Dispatch 8: How to read


How to read

While these posts tend to include a lot of Youtube videos, it's important to consume broadly, and unfortunately that may mean having to read some books. Fortunately, one of my favorite channels, Philosophy Tube has a video on how to read difficult books.

One of his main points is to give yourself permission to take breaks and even re-read passages or chapters if you need to. Secondly, reading two different kinds of books can also be beneficial, as well as speeding up your completion rate.


I'd also like to add that while some books may take some time to "get going," we should all give ourselves permissions to stop reading a bad book if we really don't like it. This also goes for any other media. If you really don't like something and it's bringing you no joy or intellectual sustenance, turn it off. Even if everyone else loves it. Your time is worth more than that.


Patreon doesn't pay enough, (The Outline)


If you listen to enough podcasts, you'll probably hear a couple ads for Patreon. It's a "crowdfunding site" only instead of paying towards the completion of a specific goal, you directly support an ongoing creative endeavor.

For the ones at the top (for example Chapo Trap House pulls in over $80,000 a month), this has been a great way to monetize their work. But for the vast majority of patreon users, it hasn't allowed them to quit their day jobs. Brent Knepper at The Outline breaks down exactly why that is, and what Patreon doesn't do to help creators.

It is interesting to see how Patreon has been able to insert itself in the middle of all of these transactions, while apparently adding very little in the way of value, and a lot of extra work, to creators' plates.


Christmas time means Christmas movies


I haven't been able to get the movie One Magic Christmas out of my head ever since I saw it back in the early 90s on The Disney Channel. I don't know why exactly, it is, in many respects not all that memorable.


The thing that stands out most to me is that it was the first Christmas movie I saw where Santa Claus doesn't really play a big roll. Yes, he's a big feature of the children's Christmas experience but much of the magic in the film comes from plainclothes angel Gideon (played by Harry Dean Stanton.)


Why are computers beige?

Just a random video I stumbled upon. Pretty much all 1980s/90s computers were a rather terrible beige color. They may have a dark-gray accent color here or there, but overall the beige box was ubiquitous in offices of the time




As it turns out, the reason that beige was the rage had to do with a German workplace regulation from the 1970s. This standard was eventually adopted by other countries throughout Europe to the point where it made very little sense to make any other color options besides beige.


While Apple gets a lot of credit for shifting the aesthetic of home computers, the black IBM Thinkpad was a major force in changing office hardware.   

Tin foil square dance society

Finally, I'll close with a link to this amazing thread by @robynelyse on the secret cabal that has sought to make square dancing the national folk dance of the United States. I'm not kidding. It's weird.