William Shakespeare

Education Must be About Thinking – 7 Takeaways for June 6, 2021

1. “You can’t help someone you don’t understand” If You Want to Be a Better Writer, Start Listening Twice As Much As You Talk – Sinem Günel – (Medium) This is one of those adages that traces its origins back to Epictitus — “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” — and probably even further. Everyone knows it. Everyone can parrot it. Why do so few actually do it? I’m not pointing fingers — I’m as guilty as anyone. If anything this takeaway is as much a reminder for … Read more

Be Careful What You Believe – 7 Takeaways for May 30, 2021

1. “Code words. That’s all language is.” Code Words – Seth Godin – (Blog) A small post, but oh-so-true. Can’t count the number of times I’ve been in “violent agreement” with someone, only to find that it was all about slightly different definitions of a word. Once that was cleared up the agreement became … less violent. Do this: Make sure everyone’s talking about the same thing, especially if you feel an argument coming on. You may be surprised. 2. “Nobody wants their worldview torn apart if loneliness is the outcome.” 3-2-1: On dealing with conflict, writing books, and working … Read more

Mother looking out the window.

Mothers Have Suffered Most – 7 Takeaways for May 23, 2021

1. “It is wrenching and infuriating, humbling and perplexing, tragic and seemingly hopeless.” War, Again… – Dan Rather – (Steady newsletter) It never ends. I can’t remember a day when there wasn’t conflict in the middle east, and when there weren’t broken promises of peace. It’s sad and disheartening, and everything else in the quote above. Rather makes this point: We are all shaped by our experiences, histories, biases, and self interests. In this case, you can add the fraught overlays of religion, nationalism, and culture. While that’s absolutely a characterization of the parties in this conflict, as well as … Read more

This Table has been Sanitized

A Literal Matter of Life and Death – 7 Takeaways for May 16, 2021

1. “Mockery is just a disguised fear of the unknown” A Reflection on Being Asian – Lawrence Yeo – (More to That newsletter) The full quote: “I’ve learned that people often mock what they do not understand, and that mockery is just a disguised fear of the unknown.” This is a fascinating self-exploration on what it means to grow up Asian experiencing the current environment. In a sense, it’s a description of how hate so easily begets hate and the steps that we should all be taking to make different assumptions about what other people are thinking. Do this: read … Read more

Looking at the world through your lens.

Find Your ‘Lenses’ – 7 Takeaways for May 9, 2021

1. “Everyone is flawed.” On This Day in History Sh!t Went Down – James Fell – (ebook) Cancel culture bothers me. Not that some shouldn’t be “canceled”, but so often it boils down to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Fell may have articulated the closest explanation so far, in the introduction to his book. Everyone is flawed. Some aren’t just flawed, they’re evil. We should not praise people as heroes, because we will always find reason to be disappointed, crushed, or aghast. However, we can praise heroic acts. Admire the deeds you deem worthy rather than the person … Read more

Food Fight!

A Never-ending Food Fight – 7 Takeaways for May 2, 2021

For those so inclined, I find myself sharing more of what I’m up to on Twitter these days. @leonot is my personal account where I’m getting wordier. 1. “…the result is a never-ending food fight.” Why Everyone on the Internet Is Wrong – Mark Manson – (MindF*ck Monday newsletter) Mark has a way with words. And a way with thought. Today’s newsletter is a look at three predictable failures in logic that the internet exacerbates in everyone. The result: the maddening perception that everyone is wrong, all the damn time The big three are “Absence of evidence is evidence of … Read more

Telegraph Office

The Mother of all Networks – 7 Takeaways for April 25, 2021

Bonus? Don’t know if I’d call it that, but I was published last week in the What It’s Like To online publication. My (short) story, What It’s Like To Donate Platelets, is up on Medium.com. There are several other stories there you might find interesting as well. 1. “Gargling with bleach?” Did 4% of Americans Really Drink Bleach Last Year? – Rachel Ernstoff – (Harvard Business Review) I found this fascinating — not because of the subject matter (covid, bleach, etc.) — but rather because of the way that (mis)information came to be, and then spread. There are multiple issues … Read more

Scam Alert!

Words are weird – 7 Takeaways for April 18, 2021

Two shots in! Whoo-hoo! (Side effects, if any, will probably kick in about the time this is scheduled to publish. Thank you, automation!) Hope you had a great week. 1. “They will say whatever they need to say to get as much money out of you as possible.” Inside an International Tech-Support Scam – Doug Shadel and Neil Wertheimer – (AARP Bulletin) The depth, frequency, and success rate of these scams are downright frightening. The lengths scammers will go to extracting as much money as possible from their victims may make you lose faith in humanity. As you might imagine … Read more


Go Take a Risk – 7 Takeaways for April 11, 2021

For the curious, last week’s test / move went smoothly. 7takeaways.com is on a new speedier server. And yes, these are the things I geek out over. Well, that and the bonus takeaway, down below. Hope you’re having a good week. 1. “hydrostatic stress test” Finding the Best and Worst in Ourselves – Mark Manson (Mindf*ck Monday newsletter) That’s a pressure test generally applied in various engineering realms. Manson points out that the concept applies to what we’ve all been experiencing during the pandemic. There’s much truth to his interpretation. He also claims that “the new normal” everyone is talking … Read more

Everyone is a writer – 7 Takeaways for April 4, 2021

“I know engineers, they love to change things.” (Dr. Leonard McCoy – Star Trek: The Motion Picture) If you’re seeing this it’s because all the things this engineer changed, worked. It’s no secret that I enjoy playing with technology. For no other reason than that, I moved 7takeaways.com to a new webserver. The old was the virtual server that hosts askleo.com among several other websites. The new is a server provided by Amazon Web Services, aka “AWS”. I talked about AWS at length in a recent podcast episode, but the hidden reality is that many, many websites and other online … Read more