Unpopular Opinions #2: Android phones are awful

Welcome to the second in a 7-part series of unpopular opinions that I hold! What started as a psychological self-improvement experiment (trying to identify ways that I seek approval from others) has turned into a pretty humorous and irreverent conversation about everything from my tastes in music and movies to my thoughts on college culture. Feel free to really let it rip in the comments section if I so irk you- I honestly do not care. So let’s do this!

 

I think Android phones are clunky and generally awful, with serious usability issues.

I think it’s important that I clarify- I’m not stating this opinion to turn around and champion the iPhone (although I am a happy iPhone user). I’m saying this because I think Android phones are awful when it comes to usability. I’m also not a fan of an un-policed app marketplace- why open up the floodgates to the threats of malware or scams, as the recent “Virus Scan” debacle has shown to be entirely possible.

Besides just my general observations, here are two fun little anecdotes:

  1. I recently bought an old Motorola Droid for a few bucks from my company in a “garage sale” we were having. One of our engineers saw that I got it, and told me “You know, you could probably put a fairly recent operating system on that!” Hoping to find some sort of quirky use for my new device (besides just a paperweight or more clutter in my desk drawer), I asked him “Oh really? How?!”. He just laughed and said “Oh boy… you have a lot of reading to do”. I’ve asked other engineers here and they all just laugh at me. HOW HARD DOES IT NEED TO BE TO UPDATE THE OPERATING SYSTEM ON A PHONE?
  2. My grandmother decided that she too wanted a hip smartphone, but instead of doing any research or anything or asking her grandchildren, she just up and went and bought an Android phone (which I’m sure was pushed on her by some commission-hungry hack at the AT&T store). Her inability to figure out how to use it was so bad that she literally couldn’t pick up the phone when somebody called. So for two weeks (until my younger sister, an iPhone user, somehow figured it out and taught her), she just let the phone ring and ring and never answered (or declined) any calls she got.

So there you have it. I think Android phones are kinda awful. Poor usability, dumb operating system overall. Unpopular Opinion #2.

Unpopular Opinions #1: I don’t like Bruce Springsteen (and I’m from NJ…)

Welcome to the first in a 7-part series of unpopular opinions that I hold! What started as a psychological self-improvement experiment (trying to identify ways that I seek approval from others) has turned into a pretty humorous and irreverent conversation about everything from my tastes in music and movies to my thoughts on college culture. Feel free to really let it rip in the comments section if I so irk you- I honestly do not care. So let’s do this!

I don’t like Bruce Springsteen. His music does next to nothing for me, and I really dislike the fact that he’s heralded as New Jersey’s best cultural export.

 

Sure, there are great, very talented musicians in his band(s). He’s done interesting things with unconventional (for pop music) song forms and chord progressions.

 

I don’t like this album. #sorrynotsorry

I guess “Born to Run” is pretty decent. I don’t like his singing though, that’s just a personal taste thing. I find “Born in the USA” to be drab and boring and I have no idea why people love it so much, even when most everybody nowadays knows that it’s not patriotic whatsoever. At least on “Dancing in the Dark” he sings almost like a normal person, but that song just doesn’t do anything for me either. It’s just… there. It doesn’t move me physically or emotionally, it doesn’t make me think. At least today’s Top 40 music is fun to dance to.

 

Remember when he got really involved with John Kerry’s presidential campaign? I can’t think of any time when music and politics have mixed to that degree and I’ve been down with it…

 

Have I mentioned that I don’t like the way he sings?

 

I guess that’s really the extent of it. I don’t enjoy Bruce Springsteen’s music, songs, or singing. The dudes in his band are great musicians, but my appreciation ends there.

 

Think I’m wrong? Good for you. I’ll commit to listening to 3 Bruce Springsteen songs with an open mind, so leave a comment if you think I should reconsider. But fair warning- pretty sure I’ll be sticking to my guns on this one. Sorry, NJ.

The Best Behavior Modification Tool Ever: HabitRPG

HabitRPG Screenshot

 

For a number of years now (as long as I’ve been interested in things like biohacking, accelerated learning, self-improvement, etc.), I’ve struggled with finding effective and sustainable ways to stay organized, stay committed to completing my projects, consistently get a list of recurring daily tasks done, and create new habits. In fact, I never really considered that I could do all of those things with one system- I would try learning about how to form habits at the same time as making to-do lists or trying to learn Getting Things Done, which was a really mess.

I’m going to be straight up here- HabitRPG, the solution I’ve started using  to solve these challenges, is 100% changing my life. Or at least, helping me make the changes I want to. I have never stayed so consistently on-track, I’ve never been so persistent or gotten as much done as I have while using HabitRPG. I’m not even a big video game fan, but the way that I feel incentivized and rewarded by using Habit is apparently super powerful and it really does keep me going every day.

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Data Collection for Self-Experiments with Nootropics

Over the past week or so, I’ve begun experimenting with using different nootropics, and as I start to test out how different things (potentially) impact my productivity, mood, cognitive functioning, ADD, and sleep, it’s been important to track both objective and subjective data relating to such effects.

I’m sure plenty of readers are wondering exactly how to design self-experiments with nootropics and track this data for themselves, so without further ado, here are each of the tools and data points I’m using:

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Music Industry Problems: Labels can’t seem to find a way to profit while serving both fans and artists

This is the first post I’ll be writing on Music Industry Problems- there are a good handful of them that keep me up at night, and although I’m secretly working on solutions to almost all of them, it’s important to open up a discussion about these things.

Today’s post is one that I’m obviously very involved in figuring out, as it focuses on record labels. Labels can’t seem to find a business model or a way to profit that serves both fans and artists. Almost anything they attempt either doesn’t make them money, is restrictive upon artists, or isn’t what the fans want. Let’s go through a number of solutions that labels have tried in the past 10 years or so to make money, and break down what’s wrong with each.
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