January 5, 2021

Rosie’s Newsletter #2

Hi friends,

Happy new year 🥂

In my last newsletter I said I wanted to publish more: I’m pleased to say I’ve posted something everyday since then! It was hard at times, but I’m really trying not to let perfectionism get the better of me. Like this newsletter, it’s a pretty eclectic bunch of stuff, both in form and content, but I hope you find something of interest.


Choosing a blogging platform

  • Having tried a bunch of different personal websites and blogging platforms, I wrote up my thoughts on the main options.

Actualism: When it pays to accept second best

  • Actualism vs possibilism is usually a debate in ethics, but I keep noticing it creeping in when I’m trying to make good decisions.

My 2020 annual review process

  • Much more light-weight than in previous years. My themes for 2021: Consistency and Playfulness 💖

Complementary habits

  • Possibly a way to successfully adopt more than one habit at a time?

Interstitial journal: first day back at work

  • Too tired to write a proper post but stubbornly clinging to my plan to publish something everyday, I shared my interstitial journal from my first day back at work after the Christmas break.

Cat poetry

  • I recently read some haiku that surprised me because it didn’t conform to 5-7-5 syllables. Curious, I started reading up on the art and learned there was so much more to it than I ever realized. I discovered I particularly like senryū: haiku-like poems that have a comedic twist. In a fit of whimsy, I tried writing some about my cat 🙃

A Question on My Mind

Is the placebo effect real?

More context at the link.

What I’ve Been Watching/Reading/Listening To

TV: Upload

  • I’m always excited about near-future sci-fi. I’m only a couple of episodes in, and while this isn’t quite on par with Black Mirror, it’s pretty enjoyable.

Podcast: Skeptics with a K

  • Having binged Oh No Ross and Carrie during lockdown (possibly my favorite ever podcast?!), this one also checks the funny people chatting about pseudoscience” box.

Book: The Vanishing Half

  • With rave reviews, I was expecting to be disappointed by this book, but I really liked it. A poignant intergenerational tale, it deals with themes of identity, family, belonging, and race.

TV: Murder on Middle Beach

  • A true crime documentary where a man investigates his own Mother’s murder. I am fascinated by scams, so was particularly intrigued by the involvement of a pyramid scheme. It’s quite unsettling watching him interview his family, knowing one of them might have done it.

App Recommendation

In my never-ending quest to find a good read-it-later workflow, I’m cautiously optimistic about Matter. It’s kind of a cross between Pocket and Twitter: you can save and highlight articles, but also follow writers and share comments. They’ve just added a Readwise integration, so you can export your highlights and annotations to Roam/Notion/Markdown/etc. I was lucky enough to get in the private beta, but they also have a waitlist you can join.

What is your read-it-later workflow?

Food Discoveries

  • My mind was blown to find out you can make an amazing salted caramel sauce by mixing maple syrup with miso paste in a 3:1 ratio 🤯
  • A handy visual guide to dented cans. I wasn’t sure if this was too boring to share, but there’s something about it I find very pleasing.

What’s Next?

  • When I decided to start a newsletter, I was pretty confused by the different options: why might you want to use something like Substack vs something like ConvertKit? I think I’ve got a better sense of this now - let me know if it would be helpful to write this up.
  • My friend Sara and I have been discussing strategies for cultivating deeper friendships, especially in a remote world. We’ve been trying some of them out ourselves, stay tuned for our findings.
  • I’m afraid I still haven’t finished the 100 tips” piece I mentioned last time… Turns out 100 is a lot…

I am always delighted to receive your reactions, comments, and pet pics. Just hit reply :)

Until next time,