Amazing Media – 10 recommended readings

Recently I’ve begun saving and annotating my favorite blog posts, articles, videos, etc. Here’s the page where I’ll add new stuff (and old stuff, re-discovered).

I’ve learned that the value of great media is not the first time you consume it, but re-absorbing and re-experiencing it over time (and doing so mindfully).

98% of what we consume is crap – shouldn’t we treasure the 2%? You don’t see tennis players practice a new forehand once and just walk away. And there’s a reason why organized religions have ONE TEXT that they read, re-read, and re-re-read.

Here are 10 of my favorites:

Disappointed bear (c/o Buzzfeed)
Disappointed bear (c/o Buzzfeed)
  1. It’s Not About You: The Truth About Social Media Marketing by Tim O’Reilly (LinkedIn) – the most effective social media marketing is creating tools and content to help communities achieve their goals. Snippet: Your job, in short, is to uncover and activate latent social networks and interest groups by helping them to reach their own goals.
  2. The Dividing Line (Max Cho) – simple yet profound. If anyone is curious what Jeff Bezos is thinking…
  3. 10 Charts About Sex (OkCupid blog) – people are fascinating. Sex is fascinating. People’s sex habits, man! Snippet: Curvy women pass skinny ones in self-confidence at age 29 and never look back. They also consistently have the highest sex drive among the groups. Curvy, as a word, has the strongest sensual overtones of all our self-descriptions. So we’re getting a little insight into the real-world implications of a label.
  4. Applied Philosophy, a.k.a. “Hacking” by Paul Buchheit (Blogspot) – great and simple explanation of a valuable outlook on life and work. Although as important is WHAT you work on – problem choice is as important as the HOW. Snippet: Sometimes we catch a glimpse of the truth, and discover the actual rules of a system. Once the actual rules are known, it may be possible to perform “miracles” — things which violate the perceived rules.
  5. The Puzzle by Christopher Michel ( – beautiful and profound piece by Chris Michel on travel and by extension, life. Snippet: But the answers can’t be found in accumulating more. You knew that already. Well, so did I, but I’m not sure I really believed it. I do now. Happiness is reality minus expectations. And Americans, in particular, have some pretty high expectations. You do the math.
  6. That Which Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stranger ( – fascinating reporting on Jure Robic, one of the world’s greatest ultra-endurance athletes. Snippet: The craziness is methodical, however, and Robic and his crew know its pattern by heart. Around Day 2 of a typical weeklong race, his speech goes staccato. By Day 3, he is belligerent and sometimes paranoid. His short-term memory vanishes, and he weeps uncontrollably. The last days are marked by hallucinations: bears, wolves and aliens prowl the roadside; asphalt cracks rearrange themselves into coded messages. Occasionally, Robic leaps from his bike to square off with shadowy figures that turn out to be mailboxes. In a 2004 race, he turned to see himself pursued by a howling band of black-bearded men on horseback.
  7. 33 Animals Who Are Extremely Disappointed In You (Buzzfeed) – hilarious photos
  8. What Is Your Biggest Secret Desire That You Are Ashamed Of Telling Anyone? Reddit – love reddit for precisely these sorts of half-crazy, half-brutally honest windows into human psychology. The top vote-getter: In the middle of the night, I would pack one bag and drive away from my life. Not look back for one second and drive clear across the country. Find a small, rural town and just rebuild where nobody has an idea of who I am.
  9. Cities and Ambition by Paul Graham ( – a personal favorite among PG’s non-startup essays. Snippet: How much does it matter what message a city sends? Empirically, the answer seems to be: a lot. […] Most people who did great things were clumped together in a few places where that sort of thing was done at the time.
  10. George Orwell: Why I Write ( – Snippet: And looking back through my work, I see that it is invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally.

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.