Your Kids Are Not Doomed

My children will live a story that I cannot write and cannot control. It will be their story. To become a parent is to feel, every day, the weight and hope and terror of that fact. I can’t tell you whether it’s the right choice for you, but no climate model can, either.

Erykah Badu: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

YouTube’s algorithm brought this video to me and my wife’s attention tonight.

For as many faults as you can place on Google and their algorithms, I sure am grateful they surfaced this.

Two observations:

First, the stunning artistry, my god. The song “Green Eyes” is like listening to an emotional onion being peeled. You start with denial, which fades into anger, which fades into loneliness/lust/regret. What an amazing commentary on heart break.

Second, I never appreciated recorded concerts much until now. I always thought the in-person factor made more of a difference for experiencing music than what could be accomplished via a recorded medium.

It must be what it felt like to listen to a vinyl record in the sixties, or an orchestra in the 1800s, or a gospel chant in the 1400s. Simply an ethereal experience that makes you happy to be alive.

Small Vehicles of Tokyo

I found this article to be so delightful. Someone made a detailed observational post about all the various modes of transportation that help people move throughout Japan. Well worth your time.

The stuff they don’t teach you in books

I know, I know, it’s another 10 Reasons Why list… but dang nabbit, there are some solid pieces of financial advice in here!

My personal favorite:

When someone gives you two reasons or excuses for not doing something, neither one of them is true and both are invalid. You haven’t gotten to the truth yet. Imagine asking a friend to go to a baseball game and he says “I can’t, my in-laws are coming over tonight.” Then you tell him it’s actually a day game. “Oh, I’m also sick. Not feeling well.” His in-laws aren’t coming over and he’s not sick either. There’s something else going on. If you understand this aspect of human nature, you are equipped to talk to investors.

Everything is Terrible but I’m Fine

With greater access to news on social media and the internet, Americans are more deluged than they used to be by depressing stories. (And the news cycle really can be pretty depressing!)

This is leading to a kind of perma-gloom about the state of the world, even as we maintain a certain resilience about the things that we have the most control over.

Beyond the diverse array of daily challenges that Americans face, many of us seem to be suffering from something related to the German concept of weltschmerz, or world-sadness. It’s mediaschmerz—a sadness about the news cycle and news media, which is distinct from the experience of our everyday life.

I’m really not sure how my journalism friends maintain their sanity.

I’m also not sure how to interpret this theory other than “this is what I’ve been trying to articulate for two years now, but with some data.”

Turn off the news, delete your social media accounts. Your weltschmerz and mediaschmerz will thank you for it.

‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative

If women are “bitches” and “cunts” and “whores” and the people we’re killing are “gooks” and “japs” and “rag heads” then they aren’t really people, are they? It makes them easier to erase. Easier to kill. To disregard. To un-see.

But the moment we re-imagine the world as a buzzing hive of individuals with a variety of genders and complicated sexes and unique, passionate narratives that have yet to be told – it makes them harder to ignore. They are no longer, “women and cattle and slaves” but active players in their own stories.

And ours.

Remote Losers

Competition legitimizes the winners. A job candidate chosen after interviewing and testing 1000 candidates is considered more legitimate and assumed to be more qualified than someone who was hired without an elaborate and intense process.

But that's not how it works, according to two studies from researchers at Oxford and The University of Gothenburg. In Does the cream rise to the top?, Thomas Noe and Dawei Fang try to determine whether the winners of highly competitive, high-stakes contests are talented or merely lucky.

My high school football coach always said that luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

If that’s the case, putting yourself in a position to get more opportunities is really the best way to win in a remote market.

How Pixar Uses Hyper-Colors to Hack Your Brain

You can't buy these colors for your house. But Pixar does have a prototype of what that TV might be like. It's in a room next to the screening room. I convince Glynn to show it to me in action, and when he fires it up to maximum brightness, it's actually painful to look at. The light leaves an afterimage like one caused by staring at the sun.

:Steve Buscemi voice: Man, I gotta get me one of those.

40 Life Lessons from 40 Years

I always get suckered in by these types of posts (certainly they’ve been sprinkled throughout the archives of this blog).

This one is exceptionally well done. There are simply too many to choose a pull quote from, but I’ll share the two reasons why I wanted to post about this article.

First, it’s heavy on the minimalism. It’s hard to participate in our society and not strive to be a maximalist. Capitalism is all about growth, after all, and if you aren’t expanding your footprint on this planet, what’s the point, right?

I’ve been working on being content lately. That contentment comes in several forms, like being content to spend time with my kids, being content to live in a smaller house than my neighbors, being content to drive an older car.

This post gives a lot of good snippets to keep in mind while maintaining the pursuit to think through what truly matters and what truly makes you happy.

Which leads me to my second reason: labeling my spiritual beliefs. This post contains a lot of axioms which seem to gel nicely with Buddhism.

I would not call myself a Buddhist. Frankly, I’m not sure what I’d call myself. But lately, the tenets of Buddhism have been appealing to me, and again, there are a lot of thoughts around how to deal with pain and suffering within this collection.