Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.

Welcome to The Archive.

Quit Social Media! In this essay, Cal Newport, author of Deep Work and Digital Minimalism, points out the opportunity cost of social media and its impact on your career.

Originally published at nytimes.com/2016/11/20/jobs/quit-social-media-your-career-may-depend-on-it.

You cannot find Cal Newport on social media, but you can check his website at calnewport.comThis one is the talk I mentioned in the episode.

The Timeless Link Between Writing and Running and Why It Makes for Better Work

Welcome to The Archive.

Today I read Ryan Holiday’s excellent introduction to writing and running. More essays like this one will follow, as I enjoy writing and running, but I wanted to kick things off with this one.

The article was originally published at observer.com/2016/09/the-timeless-link-between-writing-and-running-and-why-it-makes-for-better-work.

Find Ryan Holiday at ryanholiday.net and @ryanholiday. I highly recommend you subscribe to his monthly newsletter. If you haven’t read any of his books, I suggest you start with Conspiracy (Michael Lewis-y), or The Obstacle is the Way. The Daily Stoic is a “Calendar of Wisdom”-like (Tolstoy) book.

The Bitcoin Standard, summarized in a tweetstorm

Welcome to the Archive.

The Bitcoin Standard is a great introduction to Austrian Economics, hard money, and why Bitcoin might claim gold’s role in a digital, global economy. Yorick de Mombynes (@ydemombynes) put together a 133-part tweetstorm, which I read to you today.

Learn more about the author, Saifedean Ammous (@saifedean) on his blog, saifedean.com. Buy his book on Amazon. Check at Goodreads.

Highlights from “Letters to a Young Poet”

Welcome to the Archive.

Today, I read my favorite highlights from Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. The book is for sale at Amazon for €2,80 – a steal.

On asking others’ opinions

“You ask me whether your verses are good. You ask me that. You have asked others, before. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you worry when certain editors turn your efforts down. Now (since you have allowed me to offer you advice) let me ask you to give up all that. You are looking tot he outside, and that above all you should not be doing now. Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody. There is only one way. Go into yourself.

What to write about?

“Don’t write love poems; avoid at first those forms which are too familiar and habitual: they are the hardest, for you need great maturity and strength to produce something of your own in a domain where good and sometimes brilliant examples have been handed down to us in abundance. For this reason, flee general subjects and take refuge in those offered by your own day-to-day life; depict your sadnesses and desires, passing thoughts and faith in some kind of beauty – depict all this with intense, quiet, humble sincerity and make use of whatever you find about you to express yourself, the images from your dreams and the things in your memory. If your everyday life seems to lack material, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to summon up its riches, for there is no lack for him who creates and no poor, trivial place.”

On being alone (and loneliness)

“(..) for at bottom, and particularly in the deepest and most important things, we are unutterably alone, and for one person to be able to advise, let alone help, another, a great deal must come about, a great deal must come right, a whole constellation of things must concur for it to be possible at all.”

“(..) love your solitude and bear the pain it causes you with melody wrought with lament.  For the people who are close to you, you tell me, are far away, and that shows that you are beginning to create a wider space around you. And if what is close is far, then the space around you is wide indeed and already among the stars; take pleasure in your growth, in which no one can accompany you, and be kind-hearted towards those you leave behind, and be assured and gentle with them and do not plague them with your doubts or frighten them with your confidence or your joyfulness, which they cannot understand.”

“(..) Going into oneself and not meeting anyone for hours – that is what one must arrive at. Loneliness of the kind one knew as a child, when the grown-ups went back and forth bound up in things which seemed grave and weighty because they looked so busy, and because one had no idea what they were up to.”

On being an artist

“(..) These things cannot be measured by time, a year has no meaning, and ten years are nothing. To be an artist means: not to calculate and count; to grow and ripen like a tree which does not hurry the flow of its sap and stands at ease in the spring gales without fearing that no summer may follow. It will come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are simply there in their vast, quiet tranquillity, as if eternity lay before them. It is a lesson I learn every day amid hardships I am thankful for:  patience is all!”

“Think, dear Mr Kappus, of the world that you carry within you, and call this thinking whatever you like. Whether it is memory of your own childhood or longing for your own future – just be attentive towards what rises up inside you, and place it above everything that you notice round about. What goes on in your innermost being is worth all your love, this is what you must work on however you can and not waste too much time and too much energy on clarifying your attitude to other people.”

Image from artspastor.blogspot.com.


Krishnamurti answers “I want to be an engineer”

Welcome to the Archive.

This is an episode on Krishnamurti. It’s an excerpt from Think on these Things, p126, which I recommend.

“However much I may want to be an engineer, if my father is against it and won’t help me, how can I study engineering? “

KRISHNAMURTI: If you persist in wanting to be an engineer even though your father turns you out of the house, do you mean to say that you won’t find ways and means to study engineering? You will beg, go to friends. Sir, life is very strange. The moment you are very clear about what you want to do, things happen. Life comes to your aid – a friend, a relation, a teacher, a grandmother, somebody helps you. But if you are afraid to try because your father may turn you out, then you are lost. Life never comes to the aid of those who merely yield to some demand out of fear. But if you say, “This is what I really want to do and I am going to pursue it,” then you will find that something miraculous takes place. 
You may have to go hungry, struggle to get through, but you will be a worthwhile human being, not a mere copy, and that is the miracle of it.
You see, most of us are frightened to stand alone; and I know this is especially difficult for you who are young, because there is no economic freedom in this country (India) as there is in America or Europe. Here the country is over-populated, so everybody gives in. You say, “What will happen to me?” But if you hold on, you will find that something or somebody helps you. When you really stand against the popular demand, then you are an individual and life comes to your aid.
You know, in biology there is a phenomenon called the sport, which is a sudden and spontaneous deviation from the type. If you have a garden and have cultivated a particular species of flower, one morning you may find that something totally new has come out of that species. That new thing is called the sport. Being new it stands out, and the gardener takes a special interest in it. And life is like that. The moment you venture out, something takes place in you and about you. Life comes to your aid in various ways. You may not like the form in which it comes to you – it may be misery, struggle, starvation – but when you invite life, things begin to happen. But you see, we don’t want to invite life, we want to play a safe game; and those who play a safe game die very safely. Is that not so?

How to Get Rich (without getting lucky)

Welcome to The Archive.

Today, I read Naval Ravikant’s (@naval) thoughts on How to Get Rich (without getting lucky). You’ll find the original tweetstorm here: twitter.com/naval/status/1002103360646823936. I published my highlights on belgianboy.com/how-to-get-rich-without-getting-lucky-naval-tweetstorm.

I highly recommend you check his talk with Shane Perrish on The Knowledge Project. Naval blogs at startupboy.com.

The Mundanity of Excellence

Welcome to the first episode of The Archive.

Today, I will read The Mundanity of Excellence by Daniel Chambliss. I came across this essay through a tweet from Michael Nielsen, who mentioned Freyja’s excellent “Becoming a magician” essay (which will be part of the Archive in the future – I blogged about it briefly). Jason Crawford replied to Michael, pointing to today’s essay. I have since read and reread it and cannot stop thinking about it.

You can find the original version on Fermats Library. I used Visakan Veerasamy’s “edited-for-readability” version from his blog, visakanv.com/archives/2014/01/07/the-mundanity-of-excellence-by-daniel-chambliss.

The Public Archive is live!


I’m Kobe. I am the curator of this public Archive. In this podcast, I will share my favorite books, articles, people, videos, songs, and other kinds of art. I have kept a public archive with articles for a while now, but in this audio version, I will read them out loud and discuss why these stand out for me. The major benefit of audio is that you can take this podcast wherever you happen to go to, and decide to do further studying or reading when it suits you.

You can find all relevant links in the show notes, both on your podcast player, and at my website, archive.belgianboy.com. Where possible, I’ll link to the original content.

Feel free to live a comment, or rate and review The Archive wherever you get your podcast.

If you want to find out more about me, go to belgianboy.com. I’m also on Twitter (@kobevanreppelen).