Broadly Helpful/Interesting
with Self-Improvement Leaning

Addressing Life, Work, Relationships, Mental Health, Habits, and Culture
  • Mark Manson (Blogger and Book Author. Wrote NYT Bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.)  
  • Eric Barker (Blogger and Book Author. Wrote WSJ Bestseller Barking up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong.) 
  • James Clear (Blogger and Book Author. Wrote NYT Bestseller Atomic Habits. Be sure not to miss his 3rd party Great Speeches section.) 
  • Stephen Guise  (Blogger and Book Author. Wrote several very popular books on habits and How to be an imperfectionist. Interview with Brian Johnson regarding latter book.)
  • Rich Roll Podcast (Podcaster, Book Author (have not read his book), Ultra Endurance Athlete. Great variety of guests. Kindness and honesty shine through.)
  • Impact Theory Podcast with Tom Bilyeu (Very thoughtful interviewer — does lots of preparation. Has fascinating array of guests. Pretty "intense" guy.)
  • Lex Fridman (Love this guy — on many fronts. AI, Machine Learning, and Robotics Researcher, Podcaster. Diverse guests, including in particular those related to AI, science, mathematics, and more. Kind, deeply open to "possibility", near zero hubris, loving, and appears (from my listening) to overlap with me in some deep ways re Affectionate Technology. Here he is being interviewed by Andrew Huberman in the Huberman Lab Podcast:  Dr. Lex Fridman: Machines, Creativity & Love)
  • Blaz Kos (Creator of Agile Lean Life blog.)
  • Jordan Petersonan interview with him by Tom above. (Lecturer, Book Author, Speaker. Wrote the best-seller "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos". Extremely articulate, interesting, highly controversial character. When I have time, I am going to write a blog post on this matter, where, as several thoughtful people have said (though a tiny minority compared to those claiming he is either the 2nd coming of Christ, or the devil incarnate), the most interesting thing may not be Peterson himself, but society's wildly polarized reaction to him — as well as the near incomprehensible shallowness and misrepresentation evidenced in some of his early, prominent interviews. (He deserves to be challenged for what he says and believes, not for what he does not — and as viewers we deserve that too.) In the meantime, regardless of what you may have heard-of/think-of him benevolent, wise, common-sense, compassionate, loving, savior ... or ... misogynistic, racist, right wing, patriarchal, Christian, fascist I encourage listing to the above interview.)
  • Sam Harris (Book Author, Speaker, Podcaster. Very clear and deep thinker and into meditation. One of the members of "THE FOUR HORSEMEN The Conversation That Sparked an Atheist Revolution".)
  • Tim Ferris (Book Author, Blogger, Podcaster. Wrote the best-seller 4-Hour Workweek. He is in the process of deep personal introspective and change; he discusses that in an interview on the Rich Roll Podcast.)
  • Ken Honda (Book Author, Speaker, Counselor. Wrote Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money "... his writings bridge the topics of finance and self-help, focusing on creating and generating personal wealth and happiness through deeper self-honesty. He is the first person from Japan to be voted into the Transformational Leadership Council." He is deeply kind, human, and honest. Here is an interview of him on the Adam Markel podcast, and another The Zen Millionaire’s Secret to Creating Abundance | Ken Honda on Impact Theory.
  • James Altucher (Book Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Business Guy. Wild, amazingly honest, and well worth your time. Been interviewed by many podcasters, including on Impact Theory.)
  • Joe Rogan (Have very much enjoyed the several podcasts I have seen so far, as well as his conversations with Lex Fridman. Joe appears honest, sane, thoughtful, kind, and deeply curious. He has an enormous following and very diverse guests. In this regard, I feel the recent (2022) failed attempts to "cancel" him were and are misguided.
    (Interestingly his comedy — he is also a professional comedian — from the little I have seen, is far from my style. This has nothing to do with the quality of his material — rather, I find the emotional tone of his act too "harsh" to be able to enjoy the content; I feel to some degree "assaulted" — "unsafe" even. What I find striking about this is that it is the exact opposite of how I feel listening to his podcasts. If I ever have a chance to talk with him, I would be curious to explore whether he experiences any of this same dichotomy. He is also apparently a skilled martial artist, but I do not know enough to say more on that front.)
  • Positive Thinking / Motivational Speakers/Writers etc. (And, for balance: Mark Manson (see above) Vigorously arguing against the entire Positive Thinking movement.)

Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, and Healing: Teachers, Writers, Support

(Prior self help category includes element of this too but is typically more general in scope, including politics, business, athletics, and more.)

Humor

  • New Yorker Cartoons:
  • XKCD "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." See for example #162, #2620, #489, #1022, #208 (< will only make sense if you are familiar with Perl and Regular Expressions), #688.
  • Cartoonist Dave Coverly.
  • Chuck Norris Jokes/Facts and yet another compilation (e.g., out of many greats: "Chuck Norris counted to infinity… twice.")
  • Great snippet on man-woman relationships by humorist Dave Barry.
  • Santa Physics (First main section is in my view by far the best.) 
  • Programming Sucks ("Most people don’t even know what sysadmins do, but trust me, if they all took a lunch break at the same time they wouldn’t make it to the deli before you ran out of bullets protecting your canned goods from roving bands of mutants.") 
  • Great BC Cartoon by John Hart Studios.
  • Steven Wright. Too much to list.
    (Changed my mind — while indeed too much to list, have to share at least a few gems.)
    • You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
    • A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths.
    • I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.
    • I replaced the headlights on my car with strobe lights. Now it looks like I'm the only one moving.
    • Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.
    • I saw a man with a wooden leg, and a real foot.
    • It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it.
    • (Hover here to see a few more culled delights. Web has 109 more...)
  • George Carlin. Too much to list.
  • Woody Allen. Too much to list.
  • Peter Sellers. Pink Panther movies (at least).
  • Lewis Black. Too much to list. (But like with Steven Write, have to share at least one — this actually of him reading a fan-submitted rant onstage: Chunky Peanut Butter Takes a Hithttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U66KlqJPGo Duration 5:44.)
  • Gary Larson. Too much to list. (He's back!)

Visual Art: Primarily Techno/Kinetic

Science, Math, Education, and Calculation

  • TED talk "Do schools kill creativity?" by Sir Ken Robinson ("Mrs. Lynne, Gillian isn't sick. She's a dancer.") 
  • Grant Sanderson / 3blue1brown (Fantastic math education videos — friendly, clear, playful, supportive, connective, highly visual. From the calculus intro "... my goal is for you to come away feeling you could have invented calculus yourself." ~90 min interview of Grant by Dave Perell.) 
  • Khan Academy (Diverse, clear, blackboard-style explanations. (Have not personally reviewed any non-tech subjects.)) 
  • Brilliant (Subscription-based website providing visually-engaging and educational interactive tools to help understand diverse technical subject.) 
  • Better Explained (The website of Kalid Azad, created to to help document and provide improved, intuitive explanations for various technical concepts.) 
  • Domain of Science (YouTube channel of Dominic Walliman. Here is a video I watched and enjoyed — The Map of Mathematics. I hope to watch The Map of Physics soon. And here is Can I Explain the Schrödinger Equation in 60 Seconds? And here is a TEDx talk, at the end of which he lists principles of good teaching.) 
  • Richard Feynman (Nobel prize-winning physicist and entertainer. Lots of good stuff.) 
  • Fabien Paillusson (Complex Matter Physicist, with willingness/interest in tackling quantum mechanics "meaning" questions. See for example 'Is Quantum Mechanics “Crazy enough”?') 
  • Leonard Susskind (Stanford physicist and 'one of the Fathers of string theory'. I watched a Y Combinator interview Leonard Susskind on Richard Feynman, the Holographic Principle, and Unanswered Questions in Physics that I quite enjoyed. From that I bumped into (but have yet to examine) his site Theoretical Minimum 'Fat advanced textbooks are not suitable to people who have no teacher to ask questions of, and the popular literature does not go deeply enough to satisfy these curious people.') 
  • Quantum Mechanics: Two Rules and No Math by Christopher Monroe (3-1/2 minute video. Institute for Quantum Computing.) 
  • Tibees / Toby Hendy (Need to think further how to characterize. Can say: a) "Environment" within which info presented, broadly speaking, very appealing. b) Idea of reviewing exams from major universities — which I have yet to have time to peruse, quite an interesting idea.) 
  • Vijart (Mesmerizing, fun, high-energy math doodles/stories.) 
  • Veritasium by Derek Muller (Engaging videos covering a wide range of math and science topics.) 
  • Noam Chomsky (Education For Whom and For What? Very interesting, and at times horrifying, historical perspective/info.) 
  • More Calculator / Seer Like
    • Wolfram Alpha (Too comprehensive to explain here — see site. If using for calculus etc., be sure you understand the expected form of the answer sufficiently to filter out elements above/beyond/sideways from what you are looking for.) 
    • Google (Yes, does calculations, multi-equation plots, and more — just type into search bar, for example, "plot y=2^x+5, y=x^2".) 
  • Websites, Magazines, and Organizations
    • Quanta Magazine (Diverse interesting science articles written for the (educated) layperson.) 

Business & Entrepreneurship

Visionary and/or Simply Super Interesting

  • Eric Drexler (Author of The Engines of Creation. Early articulated of much of what nano-technology might come to offer. Was involved in founding Foresight Institute. I attended some of his early IAP lectures at MIT.) 
  • Yuval Noah Harari (Fascinating speaker/writer. The 2 Most Important Skills For the Rest Of Your Life interview with Tom at Impact Theory above. Book Sapiens (read Kindle sample so far).) 
  • Ray Kurzweil (Books include The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. One core idea: People do not appreciate exponential growth.) 
  • Brett Victor (Focused on computer UI design (in its deepest sense), with significant math and physics background.) 

Tech Info

Software Utilities (that I find useful, including at least some that are not so common everyone has heard of)
[I did not specify which are free vs. paid because too many nuances to make sane — e.g., feature-differences, personal vs. commercial use, etc.]
  • The Journal by David Michael (Great journaling program. Powerful enough to be almost a complete office management/organization app — at least in terms of note-taking, TODOs, archiving, etc. Features include: Arbitrary-depth tree-structured organization; clickable links to any content — within journal, within office, or on Internet; search; keyword and topic tagging; calendar, alarms, timers; image and doodle support; and more. (Another option that I have used much less, but from my reading and quick playing is also impressive — offering a substantially different feature set — is Diarium by Timo Partl) {Both Windows}) 
  • TextAloud and ReadAloud (Reads text back to you at any speed. Useful for many things; I offer here primarily as final step in proofing important docs for typos. I find this method catches WAY more errors (assuming one is a native speaker of the language - I have just explored English) than (only) using Word, Grammerly, or the like. {Windows})
  • How to add formatted text (bold, italics, etc.) to LinkedIn chat (and other supporting normally-text-only apps) YayText {Online}
  • FastKeys Automation Software (A wonderful Text Expander, Clipboard Manager, Macro Recorder, Custom Mouse Gesture Creator/Recognizer, and more (e.g., make any window stay on top, and a zillion other things). Great time-saver. Built on top of, and extendable through, AutoHotkey. {Windows}) 
  • Tidy Tabs (Adds tabs like browsers have to any Windows application. A really handy little utility.) [Script for FastKeys (and presumably AutoHotkey) to allow Ctrl-Alt-T command to allow function as a Windows Explorer "Duplicate Tab" command for TidyTabs.] {Windows}) 
  • dtSearch Desktop (Powerful indexed search engine that can find things like one word near another but not near a third, within terabytes of data, in seconds. Allows quickly finding items decades old, and where one has only vague recollection of details. {Windows} Note that I have recently discovered a free alternative (relevant because dtSearch has not insignificant cost). I need to assess it further before fully recommending, but in the meantime, here it is DocFetcher. Similar to dtSearch, and unlike many other Windows offerings, it does full file content indexing, as well as offering a "powerful query syntax" (like "within N words of") as described in prior link. However, DocFetcher does not appear to index filenames for file types whose contents are not also indexed. Thus, you may wish to examine the very nice non-file-content-indexing program Everything. It has very powerful file name, folder name, hierarchy, and meta-data searchability options. See https://www.voidtools.com/support/everything/searching/ to get a sense of its power.) 
  • WinDirStat (Shows disk usage in beautiful graph design. {Windows, but shares links for Mac and Linux as well})
  • More specialized (although it's not entirely by what criteria I sectioned-out the items below...):
    • General:
      • WinMerge (File and folder comparison utility, with built-in Windows Shell functionality (very handy). {Windows})
      • FS Capture (A lightweight screen-capture utility, offering among other things the very handy functionality of auto-scrolling long web pages etc. in order to capture an image larger than fits on the screen. {Windows})
      • PixelRuler — "The screen ruler for graphic artists & web designers" (A pixel ruler, on-screen RGB color picker, multi-monitor-functional (x,y) coordinate displayer, and more. {Windows})
      • Image Eye (No border image viewer. {Windows}) 
      • See Through Windows by MOBZystems (Makes any window semi-transparent, optionally transparent to mouse clicks, and optionally always on top. (Unfortunately does not provide method to turn off auto-starting with Windows, but easy to disable with built-in Win 10/11 Startup list or Sysinternals Autoruns.) {Windows})
      • MediaInfo (Provides detailed info — file wrapper, codec, and more — for video and audio files. {Windows, Mac, Linux, More})
      • DoubleKiller Pro (Finds and removes duplicate files. Utility has not been updated in more than decade, however works fine on Windows 10. Why do I recommend it? Because it is the only duplicate file remover I have encountered that includes the critical execution-time-saving concept of a "reference library" - that is, a library of files that are not compared to each other, but rather, "fresh" files are compared to each other and to the library. (A program which I have just begun evaluating, and which does not quite have the desired structure above, but might be similar if multiple de-duping passes are applied, is AllDup) {Windows})
      • Rename Master (A batch file renaming program that I just encountered and have used once and seems nice. Quite old - last updated 2010 I believe. But works fine on Windows 11 and donations to site (it's freeware) remain current. And seems better (for my needs anyway) than newer free alternatives I examined.)
      • Neat Video/Image (Professional grade video and still photo image cleanup utility. {Diverse app and OS integration} Good alternatives include spatial and temporal filter built into DaVinci Resolve Studio (not part of free version).)
      • Google (NOT as a search tool!) (Enter plot y=e^(x)*sin(10x), y=x^2. {Online})
      • RapidTables Online Calculators & Tools (Hard to classify — check it out. {Online})
      • FreeFileSync Open Source File Synchronization (One of the few such tools that appears to intelligently handle moved or renamed files/folders — something that matters a lot with terabytes of (say) video files. {Windows, Max, Linux})
      • AlphaConv by Adam Najmanowicz — A 32bit image converter (PNG, BMP & TGA) (A handy little utility for converting, for example, transparent PNGs to 32 bit BMPs. {Windows} His link of http://www.najmanowicz.com/temp/AlphaConv.zip at https://blog.najmanowicz.com/search/alphaconv/ does not currently appear to be working (was recently, 2022...?); I have provided it here.)
      • MPEG Streamclip: video converter for Mac & Windows (One of the few ways left (tested 2022 on Windows 11) to, with high quality, generate PHOTO-JPEG/MJPEG QuickTime .mov movies, following Apple's/Adobe's unfortunate deprecation of same. (We have not found FFMPEG to provide high enough quality even using its highest quality setting — in addition it being far from trivial to use. Another option, but more complex: Blackmagic Davinci Resolve (free or paid version).) {Windows, Mac})
    • Visualizations, mind maps, flowcharts:
      • XMind (Mind Mapping. {Windows, Max, Linux, Online, More})
      • VUE (Information organization. Tufts University project. {Windows, Max, Linux})
      • Lucid Chart (Diverse information organization. {Online})
    • Code development:
    • Windows Tech: (Primarily software-based information on hardware.)
      • Microsoft Sysinternal by Mark Russinovich (Diverse useful utilities. {Windows})
      • NirSoft by Nir Sofer (Diverse useful utilities. {Windows})
      • Hard Disk Sentinel ("Hard Disk Sentinel is a multi-OS SSD and HDD monitoring and analysis software. Its goal is to find, test, diagnose and repair hard disk drive problems, report and display SSD and HDD health, performance degradations and failures.". It also provides the hardware sector-size. (See "Disk hardware sector size" below.) {Multi OS})
      • Belarc Advisor (Provides vast amount of detail regarding ones PC. {Windows})
      • CPU-Z (Provides diverse PC hardware info. {Windows, Android})
      • PC Benchmarking by PassMark Software. (Includes both benchmark utilities for your PC, and vast database to explore/compare-against. {Windows, Mac, Linux, More})
    • Wacky-ass technical shit no one (or almost no one...) should ever have to deal with:
    • Misc:
      • Vimeo: To move video by one frame, hold Shift key down when pressing left/right arrow keys. (Note that if uploading 60/59.97 fps videos, arrow key appears to perhaps move two frames at a time, and where which frames are seen may not be the same moving forwards and backwards.)
      • Amazon Subscribe and Save Order History: [As of 2022-07-31, there is no way to display a comprehensive order history for purchased products ordered in this way. (Weird: I have made a feature-request to add,) You can see an individual item's order history by: a) Going to "Subscribe and Save Items"; b) Selecting the "active shipping address" for the item you care about (where history will presumably be as delivered to that address only) — irrelevant if you have only one address; c) Selecting the "Subscriptions" tab; d) Clicking on the item in question. d) Clicking on "View delivery history".
        Yeesh... I will not tell you how many offshore customer service reps I had to go through to even get to this — after failing to find on my own. Dramatically different than my experience otherwise with Amazon, where their design and website ease of use I find outstanding.]
    • Web hosts I like:
See additional tech info on TechnoFrolics site.

Why Did I Post This Page?

  • I made a commitment to myself in 2021 to get more of what I have considered, created, etc., out into the world. I chose this path because what I am certain of is that if it all stays substantially private, whatever value it may have is substantially lost. This page is one small part of that process.
  • In aggregate, this compendium provides a window onto some of what engages me personally (should such a thing be of interest, vs. something to flee... ;-).
  • (I must admit to being somewhat pained posting this page, due to leaving out 1000x more than I am including — that I know about that is, and 109x more that I don't... I will be adding more, including extended summary text of existing and future entries, if/as I am able to find time.
    Note also that someone being left out may simply be because they are so well known, I felt there was no point in mentioning them. For example, my omitting listing the Dalai Lama does not mean I think he is without merit, but rather, because of the assumption that, no matter where in the world you are, you have probably already heard of him...)

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