Every So Often Links #5 | Books, Bushfires & Buildings

My 2020 resolution was to consume less news (and electronic media in general) in favor of more books. In this piece, author Ryan Holiday writes about why we all should watch a little less news.

According to a 2017 report by the American Psychological Association, 95% of American adults follow the news regularly, even though more than half of them say it causes them stress and over two-thirds say they believe the media blows things out of proportion. In contextualizing the survey’s findings, the APA’s chief executive officer, Arthur C. Evans Jr, said, “Understanding that we all still need to be informed about the news, it’s time to make it a priority to be thoughtful about how often and what type of media we consume.”


Perhaps it’s time we realize that consuming more news about the world around us is not the way to improve it (or ourselves), personally or politically…

The way to solve big problems is to get bigger perspectives, to get away from being reactive or the hopelessness of despair. We need the insights and the empathy and restorative benefits of books more than ever. We need them to awaken within us our shared humanity and the timelessness of the struggle of good against evil..

Most of all we need the relief and solace they provide. As Thomas Kempis said, in omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro. Everywhere I have sought peace and not found it, except in a corner with a book.

I love the process of artisan crafts being made by hand. In such a mass-produced world, it’s incredibly satisfying and enjoyable to watch a master make something by hand. In this video, a Japanese craftsman makes a hand plane that can shave wood to the thickness of 1/40th of a strand of hair. You read that right – 1/40th.

Time for your regularly scheduled existential crisis. In his regular fashion, Tim Urban of Wait But Why uses facts, numbers and wit to remind us the wheel of time just keeps on turning. Here are some time differences I found the most incredible:

In this incredible video, we get to see just how terrifying a bushfire can be and just what exactly Australia has been up against.

Speaking of Australia, it’s been difficult to fathom just how large the fires have been, but this scrolling chart from Reuters Graphics does a frighteningly good job. (via FlowingData).

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To end with something a bit lighter, try out Victor Ribeiro’s IsoCity. It’s pretty cool and easy to do – just pick the building pieces and select where you want them to go. I made this! (via kottke.org)

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Photo by Philipp Katzenberger on Unsplash

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