The Empathy Machine

The movies are like a machine that generates empathy... It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us" - Roger Ebert

Crushed up ice cream cones

Last year, everyone I know adored AppleTV+'s hit series Ted Lasso. Perhaps it was due to timing — with the craziness and uncertainty of the world at the start of the pandemic, everyone seemed to need the radical positivity driven at them by the Lasso way.

It's interesting. In its sophomore season, the show has been getting a fair share of (usual Internet) bashing and critique for all corners.

"It's too canned." "It's too nice." "Everyone just loves each other." "It's a let down." Everybody is a critic.

Side note: I do agree and think M.G. Siegler is on to something that it is too long to wait a week between each 24-minute episode (he proposed to drop two episodes a week - I love that idea).

After the first two episodes, we had a forced break after the first two episodes — our move curtailed any television watching. It did enable us to binge a bunch of episodes this past week, though, and it was worth the wait/binge. Roy Kent is the pulse of the show, and watching his arc is when it all clicked for me where this is going.

It's about the reconciliation of what was and what is.

It's about change. Your past. Your future. What you become.

Your "brand."

"I suppose the best brand is just being yourself." - Higgins, when asked by Rebecca, his "brand" when he met his wife

What you accept and are willing to.

And, spoiler alert - when you finally realizes what you are meant to do.

My gut is telling me it's going to get a bit dark for Ted. We are going to learn about a past that fuels the overkill of "nice" that he hides behind. He is going to need to confront it in order to evolve.

I can't wait to see where this goes; we are all on similar journeys in life.

If you enjoy these posts, you can buy me a coffee ☕️, or if you'd rather keep up with my daily ramblings, follow me on Twitter or keep reading my posts on this blog.

Forward Thinking

I do love movies. "The Purpose of Cinema" nailed it for me.

Coupled with a voice-over by Roger Ebert on empathy and a great version of Imagine by AudioMachine, it gives all the feels:

"The movies are like a machine that generates empathy. If it’s a great movie, it lets you understand a little bit more about what it’s like to be a different gender, a different race, a different age, a different economic class, a different nationality, a different profession, different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us"

Thought of the week

Nothing short of epic calendar management skills at work here.

Latest obsession

I can admit it - I try out way too many bags. My latest crush is a small sling bag that smashes down to fit inside another overnight bag. Check out the new WaterfieldPackable Sling Bag.

A bag that folds into a small pouch
WaterField sling

It's a minimal bag - weighing at only 9oz, it can store 7.75 liters of "stuff"; perfect for running around town or throwing tech gear together for a quick hike. It's wrinkle-free, water-resistant, and cleans easily.

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

  • Best read of the week is easily "Check Your Work, Ask for Help, and Slow Down"; get your notebook ready and dig in on why 'urgency is often the lie' - beautiful nuggets in this - More
  • "Building A Better Internet Diet" explores how you can 'rebuild how you connect to the internet.' Personally; I leverage tools like MailBrew and Feedlyto sort through the junk-food that is vying for our attention daily; there are some perfect tips in here - More
  • In a follow-up from a link last week, "Giant rubber ducky takes flight; where will it land next?" - continues the mystery as the giant rubber duck that appeared in a Maine harbor has now vanished - More
  • "The world’s fastest-accelerating roller coaster is shut down after riders report fractured bones"; how very 2021 😳 - More
  • "Burning out and quitting" is the story of how 'the monotony of another exhausting day with 7 hours on Zoom, then trying to do real work, at 1am, with a glass of wine on the couch' affected one person, but I sense something many are going through. A well-written and thoughtful piece to spend some time digesting - More
  • Chris writes an important piece on "Why decentralization matters" and the 'next era of the Internet' - More
  • If there's any single skill that I'd advise anyone to build/practice/fine-tune and rework, it's the ability to be a storyteller. In "Just tell a story," the author explores the power of 'making it memorable by telling a story' - More
  • Adam Harmetz wrote a great article on "Celebrating 16 Years at Microsoft". There's a treasure of super valuable lessons in here to be learned around career, people, strategy, and leadership - More
  • What's not to love about "The 100-year-old diary fell from the ceiling of her San Francisco home. What was inside changed her". A fantastic story that fell into the author's lap - More
  • In "How the Adirondack Chair Became the Feel-Good Recliner That Cures What Ails You" I learned that the chair is ‘rooted in the history of disease’ as part of a wilderness cure. Wild - More
  • "The Curse of Knowledge" examines cognitive bias and that most "forget what it was like before you learned." An essential read in creating a learning environment and psychological safety in teams - More
  • The pandemic keeps challenging ‘what is normal’ concerning the workplace. Interesting to see that studies show face-to-face interaction may not be a factor in creating strong interpersonal bonds among colleagues. "Employees Are Lonelier Than Ever. Here's How Employers Can Help." examines the negative side-effects of loneliness in the workplace - More


Any self-respecting MCU fan has watched the new SpiderMan: No Way Hometeaser 30 times to figure out how this film will play out; so why not end this week by linking to it? 😀

See you next week friends!

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Jamie Larson