Greg Thinks Things #11

• 7 min read

This edition catches me just at the right time as I prepare to have some time away from work and try and relax.

Greg Thinks Things #11

Hello friends,

This edition catches me just at the right time as I prepare to have some time away from work and try and relax. I’ve been hard at work for the whole of this COVID-19 stuff, and I am thrilled I have been. I am truly blessed that things have allowed me to carry on, but I really need some time to unwind.

So, this is the week before, I am writing to you all on my iPad but secretly dreaming of putting it away for a week and being offline for a while. We are closing ourselves off as a family in a holiday cottage and not venturing out too much into the wider world. I am really looking forward to taking photos in the countryside as well as drinking and eating far too much.

I will be back in time for the next newsletter so don’t fret too much, I am sure I will be typing away on my iPad some of the trip. This is usually the times I have a little bit of a ‘Gregcation’ and get myself organised again by deciding what I want to achieve and what tools are going to help me do it. Something I can’t quite get to grips with yet is my publishing tools and my blog. At the moment things are too complicated and muddled, and I’m spending too much time online that’s hurting my brain.

What to blog

I have been publishing much more to than I have to this one lately. In fact, I have imported most of my posts into it and will see how I get on. This new blog seems to have become the hub of all my social things very quickly, with a few tweaks I can import checkins from places I visit, movies I am watching and even my fitness things from Strava, so there are very few reasons to go anywhere else — plus everyone is nice when compared to Twitter!

One of my considerations going froward is to simply have for the newsletter, or migrate everything somewhere else entirely. This is where I would love a bit of feedback to what you think fits in the best. Do you read the newsletter because you read the blog, vice versa or something completely different?

I Want To Go Back

After almost a year of having an iPhone 11 I am preparing to sell it on. Not in my usual way of cashing in before the trade in price drops in preparation for the new phone, but because I just don't use it. It sits on my desk gathering dust currently and I'd like to go back to a simpler life.

The current situation has aided this, but I am not flying around the country any longer, I don’t need to answer phone calls and emails all day long, and my £1000 smartphone just sits on my desk doing nothing for more than 8 hours a day. I managed to get three days of battery life out of it last week!

So, I am debating selling it on and going back to something smaller — I really want a Punkt MP02 but can’t get hold of one, so will no doubt end up with an SE for the foreseeable. My life has changed so much over the last few months I don’t recognise myself in some respects — but I am going back to a time I was much happier.

Greg Thinks Things #11

Self Promotion

Last week Chris Wilson opened up his newsletter ‘Learn, Create, Share’ with the following quote.

“Your problem,” my brother explained “is the same as mine. We’re bad at self-promotion because we were taught not to be boastful.”

Undoubtedly this isn't the reason I never made it as a writer or content producer, but it is something that I really don't want to ever do. Sell myself to an online following is great if you can make a living out of it. However building a brand and resorting to clickbait titles, or constant self-promotion online is just not anything I ever want to resort to.

My online persona is the same as my real one, and I don't see any reason to change. Fair play if that's your thing, but too often I see great people I follow online build a following and then become boring bots of shameless self-promotion and shape themselves into something different.

Can it be self-promotion if you’re not being yourself?


During my time back browsing I have discovered quite a few newsletters that I really enjoy. Perhaps I am becoming old and boring, but I quite enjoy some personal writing into my inbox every week or so — kind of like this one — so perhaps you will too. Chris Wilson (that’s two mentions this week) has put together a list of those publishing newsletters with sign up links and a brief overview of content.

Everyone seems to be publishing one now so it’s hard to cut through all the noise and yells for money. This is mainly tied to micro.bog users, but if you have any more suggestions for those that should be listed then please let me know of your favourites. Newsletters have replaced much of what I used RSS for, and if every blogger could send an update each couple of weeks that would be great.

Greg Thinks Things #11

Traffic Increase And Cycling

Thanks to the lifting of lockdown and the encouragement to go back to work the roads are now bustling with traffic at all times in the day. What a real shame this is that life has returned to relatively normal so quickly and the roads returned to their normal state of treachery. Several accidents have occurred locally and I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come.

I don’t believe many things in life are binary and the lockdown has provided those of us lucky enough to get through it with some positives. The increase in personal activity levels are proving a huge positive for many people. In fact the roads are busier with more cyclists and runners than I have ever seen before but extra care is now needed as things return to more like normal. The roads are filled with drivers that seem more aggressive than before, and less aware of the influx of cyclist than they should be.

Let’s hope that this huge push into cycling isn’t ended by an increase in accidents and injury to those reaping the benefits.

They Don’t Like You

The irony is that the people we’re most likely to want to trust and engage with are the ones who don’t pose. They’re consistent, committed and clear, but they’re not faking it. - Seth Godin

I seriously doubt Seth reads my newsletter but this post seems to tug on the things that I was approaching last edition. The apparent rise and rise of taking pictures just to show off what you are doing, or rather doing things just so you can pose for photos.

This isn’t new information but those people online you flex your ego to are not your real friends, those likes you get doesn’t mean they like you — the people around you are your friends. They know the real you, who you actually are and they see the difference in who you are on social media. Put the phone down and enjoy those people instead of showing off to people online.

The Panopticon Is Already Here
Xi Jinping is using artificial intelligence to enhance his government’s totalitarian control—and he’s exporting this technology to regimes around the globe.
The Virus Is a Reminder of Something Lost Long Ago
In rebuilding a broken world, we will have the chance to choose a less hurried life.
Beware the ‘But China’ Excuses
Just because U.S. politicians and tech giants are blaming China, doesn’t mean we should be scared.
To Be a Parent Right Now Is To Be a Liar
We tell our kids we’ll keep them safe, but every interaction is a breach of this trust.

Before I go

There are no books this week, I haven’t managed to do much reading other than a few pages before bed. I am hoping to get through a few when taking time away and have a few to share when I return. How is life going with you and all your family, I hope the very best for you.

Gabz posed the question of taking the newsletter to every friday - thoughts?

Take care of yourself and wear a mask.


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