Happy Monday! I’m trying something new this morning, kicking off the week by riffing on some top-of-mind thoughts. The idea came to me last night, literally “what if I wrote a weekly blog post in the style of a newsletter, minus the newsletter?”
“Not recognizing your blessings feeds into the dark side of capitalism and meritocracy: the notion that success is a choice, and that those who haven’t achieved success are not unlucky, but unworthy. This leads to regressive policies that further reward the perceived winners and punish the perceived losers based on income level.”— Third Base (Scott Galloway)
Those of us who can make a living by working from home are blessed right now.
Sure, it might be inconvenient, if you’d prefer to be in the office with your colleagues every day. But think of all the people who don’t have that option.
And as office workers stay home, think of all the people who’ll likely find their hours being cut because their usual customers aren’t showing up. Then what are the ripple effects from that, further up the chain, as revenue declines?
If you’re not impacted by that ripple effect, that’s another blessing — you’ll be better off, not because you chose to be, but because you got lucky.
“We often say yes to everything because we don’t have any hard and fast guidelines for knowing whether or not we want to say yes. Setting guidelines for when you’ll say yes can help you make decisions that will better serve your priorities.“— The Art of Doing Nothing (99U)
A friend told me recently that I’m very good (too good?) at saying “yes”.
There’s a long, long list of things I’d like to learn and do. But I need to get better at saying no to new projects, or figuring out how they fit into something I’m already doing.
Paraphrasing a colleague: let’s do a few things really well this year.
“Knowledge is only good if you apply it, right? But here’s one thing a lot of people don’t consider: Sharing knowledge is a great application. You might not be a teacher, but if you act like one, you’re already applying knowledge. All it takes is a mindset shift.”— How to Retain More From the Books You Read (Pocket)
“I hope all the reasons I’ve given here help explain why I’m so late to this party. But I’m finally here. And I could use a drink.”— A Letter From Gary Larson (The Far Side)
“Indiscriminate plowing, excessive grazing, and drought had killed off so much plant cover that the wind had simply stolen the region’s soil. Too many settlers had pushed the land beyond its capacity, just as Powell had predicted. The great Dust Bowl would displace some 2.5 million Americans and set off one of the greatest migrations in U.S. history.”— How the West Was Lost (The Atlantic via Pocket)
Here we go again.
“Capitalism works better if employees get paid decent wages and are supported by high-quality, democratically accountable public services that enable everyone to live healthy, dignified lives and to enjoy real equality of opportunity for themselves and their children.”— Finland Is a Capitalist Paradise (New York Times)
Top 2000 a gogo — a great series of interviews with the artists behind some of the most prolific music of the 20th century.
“Had he lived in our time, Thoreau would’ve been thrilled to know that the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the world’s largest open-access digital archive dedicated to the natural world, is now offering more than 150,000 high-resolution illustrations for copyright-free download.”— Over 150,000 Botanical Illustrations Enter the Public Domain (Hyperallergic)
The public domain is a blessing for students and artists. The freedom to remix and reinterpret the work of those who came before us is an integral part of our cultural evolution. Thanks to the web, the public domain is more accessible than ever.
“A funny thing happened in our current Newsletter Renaissance: inundation. Much like the television streaming era which is now in full-swing, we’re learning that there can, in fact, be too much of a good thing. At least for those of us who are completists. Which is to say: there are too many newsletters that I now subscribe to and want to read, but often cannot. Because, well, time.”— Newsletters as Newspapers (M.G. Siegler
Time is a finite resource, as is our attention. I’m adapting by skimming headlines more often, and saving my deep-reading moments for books and my Pocket list.