General Stuff

One of the key things I try (*try* !!) to do in life is staying creative in terms of ideas and experiences – which for me personally usually means trying to expose myself to many different things to keep me from ever getting stale, be they books, magazines or strange places.

Online, the below are some of my starting points:

Wait but Why

Written by Tim Urban, this is a blog about pretty much anything and everything – and usually stuff that you didn’t realise you were interested in until you glanced at the first paragraph, and a while later realised that you’re thousands of words into the post (case in point: looking up the site for reference just now, I spotted a post on cryonics and took 5-10 minutes to get back to typing this – then one about 7 ways to be insufferable on Facebook). Great writing, augmented by brilliant visuals of stick figures to reinforce the text.

Some of my favourites:

  • Why Procrastinators Procrastinate – pitting your present self against your future ideal, the Panic Monster, and the Instant Gratification Monkey – plus some tips to best organise and act on what’s important.
  • The Elon Musk Series – in four parts: the philosophy and planning of Musk improving the world, including the Tesla electric car, SpaceX, and making humans a multi-planetary species by colonising Mars.
  • Why Gen Y Yuppies are Unhappy – an extended riff on how image crafting on social media, unrealistic expectations and other anchors are creating dissatisfaction for the Instagram Generation.

Medium

Alas, an honest disclaimer: I’ve not read nearly enough articles on Medium yet to talk about the content at length. But as an open platform, with a wide range of contributors, so far it’s seemed like a great way to constantly get fresh ideas and information about what’s happening in the world (or at least, urban cities like the one I usually live in).

Beanhunter

As my photos might suggest, I tend to travel a fair bit, which can play havoc with my addiction to finding good (read: snobbish Australian preference, even if I don’t drink pourovers) coffee. Beanhunter has good coverage in most cities, which also lets me see different streets and watch the locals (or at least the caffeine-addicted ones) getting their morning fix.

Travel Sites

Always on the lookout for the next deal and the next trip, with my favourites being:

  • Skyscanner – usually the best interface and the best deals, in particular their ability to join up esoteric connections without breaking the budget (though Kiwi.com‘s visual approach is even better). The scanning facility over coming months is a great concept, though I usually find the prices in the summary aren’t nearly as good once you drill down to the detail.
  • Kayak – likewise a great interface for researching flights and hotels, especially selecting the ranges and seeing clear options. Alas for them, I’ve never booked a flight through it, as they throw you off onto dodgy-looking partner sites
  • Expedia – heavier interface, but with a great memory for your details and part purchases – over time building an incumbency advantage through having everything in one place. Emotionally, they “feel” more reliable and trustworthy, helped by a connection to my FB account.
  • AirBNB – like everyone else in my peer group I’m sure, I’ve made a lot of use of them lately. The interface is great, though in my opinion the rating system could be improved – having met nice people, it’s hard to give a bad rating even if the house itself was say, dirtier than it should be. Adding anonymity to allow more honesty would make for more credible feedback.