B5L Issue #025

Physics, Emails, and Unnecessary Swearing in Court


Some kind of sorcerer..

I was not a good physics student in my high school days. It’s fair to say I’m not any better now. So when I see this party trick using toothpicks, string, and a heavy weight, there is a part of my brain that assumes it’s simply science and no big deal - and there is a part of me that screams its black magic at work.

Three toothpicks holding a full water bottle | Reddit


We first tried to distill the email down to its essence..

I love this piece for so many reasons. For one, as many of you know, I am a rampant Apple fanboi. For two, I have an incredible appetite for examples of writing well. For three, most of the email I’m included on could do with a little refinement.

Enjoy this deconstruction of why an email between Apple Executives in 2007 is such a great example of clear communication.

This efficacy is at the core of what makes Apple good when it is good. It’s not always good, but nothing ever is 100% of the time and the hit record is incredibly strong across a decade’s worth of shipped software and hardware. Crisp, lean communication that does not coddle or equivocate, coupled with a leader that is confident in their own ability and the ability of those that they hired means that there is no need to bog down the process in order to establish a record of involvement. 

This one email explains Apple | TechCrunch

(via Daring Fireball)


Want to hear a rhetorical joke? ..

On a similar theme to the last link, Josh Kaufman has set out examples of a few common question categories. There’s so much value here. Not only as a quick reference guide to asking the question itself, but also for the examples of how he sets the context for the question itself in a harmless, easy-to-receive way.


Keys for asking for assistance:

  • Be clear and precise about what you're trying to do.

  • Give context by including what you've tried so far, which makes it clear that you're doing your own work and not asking the recipient to solve your problems for you.

  • "Any guidance?" or "What should I try next?" sets up the recipient as the expert and doesn't transfer responsibility for the problem.

How to Ask Useful Questions | Josh Kaufman

(via BrainPint)


No-one was ever thinking of you in the first place..

I was on the fence about this link. I really liked Mark Manson’s book, the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, and I like this overall message of this video, but he swears unnecessarily. Which is perhaps the pot calling the kettle black. I know I swear sometimes without even realising I’m doin git. But he swears so unnecessarily it’s distracting.

In the end I decided to link to it because I think it’s a helpful theory.

You will stop caring what other people think about you when you have something more important to care about. When you have something worth being embarrassed over. When you have something worth being ridiculed for. When you believe in something so intensely that its so important that you’re willing to leave friends or the respect of your neighbours - that’s when you stop caring about what other people think.

And the irony of this of course is that’s the moment everybody starts respecting you.

How to Stop Caring About What Other People Think | YouTube


Still figuring this remote-working out..

File this one alongside the nightmare ‘PowerPoint Presentation with web browsing history clearly evident’.

First rule of Zoom court: | Twitter


You may not have noticed at the outset, but this is Issue #25! We’ve been going at this for nearly a year now! Thanks to everyone that has liked, shared, or sent me an email to say they enjoyed a particular link along the way :)


If you enjoyed any of these links, the best way you can help me is by forwarding this email on to a friend. They can browse past issues and subscribe at this link

- Bennett


Cover Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash