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My hope is that you use these emails to practice reflection.

My vision is a world where everyone can flourish. My mission is creating better conversations to spread understanding and compassion. Drop by https://constantine.name for my podcasts, writing and more.

~ Craig Constantine

Worry

If the problem can be solved, why worry? And if the problem can’t be solved, then worrying will do you no good.

~ Shantideva

 
 — original post, tagged Perspective, Quotes, Shantideva, Worrying



You must choose

Then there was a moment. A short one. Social media was perfect. The bubble popped, and suddenly there were voices from outside the bubble. But it was still small, still manageable, not yet the all-consuming force it is today.

~ Jacob Kaplan-Moss from, https://jacobian.org/2018/apr/2/the-moment/

Today, we have asocial media. I’ve not seen anyone else point out we’re still misspelling it, “social” media. I agree with Kaplan-Moss, and I’ll point out that I am happily still living in that moment. I use the Internet, and I use my phone (and tablet, and computer, and my connection of people, etc.) — none of those things use me any longer. That’s the key. Figuring out what sources of interaction and information you find valuable, and then acting to make them a part of your lived experience. What made asocial media’s moment great was that it showed us that the Internet could be useful. Now it’s up to you to make it so for yourself.

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 — original post, tagged Internet Tech, Jacob Kaplan-Moss, Social Networks



Feelings scare us

You don’t know if your idea is any good the moment it’s created. Neither does anyone else. The most you can hope for is a strong gut feeling that it is. And trusting your feelings is not as easy as the optimists say it is. There’s a reason why feelings scare us—because what they tell us and what the rest of the world tells us are often two different things.

~ Hugh MacLeod

 
 — original post, tagged Creativity, Hugh MacLeod, Quotes



Deep conversation

People benefit from deep conversations, but we often stick to small talk with strangers because we underestimate how much they’re interested in our lives, according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin.

~ University of Texas at Austin from, https://phys.org/news/2021-11-swapping-small-strangers-deeper-dialogue.html

I didn’t find this at all surprising. None the less, it’s nice to see it demonstrated in a repeatable experiment. I often talk about simply being curious, and how that curiosity generates conversations full of wonder. I’ve had hundreds of conversations now with people I know and total strangers, countless times they’ve expressed delight at the conversations we’ve created. The best part? It’s not a trick I’m performing; I’m genuinely curious.

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 — original post, tagged Curiosity, Thoughts on conversation



Yes and no

Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.

~ Josh Billings

 
 — original post, tagged Decision Fatigue, Getting Things Done, Josh Billings, Quotes



It’s the forums

Forums are the dark matter of the web, the B-movies of the Internet. But they matter. To this day I regularly get excellent search results on forum pages for stuff I’m interested in. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t end up on some forum, somewhere, looking for some obscure bit of information. And more often than not, I find it there.

~ Jeff Atwood from, https://blog.codinghorror.com/civilized-discourse-construction-kit/

That’s a wonderful unpack by Atwood of why Discourse, (a piece of software that powers forums,) was created. Along the way there’s also a load of great information about discourse, (the concept.) And this article is now 9 years old.

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 — original post, tagged Discourse, Internet Tech, Jeff Atwood



Always writing

I cannot find any patience for those people who believe that you start writing when you sit down at your desk and pick up you pen and finish writing when you put down your pen again; a writer is always writing, seeing everything through a thin mist of words, fitting swift little descriptions to everything he sees, always noticing.

~ Shirley Jackson

 
 — original post, tagged On Writing, Quotes, Shirley Jackson



12% battery remaining

Productivity hacks are fun, but they don’t always produce the greatest returns on your time. If you care about productivity, be sure to invest in your energy levels.

~ Chris Bailey from, https://alifeofproductivity.com/dont-forget-the-basics-of-productivity/

I don’t do productivity “hacks.” I do productivity. My aversion to “hacking” anything runs deep. All of my productivity comes from doing things which return, the way compound interest returns. Whenever I can, I try to do the hard work up front. I am literally trying to pass gifts, (of time, energy, money, sanity,) to my future self.

It’s wise to occasionally erase the whiteboard to see what something could be like if built from scratch. It never ceases to amaze me when absolutely nothing happens nor changes when I entirely stop doing things. I recently removed an entire project—no one has even noticed. I recently was completely unreachable, (by everyone other than my wife,) for four days—no one noticed. If you started from a clean slate today, what would you choose to do?

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 — original post, tagged Chris Bailey, Productivity, Self-awareness



Today

I don’t complain about the lack of time… what little I have will go far enough. Today—this day—will achieve what no tomorrow will fail to speak about. I will lay seige to the gods and shake up the world.

~ Senece, Medea, 423-5

 
 — original post, tagged Quotes, Seneca, Time Management



Silence

The universe makes a sound — is a sound. In the core of this sound there’s a silence, a silence that creates that sound, which is not its opposite, but its inseparable soul. And this silence can also be heard.

~ Etel Adnan from, https://www.themarginalian.org/2021/11/16/etel-adnan-shifting-the-silence/

I am not a poet. Who knows, maybe if I were, I’d still be at a loss for words. On one hand, having read Popova’s short article I feel relieved; At the least, I’ve now noticed a person named Adnan has lived, and I’ve enjoyed a small sip of her writing. On the other hand, a gripping panic begins to rise up as it’s painfully clear that I will never make even the slightest progress in experiencing the totality of what this universe has to offer. Anyway, go take a sip.

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 — original post, tagged Etel Adnan, Maria Popova, Poetry, Silence



Better questions

Sounds like we’re losing our grit. We’ve been brought up to think we’re so smart and clever and that we don’t have to work hard for anything that we just give up when we come against a tough problem. The main difference between innovators and the rest of us is that innovators ask more and better questions.

~ Shane Parrish

 
 — original post, tagged Questions, Quotes, Shane Parrish, Society



Embedded in a culture

Ray Liotta died on May 26, 2022. I wasn’t a particular fan of his, but he was definitely an actor who was a significant part of the culture I grew up in. There are many such people; actors of course, and also authors, musicians, journalists, teachers, scientists, politicians, military leaders, activists, and others less classifiable.

It’s one thing to think: That huge band that I love, which I’ve seen in concert… they’ve retired and hung up the act. Just knowing the people are still around however, means that something of, whatever it was that I loved, continues on in whatever it is, (public or not,) that they’re doing. Nostalgia rises up as people retire and things become, “remember when?”

But slowly, year by year, those people die and that makes it clear: Everything has its time, and that time ends. There but for the grace of God go I, is a beautiful turn of phrase.

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 — original post, tagged Culture, Memento Mori, Ray Liotta



Digital minimalism

To be a digital minimalist, in other words, means you accept the idea that new communication technologies have the potential to massively improve your life, but also recognize that realizing this potential is hard work.

~ Cal Newport

 
 — original post, tagged Cal Newport, Minimalism, Quotes



Bonding through movement

Today, a growing percentage of people find themselves alienated from any particular community, without strong bonds to any discernible group. Loneliness is on the rise. More people live alone, remain single or childless, move to new geographical locations on a regular basis, and otherwise fail to develop close ties. This is a shift that is unprecedented in human history.

~ Shane Parrish from, https://fs.blog/2020/04/muscular-bonding/

My pull-quote feels pretty obvious. What’s interesting is where Parrish goes in this article. There’s a lot of research and discussion around what happens to us—mentally and physically—when we move together. It’s not simply, “hey that was fun.” There’s a durable bonding that happens when humans move together.

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 — original post, tagged Art du Déplacement, Movement, Shane Parrish




 
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just the quotes?
My collection of ~1,000 quotes, (and growing,) figures prominently in these weekly emails. You can also get a daily, random quote by email from my Little Box of Quotes.






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