40. Desire paths

Photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash

I’m starting to get used to the new rhythm of life. I also learned about desire paths, which is a term I did not know existed but perfectly explains the phenomenon of people just making their own paths & tracks over time, especially if those paths that run contrary to design or planning. It’s a nice allegory to making paths in your life that work for you.


Why You’re Probably Getting a Microchip Implant Someday (The Atlantic, 10min)
Called ‘implantables’, the RFID health tag industry is starting to ratchet up. With Apple Watch 4 starting to offer health kit benefits too, you can see that hardware manufacturers are wanting to commercialise medical hardware at the consumer level. Nokia/Withings tried it, but I think Apple will win this one, purely based on distribution and awareness. Plus, strapping on a watch is way more palatable to the public than injecting a chip.

Yuval Noah Harari: the myth of freedom (The Guardian, 25 mins)
I love everything he writes. This is no exception. And it ties in well with the observation about the medical hardware above, specifically this section:
“At present, the hackers rely on analysing signals and actions in the outside world: the products you buy, the places you visit, the words you search for online. Yet within a few years biometric sensors could give hackers direct access to your inner world, and they could observe what’s going on inside your heart. Not the metaphorical heart beloved by liberal fantasies, but rather the muscular pump that regulates your blood pressure and much of your brain activity. The hackers could then correlate your heart rate with your credit card data, and your blood pressure with your search history.”

The Doomsday Invention: Will artificial intelligence bring us utopia or destruction? (The New Yorker, 60 mins)
This is a conversation about AI from 2015. It’s a long read, but interesting if it’s your thing! Mostly I like that there’s a view on AI forming a type of religion, this line stands out:
“This is not an honest conversation,” he said. “People think it is about technology, but it is really about religion, people turning to metaphysics to cope with the human condition. They have a way of dramatizing their beliefs with an end-of-days scenario—and one does not want to criticize other people’s religions.”

The clever UX that made Fortnite a $1.2 billion sensation (Fast Company, 10 mins)
I played Fortnite for the first time this week. It was an interesting experience. This article explores the success of the format: “Fortnite‘s success rests on three principles: accessibility, sociality, and spectacle.”

What Everybody Is Getting Wrong About FIRE (Mr Money Mustache, 10 mins)
MMM is like the godfather of FIRE. There’s going to be a lot of media attention on the movement over the next 12 months, I think. And it’s important to remember why we’re doing this: it’s not about retiring. It’s about living a life on our own terms, and “Complete freedom to be the best, most powerful, energetic, happiest and most generous version of You that you can possibly be.”


Business Wars podcast – covers business rivalries like Nintendo vs Sony, and it’s a fun listen.


Pretty much the best sales pitch I’ve seen for a D&D Halloween module.

Here’s your paper from High Anxiety…classic homage!

Best life

I bought a coffee grinder because, as much as I love hand grinding, I am just not up for it at 6am in the morning.

The week ahead…

Tuesday is trivia night with the work crew, and next Sunday is the climax of our current D&D session, The Sunless Citadel. It’s a classic dungeon delve, and there’s gonna be some monster slaying indeed. Think we’re moving into Waterdeep: Dragon Heist after that! A city romp!