Back when I lived at home my dad used to make fun of my mechanical skills.
He said if everyone just sits in front of computers the whole day no one will
know how to drill a hole at some point. He would like what follows.
Woodworking Masterclasses is an online
course to woodworking. It’s the first time that I’ve seen such high quality
material about learning a craft. They offer a simple monthly subscription to
their courses with a new video being released every week. The videos are
top-notch. Kind of like you would expect it by a company like
Treehouse but not by people who do woodworking and are probably not too
familiar with cutting videos and this type of stuff. Take a look:
I like how the internet supports the ongoing evolvement of crafts and
woodworking has always fascinated me. These videos make me want to be at
a farm with a huge workbench.
Hirschman credits the stability of early America with the fact that
discontents could simply travel west until they felt sufficiently freed from
its rules and restrictions. […]
There’s no limit on the number of possible subreddits, stack exchange sites,
or wikipedia pages that can be made, so a user can always keep traveling west
until they find something that’s worth sticking around to defend.
A great analysis of why people are early adopters and how the constantly changing face
of a community can affect their loyality to a product. One of those timeless
reads you should probably re-read every now and then.
Living in a world where consumerism appears to be the predominant behaviour it seems more and more exciting to me to live a less materialistic lifestyle. What follows are some of the things that stimulated my thinking — maybe they do the same for you.
After stumbling upon Bruce Hauman’s blog while trying to figure out some Clojure stuff I discovered another post on his blog where he talks about building a geodesic dome in which he’s now (partly?) living for 3.5 years. It’s an amazingly analytical post about building something and simplifying it to it’s purest, most functional form. Motivated by spending less money on rent he iterated on his idea resulting in this construction:
In his post he also mentions the Tiny Housing Movement through which I found a TED talk that nicely illustrates the pitfalls of the idea of living “a good life” once you have your own income. The key line in the talk is: What does freedom mean to you? I wanted to give a small summary here but, as it is with TED talks, the talk itself does it’s job pretty well.
I believe as thoughtful members of our society we should rethink our relationship to stuff. How can we, as a society, make better use of the things we have at our disposal? What do I really need to own to live my life? Ideas like the share economy seem like a logical step with the increasing ease of sharing/routing information.
Purposely living with less is obviously not a new idea and so it happens to be part of things like the 100 Things Challenge.
Coming across the 100 Things Challenge again and again I want to try it myself. In February I’m going to create an inventory of the things I own. Let’s see if the number of things I own is going to be above or below 100.
Stuff has gotten a lot cheaper, but our attitudes toward it haven’t changed correspondingly. We overvalue stuff.
Stuff by Paul Graham
Earlier this year I came to the “very” surprising conclusion that I’m not doing enough
sports in relation to the hours I spend in front of a computer every day.
I decided to run a marathon this September.
I didn’t. I did something else though that was fun and kind of sporty as well.
After starting runnning in March it was pretty amazing to see how quickly your
stamina improves and longer distances become easier and less painful to run.
After that initial success though improvements got smaller and motivation
tanked quickly. Also the marathon I wanted to run was already booked
From a friend who also inspired me to go running I heard about Tough Mudder.
Since I already noticed my lack of a goal I almost immediately registered in the
beginning of June. The description on Wikipedia sounded exciting for sure:
Tough Mudder is an endurance event series in which participants attempt 10-12
mile long military-style obstacle courses. Designed by British Special Forces to
test mental as well as physical strength, obstacles often play on common human
fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights.
After seeing the (surprisingly) fast improvements when training I was certain
I could get ready for a 20km run in a month or less. So I decided to start
training a month before the event on 19th October:
01.06 - 23.09
Somehow I wasn’t quite persistent and stopped shortly after starting again.
I guess mostly because it was such a pain to build up stamina again.
Oh Shit! It’s tomorrow!
The days immediately before the event were full of uncertainty and doubt whether
I could make it or not. 20km without any training? Is that even remotely
possible? I never ran 20km before.
Sometimes excuses not to go popped up in my mind but the hefty price tag of
around 100€ and the social pressure of running in a group didn’t really leave
the option of not going.
Surprisingly it was possible. The around 15 obstacles usually took some time to pass
and equally gave some to rest. The hardest part (stamina-wise)
was a 2-4km trail up and down a hill over and over again. The whole course took
us around 3 hours to complete.
We got a bit dirty on the way. I say we because completing the course on
your own is almost impossible and we certainly have been a great team: