Trusted Third Parties

Welcome back all. Here is Digitally Literate, issue #320.

I posted the following this week:

  • Think of your life in chunks – Bill Gates is given attribution for stating that “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” How you think abotu today…and plan for tomorrow?

Are you a regular reader of DL? If so, I’d like to send you a thank you package. Send me a mailing address to and I’ll send you a handwritten note and some stickers. I’ll save your address long enough to make sure I mail you the package and then dispose of it. I value your privacy. <3

If you haven’t already, please subscribe if you would like this newsletter to show up in your inbox. Reach out and say hello at

The first 20 hours – how to learn anything

Don’t have 10,000 hours to learn something new? That’s fine, Josh Kaufman suggests that you can learn a new skill by putting in just 45 minutes a day for a month.

  1. Break down a skill into its components
  2. Learn enough to know when you’re making a mistake
  3. Remove any and all barriers to practice
  4. Practice for at least 20 hours

The country inoculating against disinformation

Several years ago I happened to drop in a talk from the Cybersecurity Czar from Estonia. I know, it sounds foolish even having it come out of my mouth. But, the talk and the ten minutes I spoke with the representative have resonated in my work ever since.

Ever since the Russian cyber attacks against Estonia in 2007, the country took action and is now a cyber-security leader focused on protecting its online infrastructure from future attacks.

Although Estonia has a population of just 1.3 million, it is known as one of the world’s most digitally advanced countries. Last year the tiny nation ranked third in the 2021 Media Literacy Index, compiled by the European Policies Initiative of the Open Society Institute (OSI), behind Finland and Denmark.

The Inevitability of Trusted Third Parties

Cory Doctorow with a simple litmus test when we think about blockchain solutions and trusting third parties.

  1. How do I know that the information in the blockchain is accurate? That is, how do I know that if the blockchain says a potato was grown without pesticide, that the person who inscribed that entry upon the ledger wasn’t lying?
  2. How do I know that the produce I find in the grocery store is the produce that the blockchain entry refers to? Maybe someone, somewhere, grew an ethical potato, but how can I tell that this potato, which I am holding in my hand, is that ethical potato?

Doctorow simplifies this into an easy equation:

if: problem + blockchain = problem – blockchain
then: blockchain = 0

Boring crypto definitions

I had the opportunity to catch up with good friend Doug Belshaw this week. I already have a stack of links and tools to explore as well as some validation for my recent time playing video games.

Words matter. Definitions matter. Especially as we see these new technologies sprout up online. This quick primer from Belshaw is a great way to quickly review some of the crypto lingo.

It’s Back: Senators Want EARN IT Bill to Scan All Online Messages

I’ve talked about the EARN IT Act previously here in this newsletter. Well…it’s back again.

The new EARN IT Act still threatens encryption and stifles free speech online.

This seems to be more about a lot of scanning and not a lot of protection for users of the web. the new EARN IT Act would pave the way for a massive new surveillance system, run by private companies, that would roll back some of the most important privacy and security features in technology used by people around the globe.

If you’re in the US, take action here.

Better output by working less?

The concept may sound counterproductive, but more than half of employers that introduced “circuit breaker” holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic saw boosts in employee mental health and morale, according to a survey by McKinsey & Company.

How to Make the Most of Your 24 Hours

Leo Babuta outlines the challenges of time scarcity and possible ways to deal with this. Time scarcity is when we feel rushed like there’s not enough time to do everything, we’re always behind, or never feel like we’re doing enough.

Babuta suggests the following:

  • First: be intentional at the start of each day
  • Second: don’t shoot for doing more, do what matters
  • Third: create moments of transcendence
  • Fourth: reflect with gratitude.

The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.

Stephen King

Is autonomy the secret of happiness?

Say hey at or on the social network of your choice.

Leave A Comment