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#7 Living better with less

Update #7 Published on update

Unused artwork by John Mata
Unused artwork by John Mata

Life peek: Fostering Conversations

I am not much of an outdoor person — lots of allergies and just life ya know. From time to time, I will force myself out of the door for a long walk with Robin. And we invariably talk about thought-provoking topics.

I am not sure yet, but I think the secret lies in having a protected space in time for a passive activity — walking in this case. This passive activity doesn't use a lot of mental space. It allows your mind to wander just enough, which fosters these organic conversations.

Our morning coffee tasting routine is another example. More often than not, it will conclude on an in-depth discussion about something random. I might just bring up this topic on our next walk.

Read & Watched

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (article, 2010)

This article shook me. It was written in 2010 by a guy finding a 9–5 job after 9 months backpacking. He talks about how much time and energy your regular job uses, resulting in you paying for convenience, rewards, a bit of excitement, an escape. In other words: the more we work, the more it pushes us to consume. The more we consume, the more we have to work to afford it.

The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake (article, 2020)

Fascinating article about why we envision the ideal family as two parents with 2.5 kids, and how the stable nuclear family isn't viable anymore. Spoiler: it is because our economical and cultural situation is very different. The author explains how we are now going back to new extended family structures with forged families and communities.


Wabi-Sabi (2008)

Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a Japanese concept describing the appreciation of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a short meditative read by Leonard Koren that might help me to let go and be a bit less of a perfectionist.

Recommended by Dense Discovery

The Art of Frugal Hedonism

Written by Australian couple Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb, this self-help book sounds like a light-hearted (and funny) read about living better with less. High-priority on my to-read list.

Recommended by Dense Discovery


Dark Reader

I didn't discover this browser extension in the last week, but it is just too awesome to not mention it at least once. Context: I do everything in dark mode. So whenever a website not supporting dark mode pops up, my eyes hurt. A lot. When enabled, Dark Reader automatically switches those websites to dark mode with your preferred settings. Bonus points: it's open-source.

Date Night Questions

If you have enough of small-talk leading nowhere, this web-app is made for you. With different decks for light conversations vs intimate talks, you will stumble upon questions like: About what are you superstitious? Is there anyone you look up to? When is the last time I impressed you?


We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviour.

— Stephen M.R. Covey


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