1. Liverpool FC. I am supporting Liverpool since the legendary 2005 Istanbul CL final and watching them closely since 2012-2013. In 2019 they produced one of the best comebacks in the history of football, they won 3 trophies and, after winning the Club World Cup, they can claim they are the best football team on Earth. Would absolutely love to see them also winning the Premier League trophy in May 2020.
3. Nintendo Switch. Because it can bring the family together in amazing ways during the long, winter evenings. And because it allows the players to actually move while playing (with games such as Just Dance, Fitness Boxing, etc)
4. Security. I know, it was also present in the 2018 list. But guess what, I am pretty sure it will still be present in 2020. I am working in this field and I am enjoying every minute of it. I built how2factor.info, I attended a great workshop and learned a lot from a lot of sources.
In the last day of the year, it’s time to look back at the year and highlight the things that enjoyed in 2018. For reference, here is the list from the last year.
1. Two books: Daemon and Freedom, by Daniel Suarez. Absolutely brilliant, I don’t know how I missed them for so many years. Here’s an excerpt:
The Code book from Simon Singh was probably the runner-up – a few months ago I ordered the printed version and read it again after 5 years.
2. My new notebook: Huawei Matebook x Pro. Say what you want about Huawei, but they came up with a brilliant device. Miles ahead of the premium-priced Macbooks, it fundamentally changed my workflow. Never been a tablet guy and probably never be, so the combination of an iPhone + an ultrabook like the Matebook works best for me.
3.WorkFlowy: an exponent of the makers (*) culture, WorkFlowy is a dead-simple, cross-platform note-taking app. The hierarchical structure of the notes makes it compatible with mind-mapping and I found myself using it in a variety of ways. For instance, I drafted the outline of this post in WorkFlowy. Others wrote books with it:
(*) the makers culture: Peter Levels https://levels.io/ https://makebook.io/ https://twitter.com/ajlkn https://carrd.co/
4. A place: the Austrian Alps in the summer time. I had the chance to spend about a week in the mountains. The combination of mountains, clean air, outdoor activities and clear blue sky is amazing. Just have a look:
5. Security. There were plenty of security things that I learned in 2018. Went to a few classroom training sessions (CISM, CISSP, TLS), passed some challenging certification exams, and realized that (IT) security is a fascinating domain with a lot of brilliant people.
The IT industry rocks (as one of the security guys that I follow said today), and on top of that, the security aspects make things much more interesting to watch.
6. Simona Halep: not only for finally winning her Grand Slam, but also for having the capacity to remain competitive for a long time: never dropped out of the top 10 for over 5 years and currently number 1 for more than a year (with a brief 4-weeks interruption). Well deserved and very inspirational.
7. Two series: Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. I enjoyed watching Breaking Bad when it was released on Netflix, and found the Better Call Saul a very good continuation of the series. Now that Better Call Saul is over, I went back to re-watch Breaking Bad – it’s amazing how a few years and another prequel change the perspective.
8. Jurgen Klopp. He joined Liverpool 3 years ago and built an amazing team around him. One can learn a lot about leadership just by listening to his interviews. Humble and determined, he’s a perfect fit for Liverpool and you can sense how everybody around the club loves him.
10. Tesla Model S. Finally, I left this at the end because it offered me some very mixed feelings. As I said in a recent post, the car is really amazing and it offers an experience that you will not find anywhere else. But the quality of the support services is disappointing here in Belgium. I hope that things will improve, even though I’m not holding my breath.
Here’s for a brilliant 2019 and remember, in the end it’s all about getting better.
Time to look back at 2017 and put together a few things that I enjoyed.
You can read the rest of this post while playing the song below, one of the things that will remind of 2017:
1. A book:Sapiens: A brief history of humankind, by Yuval Harari.
If you want to explain to an alien who we are and what’s our story on Earth, this is probably your handbook. A lot of insightful ideas and explanations, but one that stuck in my mind was how evolution doesn’t care about the individual:
The Agricultural Revolution left farmers with lives generally more difficult and less satisfying than those of foragers. Hunter-gatherers spent their time in more stimulating and varied ways, and were less in danger of starvation and disease. The Agricultural Revolution certainly enlarged the sum total of food at the disposal of humankind, but the extra food did not translate into a better diet or more leisure. The average farmer worked harder than the average forager, and got a worse diet in return. The Agricultural Revolution was history’s biggest fraud.
The evolutionary success of a species is measured by the number of copies of its DNA. If a species boasts many DNA copies, it is a success, and the species flourishes. From such a perspective, 1000 copies are always better than a hundred copies. This is the essence of the Agricultural Revolution: the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions.
Quote from the book on goodreads.com
2. A photo editing tool:Photolemur. It promises to edit all your photos in one click, with the help of artificial intelligence. I like taking pictures, but I was never really into photo editing. So I am happy to leave this part to AI 🙂
And the results are not bad:
3. A place: Tuscany. One of the most amazing places in Italy, which is in turn one of the most amazing places in Europe. I spent there a full week last summer and I enjoyed every day of it!
4. A game:Really Bad Chess One of the very few games I play; really smart and so addictive that I’m playing it daily. The classic rules of chess apply, but you play with random pieces (ex. you can start with 3 queens and 4 towers).
5. A movie. I did not watch too many movies in 2017. But I watched again (after 8 years) Inglorious Basterds, and I believe that the way Christoph Waltz is playing the German detective is a masterpiece. I could watch it over and over again:
6. A learning tool. I am trying to constantly learn new things. Learning how to learn is one of them. Brainscape helps me create flash cards on my laptop and study them on my phone, whenever I have a few minutes free. Highly motivating.
7. A blog:waitbutwhy.com. Even if I know it for a couple of years, it’s in 2017 when I spent lots of time reading it. The series of posts about Elon Musk are really entertaining, but you have to see them as small novels instead of blog posts. Tim Urban (the author) has a funny way of zooming out and showing you things from a higher perspective.
8. An event: In 2017 I was lucky to attend a number of interesting sports events. I went for the first time on Anfield to watch Liverpool play in Champions League, I saw Ronnie O’Sullivan winning the Snooker Masters in London, and was present to the amazing comeback of Simona Halep in the quarter finals of Roland Garros.
But the live event that I enjoyed the most was no doubt the summer Coldplay concert in Brussels. The sport events have their own way of making you feel the moment, but once it’s over there’s not too much left. But a music concert is different. The way the songs make their way into your mind turns the entire experience into something close to magic and create long-lasting memories.
9. Writing In line with one of the resolutions for 2017, I tried to write a bit more. I had a few guest posts about snooker, football and analytics on anglofil.ro and doubled the number of posts on this blog. Turns out, writing is one of the experiences that I enjoy 🙂
10. A picture: Romanian protests in Bucharest, February 2017. To be continued in 2018…