The Good Gets Better
"We are in the habit of exaggerating, or imagining, or anticipating, sorrow." - Seneca
Well, another "holy shit I feel old" anniversary this week - The Matrix celebrates being released 24 years ago today (on March 31, 1999).
I can't remember what theater I first saw it in or who (sorry) I saw it with, but in the first four minutes, when you first saw the effect later to be coined 'Bullet Time,' you knew you were in for something new. Something special.
And now, it's 2023, 24 years later. The world seems just so different now. There is so much, I don't know, general wackiness. I sometimes joke that the only explanation that can explain any of it is that the multiverse must have split when Bowie passed in 2016 — or maybe even, we are just living in some simulation.
I'd be lying if I didn't say this stuff doesn't weigh on me. I've previously talked about my stressors and anxiety and that we are all a work in progress. I consistently have to re-ground myself in the basics, especially when I lack sleep, don't get exercise, or have a poor diet that week.
The most significant remedy is removing negative thinking whenever I sense myself orbiting around it. Apply some 'Memento Mori' logic when possible.
I think a lot about this quote from Esther Hicks:
Focus on the good. Because when you do, the good gets better.
And that's the choice in the end.
You can choose to be negative about everyone and everything, or you can choose to look for the good things about situations and people.
The truth is, we know so little about life; we don't really know what the good news is and what the bad news is. The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it's really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad. - Kurt Vonnegut
So, that's where this week's random ramble has led me - as hard or as loud as the noise may seem, don't focus on the negative. Focus on the little, good things. Focus on the positive. Focus on what makes your soul grow.
Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow. - Kurt Vonnegut
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I know, the last movie was terrible and I have my fears about the upcoming Dial of Destiny, but I do love the character of Indiana Jones.
Kottke had a post that linked to a fascinating transcript back from 1978 where George Lucas was spitballing with Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan on 'ideas for a film Lucas had wanted to make about a swashbuckling archeologist.'
Here is some great insight into the thinking that goes into building an amazing movie:
In the essence it's just bullshit stuff where he wanders around Cairo trying to uncover the mystery of his puzzle. At the same time, you meet all these interesting characters and every once in a while somebody throws a knife at him, or he beats somebody up, or somebody beats him up.
Spielberg fires off ideas with an adolescent’s stamina—and not all of them are bad, either. In fact, among his spontaneous interjections are some of the most iconic episodes in the film. “I have a great idea!” he exclaims. “There is a sixty-five-foot boulder, that’s form-fitted to only roll down the corridor, coming right at him. And it’s a race. He gets to outrun the boulder!”
Here are a few articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:
- File this one under "TIL" (#todayIlearned), the origin and secret names of certain types of language used in comics. In the 1980 book, 'The Lexicon of Comicana', Mort Walker had a 'silly attempt to classify the symbols used in comic strips around the world.' Instead, these words became ingrained as fact. For example, 'Emanata: symbols that emanate outwards from cartoon characters to show their internal state.' What a fun read, and now I know what grawlixes are! — [via Quimps, Plewds, And Grawlixes: The Secret Language Of Comic Strips]
- Tech read of the week: 'The dynamic of why letting things slip and waiting until bad things happen, or focusing only on lagging indicators, is dangerous.' Hot damn, I loved this post, and I'm going to steal the term debt debt - 'dealing with the impact of accumulated stress and not making the best decisions — debt debt' — [via Fog and Debt Debt]
- Read of the week! A look at Shopify's meeting policy and how it's affected work. 12,000 calendar series and events were deleted, any meeting with more than two was banned, and Wednesdays are meeting free. Check out the results. Amazing! — [via Chaos Monkey: We look at Shopify's new 'culture of focus']
- While I use 1Password as my password manager, Apple already has all the pieces to create a standalone app on top of its hidden password features across its platforms. It's obvious; I'm surprised these apps haven't been Sherlock'd yet. — [via Apple Passwords Deserve An App]
- Never heard of the concept of a 'spark file,' but I like it! I tend to do this more in a special folder in my to-do list (via Things). Still, the idea is 'a single document where I keep all my hunches: ideas for articles, speeches, software features, startups, ways of framing a chapter I know I'm going to write, even whole books.' No particular organization, no taxonomy, just basic ideas that you can occasionally go back to and see how those hunches transform over time. — [via The Spark File]
- When I came across this post, I immediately sent it out to family and friends. While I've been fortunate never to suffer through cancer, I have survived two heart attacks and surgery for atrial fibrillation. I've struggled (and, if I'm being candid, still struggle) in dealing with feelings of vulnerability when faced with one's critical health issues. I thought Bill Zehme articulated incredibly well some of the feelings and emotions that I deal with. — [via What Cancer Taught Me]
- This is something that I strive to push towards - continuous, small delivery. Gone are the days of big 'releases' with insanely long test cycles; instead, IMHO, there's way more value in 'becoming increasingly confident in the bones.' — [via Ship Small, Ship Fast]
- Feels like every week GapingVoid has just been knocking it out of the park, and this week is no different. Another vital critique of the negative effects of social media and re-shifting to focus on more positive things that happen every day. 'If all we hear about are the mishaps and the misfires, we might think that's all there is, and we might miss the miraculous achievements all around us.' Wise words. — [via Why are We so Miserable?]
- One of the main reasons I don't read reviews is that I want to form my own opinions. In this post/rant, the author discusses why 'citizen journalism and social media influences have come to play a big role in shapeshifting our societies. This, in turn, redefines the perimeters of society's intellectual base and legal framework. A house of cards then sits on top of this as a superstructure.' Worth the time to go through this one. — [via The Danger Of Distaste]
- This week, I crossed a 1325-day (3.5+ years) streak in my journal for continuous entries. I found this post resonated with my reasoning for doing this, 'every time I look back upon certain entries — from a year ago, or five, or ten — I'm reminded of what I went through on the road to today.' — [via Document Your Journey]
This Weeks Vibe
Released as a single from Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, KISS's "God Gave Rock' n' Roll to You 2" was a rework of the 1973 song by the band Argent. This new version had additional lyrics dedicated to Eric Carr, the band's original drummer, who passed from cancer at the age of 41.
From KISS: Behind the Mask, Paul Stanley said:
"The truth about that song is nobody has any recollection about the original version except for the chorus. If you listen to Argent's version, I don't know what the hell they were singing about, they're singing about flowers, trees and snakes. We told the label that we'd do it, but we'd have to rewrite it."
This was one of those weeks where I just had it on replay over and over.
Be well. ✌🏻