Year in review: 99 of the best positive news stories from 2018 — Quartz

For the last 12 months, the global media has been focused on a lot of bad news. But there were other things happening out there too. Good news stories that didn’t make it onto the evening broadcasts, or your social media feeds.

We spent the year collecting them, in our ongoing mission to stop the fear virus in its tracks. Enjoy.
— Read on qz.com/1501642/the-99-best-things-that-happened-in-2018/

Let’s start reminding ourselves that progress is being made. Not everything is going badly. In fact now is the best time to have ever lived. Anytime you are having a rough day bring up this story to remind yourself that we can make things better. We just have to stay motivated.

Hilbert’s list | Seth’s Blog

In 1900, David Hilbert published a list of 23 problems that he proposed would be the important ones for mathematicians to solve in the upcoming century. That list led to a focused effort that lasted a century, and the vast majority of the problems have been fully or partially solved. Ignoramus et ignorabimus is a foolish statement. We can know, and one day, we will.
— Read on seths.blog/2018/12/hilberts-list/

Fun take on the old New Years resolutions that we never do well with. What are your 23 problems that humans should solve in the next 100 years?

Google’s caste system is bad for workers—and bad for Google, too — Quartz

We were at the world’s most enviable workplace, allegedly, but were repeatedly reminded that we would not be hired full-time and were not part of the club. Technically, we were employees of a legal staffing agency whose staff we’d never met. We didn’t get sick leave or vacation and earned considerably less than colleagues with the same qualifications who were doing the same work.
— Read on qz.com/1494111/googles-caste-system-is-bad-for-workers-and-bad-for-google-too/

Sounds like Google is Uber for office workers. It does not appear to help create a very conducive culture all around.

I work remotely but feel a sense of culture that most of my office jobs have not had. Being fully employed is a big part of this as it gives one level of equality. Open meetings with the entire company is critical. Free access and encouragement to speak freely with anyone on the company is also critical. Companies and cultures die in silence.

While I might miss some water cooler banter I am also missing the micro aggressive non-verbal bullshit that is constantly rampant in any office space. Since I work for the work and not the social ness of my workers this seems like a good trade off.

Yes I like my coworkers and think I would probably hang out with most of them if we lived near each other. However I spend enough time outside of work to have a healthy social life.

The Best Books of 2018

The Best Books of 2018
— Read on kottke.org/18/12/the-best-books-of-2018

Digging into this today. I’ve been on an audiobook kick this year mainly due to my awesome AirPods. They are so comfortable to wear while I walk the dogs and workout.

A few I enjoyed this year:

  • Sapiens
  • How to change your mind
  • Why Buddhism is true
  • The wizard and the prophet
  • Ecopraxia

I’ve mostly been on the non-fiction kick except for my hard science fiction guy Peter Wells. His stuff is so smart it makes me feel like a little kid trying to read Brave New World again. I know I don’t know most of the stuff he is talking about but I do know it’ll be helpful to know about in the future.

What are you reading?