The Best Upgrade Is You

Patrick Rhone:

The point here is that we are very easily taken in by the promise that buying or upgrading to some new thing will measurably improve our lives. I propose that, if we learned how to fully use what we already had better, such depth of knowledge and skill would have a far greater and more lasting impact. That, especially with those tools we use every day, getting better at them will reap the greatest reward. There is likely some feature or use-case that we don’t even realize we need until we know it and when we do we will be thankful we learned it.

Ahead of Apple's event this afternoon, Patrick's post provides a fitting moment of logical reprieve.

For many, the presumed iPad "Mini" will be a superfluous purchase. That's not to say the "Mini" will be without its endearing charms. In fact, I suspect the device will be a beautiful feat of human engineering.

But, conversely, I would imagine that a huge volume of this weblog's readers are already long-standing iPad owners, for whom a smaller iPad may be rendered somewhat of a luxury item. The oft-rumored device is, as Shawn Blanc writes, probably not targetted at consumers such as ourselves, but a newer demographic of potential iPad users.

Obviously I do not wish to decry or dismiss the iPad "Mini" ahead of its launch. That would be an illogical and ignorant thing to do. I do, however, wish to underline some semblance of reason ahead of the inevitable frenzy of consumerism that will follow Apple's event.

For all of this, I'm not writing to you, but to myself two or three hours into the future. I'm a long-standing iPad owner, I use a Kindle Paperwhite for my reading, and I have a superfluous Nexus 7 for miscellaneous reading and experimentation. Regardless of the hype, I would do myself a disservice if I were to allow myself to be swept up in the coming frenzy.

Patrick is right. For people like me — people who own excessive quantities of amazing tools and devices — we repeatedly do ourselves harm by convincing ourselves into upgrading relentlessly.

So, today, barring any jaw-dropping surprises, I'm going to attempt an exercise in self-control. Whether I'm able to succeed with that task, however, has yet to be seen.

App.net as a Community

App.net

James Gowans:

Frightening news yesterday from Patrick Rhone, and the subsequent reaction to it, drove it home for me: community.

Not networking. Not celebrity news. Not SEO tips, or unique visitors or page views. Certainly not funny videos about cats.

But instead a genuine sense of community. I think we all want a place where friends can support us when a loved one is sick, or share with us things that inspire them. And by “friends”, I mean real people with common interests, not car dealerships or mayonnaise manufacturers.

Yesterday, as Patrick wrote about an intensely personal matter on App.net, it was heart-warming to watch as the service veritably lit up with support for him and his family. Given my increasingly jaded attitude toward Twitter, witnessing such an outpouring of kind-hearted care was a source of utter fascination and encouragement for me and, as evidenced by Mr. Gowan’s post, others too.

Whether or not you believe in App.net as an alternative to Twitter — or even view Twitter as a misguided entity whatsoever — it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the affability of the fledgling community within App.net.

Existing as a bastion of thoughtful individuals (and yacht owners), App.net continues to make a thoroughly compelling case for itself. Barring any egregious failures in the immediate future, I’m beginning to feel very positive for the sanctity of the service as a long-term entity in the real-time Internet environment.

Given Twitter’s flagging status, App.net’s arrival and establishment as such could not have arrived at a better time.

Minimal Mac: What We Believe In

MinimalMac

Patrick Rhone:

Now, I wish to be very clear about what this is. Every single item in this book exists on the site as it stands — right now — for free. I have simply done the hard work for you; which is going through nearly 2000 updates and compiling the best posts, essays, and quotes into a couple of hundred pages. I then had these professionally edited and the cover, layout, and design done to make it an attractive and easy to read book.

Several years ago, Minimal Mac completely redefined my conception of what a technology-centric writing community could be. Holding close to its central conceit, Patrick Rhone had built something truly marvelous for the Mac community. Today, Minimal Mac exists as a lasting example of great writing, holding true to a cause, and sustaining a familiar voice.

Almost three years since its launch, Patrick has now collected some of the best excerpts from his site into an e-book. Available for only $5 in Kindle and ePub formats, Minimal Mac: What We Believe In is a must have for any fan of Patrick’s work. Moreover, it provides a fantastic opportunity to support phenomenal creator.

Minimal Mac: What We Believe In is available for $5 from GumRoad.

Enough by Patrick Rhone

Enough by Patrick Rhone

Prolific writer, Patrick Rhone, has today released his second book, Enough. Regarding the book's intent, Patrick writes:

What is enough?

Enough is a very personal metric. Like our center of gravity, each of us must find what is enough by swaying from less to more until a comfortable medium is found.

The goal, then, is not to find what is, or will be, enough forever. That is impossible. The goal is to discover the tools and strategies you need to find what is enough for you right now and provide the flexibility to adjust as the conditions change.

The series of essays in this book explore many of the ideas and strategies needed to meet this goal.

In an early review of Enough, Shadoe Huard endorses the strength of Mr. Rhone's writing:

Loaded onto my smartphone (the book is available in both print and digital editions) I would ease my way through each brief essay while waiting for the metro or standing in line at the market. In those little pauses of life Enough provided a respite for the mind and the soul. With its pleasant meditations in your pocket, you can return to them now and again, when you find yourself reaching for the safety of more.

Supporting independent creators of any kind is an important endeavor, and I wholeheartedly urge you to invest in Mr. Rhone's book.

Enough is available here. You can check out Mr. Rhone's other literature here.