Nico Appel

I’m working on it.

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While reading about the underlying structure of stories, I began to map my own story onto the classic structure. Whether through projection or reflection, the part about change began resonating with me.

change, and the internal struggle a character must undergo in order to achieve it. We’ve seen that in three-dimensional stories the protagonist goes on a journey to overcome their flaw. They learn the quality they need to achieve their goal; or, in other words, they change. Change is thus inextricably linked to dramatic desire: if a character wants something, they are going to have to change to get it. – John Yorke, Into the Woods

I began to wonder: What is the exact nature of the change I need to make in order to resolve my story in a happy ending? What is the specific flaw (from the array of flaws I am currently aware of) that I need to overcome?

I also could not help but consider...

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Why Germans can’t make money

Obviously, the full title should have been: “5 reasons why Germans can’t make money, 2 of which you would have never thought could be real”. But seriously, this should be interesting.

This article is more literal than you probably expected.
First, it’s true, I’m not kidding and this wasn’t just click bait: Germans can’t make money.

Now let me tell you how come and what the specific problem is.

See, I’m German, but for the last couple of years, I have spent less and less time in Germany due to being a Hobo CEO. I am also speaking, reading, writing, … well, 95 % of my media consumption, it’s all in English. Combine that with the fact that I’m socializing with other entrepreneurs, I actually do often think and talk about making money.
The problem is, in English mode I can, but as German, I simply can’t. It doesn’t work.

You folks living in or coming from the Anglosphere can make money...

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How the heck did I become a fan of Jack Reacher?

Jack Reacher (the movie) appeared on Netflix not long ago. It was late at night on the weekend when I decided I was kind of in the mood for a probably mediocre action movie – and possibly fall asleep while watching it.

I was mistaken. The opposite happened: I really enjoyed the movie.

That was particularly due to the fact that Tom Cruise seemed to be just the right cast to pull it off: not too much of a stereotype action movie character he embodied the mix of this hardass, no-bullshit and smart guy (even though I guess most novel reader probably thought their Jack Reacher isn’t as short as Cruise).

I’m sure others have done a better job elsewhere explaining who this Jack Reacher character is. At this point I didn’t even know that he is the main character of a series of novels by Lee Child.

One great sentence is all it takes

Here’s the scene / dialogue / sentence that won me over.


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What I don’t do – acts of omission

Meeting new people, we often ask, “What are you actually doing?”

I, for one, am beginning to realize that this is the less important and interesting question to ask, or to answer. More could be said about what I don’t do – consciously and intentionally.

Nassim Taleb uses the phrase via negativa (slightly redefined) in Antifragile. He writes:

Yet in practice it is the negative that’s used by the pros, those selected by evolution: chess grandmasters usually win by not losing; people become rich by not going bust (particularly when others do); religions are mostly about interdicts; the learning of life is about what to avoid.

It’s fascinating. The underlying mechanic is this:

Positive action, doing, is “respected and glorified by our primitive minds” (location 5042).

Negative actions, not doing something, “are not considered acts and do not appear to be part of one’s mission”...

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