In Search Of
"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously." - Hunter Thompson
Thanks to those that reached out after last week's post; it certainly hit a chord with many of you (thanks for reaching out!).
A couple of quick programming notes:
- Twitter is a train wreck, and I'm done with it for my content. I've moved to Mastodon if you want to follow my random quibbles, but I am embracing the "Publish On Your Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere" model. Follow here, on Mastodon, RSS, wherever you would like, but my 'home' is here on https://makoism.com.
- I reworked the newsletter, so it's a bit more streamlined.
- On the brain dump - heard the feedback - I'll put back the commentary. :)
- Archives - Next up are archives/tags, so if you're interested in finding past articles (over 150+ now), I wanted to make it easier. There's a lot of legacy content that's buried
I started to talk about something that's been on my head a few weeks back:
It's rare for someone who's been in the industry for a long time to find something totally new that reminds them why they started the journey. The only feeling I could describe it as was joy. The joy of playing around with some tech that didn't feel like a scam (NFTs), have social burden, or more of the same crap we see over and over and over. It was a joy of rekindling a spark in something long forgotten.
This week, coincidentally, the Ten Percent Happier podcast from Dan Harris had a fascinating episode regarding One Emotion Might Be the Key to Happiness. Now, if you don't remember Dan Harris, he was an anchor on Good Morning America who had an on-air panic attack:
His book is excellent (so read it), but this particular episode focused on the book Awe, by Dacher Keltner. While the book is still in my anti-library waiting to be read, the episode was illuminating.
It brought to light the experience I had back in December playing around with that new technology. What clicked is that I was experiencing (something that I've often been missing): a feeling of awe.
Think about it - when was the last time you just felt blown away by something? What was the last thing that gave you goosebumps? What literally took your breathe away?
- An amazing hike?
- A piece of music?
- A sunset?
- A meal that just blew you away?
- The smell of a fresh cup of coffee in the morning?
I think, for many, everything just has become just so routine, so damn dull; as a society who's been consumed with the continuous 'IV drip of social media,' collectively, we have forgotten how to experience things.
There's interesting science behind what happens to our brains as we experience awe and even more evidence which explores the long-term health benefits of it. One source even claims that experiencing awe can make you a nicer person.
While the podcast talks about the idea of going on awe-walks - 'a stroll in which you intentionally shift your attention outward instead of inward' - I'd almost throw down a challenge to yourself if you're feeling glum to find your little bits of awe in every day. You don't need to jump on a plane and see Mt. Everest (though it's pretty awesome) - you can experience it all around you - every day.
Lensing back to some of the things going on with the decline of Twitter and the state of technology, Jon Udell nailed it best:
I'm no longer employed in the attention economy. I just want to hang out online with people whose words and pictures and ideas intrigue and inspire and delight me, and who might feel similarly about my words and pictures and ideas. There are thousands of such people in the world, not millions. We want to congregate in different online spaces for different reasons. Now we can and I couldn't be happier.
I loved this take on finding some awesomeness. Get out there and find some.
If you enjoy these posts, you can buy me a coffee ☕️, or if you'd rather just keep up with my daily ramblings, follow me via your favorite RSS reader, via Mastodon or keep reading my posts on this blog.
I love technology; in fact, I've built a career on (as I often joke) 'being from the future' on a lot of this stuff. But lately, something has felt a bit out of wack for me. There are days where it feels as if my brain has been rewired (it probably has) to consume information at such a pace I'm missing out on essential details of just being. The scale needs to be balanced.
In that vein, I've been toying around with an idea to get more consciously analog — every day. And you know what - I'm finding that I'm just happier.
I didn't invent "Slow Tech" but loved this view:
Slow tech is above all a philosophy that invites us to define the place that technology occupies in our lives. The aim is not to reject technological advances, but rather to identify the appropriate tools for our needs and those of society.
The slow technology movement is focused on a very specific and precise interaction with these technologies. Some describe it as "aimed at reflection and moments of mental rest rather than efficiency in performance." This description focuses on how slow technology aims to change the priority from optimized use to moderated use of technology.
So look to this section to be about some new weekly idea on just slowing down.
Here are a few articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week. It seems like folks wanted my 2 cents on them, so adding that back:
- "The Secret To Life Is Not Taking It So Seriously" was exactly what I needed this week - a kick in the pants that reminded me that 'after enough trips around the sun we begin to see patterns repeat itself and starts to dawn on us how absurd it all is.' - More
- I probably take this a bit too far, but I try to lean into using humor as a method of 'coping', but I liked where this article went on some simple things around "The Most Fun Way To Make Your Life Awesome" - More
- Ya know, I've been there. The allure of "personal knowledge management" (PKM) is that you can capture all the things in some super-inter-connected graph, all the notes, books, tweets, and later weirdly wire them to create a second brain.' For me, it made a landfill of things I never revisited (where ideas go to die); I spent more time worrying about the system than enjoying the content. "I Tried To Hack Podcasts, And It Made Me Hate Them" captured some of the same things I experienced - More
- I loved this one on "Time Management" as I've been struggling with a better way to handle it. Lots of great ideas in here that I'm figuring out how to implement- More
- A nice list of "Some Things I've Learned in 2022", with lots of nuggets of wisdom to think about every day - More
- I'm still playing Wordle daily - I have three different groups I share results with, but wow, "Not cheating at Wordle" was a wild one to read. - More
- "10 Steps to Becoming Annoyingly Capable" is part humor, but all facts on adopting a different mindset, such as "Remain sane via Boundaries." Love. - More
- Privacy is an illusion, but sorry, this is just gross. "The Unnerving Rise of Video Games that Spy on You" shines a light on a problem that almost sounds like a drug addiction - how they use 'data analytics tools that promise to make users more amenable to continued consumption through the use of data analysis at scale.' - More
- I always joke - freeze me when I die so I can return in 300 years. But after reading "Horror stories of cryonics: The gruesome fates of futurists hoping for immortality," this probably doesn't sound like the best idea - More
This Weeks Mantra
From the post "Some Things I’ve Learned in 2022":
We are never in the middle of nowhere. Every place is somebody’s somewhere.
Be well. ✌🏻