Five Things – 31-12-16

Welcome to the final Five Things for 2016, I hope you’ve been enjoying them. I know a lot of people have been decrying this as not a great year so I though I’d share a few articles showing some the more positive stories of 2016.


Ryan Holiday on Reading, What it Means to be a Stoic, and How to Take Notes—The Knowledge Project

Anyone who talks to me about personal philosophies will often hear me mention Stoicism, in this interview with Ryan Holiday by Shane Parrish from Farnham Street, Holiday explains the Stoic philosophy and how he learnt to take notes from Robert Greene.

If you like this interview and are interested in exploring the Holiday’s work on Stoicism, he has two great books on the subject: The Obstacle is the Way, and Ego is the Enemy.

Now for the good news: things really are getting better—The Guardian

I’m a bit of a data visualisation geek, so this article is a great look at the worldwide decrease in violence in the last decade. As Steven Pinker points out, if you just follow the headlines things look grim, but looking at the data points to a great trend for humanity.

The Year In Memes—New York Magazine

2016 was a great year in meme culture, with so many great memes created! New York Magazine did a great job collating them together into a meme for every day of the year, including descriptions for each one.

Overpopulation – The Human Explosion Explained—Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

An interesting look into the growth of the worlds population and how countries go through Demographic Transition to equalise their population growth. With an interesting look into how the world population will change in the future.

Goal Setting: A Scientific Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals—James Clear

Since it’s that time of year, I thought it would be worth sharing one of the best articles I’ve read on goal setting, and ensuring you achieve them.


If you’re looking to get into some good fiction next year I strongly suggest The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss I devoured this book in a day in the last week, and I’ve now started the sequel, it’s some of the best fantasy I’ve read in a long time.

And for a final note, I hope you have been getting value out of Five Things this year, and I hope you continue to into the next year. I also hope you have a wonderful, inspirational, and productive 2017.


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