Friendship Ended With Firefox Now Vieb Is My Best Friend
I just found a web browser called Vieb (details: https://vieb.dev). This browser delights me so much that I have to share with you, even though you might not use it. Essentially, it’s a browser that can be used without a mouse.
But that’s not the point of this writing. I want to explore this question: Why am I sharing Vieb with you, even though you likely won’t use it? Because I feel delighted. Yes, yes, delighted! Perhaps what I want to share is not the browser itself, but the delight I feel for having found this browser.
Minimal, fully vim-based (
hjkl to move around,
y to yank links,
/ to search,
:q to quit the browser, etc), customizable (rc file). My god, this browser makes me so happy that I can’t stop yapping about it! As they say: A delighted customer (or user) is the best marketing force. I want to create things that make others delighted, like how Vieb delights me.
I’m Talking To You
The word “you” is direct and personal. When I use it, I’m talking to you—not him, not her, not other people.
The word “you” can make you feel nice when used appropriately (example: I like you), but it also can hurt your feelings: reading “he’s evil” has a different effect than reading “you’re evil.”
I’ve written a handful of fiction with “you” as a main character, and the main challenge is writing something relatable without hurting the ego. After all, if the reader feels insulted, they won’t read.
I just used “the reader” instead of “you.” How does that you-less paragraph feel? Here’s an experiment: I’ll substitute “the reader” with “you.”
I’ve written a handful of fiction with “you” as a main character, and the main challenge is writing something you can relate to without hurting your ego. After all, if you feel insulted, you won’t read.
You see? Personal and direct.
A Deathly Reminder
There I was: standing beside the coffin, looking at the well-dressed corpse. Everyone tried to cheer themselves with chitchat and forced smiles—they seemed unaware what they were there for.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” asked my one of my relatives.
I could barely talk, I said nothing.
There’s something primal about seeing a corpse. It reminds us of our humanity; it reminds us that no matter what happens, we’re heading towards the coffin—the mistakes, the victories, everything.
I can still vividly recall that funeral: it was filled with nostalgic tears; the fingers of the pianist danced nonstop with soft tunes. I’m sorry.
Unix Philosophy Applied To Writing: Say One Thing And Say It Well
In Unix philosophy (a programming philosophy), there’s a mantra that says, “Each program should do one thing and do it well, and they should work well together (paraphrased).” This leads to small programs that can be easily “linked” to other programs—like how small lego blocks can be used to create a lego tower.
It turns out that philosophy can be applied to writing. When writing, my goal is to say one thing and say it well—not two, not five, not one-and-a-half, just one thing. It might be short, but it doesn’t matter. Each piece of writing must stand on their own two feet, and they should be coherent when connected. This leads to modular writings (or tweets) that can act like lego blocks—easy to connect, easy to reference.
Who knew that a programming philosophy could be applied to writing?
Where Do Writing Ideas Come From?
I was at my friend’s house. Looking outside from his balcony, I saw a bird inside a rusty cage. Two birds stopped by, and those lovey-dovey stood there beside the caged bird—they all seemed busy looking at each other. After a while, the two birds flew away, leaving the caged bird alone.
“Did you saw what happened?” I asked my friend while pointing at the cage.
“How long has the bird been there?”
“It’s my neighbor’s bird. I’ve never paid any attention to it.”
That sight triggered something emotional within me—something primal. It showed me what imprisonment and freedom looks like. I was so emotional that I had to pour it into a fiction (title: Quez’s Cage).
I didn’t go to my friend’s house to find writing ideas, but it came nonetheless. It’s strange, honestly, how writing works: the catalyst is unpredictable and random. I don’t know what I’m going to write next. It feels like an adventure in an unknown land.
Imagine lounging in an ultra-comfortable, first-class airplane seat. It’s soft; it’s purple. As you attentively listen to the (very cute) flight attendant explaining how to fasten your belt buckle, she ends her presentation with the following statement: “Oh, just to let you know, the pilot is not on this aircraft. He is controlling this aircraft from the airport with a remote control. Have a nice flight.”
“What? The pilot isn’t here?” you say to yourself. You want to get off the plane, but it’s taking off.
That pilot, my friend, is an illustration of a person without skin-in-the-game: The pilot controls the plane without bearing the risk of harm—if the plane crashes, the pilot doesn’t bear the consequence.
I cringe every time someone throws unsolicited advice at me. All those people have no skin-in-the-game—if I’m harmed by their advice, they’re not harmed. What if I followed their advice, failed, and wasted a decade of my life? Would they also lose a decade of their life? Would they return my decade back? Of course no. What I’m likely to receive is an apology like: “Haha, sorry, my bad, haha, anyway, let’s grab a beer.”
I’m not against credible, useful advice. I’m against stakeless, potentially harmful ones.
Assume Everyone Is A Skimmer
To effectively communicate with skimmers—which is basically almost everyone on the internet—the message must be simple. Simple words, simple sentence, simple everything; no fat, no fluff, no junk; short, bite-sized, easy to understand.
Creators who create for the algorithms contort their message to rank higher, which results in messy, padded crap—twelve paragraph to say one sentence, twenty-eight-minute video to say one thing. Messy, padded crap is the last thing skimmers want!
Attention is scarce. Simple, simple, simple.
Social Media Is Designed To Drain Its Users
“are you using the computer or is it using you” —@amusechimp
The existence of social media detox proves how draining social media is. If these apps were tools, we would use it like we use our hammer, or bike, or chopsticks: only when needed. But these apps are not just tools of communication; these apps are the modern attention beasts.
This applies especially to YouTube: there’s something about it that makes it so addictive. YouTube is amazing: it’s becoming a modern university because of the sheer amount of useful knowledge contained there, but it’s a double-edged sword: the rabbit-holes on YouTube is a massive attention devourer.
These apps are both a blessing and a curse. Are we using it, or is it using us?
P.S. A related video by Naval Ravikant.
Found In Tokyo
Fero… It has been nine years and I still remember her fondly. On the airport, before we parted ways, she said, “I’ll send you a letter once I’ve arrived at Tokyo.” We separated with a kiss, and that was the last one; I haven’t heard from her since.
The memories feel bittersweet.
“A Venti Americano please.”
“Etoo… Venti Americano… five-hundred yen,” the Starbucks cashier says as she gestures with her hand. I hand some coins to her.
My colleagues are there, in the corner, talking to our Japanese client. Today is the first day of our meeting, and I can already tell that it’s going to be boring. But, it pays t—
“Dous?!” someone exclaims. The voice sounds familiar. I look behind.
Cows, cows, cows. Your parents own some, so do your aunt and uncle; your cousins milk cows, and so do you. Your mom often tells you that you should own as many cows as you can, and she always compares you with Teggie, your cousin who owns 13 cows. Your neighbors talk about cows, their children talk about cows, everyone’s obsessed with cows!
Everyone you know spends their entire life doing cow-stuff in this small cow-filled island, and you can’t swallow the pill that you’ll have to do this your entire life. You often wonder what’s there, beyond the horizon. “Is there something out there? Anything?” you asked your parents. They retorted with, “Just focus on your cows; there’s nothing out there.” When you asked your friends and cousins the same question, they gave you the same answer.
Are these cow-people fools, or are you the crazy one? You don’t know, and neither do they.