Look What I Found #2

 

Last week I published my first post entitled ‘Look What I Found #1‘. It was my way of jotting down some interesting articles, thoughts, ideas, or products that I had found and thought I would share it with the world.

If this sounds familiar it is an idea which I got from Tim Ferris’ Five Bullet Friday email that he sends out weekly. It is really worth subscribing to it if you haven’t done so already!

I also always wanted a way to perhaps move away from posting my thoughts over Social Media and so I decided to use my own site to do so – revolutionary, I know! 😂

This week I came across the following and as always I thought I would share it here. If there is something you have found please let me know so that I can check it out and, if I enjoy it, share it on to others (credited back to you, of course).

From the Press

From the New York Times, this interactive article helps you to understand privacy a bit more and plots where you fall with regards to privacy.

Help us figure out the new boundaries of privacy. In the sections that follow, we’ll present you with a handful of scenarios at the intersection of privacy and technology.

We’d like you to choose where you would draw the line when you reach the limits of what you’re comfortable with.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/10/opinion/privacy-survey.html

While it’s difficult to precisely rank privacy risks, we sorted our scenarios (some real, some that we can imagine happening soon) from most to least invasive based on conversations with experts. Judging whether a practice is “invasive” isn’t a science, of course. It’s more like a gut feeling, and it depends on how you feel about your own privacy, how much you value strangers’ privacy and the trust you have in corporations and law enforcement.

It is quite a long article but is worth reading to see where you fall on the spectrum. I seem to like high levels of privacy – have a look and see where you fall.

Podcasts

This weeks podcast is from a podcaster whose work I have been enjoying for quite some time. Rob Reid hosts the podcast called After On in which he holds some great discussions with many different types of people. Computer scientists, professors, Angel Investors, and so many more make up the eclectic list of guests who are interviewed by Rob Reid. Here is a blurb from his website:

We dive deep into the science, tech, and social issues explored in the novel “After On.” It’s NOT necessary to be an “After On” reader to listen, learn & enjoy this podcast!

This weeks podcast was about food allergies in particular, but it also discusses other allergies as well as irritations and why they seem to be on the rise.

Whether you realize it or not, dozens of people you know are almost surely affected by food allergies. There are as many as 30 million sufferers in the United States alone. They include almost 10% of American adults. Which is remarkable – because until quite recently, food allergies were almost exclusively a childhood disorder. But people no longer outgrow these afflictions like they used to. Meanwhile, far greater numbers of infants and toddlers are developing them. The reasons for this are a matter of a great mystery and debate.

As someone who was only diagnosed with asthma at age 28 I found this talk that covers adult onset, as well as how kids are no longer growing out of their irritations and allergies as much as they once were, very interesting.

Parents with small kids who battle with hay-fever, skin irritations, eczema, asthma, or who have been officially diagnosed as being allergic to something should also really give this a listen.

Even if you’re one of those rare people who aren’t close to any food allergy sufferer, I believe you’ll find this interview fascinating. Our immune systems are among biology’s most elegant and complex creations. But, they’re far from flawless – and allergies are but one of many grim byproducts of immune systems running amok.  Others include horrifying neurological disorders, type 1 diabetes, and more.

Here is a link to the podcast on the After On website, but you can also subscribe via all the usual podcasting apps:

Episode 46: Kari Nadeau | Defeating Food Allergies

Apps

I came across this recommendation from the Apple Insider website and decided to give it a try. As with many of the built-in apps that come with iOS, the contacts app isn’t that good and Apple doesn’t seem all that interested in improving it.

Enter Cardhop!

The desktop version has been available for some time and has a firm following, and now there is an iOS version. Strangely you have to purchase each version separately – would have been nice if you got them both together, but with more and more people using their phones/tablets to do everything perhaps this payment model may make more long-term sense.

In the short time I have been using the app I can honestly say it is a lot better than the standard iOS Contacts app. It is more feature rich, the natural language abilities of the app makes finding, adding, or communicating with contacts much easier, the customisable business card is a nice touch, and the app works with all your existing iOS/iCloud contacts.

One aspect that I really enjoy is the birthdays icon. Click on that and you will see a list of all the upcoming birthdays arranged in date order. You will see them for the current month, the next month, and then broken down into each month thereafter. With the iOS there is no way of knowing who’s birthdays are just around the corner. You are also able to get the app to send you birthday notifications AND you can set the time at which you would like to receive the notification. Apples insistence that all birthday reminders should go out at 9am always bugged me and now I can let Cardhop handle it instead.

Sadly there isn’t a trial version so if you want more info check out the dedicated website for the iOS App here: https://flexibits.com/cardhop-ios

Otherwise head over to the App Store if you want to purchase it:

Cardhop iOS App

Books

Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

This week I have been finally finishing off Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Whilst this is hardly a new book it has been on my to read list for quite some time. I received the book as a Christmas gift and it hasn’t disappointed.

Here is a blurb from Yuval Harari’s website:

Starting from this provocative idea, Sapiens goes on to retell the history of our species from a completely fresh perspective. It explains that money is the most pluralistic system of mutual trust ever devised; that capitalism is the most successful religion ever invented; that the treatment of animals in modern agriculture is probably the worst crime in history; and that even though we are far more powerful than our ancient ancestors, we aren’t much happier.

By combining profound insights with a remarkably vivid language, Sapiens acquired cult status among diverse audiences, captivating teenagers as well as university professors, animal rights activists alongside government ministers. By 2018, over 10 million copies have been sold, and the book has been translated into nearly 50 languages.

The book is broken into four sections covering the Cognitive revolution, the Agricultural revolution, the Unification of Humankind, and the Scientific revolution. Whilst I found the whole book fascinating the first two sections were particularly interesting. This is possibly because a lot of what is discussed is not what you would call common knowledge, sadly, and is not well taught in South African schools – at least the ones I went to.

Seventy thousand years ago, there were at least six different human species on earth. They were insignificant animals, whose ecological impact was less than that of fireflies or jellyfish. Today, there is only one human species left: Us. Homo sapiens. But we rule this planet.

Sapiens, the book, takes us on a breath-taking ride through our entire human history, from its evolutionary roots to the age of capitalism and genetic engineering, to uncover why we are the way we are.
Sapiens focuses on key processes that shaped humankind and the world around it, such as the advent of agriculture, the creation of money, the spread of religion and the rise of the nation state. Unlike other books of its kind, Sapiens takes a multi-disciplinary approach that bridges the gaps between history, biology, philosophy and economics in a way never done before. Furthermore, taking both the macro and the micro view, Sapiens conveys not only what happened and why, but also how it felt for individuals.

I also had the sense that if more people read this book there probably would be less infighting and bickering in the world as we come to realise just how we came to be where we are on this third rock from the sun, and that we have a greater shared history than most of us had ever given much thought to.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to expand their general knowledge and understanding of how humans got to where we are today.

Sapiens

(I have started reading “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck” by Mark Manson – Hopefully it turns out to be a book worth recommending in the coming weeks.)

YouTube

I have shared this video before, many times actually, but it is one that I keep going back to and found myself looking it up again this week. So, I figured it was worth sharing again.

Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz’s estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

So often we find ourselves wanting greater choice and more options, but do we really? Perhaps it is these choices that are making us less happy in some way, as when we finally do make a choice it battles to live up to expectations. Often, because the original choices were so varied, the reason it doesn’t live up to expectations is surely our fault…….isn’t it………..at least that is what we often think/feel.

Perhaps wearing the same suit and tie combination to work every day or selling your old white VW Golf for a new white VW Golf is the key to a simpler/happier life? Who knows, but this video is definitely worth watching. But remember, the choice is yours 😉

That is it for this weeks post. Hopefully I will be able to find some more interesting things to share next week. I’m off to shoot the Two Oceans Marathon so expecte a couple of podcasts in next weeks post.

And as always, if you found something this past week that interested you please share it in the comments below so that I can also take a look.

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