Medley 241: Members Hangout, Coffee, Faxes, Optionality, Cyberpunk 2077, My Last Day...

This is the Monday Medley, a newsletter that goes out, you guessed it, every Monday. I republish it here for sharing and referencing, but if you'd like to sign up you can do so right here:

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Happy Monday!

Short Medley this week since I've been taking a bit of a break. Thursday was my last day as CEO of Growth Machine. It's a project I've been working on for this whole year, and I couldn't be more excited for our new CEO Nora.

I also published an article this week very related to setting up Growth Machine to operate without me: Personal Leverage: How to Truly 10x Your Productivity.

I'll be doing the first Members Hangout on Wednesday at 1pm CT, talking about anything related to those articles, Growth Machine, Roam, or whatever else you wanna talk about. If you're not a member, join here by Wednesday to make sure you get an invite!

Alright, on to the Medley!

The World of Coffee

☕️ I love this brief history of the importance of coffee in political revolutions.

"Coffee houses began in the Ottoman Empire. Since liquor and bars were off-limits to most practicing Muslims, coffeehouses provided an alternative place to gather, socialize and share ideas. Coffee’s affordability and egalitarian structure—anyone could come in and order a cup—eroded centuries of social norms. Not everyone was pleased by this change."

🗞 It's particularly interesting to read about how rulers would forbid gathering in coffee shops because it led to spreading information they deemed "false news."

"On June 12, 1672, Charles II issued a proclamation to “Restrain the Spreading of False News, and Licentious Talking of Matters of State and Government,” which read in part: “men have assumed to themselves a liberty, not onely in Coffee-houses, but in other Places and Meetings, both public and private, to censure and defame the proceedings of State by speaking evil of things they understand not.”"

🎓 And how valuable the egalitarian nature of coffee shops was for learning outside the university:

"In Oxford, locals had begun calling coffee houses “penny universities” because for the cost of a cup of coffee, you could gain access to intellectual discussions and, critically, sober debate. At a time when beer was often a safer drinking option than water, this was no small thing."

🇺🇸 If you're American, drinking coffee is a form of patriotism:

"Coffee was seen as a patriotic drink in the colonies after the Boston Tea Party, when drinking tea fell out of fashion. At the time, American taverns served coffee alongside liquor, and the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston was nicknamed the “Headquarters of the Revolution” by Daniel Webster for housing many meetings of the Sons of Liberty leading up to and during the Revolutionary War."

👰 And for a while in Saudi Arabia, failing to provide your wife coffee was grounds (hah!) for divorce!

The World of Video Games

🕹 Cyberpunk 2077 has managed to pull off arguably the worst video game launch in history.

It's a pretty remarkable story of marketing and hype getting ahead of the actual production, almost akin to a video game fyre festival.

👎 Over 8 million people pre-ordered it, and the game ended up being so buggy that Sony is giving everyone a refund and even removed it from their store.

Given the scale some of video games like this, that might be a complete company destroying fate. Some of these games are $100m+ productions, which it probably would have earned back had it launched properly.

🎮 It'll be interested to see what happens to Projekt Red, the developer, and if they're able to get it back on track.

The World of Choices

💡 I love the idea of choicelessness in this article by Meaningness.

Essentially, we tend to value having more choices and options, but that's not always a good thing.

"Nearly all humans who have ever lived have only experienced meaning in the choiceless mode. Our brains co-evolved with choicelessness, and it feels right. All the other modes feel wrong. So Meaningness and Time is about why the other modes despite all their genuine benefits make us unhappy, and what to do about that."

🤔💭 Sometimes it's just better to not have to decide everything. It kinda reminds me of another favorite article: The Trouble with Optionality.

"If your dreams are apparent to you, pursue them. Creating optionality and buying lottery tickets are not way stations on the road to pursuing your dreamy outcomes. They are dangerous diversions that will change you."

💰 This is also something I talked about in my article: Forget Commitment: Invest in Something.

Just for Fun

📠 The Fax Machine is WAY older than you think. It was patented in 1843.

🌵 And Texas is one of the only states that has a constitutional power to secede from itself, turning itself into multiple different states.

End Note

As always, if you're enjoying the Medley, I'd love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

If you want to support the Medley and my other writing, there are many ways you can do that here.

And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.

Have a great week,
Nat

Did You Enjoy This?

Then consider joining the 30,000 other people getting the Monday Medley newsletter. It's a collection of fascinating finds from my week, usually about psychology, technology, health, philosophy, and whatever else catches my interest. I also include new articles and book notes.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.