History of The Catalog

When I think about shopping in the 16th and 17th century, my Hollywood tainted imagination starts stirring up images of trading posts owned by old men with white hair, general stores that smell like horses, and markets on the streets.

A 1936 general Store
Source: United States Library of Congress

I was not entirely off. In 16th and 17th century North America you would do your shopping and ordering at the general store. In Europe, markets and smaller general stores were the norm.

But, before all of this “in-person” buying and selling, most of the Western World also dabbled in a different method of retail: the mail-order* catalog.

*Mail Order traditionally, was the process of selecting an item through a catalog, sending the company your order along with cash for the product plus shipping through post. You would receive your product by post in the following weeks.

The first catalog ever published is older than your great grandparents.

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Go wander, how meandering in the outdoors can enhance creativity


Originally posted on The Ooomf Blog
Re-published on Medium
Wandering for clarity is a secret of the literary greats. Writers such as Rousseau, Dickens, and romantic poets such as William Blake and John Clare, all used wandering to clarify their thoughts. It seemed to de-stress their minds and gave them an opportunity to think up great ideas.Dickens supposedly logged in 20 miles every day.

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Devote time to un-schooling


OnWaterOriginally posted on: The Ooomf Blog

Re-posted on: Life Hacker and Medium

When I went to university I ended up in a discipline (Sociology) that I surprisingly loved. I read the most fascinating books (such as this one, this, this, and this), my perspective on the world changed, and I got advice from some really smart people.

But I realized early on that the credentials I was going to graduate with were probably worth little in the real world.

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Why are we attracted to beautiful things?


Originally posted on: The Ooomf Blog

“We wear clothing and jewelry. We buy the biggest, most beautiful houses we can afford. We decorate our homes with furniture, rugs, prints, and gardens. We drive finely designed brightly colored automobiles, which we choose for their aesthetic appeal as much as their fuel efficiency. “— Geoffrey Miller in the Mating Mind

I gawk at old stone buildings and the most vivid memories I have are of lush landscapes and forest clearings. I will opt to pay a premium for an app that looks “pretty,” and I am transfixed by websites with exquisite design.

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