Web bookmarks and archive
Cloud file sharing and archive
DNS management and CDN
WLAN packet analyser
Software development docs
Extract media from obscure file
Party video game
Two Dudes Talking
Science Vs is a fun PSA for all of humanity.
Digital society (German)
Art and sex
Open-source investigative journalism
Bellingcat is a phenomenon that keeps me excited about the power of crowdsourcing and OSINT. If you read their blog posts, you’ll learn how actual investigations work; if you volunteer you might help save actual lives.
Zadie Smith – Swing Time (2016). You can’t go wrong with Zadie Smith, but I like how her writing is maturing.
James Joyce – Ulysses (1922). There’s a part of my brain that really likes to geek out on Shakespeare, mathematics, Gödel, Escher, Bach, and fractals. That part of my brain also likes to geek out on Ulysses. It took me almost a year to get through the first time, but I happened to finish on Daedalus Day. It was worth my time!
Alan Bradley – A Red Herring Without Mustard (2011). Flavia de Luce is one of the few escapes I grant myself and that I am able to enjoy anymore. Her character has been an inspiration for years, and I love her dearly.
Marc Elsberg – Blackout (2012). This will make you stock up on drinking water and FM radios. Maybe it’ll even inspire you to work against real, existential threats.
Yuval Noah Harari – Homo Deus (2017) is one of the two books I find most important to read. The other is Harari’s first book, Sapiens. I don’t know if it’s productive that this has made me criticise humanism similarly to religion, but these points are definitely correct and to some extent important.1 In any case, this made me aware of the big picture in humanity’s time on this earth. Harari has validated me in my veganism, meditative practice, and simple living like no other.
Ernest Cline – Ready Player One (2011) is really fun, and it’s being made into a Steven Spielberg movie.
Jerry A. Coyne – Faith versus Fact (2015). Sam Harris is probably my favourite voice against religion, but he hasn’t written the book I think best makes the point against faith.
Sam Harris - The Moral Landscape (2010). This is perfect in that it describes moral basics society agrees on already, while still infuriating religious people everywhere. Not all of it corresponds with societal consensus, but I agree with everything, as far as I can remember. Definitely important ideas to clarify your moral thinking.
Sam Harris – Lying (2013). I can’t think of another book that has directly influenced my personal policies. If you don’t think that lying and deception is wrong and inadvisable in every aspect of daily life, read this.
In its hilarious self-deprecation, Marc-Uwe Kling – Die Känguru-Chroniken (2009) also describes constructive dissent comparable to the work of some Satanist groups. I only wish, real-life members of Das Asoziale Netzwerk were as politically active!
Surge Sock is a good sock. For years I used to swear by Bamboo-brand socks, but those feel sweaty and rough now. Everyone seems to think that winter and especially winter sports like skiing require chunky socks, but that is definitely not true for me; a sock like this is all I have ever needed. Two or three pairs are sufficient if you hand-wash and hang-dry every day or two.
Everyday Boxer Briefs are comfortable, fast-drying, and neutral-looking. They make me sweat less than cotton.
For the past 18 months I’ve been wearing Bluffworks Chino pants almost every day. A single pair! When they start to smell or get dirty after 3–5 days, I wash them in the sink, wring them while rolled into a towel, hang them up to dry, and they’re usually ready to go in the morning. I’ve had them shortened by a tailor, and had them fixed after an accident involving an axe wound to my leg, but apart from that they’re holding up really well. They provide much better freedom of movement than jeans, to the point where I’ve even gone running in them a few times, but I never have to worry about not looking professional or sharp enough for an occasion. Also, they have a perfect set of pockets.2 Just look at those pants!
Ministry of Supply make the Responsive Tee, which is one of my staple items of clothing. I received my first two while travelling in New Zealand, and it took me less than a day before I threw/ gave away all of the cotton t-shirts I’d been wearing before. Now, I benefit from less sweat, a simpler look, and being able to hand-wash in a minute. They even hang-dry over night.
I wear the Vivobarefoot Hikers all year. They come with insoles that provide sufficient insulation to the ground when walking on snow; taking the insoles out gives me most of the advantages of walking barefoot in summer while being inconspicuous enough to not attract attention.
Minimum viable knife
Even though my previous everyday pocket knife did its job well, buying the Spyderco Bug has improved my life tremendously, because it is so much tinier. It is light and small enough that I even take it jogging, while still allowing me to cut through all the tape, cardboard and vines I come across.
The Vapur Anti-Bottle is all I need. After watching Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival late at night, I felt my hand touch this hydration device just as I was starting to fade out of mindfulness back into associating with my bodily sensations as part of “I”. But then I thought about the physical weirdness of water and the fact that a bunch of dead-dinosaur-molecules were moulded into a bag to contain and deliver said water, even though the particles involved are just specks in this vast space of nothingness, manipulating each other without even touching. At that point it would have felt more natural to fall through the floor and dissolve, but here I am still, looking at what is obviously a superior bottle design.
PackTowl make my favourite towels. They are far lighter and smaller to pack than standard cotton towels, and you can wring them pretty dry after extended usage.3 I have even come to prefer their feel to what everyone else uses. At home and for longer travels, I rotate two of the Personal kind. They also make the perfect minimum-viable towel — their original — one of which is always in my bag every day. If you don’t need a big towel to change or lie on at the beach, two M-size originals will get you through months of vacation.
The right-hand front pocket has a little loop, to which I attached the female part of an Anchor Link. I have males on my keys and pocket knife, so I can have quick access with nothing falling out during hand-stands. ↩
It is hard to overstate how valuable this is when travelling! A different towel would make up 20–30% of my usual pack weight, and I would have to rely on washing machines and dryers wherever I went. A little compromise in comfort gets you peace of mind, independence and flexibility. ↩