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Telegram Instant View vs. paywalls

I’ve just noticed that Telegram Instant View can help break through the New York Times paywall. So we can read gated articles for free.

Instant View is a cool feature built into Telegram that allows to natively access site content without leaving the Telegram app. For that, the site has to be indexed by Telegram so that the app knows how to navigate the site’s layout and show the core content to end users.

Perhaps there are some other obvious or better ways to access such content without paying for it, but this one seems to be pretty easy to execute.

 No comments    64   3 mo  

Why Digital Minimalism

The purpose of this post is to structure my reason and understanding for why I stick to the Digital Minimalism concept.

What is Digital Minimalism?

As defined by Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism is a philosophy that helps you question what digital communication tools (and behaviors surrounding these tools) add the most value to your life. It is motivated by the belief that intentionally and aggressively clearing away low-value digital noise, and optimizing your use of the tools that really matter, can significantly improve your life.

What are the benefits?

I’m building on a muscle to perform focusing for a longer time and high concentration level by minimizing context switching.

Secondly, there’s a more strict information diet put in place. It helps get rid of a bad habit to constantly consume information. Such kind of activity is creating an obstacle to living with a clear state of mind and having the necessary sharpness of thinking.

How sticking to the Digital Minimalism principles reflect on a daily routine and behavior?

Speaking of social media, I’m using none of them. Although I still own a Facebook account, I don’t have there anything to scroll through as I no longer follow my Facebook friends, influencers and organizations. This way my feed is empty, and no need to enter Facebook unless I need to manage some work-related stuff. Hence no need to have the Facebook app installed on my phone.

When it comes to other entertaining services, Youtube and Tinder are the only places I still visit quite frequently. Yet not sure how to handle this addiction. Additionally, these ones are the only entertaining apps I have installed on the phone.

 No comments    47   3 mo  

How to send a file larger than 25 MB from Gmail to Kindle

This will be a reminder to my future self if I forget how to do that, or to anyone else who may find this post and have the same question.

In case of a struggle to send a more than 25 MB MOBI (.prc) file from Gmail to Kindle, use this great Amazon app called Send to Kindle which is available for Mac and PC, i.e. Windows.

 No comments    64   3 mo  

A World Without Email – Cal Newport

My rating: 7/10

It’s the third book by Cal Newport I’ve read. It was really interesting to find here a big emphasis on the usage of Kanban board tools like Trello instead of managing projects via email. I was trying to start using Microsoft Planner, which I guess does the same things as Trello, in my work almost a year ago but didn’t succeed. Perhaps it’d worth trying again.

 1 comment    33   3 mo   books

Product and service reviews

I’ve always been that guy who pays a lot of attention to product or service reviews when making a buying decision. For me, reviews have always been such a nice indicator that made my life so much easier.

Lately I have changed my attitude regarding this. If you read reviews carefully it becomes crystal clear that lots of them are fake. No one would sit and draft a long review with a handful of super exquisite adjectives describing how great the experience of using a particular product has been. If one wanted to write a review it honestly would be very consise, dry, and, most probably, with some grammar mistakes and emojis. In short, real reviews would look like they’re written by a regular human being, not a copywriter.

Therefore, I now expect the same, moderate level of emotions and effort being put into the reviews I read anywhere on the internet. And in case I feel like the reviews are written in a “try hard” manner, I instantly lose trust in them. It actually sucks big time, because now I’m having troubles looking through marketplaces as my primary filtering behavior, meaning filtering by customer reviews, is no longer valid for me.

 No comments    24   3 mo  

Hustle culture and working time

I’ve been annoyed by a so-called hustle culture for a long time now. I keep hearing people saying something like, “Ughh, I was working for 12 hours everyday seven days a week for several months, with no vacation.” If someone says so, they are either lying, or using a wrong wording here. Actual “work” has nothing to do with it here. I don’t believe one can work, as in work requiring a creative output, for that long.

Read this book: Deep Work by Cal Newport

More to that, I’m not sure humans who are involved in knowledge work are capable of working even eight hours a day. Deep work demanding a high extent of focus and concentration is really not a joke. Four-six hours of such extensive activity will exhaust anyone pretty badly.

In general, the whole overworking and workaholism thing seems to be just a myth reinforced by youtubers aiming to hype and/or generate a tone of views and money.

 No comments    29   3 mo  

Likes and Shares teach us to express more outrage online

Social media encourages more emotional communication. Moderate and calm posts get less engagement than more radical posts. If you want to get more likes and reposts, you should add more emotions. It is quite intuitive and familiar to any active social media user. But the Yale researchers proved it with their experiment.

They researched the emotional status and engagement of 12.7 million tweets with outrage. This resulted as expected: the more reactions users received on their outrage posts, the more similar emotions their put into their subsequent posts.

Likes are the social currency of the Internet, and the position of an outraged moralist makes it easier to get this currency. Of course, such a system of motivation does not contribute to a moderate and serious discussion. It is just more useful for popularity to be more radical in your statements. And it seems that it will not be possible to change this system. Can anyone imagine Facebook, Instagram or Twitter without likes?

 No comments    40   3 mo  

Tinder Stats

A friend of mine received his Tinder Insights infographics.

I’ve found there a few interesting, though quite logical, Tinder benchmarks:

  • Women swipe right on average in 8% of cases, while for men it’s 21%.
  • Women match with 44% of people they swipe right on, while men have a match rate of 2.9%. Quite a huge difference, huh?
  • Women swipe 99 times per day, while men swipe 122 times, on average.
  • Both women and men swipe right more frequently (3-5% more) now than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
 1 comment    43   3 mo  

To be a better version of yourself

During my endless attempts to become the best version of myself, I always made one big mistake: I constantly compared my experience with someone else’s. I tried to be better than other people in something, comparing myself with them. And here I had no chance to win, even if trying really hard, because there will always be someone in the world who will inevitably be better than you in some way.

The philosophy of stoicism assumes that in order for a person to achieve calmness and serenity, it is necessary not to forget that there are external things that we cannot influence as well as internal things which are completely under our control. We obviously are not able to be better than other people only because we are not them, and we are not able to control them.

Another thing to remember is that while trying to become a bit better we are already ahead of many others who don’t do that, who do not make any attempts to live a better life.

I believe we need to try to be better than our past selves. Abandoning the desire to become better than another person brings calmness and control over the situation, because you can control yourself completely.

 No comments    19   3 mo  

If you have to explain something, you don’t have to explain it

Today I’ve encountered a phrase which I already had seen once or twice, and which I really liked. A rough translation into English would sound like this:

If you have to explain something, you don’t have to explain it.

This phrase indeed may imply a lot of different things. One of the use cases I find great is that if you have to persuade someone to do something, you don’t have to do it. The phrase obviously shouldn’t be used in all the situations, especially when the result of the discussion might improve quality of your work or life in general, and here you really do have to explain things.

Nevertheless, I feel like it could be beneficial to leverage this principle in lots of unimportant debates, whether it’s on social media, forums, comments sections, etc., or when it comes to chats with family and friends. In majority of cases similar discussions don’t end good, no one is really adopting each other’s opinion. So, why bother explaining?

 No comments    24   4 mo  
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