Alberto's weekly email: Zettlekasten, John Carmack, and more!  🚀

Hi All!

What I am reading 📚

Unless you read purely for pleasure, reading should not be a passive activity. When you read you should have pen and paper so you can underline interesting passages and write down any thoughts and ideas that come to mind while reading.

Ever since I learned about Ryan Holiday’s notecard system, I have been experimenting with various ways of remembering and organizing what I read. And now, I am reading a “How to Take Smart Notes”, by Sönke Ahrens, a book that describes a system similar to the one used by Holiday. The Zettlekasten (slip-box). This system was developed by Niklas Luhman, a very prolific German sociologist. He wrote over 70 books during his lifetime by using the system as his main method for research and writing.

So far, what I like about the system is its simplicity and the focus on thinking as the only important process: “Good tools do not add features and more options to what we already have, but help to reduce distractions from the main work, which here is thinking.”

I’ll have more to write on this soon. Stay tuned ✒️.

Nerd Corner 🤓

Recently I’ve been on a roll listening (and watching) Joe Rogan’s podcast. Last week I shared his interview with Bernie Sanders. For the past few days I’ve been slowly digesting his interview with John Carmack.

Before listening to the podcast I didn’t know a whole lot about Carmack. I knew that he was one of the creators of several classic video games like Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake and is currently CTO of Oculus Rift, a VR company owned by Facebook. That was about it.

In the podcast he shares a lot of his experience developing video games, talks a about the future of Virtual Reality and shares his coding habits (he likes take retreats from time to time to focus solely on his programming and various experiments). But, what really impressed me was Carmack’s simplicity and how he is able to explain complex ideas with very clear and simple language, he never gets stuck or changes direction. He always develops his ideas fully, from start to finish. Really impressive. The whole podcast is entertaining and very engaging, check it out 🎮.

“Engineering is figuring out how to do what you want with what you’ve actually got” - John Carmack

Also interesting 🤯

  • This article from 2018 debunks the myth that we’re running out of forests. It also draws an interesting correlation between the amount of reforestation and a country’s GDP (the higher the GDP the more reforestation).

  • Financial Samurai has a good piece on the potential benefits of the inverted yield curve.

  • In this blogpost, Werner Vogels (Amazon’s CTO) writes about the past, future and present of AWS.

Feedback 🚀

Do you like the format of this email? Do you feel it should be longer/shorter, more/less varied?

For any suggestions on how to improve the content and format, 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!

Have a great week!