Life is a Game, and You are the Main Character – 7 Takeaways for October 10, 2021

Life is a Game

1. “You own the JPEG!”

NFT Projects are just MLMs for Tech Elites – Evan Armstrong – Napkin Math

The only word I object to in the title is “just”. NFTs could be very much more.

NFTs fascinate me, but probably not in the way most people think. Not surprisingly, I suppose, I find the technology extremely intriguing. I think it has some truly status-quo-changing possibilities.

Selling you a jpg ain’t one of them. The current NFT rage seems to be all about selling digital images or art. It’s basically: “here’s a public, cryptographically signed, unalterable certificate saying you own this collection of bits.” Anyone can make infinite perfect copies of those bits (the art), of course, but only you “own” it. The comparison to MLMs is imperfect, but an interesting way to examine the current fad.

On the other hand, if we could say: “here’s a public, cryptographically signed, unalterable certificate that says you own this real property” — then I think we might be on to something. We do that already with paper or other forms of digital records that can be hidden, forged, and altered.

Do this: watch for NFTs (or related technologies) being used for something more pragmatic.

2. “40 concepts you should know”

Thread by @G_S_Bhogal – (Twitter, collected in ThreadReader)

This is just a good collection of concepts that, indeed agreeing with the title, everyone should know. I’m particularly fond of “The Law of Very Large Numbers”, which I wish more people could understand.

Given a wide enough dataset, any pattern can be observed. A million to one odds happen 8 times a day in NYC (population 8 million). The world hasn’t become crazier, we’re just seeing more of everything.

Or gems like “It takes a lot more energy to refute bullshit than to produce it. Hence, the world is full of unrefuted bullshit.”

Do this: skim the list. You’ll enjoy it.

3. “Every creator needs a newsletter.”

24 Concepts That Will Grow Your Audience and Business – Josh Spector – (Blog)

Apparently, it’s list week at 7 Takeaways. This one is for entrepreneurs and creators — an audience I identify with.

The takeaway above resonated strongly with Facebook’s unexpected and lengthy downtime last week. That acted as a reminder to anyone trying to build an audience on someone else’s platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever) that the platform can disappear at a moment’s notice, taking your entire audience with it. It doesn’t have to be a platform failure — it could be as simple as your account getting hacked and irretrievably deleted.

Do this: the entire list of 24 is good, of course, but if you’re a creator of any sort, create a newsletter. Your business may depend on it.

4. “Life is a game, and you are the main character”

102 Creators Who’ve Each Earned Over $100,000 Share Their Single Best Tip for Aspiring Creators – Gumroad – (Blog)

OK, so I’ll lean in a little further into the whole “lists for creators” this week.

Yes, some of these are obvious, some of them are pithy, but all of them are useful prompts to think about how you’re approaching your creations and your audience.

Do this: pick just one, and spend some time reflecting on it — even if you’re not a creator. Many apply to life in general.

5. “. . . more of a rocket chair . . .”

On Facing the Autumn of Your Life – Julia E Hubbel – (Medium)

Like the entrepreneurial stuff, I identify with this — perhaps a little too much of late. At 68 she just returned from an African safari. It’s not her first, and she plans another next year. It’s who she is.

At 64 I know I’m encroaching on the same territory. (Not the safari, for the record.)

What are our own are the minutes of our lives. The lives we touch, and those we love. How we fill those minutes, how we cradle the opportunity to be in life while we still have it.

I never planned to be a rocking chair retiree. This is a great reminder, and encouragement, to hold that course.

Do this: Make sure you’re living.

6. “. . . reading is an inherently interactive medium.”

You Are What You Consume – Mark Manson – (Blog)

This is a reminder that not only does what we consume define us — in so many obvious and non-obvious ways — how we consume it matters just as much.

. . . when you choose what media to consume, you are choosing your future thoughts and perspectives and opinions. And if you choose poorly, you will think poorly. It’s not just that you are what you eat. You are everything that you consume.

Do this: I’ve mentioned it before. Pay attention to your diet.

7. “Never put sugar on spaghetti!”

The Top 5 Viewed Facebook Posts (And What You Can Learn From Them) – Ash Jurberg – (Medium)

This is a post aimed at marketers (it’s in the “Better Marketing” Medium publication), but I found the information shared a fascinating insight into Facebook, its algorithm, why we see what we see, and what kinds of things go viral. If you look at those five posts there’s a very clear trend. A formula? No. But at least some characteristics that might have you re-considering which posts you interact with, and why.

It also links to a fascinating report by Facebook describing their algorithm.

Do this: pay attention to the kind of media that grabs your attention, and particularly which ones you interact with.

8. “If they need me, I’m there.”

“Drop Everything” Friends – Leo Notenboom – (Blog)

Yep, this is me. That’s why it’s number 8 of 7 takeaways. One of my personal goals has been to post more often on my personal blog. Perhaps this’ll help incentivize me to do so.

I realized there are friends for whom I’d drop everything in a time of crisis. I realized there are also less-close friends and acquaintances for whom I would also. And those for whom I would rather not.

I reflect on all that, and perhaps what it means we should do.

Do this: Be grateful for your friends.

What I’m Reading

In progress (also on GoodReads):


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