Aidan's Infinite Play 15 The Best Of 2022
Happy holidays players!
Today's post is a little different. For this post, I thought I would do three things:
- Share the best posts I created this year
- Share the best books I read this year
- Get your wonderful comments on book suggestions and things your excited for in 2023.
Let's get into it!
My Best Content From This Year
How I Gamified My Life to Enjoy Learning/Studying: In this three part series, I explore my childhood addiction to video games to uncover what it was about them that made me so addicted? To answer, I uncover how games target the eight fundamental core drives of human motivation, the differences between games and real life, and how we can use gamification to make our real lives more engaging.
Aidan's Infinite Play 13 Using Gamification To Bring Enjoyment Back to Life: Why is work often easier to enjoy than leisure? How is work secretly organized like a game? How can we use an understanding of what makes work and games engaging to make other activities more engaging as well? These are the questions I grapple in this edition of Aidan's Infinite Play.
How I Remember What I Read:: I explore my eight stage journey to learning to read more effectively. The eight stages are modeled after social classes in the fantasy series by Brandon Sanderson, The Stormlight Archives, mostly because it's super cool.
How I Take Book Notes in Obsidian: Compound Your Knowledge!: I explain the step-by-step process I have for taking book notes in Obsidian, including creating atomic notes and making them visual using the Excalidraw plug-in.
Solving The Folder, Tags, Links Debate With MOCs (Maps of Content): There has long been a battle over how to organize things inside of Obsidian and the PKM community. Folders, Tags, or Links. I answer this question definitively today through organizing with Maps of Content (MOCs), an idea initially put forward by Nick Milo in the Obsidian community. I will take you through my exact process for creating MOCs with my Happiness MOC and discuss the advantages of organizing this way.
Watch This to Finally Understand The Zettelkasten Method in Obsidian: The Obsidian Zettelkasten method is notoriously convoluted in the PKM community. There are so many videos, workflows, and articles written about it. In this video, I give a comprehensive overlook of the method in an attempt to help people understand it for themselves.
Nicole van der Hoeven: Obsidian The Everything App: Nicole van der Hoeven is a YouTuber, developer advocate for k6, and Dungeons and Dragons, lover. For the last 7 months, she has organized her life inside the task and knowledge management app Obsidian. This podcast episode discusses how she uses Obsidian for her YouTube creation, Dungeons and Dragons playing, friendships, and consulting. We talk about how many second-brainers overcomplicate their systems. All it is is taking notes.
Best Books I Read This Year
Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks: easily the best book I have ever read on storytelling. Dicks--unfortunate last name lol--defines what a story is, how to find stories in your life, and finally, what makes a good story. He also illuminates the power telling stories can have for healing from trauma, making meaning of your life, and making life more enjoyable.
The Extended Mind (Anne Murphy Paule): For most of human history, we have ascribed to the idea that cognition is brainbound, stimuli come into our brain, and we act based on those stimuli. Extended mind theory argues that cognition isn't bound to only our brain but extends itself into the outside environment. This fact gave me many action points on how to better structure my environment to follow my values.
Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience: I recently re-read this book for the second time, and it now forms a large foundation of my worldview. Mihayl argues that the people who live the best lives are those who find out how to reliably bring order to consciousness and enter the flow state, a state in which someone becomes wholly absorbed in an activity and feels like they are flowing through time. They do this by developing the skill of attending only to information that matters most for a particular activity.
Antifragile by Nassim Taleb: Taleb integrates all of the ideas from his other books--Black Swans, Skin in The Game, Randomness, and more--into this seminal book. He defines Antifragility as a system that gains from disorder. Then he gives examples of its presence and absence and how you can harbor it in your own life to gain from disorder.
How to Read a Book: There are four reading methods: elementary, inspectional, analytical, and synoptical. But in a world dominated by shallow information consumption, most people only understand how to do the first two levels. Many people need to learn to synoptically read even though it's the most important. This book teaches exactly how to do so.
Siddhartha: follows the spiritual journey of a young Indian boy. Fed up with the security and safety of his monk life childhood, Siddhartha sets off into the world with his best friend Govinda to enact a quest to reach nirvana. The book ultimately asks us to consider, is some amount of suffering necessary to attain wisdom?
The Stormlight Archives: My favorite fantasy series I have ever read. On the land of Roshar, it has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them. We follow our three main characters as they battle identity, politics, war, deception, and more. I love the series so much because there are many incredible insights you can take into real life. Some of my favorites are summed up in the pledge of the Knights Radiant: life before death, strength before weakness, and journey before destination.
The First Law Trilogy: grim dark fantasy at its best. This series investigates the dark nature of human beings. It takes place on a land riddled with war between the rule-based capitalist Union, the unruly chaos-ridden North, the mysterious Gurkish South, and all the land in between. Every one of it's six main characters is despicable to the core. Every time you think they will change for the better and finally something good will happen, you get let down. However, despite it's cynical nature, there are many good things to take away from the series if you take it satirically.
Respond to this email and comment with your book suggestions and things you are excited for in 2023!