Reflections on Zafón’s Angel’s Game, Holiday’s Canvas Strategy, and How I Knew I Was Blunting My Creative Soul

“Don’t worry about credit… be a canvas for other people to paint on,” Ryan Holiday writes in his essay The Canvas Strategy. I still remember reading it my senior year of high school in the pages of Ego Is The Enemy, lying on the couch in my parent's living room. It wasn’t just that I … Continue reading Reflections on Zafón’s Angel’s Game, Holiday’s Canvas Strategy, and How I Knew I Was Blunting My Creative Soul

Defensive Propaganda: How George Orwell Deconstructs Word Choice in Homage to Catalonia

Like much of Orwell's writing, Homage to Catalonia demonstrates timeless and transferable lessons; it’s not just a book about the Spanish Civil War. Homage shows us, in any era, how real-world propaganda can have serious political consequences. In particular, how subtle word choices often power propaganda. By studying Homage we can observe how Orwell spots … Continue reading Defensive Propaganda: How George Orwell Deconstructs Word Choice in Homage to Catalonia

June 2022 Newsletter: The Nuyorican Poets and How to “Get” Poetry

Hello friends, This month marked the ending of a pivotal and cherished chapter for me. I graduated from NYU (in three years not to brag). I saw Taylor Swift speak at Yankee Stadium (okay, now I’m bragging). As a lifelong Yankees fan, being at the Stadium made it extra cool. So here I go, entering … Continue reading June 2022 Newsletter: The Nuyorican Poets and How to “Get” Poetry

Augustus at Prima Porta: Visual Persuasion From The Master Marketer of Rome

Note: I originally wrote this essay for a class at NYU on visual persuasion in the fall of 2021. In the 1960 United States presidential election, then-Senator John F. Kennedy faced a unique challenge in his campaign. Much of the American electorate felt content with the calm, economically prosperous Eisenhower era, which Kennedy’s opponent Richard … Continue reading Augustus at Prima Porta: Visual Persuasion From The Master Marketer of Rome

Aristotle, Enthymemes, And The Secret Formula of Spongebob Memes

This year, I read the classic book Rhetoric by the Ancient Greek intellectual Aristotle. This is the foundational text for persuasion and rhetoric. It has the whole “logos, pathos, ethos” thing that we learned in middle school.  But there was one concept that Aristotle mentions at length, which he called enthymemes… Which explains ALL of … Continue reading Aristotle, Enthymemes, And The Secret Formula of Spongebob Memes

How 3 Articles Make Me Over $1000 of Passive Income Every Month

As I write this in June 2022, I’m sitting in a cafe in Bologna, Italy. My Airbnb costs less than I make per day in passive income from affiliate commissions. About 50% of this passive income comes from just three articles I wrote between February and March of 2022. My cappuccino will probably get paid … Continue reading How 3 Articles Make Me Over $1000 of Passive Income Every Month

How to Learn a Language in 203 Easy Steps (What They Don’t Teach in School)

First, your dad won’t teach you, even though Spanish is his first language. You’ll hear him use it with his parents, your grandparents, who you can hardly communicate with. Your grandfather, who you call “Ito” because you won’t be able to say “abuelito,” will drive with you and your dad to all of your sports … Continue reading How to Learn a Language in 203 Easy Steps (What They Don’t Teach in School)

April 2022 Newsletter: How Word Choice Influences Policy and The Power of Personal Essays

Note: This originally appeared in newsletter form. I send these out monthly to my list. If you'd like to receive emails like this that will help you become a better reader, learner, and thinker, then subscribe here. Wow. Here we are. We did it. An email list. This is the inaugural email. Let’s get right … Continue reading April 2022 Newsletter: How Word Choice Influences Policy and The Power of Personal Essays

Indistractable by Nir Eyal: Book Review and Takeaways

Preface: The impetus for this article (and if I’m being honest, the reason I read the book in the first place) comes from one of my favorite newsletters of late, 1729, which pays out readers in crypto (like me) to accomplish tasks (like this one.) “It’s due in 52 minutes.” “Well, how many words do … Continue reading Indistractable by Nir Eyal: Book Review and Takeaways