Juan David's Newsletter - April 25, 2021

Why I Write This Newsletter & 1-Year Anniversary


Last month, it was a year since I started writing this newsletter so I thought I’d share some thoughts about why I take time out of my schedule to write it every week.


I write it because I want to inspire more people (especially younger ones) to be more optimistic and curiously ambitious.


When I was growing up, I wish there was someone like me who was sharing what they were doing and thinking to have an idea of what was possible. A weird person who was doing cool stuff.

There’s a lot of cool people out there but don’t share stuff on the internet as much.

So what?

I write, make videos, and humbly share some of what I do and think with this purpose.


Although, I have doubts that people may not find it useful or that it takes too long to do it every week but I still believe some find it helpful so I keep going and ONWARD!!!

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Curiosities 🧘‍♂️💻

1. Engineering vs Science?

In science if you know what you are doing you should not be doing it.

In engineering if you do not know what you are doing you should not be doing it.”

― Richard Hamming, The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn

I finished my research presentation with this quote, and it’s always something I think about as I engage in science and engineering.

I need to switch how my mind solves problems and sees the world. But combining and complementing each other is where the true superpower lies.

(If you have an @illinois email, you can register to attend the conference from April 25th until May 1st. Unfortunetly, it’s restricted to

2. Meaning of Open-Mindedness

I’ve been struggling with being open-minded but also staying true to myself while not sacrificing my values.

I found Ray Dalio’s thoughts helpful:

Regarding radical open-mindedness, it’s what you would do if you weren’t biased to think that your opinions are best and instead wanted to objectively weigh what you’re thinking in relation to what other smart people are thinking to raise your chances of being right.

From Ray Dalio

3. Free & Open Source Software

More people should use free and open-source software because of 1) more privacy and security, 2) decreased costs, and 3) more control.

Here’s a list of free and open-source software (FOSS):

  1. Browser:ungoogled-chromium

  2. Recording:OBS Studio

  3. Video editing:Kdenlive

  4. Password manager:Bitwarden_RS

  5. 2FA Authenticator:Aegis

  6. Social media:Pleroma

  7. Blogging:Writefreely

  8. Calendar, Contacts, Storage:Nextcloud

  9. Collaborative docs:HedgeDoc

  10. VPN routing:Zerotier

  11. Money:Bitcoin


4. Escape Low Expectations?

I watched this talked a month ago, and I’m still thinking about it.

Watch this talk if you want to learn 1) how to think for yourself, 2) escape conformity and fuel your ambition, 3) and how to measure passion, not progress.

Lex shares a level of vulnerability along with humility that will you make learn to love suffering (I know, very Russian. Well, he’s Russian).

Not sure who Lex is? Read this essay I wrote about him

5. Why You’re More Normal Than You Think

The Principle of Normality: A normal person says what others say, but does what others do.

From Being Normal

In a short statement, we see 1) how normal people are conformists because they’re unwilling to disagree with others, and 2) how normal people lack integrity because there’s little correlation between what they say and what they do.

In this same article, the writer says how being weird also allows to see other weird people because they usually 1) say and do unconventional things, 2) have the integrity of “good” or “evil” just like the abolitionist who everyone knows they’re right but refuse to give up slavery or like the Marxist who everyone knows they’re wrong but ignore them until they become too powerful.

Check out the full article here.

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Juan David Campolargo