Finder’s Stationery Pad Feature – How Is This Not More Well Known? →:

Tim Hardwick, writing for MacRumors:

Stationery Pad is a handy way to nix a step in your workflow if you regularly use document templates on your Mac. The long-standing Finder feature essentially tells a file’s parent application to open a copy of it by default, ensuring that the original file remains unedited.

Follow the link for a way to set any file on your Mac to be a template file, so you don’t overwrite it. I don’t feel bad for not knowing about this trick, since I’ve never heard it discussed, and since the name doesn’t really describe what it does. On the other hand, I feel stupid for never wondering what that checkbox does. This will be very handy for automation tools like Keyboard Maestro.

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(Via 40Tech)

Pretty useful feature I may have to play with more.

Stoic movie review: RBG – How to Be a Stoic:

Now, why do I think of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a Stoic role model, and have included the documentary about her in my Stoic movie reviews? Three reasons, all of them explored in the film. First off, and most obviously, she embodies at least three of the Stoic virtues: courage, justice, and temperance. The above biographical sketch should leave no doubts about her commitment to social justice, in a sense that is aligned with the Stoic conception of it, and which unfortunately is easily forgotten by a number of self-professing modern Stoics: we are all human beings, members of the human cosmopolis, to be treated fairly and equally. But she also clearly showed plenty of courage, standing up for the right thing to do, both in terms of her own professional career and on behalf of millions of women, for many decades. She did all this in the right major, rarely if ever departing from a no-nonsense approach that would calibrate her reactions to the problem at hand, thus practicing the virtue of temperance. (I cannot comment on her practical wisdom, as that one is a virtue that is usually deployed only by people who consciously think of themselves as Stoics.)

Second, her firm rejection of anger as a useful emotion. The documentary mentions this several times, adding that she inherited the attitude from her mother. Anger, as Seneca puts it, is temporary madness, and not conducive to act reasonably, even when it may be justified by an injustice. RBG has suffered plenty of personal injustices, and has fought on behalf of many others treated unjustly, throughout her life. And yet she has managed to maintain her calm in the midst of plenty of storms, a most Stoic trait.

Finally, and most surprisingly, her apparently genuine friendship with the now deceased Justice Antonin Scalia. Despite their diametrically opposite positions on all sorts of social issues, they were warm toward each other, went on vacation trips together, and made several joint public appearances. I have to admit that I probably would not have the fortitude to stomach a friendship with a person like Scalia, who I found to be despicable. But that’s because I’m not a sage, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a better Stoic than I am. Her behavior toward Scalia embodies the difficult to internalize Stoic notion that nobody does evil on purpose, but only because they are misguided. As Marcus says:

“They are certainly moved toward things because they suppose them to be suitable to their nature and profitable to them. ‘But it is not so.’ Teach them then, and show them without being angry.” (Meditations VI.27)

(Via How To Be A Stoic)

There certainly has been a push lately around Justice Ginsburg. I like the story of her and the late Justice Scalia. Regardless of the political perspectives each held they could have not just an honorable debate but a genuine friendship.

Using Request to Download Financial Data | Irreal:

Sebastian Schweer has a nice post on using the request package to query an online financial service and download current stock quotes. That data is placed in an Org table along with certain historical data (such as purchase date and original cost) and used to calculate the current value of his stock holdings. The table can, of course, be exported to produce a nicely formatted report.

This post is similar to the one by Charl Botha that I wrote about previously. If you need to programmatically retrieve data from a restful website, you should carefully study these two posts. They show how to use the request package and then parse out the data. Sadly, I haven’t had a need to use these techniques but I’m really looking forward to when I do. Request, let-list, and the rest are tools that I’m dying to try out.


This is pretty cool. I can see using this in my iOS workflows & automation as well.

Reproducible Research for Management | Irreal:

Derek Feichtinger has an interesting post in which he describes the application of reproducible research and literate programming to management problems. As an example, he considers generating a budget for a pair of related projects. His workflow is to first generate an outline describing his goal and the information he has and to refine that with subheadings as more information becomes available. That provides a history of the project and automatically tracks changes.


I really like this idea. Something to think about.

New word (to me) from the Washington Post:

I. vt To cut off, as a vowel or a syllable, usually the final one; to subject to elision.
II. vt To break or dash in pieces; to Demolish; as, to elide the force of an Argument.

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All the books Bill Gates has recommended over the last eight years:

Bill Gates has become a powerful influence on publishing. An endorsement from the philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder can cause tangible sales spikes, reminiscent of the golden ticket that once came with being picked for Oprah’s book club.

So just what does Gates read? Quartz manually compiled all 186 of the books mentioned on his blog, which dates back to January 2010, and organized them by topic. We’ve included all titles, even those of which Gates was mostly critical, like Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist. But this is relatively rare; Gates usually only blogs about books he recommends.

Gates reads little fiction, as he readily admits, but will dabble in YA, comedic memoir, and graphic novels on occasion. As the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he is wont to recommend books on development, poverty, disease, and education on his blog.

Gates, of course, reads books on scientific topics like biology and physics, but he’s also a big fan of books that offer a scientific or mathematical framework for seeing the world, like What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by xkcd’s Randall Munroe. Many of the books Gates endorses, especially those that focus on the long arc of human civilization, both its past and future, argue for an optimistic outlook. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World—and Why Things Are Better than You Think, a book by the late Hans Rosling, his son, and his daughter-in-law, does both: It argues for an optimism about the world through principles of sound scientific thinking, and it got a strong endorsement from Gates this year.

Vaclav Smil is the author Gates has mentioned the most on his blog. Smil is a highly prolific academic emeritus from the University of Manitoba in Canada, who writes about energy and public policy, among other things. Over the years Gates has recommended so many books by Smil that they warrant their own category.

In the scheme of things, Gates surprisingly does not frequently recommend books about business success or digital technology.

(Via Quartz » Technology)

Quartz classified the books, so check out the article (or save it for later asI am doing).

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I’m at an izakaya. Two women on the other side of the counter are asleep. It’s 5pm Tokyo time. UPDATE: they woke up (only a nap?) & use their own utensils to eat

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