Hobbyist Academia #17
Curation has been emerging as a theme from various places in my corner of the Internet. Alex Lieberman called it a “superpower” and Jared Ficklin called it “a skill for the future” in the context of a post about AI and the future of the Internet. End of year reading lists are making the rounds. Collectively, these recurring data points create a thought-provoking nudge of encouragement toward my work on Hobbyist Academia.
I’ve got about 6 weeks worth of curated recommendations stockpiled, so this edition will be a longer one. Conventional growth marketing wisdom would say that I need to place more emphasis on consistency, but my top priority is enjoying the process of creation so I’m not going to turn precise frequency into a source of stress.
My hope is that this approach to authentic growth is another layer that speaks to the exact audience I want to reach. If you know someone who would enjoy learning at this particular intersection of digital sociology, design, business, and personal development, I’d love for you to share this with them.
Engage and Interact
A print magazine would technically fall under reading, but I want to spotlight Whalebone as more than solely content to read. Whalebone began as a T-shirt company, and has grown into a multi-concept exploration of brick and mortar shops, a print magazine that you can hold with your hands and read by flipping pages instead of scrolling, Whalebone Radio, and even a hot sauce collaboration. Their email newsletter Afternoon Delight is, well, a delight- but the biggest delight is the physical magazine you’ll receive in the mail when you subscribe. In the simplest terms, it’s a magazine about being alive.
Ritualist is a creative studio offering services in the field of ritual design. Ezra Bookman draws upon his work in theater, community building, art, and meaning-making in his practice as a designer of rituals for a variety of practical applications. Explore insights and downloadable guides, and subscribe to his newsletter, Research + Resources on Ritual.
I’m always thinking about more intentional ways to engage with reading material, and that extends to infrastructure as well. I recently learned about another alternative to Good Reads for tracking and sharing your reading: Italic Type. It has a built in notes feature, and you can migrate your book lists from Good Reads with a file import. The team at Literal is building a books and reading platform as well.
As we look toward a new year, consider Rachel Astor’s course A Year of Writing to Uncover the Authentic Self from DailyOM. The 52-week journey in guided journaling will help you discover and tell your story with intention.
Oliver Burkeman has also announced a new masterclass, “The Art of Imperfect Action”. Join him for two sessions over a weekend in January to learn how to shift your relationship with time and make progress on what’s really important to you.
Future of Work is a topic with a consistent presence in my life, largely thanks to my research with Beautiful Work Lives. I was excited to see Forbes introduce a new annual list: The Forbes Future of Work 50. Explore the “eclectic by design” collection of people, teams, and organizations.
An early November edition of Oliver Burkeman’s newsletter The Imperfectionist talks about the longevity and timelessness of a piece he wrote in 2014 about how no one really knows what they’re doing and we’re all just winging it.
Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of Joyful, writes a wonderful email newsletter/blog/website called The Aesthetics of Joy. A particularly impactful recent post features her strategies for how to cultivate an abundance mindset for a more joyful approach to life.
Gen Yeet is a collection of writing about digital culture by Terry Nguyen. The most recent piece is a thought provoking dive into the concepts of worldbuilding and immersion as they apply to our present time.
James Clear’s 3-2-1 Thursday newsletter is a weekly dose of wisdom in the form of ideas, quotes, and a question to consider. I signed up for it in early November and the first edition I received contained a Rebecca Solnit quote that really resonated with me. An excerpt- “Open enough to grow and closed enough to hold together is what a life must also be.” Read the whole email (and subscribe) here.
Jocelyn K. Glei writes a newsletter about finding more creativity and meaning in your work and your life. A particular recent issue spoke about the power of softening instead of tightening in the face of challenges.
Priya Parker shared “The Art of Guesting During Festive Season” to guide us through Intentional Guesting as we find ourselves inundated with holiday parties and invitations.
Creative Mornings is a community of creatives with meetups in different cities, and weekly email newsletters. A newsletter edition from early December highlights a talk about how to let curiosity drive depth in the information age.
The Slowdown is a media company commenting on culture, nature, and the future, across written and spoken forms. An article featured in a recent edition of their weekly newsletter explores emerging post-pandemic themes at Miami Art Week at Art Basel’s 20th anniversary.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a pair of essays about reading: one from Anne Helen Petersen’s Culture Study and the other, recommended by Culture Study, from Brandon Taylor’s Sweater Weather. These pieces about reading have been part of my recent reflections on curation as well.
This is more watching-adjacent than something to directly watch, but this piece from Pysche is a delightful guide to how to find great films to watch.
I had the great pleasure of attending a screening of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour program at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston a couple weeks ago. My favorite was Warsha. Learn more about the 2022 shorts and upcoming showings in various cities from the Sundance Institute.
Save This For Later
These are the books I jotted down for the To Read list since the last newsletter:
You Need a Manifesto: How to Craft Your Convictions and Put Them to Work by Charlotte Burgess-Auburn
When Women Lead: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, and How We Can Learn from Them by Julia Boorstin
Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
Thanks for Waiting: The Joy (& Weirdness) of Being a Late Bloomer by Doree Shafrir
Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect by Will Guidara
Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity by Saundra Dalton-Smith
Mastering Community: The Surprising Ways Coming Together Moves Us from Surviving to Thriving by Christine Porath
Beloved Economies: Transforming How We Work by Jess Rimington and Joanna L. Cea
The Intimate City: Walking New York by Michael Kimmelman
Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall
The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things by Neil Pasricha
If you enjoyed this, explore The Collection on my website. It’s growing, slowly and beautifully.