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


Build a Skill – 7 Takeaways for March 28, 2021

1. “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hate so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” James Baldwin – Quoted in Mark Manson’s Mindf*ck Monday – (email newsletter) Not much to comment here, other than to remind that one of my criteria for takeaways is “things that give me pause”. This one did that and audibly go “huh”, it felt so true. Do this: what do you hate? Is there pain behind it? 2. “…if you start acting like you are creative, your body and mind … Read more


The Practice is the Output – 7 Takeaways for March 21, 2021

(Whoops. Tagline didn’t make it to the email. Or did I catch in time? Oh well. No matter. More practice needed. ) 1. “Stimulus eventually causes inflation” Your Stimulus Check Is Creating Wealth Inequality – Tim Denning – (Medium) I have to admit, the stimulus portion of the economic recovery plan(s) being implemented throughout the world concerns me. As Denning points out, they’re simply printing more money. While that has some short-term positive benefits, the piper will have to be paid at some point. Exactly what that looks like (inflation), as well as when is pretty fuzzy. I’ve read also … Read more


Retaining the Curiosity of Childhood into Adulthood – 7 Takeaways for March 14, 2021

1. “…retained the curiosity of childhood into adulthood.” Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Life Advice Will Leave You SPEECHLESS – One of the Most Eye Opening Interviews – Neil deGrasse Tyson – (YouTube) The title does not overpromise. This is one of the most inspirational videos I’ve seen in a long, long time. School should as a minimum preserve that curiosity for you. If you lost some of it, coz it’s not going to be in all of us, put it back in. So that when you graduate school, you can give literal meaning to the word commencement. Commencement means beginning; it … Read more

The Truth Needs to be Free – 7 Takeaways for March 7, 2021

1. “The truth needs to be free and universal.” The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free – Nathan J. Robinson – (Current Affairs magazine/website) This was an incredibly valuable perspective on how news and information are distributed. How content creators get compensated is anything but fair, and quite literally at odds with truly free and open information. His alternative — all information is free to anyone, and creators are paid not by sales, but by consumption, the money coming from taxes or other objective (i.e. unbiased) sources — is idealistic, to be sure. More pragmatically, transitioning from where … Read more

Always Be Learning

What will teach me the most? – 7 Takeaways for February 28, 2021

As with almost everything I do, 7TakeAways remains an experiment. I’m definitely getting value out of it, but I know there’s room for improvement. There are questions I ask myself like: This project is for me to force better reading habits, but should the takeaways be for me or for my hypothetical audience? The former would be a random collection of personal improvements, but the latter would also exercise an important skill: looking for value to others. Similarly, if this really is about my self-improvement, rather than identifying things where I stop and say “oh, that’s interesting”, would it be … Read more

Knowledge into Money

Knowledge is the New Money – 7 Takeaways for February 21, 2021

After finishing my write-up of tools I use last week, I encountered a problem with using Evernote to save full articles. The issue is that there’s no simple way to highlight and annotate or take notes on what you’ve saved. As a result, I re-activated my Instapaper account and have started using that to fill the same niche. A day or so in and it seems to be a better fit for saving, reading, and making notes on, the various articles I encounter online. I even discovered that I can sync my highlights in Readwise. Bonus! 1. “… enjoy 10-15 … Read more

Your Own Path

YOU are the System – 7 Takeaways for February 14, 2021

A couple of quick recommendations from my approach to reading/saving/note-taking: Even though I stopped using it for time-management, Evernote remains a great way to save both notes and complete articles that I want to refer to later without worrying that they’ll disappear online. It also saves “simplified” (i.e., no ads, no fluff) versions if it can. (The Evernote Clipper saves the URL with ’em, so I return to the original if it’s still around.) I use Readwise to capture my highlights from Kindle books and other resources. It’s a great way to not just remind myself daily of some of … Read more

Embrace the Suck

Embrace the Suck – 7 Takeaways for February 7, 2021

I hope the week is treating you well. It’s been a challenging one here at “Castle Notenboom”, for a variety of reasons. Much like Not All News Is Bad, I’m finding so many good sources of information and takeaways that sometimes the challenge is to whittle them down to just one a day. It’s a great exercise, but it also exemplifies what I believe to be an important lesson. We find what we look for. What are you looking for? Is it what you hope to find? 1. “Seeing people spin up various operations to solve various problems has been … Read more