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How good design makes people happy.

Hello, my friends! Welcome to another week of Apex Money. Every weekday, Jim and I collect interesting articles from around the web that explore the world of money and self-improvement — and whatever else piques our interest.

Here’s what I have for you today.

Crypto: The good, the bad, and the ugly. [] — “Every time I dig into crypto I find things that seem stupid, or useless, or actively bad. But so many people are into it! I’m a big fan of the wisdom of crowds, especially when it comes to technical choices, so a big crowd of people doing something that seems stupid really eats at me. I must be missing something! So here, mostly to help me think about it for myself, I’m going to examine all the things that are good about crypto, and then all the things that are bad.”

What happened when people in a New York town started getting $500 monthly checks. [Fast Company] — “HudsonUP started in the fall of 2020 with 25 low-income recipients receiving $500 a month for 5 years. One year in, as the program inducts a new cohort of 50 more beneficiaries, organizers have released a report that illustrates how the supplemental cash assisted the first group. They found that employment more than doubled among surveyed recipients, who also reported better health, mended relationships, and the agency to spend their money as they see fit…” [Very small sample size, obviously, but interesting.]

100 ways to slightly improve your life with minimal effort. [The Guardian] — “Whether it’s taking fruit to work (and to the bedroom!), being polite to rude strangers or taking up skinny-dipping, here’s a century of ways to make life better, with little effort involved…”

Today’s video features is an old one. In this talk from 2003, design critic Don Norman discusses beauty, fun, pleasure and emotion, as he looks at how good design makes people happy.

It’s an interesting concept and goes a long way to explaining why I choose some of the products that I choose. I drive a Mini Cooper. I use Apple computers and phones and tablets. When we bought out new house in August, I ordered a womb chair (which, at long last, arrives tomorrow!).

I know that not everyone cares about design, and that’s fine. But as Norman explains in this video, I get great joy every day from using things that are beautiful and well designed.

Okay, that’s it for Monday. I’ll be back tomorrow with more. See you then!