all.

It's to collect the things that might be brilliant. Sort through the list. Filter. Prioritise. Then spend your time in the best possible way. Spend your time soaking up the brilliance of the 'best of'.

On with the links...


01. Education disrupted.

+ I listened to Alison Gopnik on The Ezra Klein Show. Alison studies children to understand all of us, which had me hooked from the start.

What's becoming clearer with each day is the importance of play:

"So, basically, you put a child in a rich environment where there’s lots of opportunities for play. And it turned out that if you looked at things like just how well you did on a standardized test, after a couple of years, the effects seem to sort of fade out. And that was an argument against early education.

But it turns out that if you look 30 years later, you have these sleeper effects where these children who played are not necessarily getting better grades three years later. But they’re not going to prison. Their health is better. Their salaries are higher."

+ Alison recommends 3 books for children. Where the Wild Things Are, Mary Poppins, and The Children of Green Knowe. I'm a huge fan of the first, so the second two were an immediate purchase.

I'm reading Poppins to my youngest now and, as Alison says... kids love strange, surreal, and dark stories. Windows to other worlds.

+ A quote from David Perell's newsletter that resonated with me:

"Until now, the Internet hasn’t really touched childhood education. Kids are still going to school every day to learn from teachers who deliver information.

The Internet is going to change that."

I shared the full quote on Twitter.

+ I'm currently reading Education Forward. A collection of articles from people who the education system, and have a few thoughts on how we can drag it out of the 19th century.

02. Build something that isn't a road.

+ A great thread on induced demand. Essentially... roads get busy, so we build more roads, so more people buy cars, and they use them more often, and (shock horror!) the roads get busier. So we build more roads.

+ In less than 2 minutes this funny video proves the point further.

+ Meanwhile, some places are seeing things differently. Such as Oslo, Norway. In 2019 they recorded zero pedestrian or cyclist deaths:

"The car became the owner of our cities, but we’re resetting the order again."

+ While we're thinking about what we should build, what about third spaces?

03. Listen to this.

+ My new favourite podcast... Secret Leaders. The recently released 100th episode is a great place to start. And here are a couple of my top episodes so far.

+ Californian Soil from London Grammar is the current soundtrack to my life.

+ The new album from Rag'n'Bone Man may soon join it. 😍

+ I shared some additions to my WFH set-up.

+ How observant were you?

+ An app that turns tweets into Instagram posts.

+ The closest I've come so far to understanding blockchain.

+ Justin's thread is jam-packed with fab thinking on writing, creativity, and putting yourself out there.

+ As a documentary obsessive, I was delighted to discover we can get PBS on demand here in the UK. (I'm hoping the Hemingway episodes will be added soon).


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Thanks for reading. Have a great week. 👋