Good Reads, Server Move Edition

This edition of Good Reads is probably the scariest ever.

As you know, I have been moving every couple of weeks or months during the last 3+ years. And I’m quite comfortable with it: I just pack my stuff, put on some shoes, and there I go. This time, though, it’s different: While I will be staying right where I am, The Friendly Anarchist is going to move. The blog will leave the old servers behind and move to a new home.

Now, I’m not completely computer-illiterate – but the world of databases, name servers, and PHP is strange, mysterious and full of unknown dangers. At least for me.

The good thing is that I’m in the best of hands, moving from my esteemed company Macbay/SysEleven to ActualWebSpace, owned by tech maverick (and one of my favorite writers) Raam Dev. As Raam himself will take care of the move, everything should go fine (as long as I managed to send him all the data correctly).

That said, here’s what we’re expecting to happen: The Friendly Anarchist will turn into The Offline Anarchist for a couple of hours Friday night. My email address might stop working, too. So if you had planned to read through the archives or send me love letters tomorrow night, please mentally prepare that things might not work out as planned.

I will update this post once everything’s back to normal.

Update: Everything is moved now and things look great. Email may still be somewhat unreliable (my own fault, not Raam’s!), but it should be back to 100% later today!

In the meantime, please explore these excellent things I found on the web in recent weeks!


From a man with a reputation for braggadocio, what he says here is completely true. In a rapidly transitioning industry, which is starving for something—anything—that will move copies of physical books, Tucker Max is one of the few authors out there who can predictably move truckloads of physical, printed books. He is, in the publishing world, a rock star. Simply put, few authors can beat his numbers.

And now, the man who can sell all those books shares in an exclusive with Forbes, he is retiring.

Long article from Michael Ellsberg on Tucker Max. This isn’t anywhere near as irrelevant as it may sound. It shows a surprising new side of the man (and of the author himself).


“The only way to shoot more interesting photographs is to become a more interesting person,” writes Kirk Tuck. He’s right. As he generally is. And what Kirk says is probably also true for artists of other crafts: The best (if not the only) way to write more interesting books is to become a more interesting person, too.


Install habits before installing software. Make sure you have a consistent set of useful behaviors in place before you try to solve your problems with plugins and apps. Is email causing you trouble because you are ignoring the basics? Do you have a habit (such as checking every time a new message arrives) or a lack of one (such as not consistently making decisions about new messages the first time you see them) that’s holding you back? Find a process to address that, and practice it consistently for 30 days before you install anything.

True words. In GTD, testing and optimizing software can be so addictive that we forget that it’s really about changing our behavior in the first place.


How to deal with the unexpected?

I can tell you that having epileptic seizures, getting tattooed, pierced, and branded over and over again from the age of 18 until now (32), helped a lot. I can tell you that learning to talk to strangers helped a lot, as does (badly planned) travel, which helps me deal with unexpected circumstances as they arise. The more you leap into the unknown, the more you discover that the unexpected is rarely something you need to actually worry about.

Julien is one of the strongest non-personal development bloggers out there writing about personal development better than most personal development bloggers. If that makes any sense. Anyway, read this and act on it.


With deep focus, we’re more effective, and less anxious.
We’re more effective if we can compose the notes while also paying attention to the groove.
We’re more effective if we use a tool correctly, while also considering if we’re using the right tool for the job (and switching if needed).
We’re more effective if we serve not only one person, but also their organization, and the mission that is meant to guide their organization.
Don’t pigeonhole yourself as either a “details” person or a “big picture” person. To be effective (at anything), you need to be both. You need to have the capacity to deal with the immediate minutiae as well as the ability to see the larger, broader, slower forces at play.

Well said, J.D. Moyer. That combination really is the key to it all.


Lastly, a video. About an 88-year old man who causes a lot of happiness around his fellow citizens, day after day: Mr. Happy Man.