Enjoying some oolong tea as I get into work mode.

All tastes are acquired.

On the train from Beijing to Shanghai, near Jinan. Pollution is very bad, looks like fog. It doesn’t look as bad on camera as it does in meatspace.

👋🏻 @hartlco bug in Icro when sharing webpage link from Safari. Keyboard also sometimes doesn’t show up.

Interesting blog post from Cal Newport on research that indicates current trend in social media towards emphasizing consumption is what leads to dissatisfaction. Emphasis on interaction (like in m.b) leads to greater levels of satisfaction.

Fantastic post over on Get Rich Slowly about how to change careers in 12 months (or less). I love this kind of straightforward, actionable. no-BS advice.

An iPhone Note with a mini Apple Pencil would probably solve almost all my stationery/BuJo/organization woes.

Big Tech’s Big Defector | The New Yorker

Even if the contents of a phone call are protected, the time of the call or the parties involved might not be. This is more revealing than it seems: as a memo by the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes, a tech giant that doesn’t know your name might still “know you called a gynecologist, spoke for a half hour, and then called the local abortion clinic’s number later that day.”

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, everywhere 🦃

I opened a new Instagram account after deleting my old one last year, but as cute as pizzatoru is it feels like the platform has lost most of its attraction. I do not feel particularly enticed to open it.

But it would be wildly optimistic to hope that these new behaviors, which are largely driven by the profit motives of attention economy monopolies and device manufacturing giants, would just coincidently happen to also make our lives richer.

Apple Releases Smart Battery Case for iPhone 11 and 11 Pro with Dedicated Camera Button

This is quite exciting and interesting.

For China’s young, freedom has its limits | Financial Times

Loneliness of Digital Minimalism

WeChat is truly horrible at updating to support new iOS features

My current tech wet dream is an iPhone with the design of the current iPads Pro, and a screen size of the iPad Mini.

Criticism of an Aeon Piece on Mindfulness

I don’t have a PhD from Cambridge, but I feel like the argument in this essay is pretty flawed. Putting aside the implicit claim the author understands mindfulness and Buddhist practice enough to levy criticism, he criticism of modern mindfulness also strikes me as off. She moves from criticizing the modern mindfulness movement for divorcing itself from certain Buddhist metaphysics, to then giving a somewhat clumsy explanation of anattā, and then proceeding to criticize that amalgam as if it were the entirety of mindfulness past and present, as if the only difference between mindfulness in a Buddhist context and McMindfulness is a superficial understanding of emptiness.

I also find it a bit ironic that someone who talks about problems with modern medical “one size fits all” approaches then seems to argue that, because mindfulness did not work for them, it is flawed and has little utility outside of specific applications, like when the author is having trouble sleeping.

I guess it’s not surprising, after being watered down as a modern psychoanalytic panacea, that McMindfulness is criticized in this way, but I guess I would have appreciated if someone getting a PhD at Cambridge stuck to criticizing that in their article, rather than assuming their understanding of modern psychoanalysis and therapeutic techniques would carry over to familiarity with Buddhist metaphysics/philosophy/practice.


Mainland Chinese now restricted from traveling on their own to Taiwan. Whenever things like this happen, I feel a bit surprised by the uncritical nationalism expressed in some comments. But I guess it’s that way everywhere nowadays…

Nice interview with well-known minimalist Colin Wright (I consider him well known anyway). I like his emphasis on simplicity. Reminds me of something I read by the 17th Karmapa recently. Not a goal in itself, but rather it allows you to focus on what really matters.

A Radical Realist View of Tibetan Buddhism at the Rubin - by Ian Johnson - NYR Daily - The New York Review of Books

I think it’s just non-communication

Not sure I agree with this NYTimes piece, The Cultural Truth at the Heart of the Lies in ‘The Farewell’ - The New York Times. I can’t claim to be an expert, I’m not sure I understand my own culture, let alone that of another country I’ve only experienced for a few years. But after living here, I do feel that ideas many in “the West” have about Asian collectivism and groups being valued over individuals, etcetera, are overblown. There’s definitely indirect communication but there’s also a lot of non-communication. Is it pursuing harmony or just avoiding discomfort? How much of it is power dynamics? Especially in a workplace, this non-communication, if it negatively impacts anyone, is usually most strongly felt by employees, not management.

I also wonder how much these instances of silence come from growing up in a place where extreme control is exerted on you from a young age. I feel like young people here often don’t really begin living for themselves or deciding things for themselves until they get to college, if then.

I suspect my bad habit of interrupting people while they’re talking is something that I picked up or at least got worse while in China. I notice Chinese people doing it very often during conversations in which I’m participating.

Today’s model 🐈

Fun slo-mo video of milk being poured into tea. Yes, I put milk in my tea, but only lower quality black tea. Also 🍯

I don’t think this is entirely accurate, but it’s hilarious. >Hitler Reacts To Nonduality / Enlightenment - FUNNY! - YouTube