4 min read

#10: Best Frenemies Forever

Summer has arrived, and so has the 10th issue of Extremely Unannoying! Thanks for being on this ride for almost half a year now—I hope you enjoyed it so far. In this milestone edition, I brought you a surprising insight into relationships, a short documentary, a new way to read books, and a sneak peek of something (possibly) exciting.

Let's jump in!

1) "It's unnerving to hope for a hug while bracing yourself for a brawl"

I'm careful about writing blank checks as a consumer of art, but I did hand out a few of them.

If Neil Gaiman writes a new book, I'm reading it, if G. Willow Wilson creates a new comic book, I'm getting it, and if Supergiant Games makes a new game, I'm playing it. No questions asked, no holds barred because these artists proved time and time again that they deliver constantly and consistently against the highest expectations.

When it comes to psychology, Adam Grant has my blank check.

Adam is an organizational psychologist and gifted science communicator who can distill the often complicated insights of psychological research into enjoyable, easy-to-grasp articles and books. Whenever Adam writes something new, I'm reading it on the spot.

Like his New York Times op-ed from last week about frenemies:

We often think about relationships on a spectrum from positive to negative. We gravitate toward loving family members, caring classmates and supportive mentors.

We do our best to avoid the cruel uncle, the playground bully and the jerk boss.

But the most toxic relationships aren't the purely negative ones. They're the ones that are a mix of positive and negative.

We often call them frenemies, supposed friends who sometimes help you and sometimes hurt you. But it's not just friends. It's the in-laws who volunteer to watch your kids but belittle your parenting.

The roommate who gets you through a breakup and then starts dating your ex.

The manager who praises your work but denies you a promotion.

It's a super-interesting essay full of counterintuitive insights that cast some of my thornier relationships in an entirely new light. I read this article days ago and still catch myself thinking about it during the quieter moments of the day.

Anyway, I really recommend it. I think it's one of those rare essays that can profoundly alter your thinking.

2) "It seemed like the mob had come to town, you know"

If you've been here for the past nine issues of Extremely Unannoying, it's probably no surprise to you that I love documentaries. And when one is about the darker side of one of my favorite tech companies, I get especially giddy.

Apple wasn't always the unshakable goliath sitting on a treasure hoard worth multiple countries' GDP as it is today. After initial success with the Apple II—one of the most beloved gadgets in all of computing history—the company was looking to grow its market position during the 1980s, but things went pear-shaped pretty fast.

The Verge's new documentary, Lisa: Steve Jobs’ sabotage and Apple’s secret burial follows the story of the infamous Lisa, a computer that started out as Job's golden child, but a few sharp turns later ended up in a landfill somewhere in Utah.

How? Watch this 30-minute short and find out. If you like tech history or corporate thrillers (or both!), I think you will have a lovely time with this one.

3) For the lifelong bibliophiles and fangirls/boys/enbys*

So, I love to read and collect beautiful books. I also, sometimes, have a hard time deciding what I want to read from my perpetually 90+ book-long To Be Read list. I know, tremendous problem, right?

Anyway, one day I happened across a service called Illumicrate.

Founded by Daphne Tong—"a life-long bibliophile and fangirl"—in 2015, the company prepares and sends out a mystery box every month to subscribers. Each monthly box has a theme and contains a beautiful, exclusive edition of a recently released fantasy or sci-fi novel. You can guess the book based on the theme, but you will only know for sure what you get when it arrives on your doorstep.

So far I received three mystery books from Illumicrate, read and loved one—the excellent Some Desperate Glory—excited to read the second one, and a bit lukewarm on the third. Still, two out of three hit the mark and all of them were news to me. These books would have probably passed me by if not for Illumicrate.

If you like books, surprises and sometimes suffer from decision paralysis, a book subscription service can be a fun gift to yourself. Also, if you're not into sci-fi or fantasy, there are a ton of other boxes like Illumicrate, ranging from romance to crime thrillers to non-fiction. You can even get boxes that come bundled with food and drinks.

If you're interested, here's a 2021 Penguin article about a bunch of these awesome boxes. To quote a modern classic: "Capitalism really popped off today, ladies."

  • A few days ago I learned that the nickname-y term for a non-binary person is enby. Humans and their languages can be so cute sometimes.

+1) "Are you ready to become sad and/or angry?"

So, Step 6 happened this Wednesday:

This means we're over the hump and now only execution remains. I know, I know... That still sounds like a lot, but believe me, once we are sure we have a story and know the shape of it, everything becomes a thousand times easier.

We climbed the mountain, now we just have to slide down on the other side of it. This means those of you who have been waiting for a new Második Hallásra for literally years, won't have to wait much longer.

I hope this excites you as much as me. 😊

Also, a big shoutout and thank you to my dear friend, Kata, who finally pushed me out of the creative trough of sorrow after almost two years. Thanks! 💛

And with that, we came to the end of the 10th issue of Extremely Unannoying! Thanks for reading, have a great two weeks, we'll meet again soonish.

Bye! 👋