The Autodidacts

Exploring the universe from the inside out

Autodidacts Newsletter #18

To get the year off on the right foot, we have a newsletter exclusively featuring brief philosophical essays on living well. In-depth, nerdy essays & technical articles will resume in the next issue. (If you’d like to opt-out of our self-help department, but stay for the technical stuff, reply with rm -rf blithering, and we’ll only send you newsletters that have some relevance to your interests :)

In 2021, we published a sprawling post on gratitude, written by and for people who tend toward melancholy. Now, we have a post on gratitude from someone who’s kind of an expert on the topic, featuring some slightly unorthodox exercises for generating this much-sought-after state:

First presented to friends and family on New Year’s Eve, 2022 When I was young, people would often tell me how lucky I was. I agreed with them, but wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do about it. I was a pretty happy little guy, but I was

... and a small article about irritating people, exploring what might be the underlying cause of friction, and how to adapt:

How is it that people can be annoying without doing anything?
How is it that people can be irritating, without doing anything? Much of the day I have spent being irritated at people for the most ridiculous reasons: the sounds people make — slurping, breathing — when they’re wearing headphones, the smugness of people eating slowly while I eat fast, the sound

... and a friendly reminder that doing things fast can be self-defeating:

Why It’s Worth Doing Things Properly
I like to get things done fast. I’ve gradually learned, however, that trying to get things done fast can be self-defeating. There’s a balance. If I work too fast, I make mistakes. And mistakes slow things down. A lot. They mean things have to be redone, they are

Happy 2023!

The Autodidacts