My audiobook trilogy is still on sale through Apple: all 3 books for $5! It’s a… steal.
Here are 10 other things I thought were worth sharing this week:
The story of how Charles Darwin started keeping a journal.
Reading: I often find that thinking of input as collage and reading more than one book at one time produces a kind of magical 1+1=3 mashup. Most recently, I paired Annie Murphy Paul’s The Extended Mind with Ed Yong’s An Immense World, and they’ve given me all sorts of ideas about our senses and what we gain when we bring as many of them as we can into our process. (I previously drew and wrote about Paul’s work in “Thinking on the page.” Her newsletter on The Science of Creativity is worth reading — you could start with the story of how Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham, “Freedom is Bad for Creativity.”)
One of the things Paul recommends is setting up “cognitive loops.” A loop that always pays off for me is sending out this newsletter and hearing back from y’all. In response to my spring bouquet, reader Ann Collins sent me these wonderful thoughts about circular time, linear time, and microseasons.
William Burroughs on errors in Western language.
Watching: I quite liked All The Beauty and The Bloodshed, an Oscar-nominated documentary that “follows the life of artist Nan Goldin and the downfall of the Sackler family, the pharmaceutical dynasty who was greatly responsible for the opioid epidemic's unfathomable death toll.” Good soundtrack. It’s streaming on HBO Max. (Re-watching: I was surprised that my flight home from Detroit last week had Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing on the in-flight watching options. I couldn’t resist. Incredible movie.)
Music: The B-52s on SNL in 1980 doing “Rock Lobster” is making the rounds again. “Love Shack” is great, but it was actually a comeback song — if it’s their only one you know, do yourself a favor, go back and listen to that first album, and maybe read about the Athens, Georgia scenius they birthed and how it influenced later scenes. (If you’re already a B-52s fan, creep on @anniezaleski’s tweets about them — she’s working on a book!)
Video games: I started playing A Short Hike on the Nintendo Switch. Very charming and very chill.
It sometimes feels as though everyone’s trying to speed up their learning — listening to podcasts at 1.5x speed, etc. — so it’s refreshing to read this manifesto for slow learning. (It’s what works for me!)
Using AI bots as interns.
Keeping a diary is being a good assistant to your future self.
Thanks for reading! This newsletter is a completely reader-supported publication. The best way to support it is to buy my books, hire me to speak, or become a paid subscriber:
PS. Seriously, that audio trilogy is only five lousy bucks.
Whenever I’ve tried listening to an audiobook in the past, the experience left me cold. If I’m listening to an audiobook, I’m almost certainly doing something else--commuting, washing the dishes, cleaning, etc. A split attention. So I retain less and find it too difficult to take worthwhile notes. Despite all this, I bought your audiobook trilogy, because I’ve read them and know I enjoy them.
A revelation! Audiobooks are a great way to revisit a book I’ve already read. It reinforces ideas I’m familiar with and reminds me of concepts that have faded from memory. And because it’s not my first exposure to the material, there’s no guilt attached if my attention drifts.
Thanks for all your work, Austin! Really enjoying the audiobook.
spring and this newsletter - rabbits and rabbit holes - saved again from the drudgery of a pod job - thank you austin