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Dandy Cast 002: Stick those hot takes someplace else…

Sean Anderson
Sean Anderson

This podcast episode was recorded as an accompanying audio version of the Dandy Newsletter that was published on November 19, 2019.

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Show notes

The internet’s tendency to spout off without thinking is the topic at hand for this week’s episode. We all have our opinions about the things that happen in the world, but do we need to immediately broadcast our knee-jerk reactions to the world? What inspires this? Does anyone actually care about other people’s hot takes?

And just what the hell is going on with that pointy “vehicle” called the Cybertruck? Clearly, Elon Musk is trying to say the ‘80s were the best decade ever. Or maybe he just wants to put everyone’s eye out?

Oh, look at me go, writing a bunch of hot takes. Knock it off, Sean!

There’s a brand new blog post waiting for you. It’s called, Your Tools Don’t Matter.

Wait, really? But my computer is the latest and greatest thing. It can compute a quadrillion teraflops of shmackideedoo every millisecond and the heat it creates can warm my home during the harsh winters! The answer to that is, Nope, your tools don’t matter. All that matters is talent, skill, and hard work. Read the post today to learn why you should value yourself over some expensive, shiny computer or whatever it is you use.

We’ll wrap things up with what I’m watching, reading, and listening to this week. It’s a great assortment of things that are worth your time.

Links to stuff that was mentioned:

Tesla Cybertruck - Tesla

'Armour glass' windows on new Tesla Cybertruck shatter during demonstration - YouTube

Tweet from @elonmusk - Twitter

Apple iMac G3 - Wikipedia

Think Different ad - Apple

The Dandy Resource Library - Dandy Cat Design

Your Tools Don’t Matter - Dandy Cat Design

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Amazon Prime

This One’s for the Dancer & This One’s for the Dancer’s Bouquet - YouTube

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Goodreads


The full text

The Dandy Newsletter - 11/26/19

I could do without hot takes for a while. I really don’t think they’re adding anything of substance to any conversation. All they tend to do is get my blood all riled up and my brain firing out its own hot takes. “What the hell did those terrible politicians do now?!” or “Why would anyone make a phone that looks that stupid? Are they stupid?” or “This guy did that thing? Ha! He’s really looking like a wet badger that’s been dunked into a slurry of popcorn grease now.”

What our brains spew out in the first moments after seeing something peculiar or new or upsetting is rarely their finest work. Except for that badger quip. That’s gold.

I think I’m longing for the days of deep, measured thinking. No doubt there’s always been someone willing to let their mouths spout out whatever first pops into their head. Hot takes aren’t anything new. However, I have this image of bespectacled people in dapper clothing organizing their thoughts by the orange glow of their desk lamps. They collect their musings, present them to their brightest colleagues (maybe in front of a dusty chalkboard), and are greeted with a chorus of “hmms” and “brilliants.” That’s the sort of dialogue I want to have with other people.

Unfortunately, the ease of typing nonsense into a phone and blasting it out onto Twitter or streaming yourself live on Instagram kills the quality of discourse. There’s hardly any room for lectures from overstuffed armchairs when the internet has given a platform for everyone’s hot takes.

I think we could all gain a lot from thinking before we speak (or type). Hot take culture will take a hit, but would that be so bad? Here’s my own hot take on hot takes—it can afford to take a hit.

Speaking of, that Tesla Cybertruck

A Tesla Cybertruck, in all its pointy glory, sitting on a cement floor.

November 21, 2019 was a delicious day for tech and car pundits, not to mention everyone on Twitter. Elon Musk took to the stage at the Tesla Design Studio and presented a rugged and angular vision for the future of trucks. One that skews wildly away from the curvy appearance of Tesla’s previous cars. Best of all, it’s durable enough to take a sledgehammer hit and stop a steel ball from shattering its windows. Well, most of the time.

The internet was abuzz with people who had the best zingers to throw at this new truck. And hey, some were even funny. Mostly, people were just scratching their heads and wondering about what they were looking at. That pointy, low-res polygon lookin’ thing seems like it was made to be laughed at. Everybody did laugh at it for a while, myself included.

And then the preorders started coming in.

As of November 25, there have been more than 200,000 preorders for this new vehicle. A staggering number attained “[w]ith no advertising & no paid endorsement,” according to Musk. For comparison, they received around 276,000 preorders for their popular Model 3 car. The Cybertruck is in no way a flop. There’s a fair chance you may find yourself driving next to one in the near future.

I think that’s fantastic. After giving myself some time to think about it, I’m all in on the new Cybertruck. Granted, I won’t be ordering one. Not because I don’t want one, but because I don’t currently have the money for a “regular” car, let alone a cyber one.

I don’t know what the future holds for the look of automobiles. I can’t see into the future, nor am I an automobile-ologist. Will they resemble triangles? Will they evolve into perfect, levitating spheres? Who knows. What’s clear is there are a lot of really boring looking cars on the roads of the world. The sort of boring that’s both immediately forgettable and like a slap in the face to look at. The Cybertruck is not boring. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but you can’t accuse it of being forgettable.

I do know that nothing ever changes unless there are people, like Elon Musk, and companies, like Tesla, who are willing to face public ridicule when they put their heart out in the open. This is a radical shift in the automobile world. They’re creating a remarkable vehicle that’s worth noticing. Nearly every other car out there? Boring. Same old same old.

The reaction Tesla’s gotten reminds me of the reactions Apple has gotten when they’ve tried something new and unusual. Take their iMac G3 computer. Not only did it not look like any other computer on the market when it was released, but they also got rid of the floppy disk drive in favor of a CD-ROM drive. Oh, the controversy that change brought on! People were pissed. Same thing happened when they dropped their 30-pin connector on the iPhone in favor of the newer Lightning connector. People were super pissed about that one. Yeah, having to get new cables for everything is a hassle, but a minor inconvenience is a small price to pay for not getting stuck in the past.

Both Tesla and Apple are leaders in their field. Hell, one of them is, by many measures, the most valuable company in the world. They didn’t get there by playing it safe, sticking to old methods, and listening to the hot takes unloaded on them. They’ve pushed the envelope and have become successful for it. To borrow from Apple’s famous ad campaign, they got to where they are now by thinking different.

You’re not going to get away with doing something new and unusual without inviting criticism and ridicule. We, as people, prefer things that we’re familiar and comfortable with. The Tesla Cybertruck is uncomfortable in its newness, but damn are they doing something captivating and unique with it. Something nobody else has been able to do.

We haven’t done it because we’ve been too busy thinking our hot takes are actually clever.

I’ve got something exciting for you, too.

It’s not nearly as radical (or pointy) as the Cybertruck, but it is something I’m proud of. I’ve created an extensive library of apps, services, and inspiration that helps me run Dandy Cat Design every day. I’m thrilled to have it out in the world and helping people.

You can get your very own copy here: the Dandy Resource Library.

Does this library conflict with my most recent blog post, Your Tools Don’t Matter? Maybe a little bit. But as I mention in the post, the tools we find and use for our work do make many things much easier. You’ve got crazy talent in you and the resources in my library will help you bring your talent to the world.

That’s what I want to bring to you—ease. I want your working life to be made easier. The Dandy Resource Library aims to do just that. It’s packed with loads of helpful topics, like:

  • Business services
  • Blogging tools
  • Informative courses
  • Inspiration from cool people
  • And a whole lot more…

And while you're over there giving it a read, go ahead and let me know what else I could be including in the Dandy Resource Library. I love hearing about all the new things.

If you ever want to throw some suggestions my way, then leave a comment on Instagram or at the end of one of my blog posts. Or heck, reply to this email.

Seriously friend, I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time, stay dandy, cat.

Podcast

Sean Anderson

Lover of productivity tips, Apple devices, and vegan ice cream. Mostly, I'm busy petting cats 🐱 and dogs 🐶


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