Did You Chop Down This Tree?

“A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean.” — The Lorax


Hi again, I’m Steve Makofsky and this is a somewhat weekly list of interesting articles, books, podcasts, music and videos that I come across during the week that helps me grow my mind garden. I hope you enjoy it, find something new to think about, and share it with your friends.

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The Lorax, written in 1971, shows a world with no trees left. The point of this is not a commentary on the banning/censoring of the book for portraying the foresting industry in a negative way.

"I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues"

Instead I wanted to put out there on how I think about change and leadership. I cannot understate the power of speaking up, regardless of where you are in an organization, on things you believe in. If you are in a leadership role or have a platform - speak for those who don’t have a voice. Don't become disheartened; continuously pursue the change you want to see. Whether it’s battling “that’s not the way we used to do it” thinking, large imbalances of diversity in workforce or toxic behavior; speak up.

Remember - "unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's just not."

Be The Lorax.

If you're interested in my daily ramblings, follow me on Twitter or my posts on Medium.

Forward Thinking

One of the stand out re-watches for me this week was a 2012 TED talk on "The Six Degrees", by Kevin Bacon.

It follows his journey on his initial reaction of embarrassment and the eventual embracing of the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game. It led him to finding SixDegrees.org, a charitable initiative that links people to charities and each other for the purpose of making a difference.

Latest obsession

I have fallen head over heels for The Matador Pocket Blanket and Mini Pocket Blanket as a must-have accessory. They're lightweight, water-resistant outdoor blankets that you use for a picnic, getting work done at the top of a hike, or even a nap on.

The best part? These blankets are freaking compact and small that it can fit in your pocket or clip on your keychain.

Here's a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:

  • As someone who always is dubious of consulting firms, this read on McKinsey’s partners suffer from collective self-delusion brutally hits the nail on the head - More
  • This weeks favorite read is from SubbuOn Being Present. There's way too much good advice in here to pick out one nugget, go read it - More
  • A forgotten Cold War experiment has revealed its icy secret. It’s bad news for the planet. is a fascinating article about humanity's vulnerability to climate change - More
  • This week saw the passing of Dick Hoyt, Part of Legendary Boston Marathon Duo. Runner's World has a great look back at this legends life - More
  • I love my AirPod Pro's; in AirPods as a Platform a look at the takes a deep look at what may become of them as a platform play - More
  • A great watch from this week that I was sent from several different places on the Internet from a 1997 interview on how "a couple of geeks (laughing) want take on (more laughing) Sears". A hilarious early look at Amazon - Watch
  • I'll be the first to admit, I love sitting in my sweatpants all day long while working (which, may be alright considering my employeer). In Americans Need to Go Back to the Office, a look at the 'work at home rules' that have gone out the window in 2020/2021 - More
  • Walking is thinking. Found a great exploration of this in Walking, Thinking, and the Paradox of Self-Reflection - More
  • Lots of people are here and want to get there.In You are Going on a Quest a look at different paths for leadership-minded engineers - More
  • "How the pandemic taught me to look closely at the world, and how I hope to carry that forward out the other side" in Looking Closely is Everything - More
  • A look at the shifting tides from algorithmic feeds to high-attention relationships in The New Era of Social Media Isn’t About Feeds - More


In a great post from Austin Kleon, on "Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s songwriting process” comes this classic video 'where the actor Richard E. Grant asks Elton John if he can create a song out of his oven’s instruction manual. Elton obliges.'