1000 Fans, Afghan in Ukraine, Japanese Web Design and Most Important Century
#31 of 10+1 Things |📍Dubai |🌤️ 22°C
⚡ Welcome to #31 of 10+1 Things!
Thanks to everyone who bought me coffee last week. Your support($1 or ₹75) keeps this newsletter up and running.
A couple of days back, The Hustle featured my thought experiment which brought in 100+ new readers, so a huge welcome if you're new here!
This edition of 10+1 Things is delivered in partnership with the Weekly Filet. Thousands of curious minds — myself included — trust this newsletter for food for thought. Every Friday, the best links from around the web, help you make sense of the world and yourself.
Without further ado Here are 10+1 things that I thought were worth sharing this week:
🧑🤝🧑 1000 True Fans
This week I revisited the classic 1000 true fans article by Kevin Kelly written in 2008, on how to make a living as a creator. As per the theory, anyone who is producing any work of art or content needs to acquire only 1000 true fans to make a living. A true fan can be defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. These are the fans that cannot wait for your latest work. Once you have these fans, the next step would be to create a direct relationship with these fans so that they can pay you directly without any intermediaries. If you can generate $100 a year(~$8 a month) from each of these true fans, you would have $100,000 a year, which is enough for most people. This essay was quite revolutionary when it came out in 2008, way before Kickstarter, Patreon or Indiegogo.
🏭 Environmental Impact of NFTs
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are getting popular day by day, but have you ever thought of the environmental impact of these digital goods? NFTs are hosted on blockchain platforms and are traded using cryptocurrencies that are energy-intensive. For instance, minting an Ethereum based NFT alone requires 142 kWh of energy. To give you a real scale of things, this is similar to the energy requirement of an American household for 4.7 days. As more and more people continue to mint and buy NFTs, more carbon will release into the atmosphere. If you're environmentally conscious, trade on NFTs that are on greener blockchains relying on the proof-of-stake model.
🎎 Japanese Web Design
The majority of the Japanese websites appear to look like they were from the 90s. Tightly packed texts, low-quality images, flashing banners and bright colours are some of the striking features of Japanese web design philosophy. In this interesting article, David from RandomWire has tried to explain the theories behind this. Linguistic differences, lack of web fonts and technologies catered for non-Latin languages and differences in consumer behaviour are some driving factors for the popularity of outdated web design practices.
⚔️ Afghan in Ukraine
Foreign Policy magazine has shared the story of Masouma Tajik, a 23-year-old woman who fled Kabul for safety to Kyiv, trapped in a war zone again. Tajik is from an ethnic group called Hazara, which has been violently persecuted by the Taliban. She is part of a new generation of Afghans who flourished after the Taliban were toppled. When the Taliban took control over Afghanistan, she was evacuated with some journalists in a Ukrainian aid plane. Upon arrival, Tajik was granted a Ukrainian humanitarian visa that expired recently and she is living in another war zone without any legal status in the country. She often wonders where in the world she could move to where there wouldn’t be war.
“I wish(ed) to get a stable place soon so that I can decorate it with shelves and books, and feel home finally,”
🏃♂️ Born to Run
From Olympic Games to marathons, athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia have been dominating in running events from 800m upwards. Even though the rest of the world has better facilities and coaches, nobody can match these runners from East Africa. Adharananad Finn spent 6 months in the Rift Valley of Kenya to find out the reason why these athletes are dominating the world of long-distance running. A variety of factors like training at higher altitudes, growing up without shoes, tough upbringing and the presence of an inspiring high-performance community is the reason for their dominance.
📷 Tree Planters
This week I'm exploring an art series titled 'Tree Planters' by Canadian artist Rita Leistner. Before becoming an artist, Leistner used to work as a tree planter in Canada, planting over half a million trees. A tree planter is someone who is hired by logging companies to place seedlings in the ground by hand. It is a physically demanding job in rough terrain and on average a tree planter burns around 8000 calories, equivalent to 2.5 marathons in a day. The series is a documentation and homage to this gruelling seasonal profession and also a look into the culture of reforestation in Canada.
“Someone at my agency in New York at the time, when I‘d been working in Iraq, was giving me advice, and they’re like, ‘Well, you should take tree planting off your bio because it looks trivial next to your other accomplishments.’ And I thought, ‘Oh my God, those like half-million trees that I planted, that was one of the hardest things I will have ever done in my life.’”
🛸 Most Important Century
Over the week I've enjoyed reading The Most Important Century, a series of blog posts on why the 21st century could be the most important century for humanity. The author argues that the development of advanced AI systems will lead to explosive growth and scientific advancement that will quickly take us to a future that we even cannot imagine. These advancements will result in a long-lasting, intergalactic civilization that could be a radical utopia, dystopia, or anything in between. From the digital people to a world misaligned by AI, this is an interesting long-read mind-boggling article.
🧵 SriLankan Crisis
As you might have read already, Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst-ever economic crises. Ramakumar, an economist has explained this topic in an interesting Twitter thread. This is an extensive thread, but in a nutshell, declining economic growth, over-dependence of the economy on commodities, the pandemic, organic farming policies and tax cuts contributed to this crisis.
📚Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart
This week I'm reading a book titled 'Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now ' by Gordon Livingston. This small book (under 200 pages) is packed with wisdom from Gordon's life experience as a psychiatrist, military veteran and father who lost his two sons. Having faced tremendous hurdles in life, he has helped others too in overcoming their hurdles and this book is a summary of that. The main topics discussed in the book revolve around how to make real change, create healthy relationships, find true happiness and achieve forgiveness.
“The three components of happiness are something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to.”
~ Resurfaced using ReadWise(FREE)
🎬Paint From Pollution
This week I've enjoyed watching the video titled 'How To Make Paint From Pollution', featuring a company called True Pigments, which makes paint from pollution. Coal mines that are shut down more than 100 years ago still produce toxic wastes that gets deposited into streams and rivers. These polluted water streams are harmful as they contain iron oxide. True Pigments collects this toxic waste, processes it and converts them into colours that can be used to make art. This project is a great confluence of science, art and conservation.
✍️Living in Abundance
This last section of the newsletter explores an original thought I had, an idea I'm exploring, a dream I experienced or anything that I'm exploring:
Last week while I was thinking about the concept of writing in abundance by David Perell, I wonder whether we can replicate the same in our everyday lives? Unintentionally I've been following this for the last 6-8 months. There were quite a few instances where I was bored in the past year. I always had something to read, write, watch, listen to, learn or engage in irrespective of where I am or the state I am in. I don't have to waste a single second figuring out what to read or which podcast to listen to while I'm running or biking. I've so many things in my pipeline, that I'm not even sure whether I can do in my whole life. This feeling of abundance drives and motivates me every day. I think the key to a happy life is to have something to do every day you wake up. It took a while for me to create this system, but the results have been staggering so far!
What do you think of the concept of 'Living in Abundance'? Would you like to read an essay on the same some?
P.S: In the last edition, I wrote on the state of search engines and the future of the web and quite a lot of you were interested in leveraging Reddit as a tool for better search results. This led me to dig more into the topic, I found an excellent tool called Hyper Search that enhances search results with better perspectives and trusted sources.
On Repeat: Give me 2 weeks, and I'll give you a new favourite song.
Recce: 5-second stories, for numbers people.
My favourite newsletter discovery tool is here.
That’s 10+1 Things for the week.
This newsletter is free, but not cheap. It takes a lot of effort and time from my end (7~8 hours) to deliver this newsletter every week. You can help me in keeping it going by forwarding it to someone you like, leaving a testimonial, buying me a coffee ($1 or ₹75), sending me some crypto, visiting my blog or following me on Twitter.
See you next week!
"If we are very rare, we better get to the multi-planet situation fast, because if civilization is tenuous, then we must do whatever we can to ensure that our already-weak probability of surviving is improved dramatically.”
~ Elon Musk via Wait But Why
Good lord. If I was Japanese and had to deal with that web design, I'd rather go outside.
Fascinating stuff Rishi