Random Fun with Alberto 😂

Hello folks!

For a long time I’ve been considering sharing what I read and find interesting with others but until now, have always been too shy to do it.

What follows is an experiment! I’ll send you an email once a week for the next 3 weeks. If you like it and I enjoy writing them, then we’ll keep going! You can sign up to the email list here.

What I am reading 📚

Reading might be the best investment of my life. I mostly read to learn, not purely for pleasure, so I tend to prefer non-fiction to fiction books. But I enjoy a novel from time to time.

I tend to read only one book at a time (can’t really cope with too much context switching). Right now I am reading “The Undercover Economist” by Tim Harford. It tries to explain Economics by using everyday situations and analogies. I have mixed feelings about it. Somehow Nassim Taleb’s views on Economists keep popping up in my mind as I read this book.

By the way, I transcribe passages that I find interesting from the books I read, you can find them here.

Nerd Corner 🤓

It wouldn’t be me without "nerding" a bit.

For the past several weeks I’ve been experimenting with automating everything in my apartment. This is nothing new, there are tons of “smart” devices out there that let you control stuff with your smartphone.

But, I recently found out about home-assistant.io. This is an open source project that is very flexible and “scriptable” (you can write your own programs and automations). On top of this, you can use home-assistant to expose devices that are not compatible with Apple’s HomeKit so you can still control them with Siri (in case you’re wondering, yes, I prefer Siri over other voice assistants).

Automating my home has been a very cool but also time consuming hobby. I can’t really complain since I was warned about this on Twitter!. And now I’m warning you, so you can’t blame me if you go down this rabbit hole 😅!

So far I’ve added automations to my bedroom lights and espresso machine using a couple of WeMo plugs. For example the coffee machine turns itself on at 7:25 AM and turns itself off 5 minutes after the house is empty (home-assistant lets you track phones connected to your WiFi so it “knows” when someone is not home anymore).

On another note, I set my phone to Grayscale in an attempt to cut back on my screen time. My phone feels much more boring now but I’m not yet confident that I’ve reduced its use. I’ll expand on this experience soon.

Also interesting 🤯

  • I stumbled on this list of mental models, and its pretty awesome! If you are not familiar with the concept, James Clear’s blog is a good place to start.

  • This infographic matches each US state with a country with comparable GDP. It opened my eyes to just how big and powerful the US still is.

  • I use lots of emojis 😜 while on my phone but up until now I had a hard time using them on my laptop until I found that on a Mac you can access all the emojis by pressing CTRL+CMD+SPACE.

Feedback 🚀

The only way to learn and improve is through brutal and honest feedback! If you have any suggestions or comments on how to improve this email, please drop me a few lines over email!

And if you enjoy these emails spread the word and tell your friends to signup as well!

Until next week!