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How to design the life you want.

Welcome to Tuesday, Apexians. No long preamble today. Today, let’s get right to the stories we’ve curated for you.

Let’s start with our daily video. I had lunch with my friend Winston recently, and our conversation turned to the profound shift that I seem to be experiencing in my beliefs, values, and desires. The past six months have been…interesting for me.

Anyhow, Winston suggested that I watch this 2017 TedX talk from design professor Bill Burnett. It’s his advice on how to design the life you want. (And it’s sensible stuff, not the glib advice you hear from the lifestyle design gurus.)

Now let’s look at our links for today…

Over 60 million Americans have taxes so simple the IRS could do them automatically. [Vox] — “For many people, the IRS has all the information it needs to calculate their taxes, send taxpayers a filled-out return, and have them sign it and send it right back to the IRS if everything looks in order. This isn’t a purely hypothetical proposal. Countries like Denmark, Belgium, Estonia, Chile, and Spain already offer such ‘pre-populated returns’ to their citizens.”

Where lawns are outlawed. [The New York Times, so possible paywall] — “Under a state law passed last year that is the first of its kind in the nation, patches of grass like this, found along streets and at housing developments and commercial sites in and around Las Vegas, must be removed in favor of more desert-friendly landscaping. The offense? They are ‘nonfunctional’, serving only an aesthetic purpose. Seldom, if ever, walked on and kept alive by sprinklers, they are wasting a resource, water, that has become increasingly precious.”

Hose-flipping algorithms are coming to your neighborhood. [MIT Technology Review] — “There are already signs big investors are restricting supply, further exacerbating housing crises and setting a template that any big iBuyer could follow…For ordinary people, so long as Wall Street cash is flowing into housing, Zillow’s failure is not the end of tech-led disruption but a fumbled beginning.” This is an important and scary issue that not enough people are taking seriously. Institutional investors are driving up the costs of homes in the U.S.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more great stuff. See you then!