I’ve frequently talked about the power of journals and the insight you can get from looking back and reading about something from days gone by to provide clarity. Taking a peek back into the past and remembering feelings, finding patterns is often insightful and can reveal quite a few things.
What I didn’t expect was that habit has also helped me start to develop a deeper appreciation of the now.
Check out this quick video from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows on ‘Dès Vu: The Awareness That This Will Become A Memory.’
One day, you’ll remember this moment, and it’ll mean something very different. Maybe you’ll cringe and laugh or brim with pride, aching to return or notice some detail hidden in the scene, a future landmark making its first appearance or discreetly taking its final bow.
I kind of love it: develop a mindset that focuses on the moment.
Not a ‘capture this on my Instagram’ type of moment - but rather training yourself to have a mindset that it’s okay just to enjoy the moment. A conscious acknowledgment that the moment will pass. Breathe. It is okay to experience the sights, the sounds, the smells. How it felt.
Let that be the memory.
Not every moment needs to be captured as a digital copy.
Sometimes more is just ... more. It’s not better.
This week saw the discontinuation of the iPod after 22 glorious years.
I dug up an old blog post from Jan 27, 2005 in which I commented:
Something about the aesthetics of an Apple product, such as the Mini or the iPod, draws people in. It's about personal expression. Some pointed out a few weeks back: that people view these as 'an extension of themselves just as much as their clothing or interior decoration.' It's what makes a Moleskine more desirable than a Trapper Keeper.
Damn, that was right on. I found a few other great retrospectives that echoed my feelings:
You know what else I miss? The iPod click wheel. Driving across the entire country. By myself, on the road, on this exhilarating and terrifying journey to my future. The iPod, my only companion. Every song I ever owned in a device I truly could fit in my pocket. This sounds ho-hum now. It was absolute sorcery back then. It’s a great landmark of what can change in technology in 20 years.
M.G Siegler in "The First Truly Personal Computer"
Listening to music with an iPod shuffle is still (and can still be) a fun experience. You can create the digital equivalent of a mixtape, load it on your shuffle, clip the shuffle to your shirt/jeans/jacket, and then you can go out and listen to music without even having to touch the device, unless you need to change volume or skip a track. It’s basically a hands-free device that disappears on you.
Riccardo Mori in "So long, iPod. You’ll be missed"
Goodbye, iPod. You will be missed.
Thought of the week
I enjoyed this mega-thread from Tim Urban this week, and while he titled it for "political' thinking, I'd reframe it as "thinking" in general.
Some mantras for thinking:
Truth is hard.
Humility is hard.
Independent thinking is hard.
Resisting tribalism is hard.
Over and over, you will forget that these things are hard, and that's probably when you'll fail at them.
Bullies come in many forms. Stand up to bullies. And don't be a bully.
Political parties are big lame corporations. They're not worthy of your identity.
Angels and demons are a delusion. Everyone is flawed and everyone is complicated.
Courage is criticizing your in-group.
When you feel disgust for people based on their politics, it's a sign you're not in your right mind.
When you let politics damage your relationships, it's a sign you're not in your right mind.
You're probably in more of an information bubble than you realize.
Most disagreements about "what should be" are actually disagreements about "what is."
Be suspicious of certainty. There is a strong correlation between those who feel 100% conviction about their political beliefs and those who could not pass a high school civics test.
When you and your friends fervently agree about every issue, it's a sign that tribal pheromones are in the air and everyone's gone a bit mad.
What people say they stand for tells you nothing. Their behavior tells you everything. The same goes for your own behavior
-- Tim Urban (@waitbutwhy)
A few weeks ago, I mentioned the book "Barking up The Wrong Tree." Well, Eric Barker's new book "Plays Well With Others" is now out. I've bought it - I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it's definitely on the must-read pile.
This weeks "Deep Links"
Here are a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:
- An interesting Wikipedia find 'Sturgeon's law'. Put simply: "ninety percent of everything is crap" - More
- While "A Champion Hidden In Plain Sight" leans in on Rich Strike and his incredible (80-1) win from behind in this year's Kentucky Derby, this is one of those great finds that talks about breaking from the 'weight of expectation' and that you should 'defy the odds by simply honoring yourself instead of false limits' - More
- Mark Manson reflects on "The Biggest Lesson I've Learned From You" over the last 15 years of online writing. What was fascinating to learn: most people are internally struggling with the same 3 or 4 things - More
- "The three questions this CEO uses to weed out jerks" poses a few questions that I found interesting. Now, I'm not sure this weeds out 'jerks' as the title indicates, but instead could elicit some exciting conversations - More
- A morning mantra: 'Today will be less than perfect.' Found in "You're Never Going to Be Perfect" explores a bit on why this is just fine - More
- Phew. I thought I was the only one who ever researched where I lived and how a nuclear blast would affect it. "The Return of 1980s-Era Nuclear-Strike Maps" explores how in 2022, these maps are starting to make a comeback - More
- A lot of interesting facts and thoughts on what 'taste' is; in "Notes on 'Taste'" lots of great bullets trying to define something that isn't definable - More
- "Many experiences, few stories" dives into something that I value as both a parent and a leader - having interesting experiences and storytelling. It's such an undervalued skill, but I find it crucial to building connections; I couldn't agree more with: 'we share our essential experiences with others, we open the door to connection.' - More
- A wonderful read on "The Creed of Excellence." 'Perfection is a mirage, a beautiful one at that. It provides a useful target, but only if it remains a target avoiding obsession, which itself is the ugliest and most destructive form of passion.' - More
Closing out this week with a great look at Skywalker Sound. In this episode of "Behind the Mac", Apple turns its ear (har har) towards " the team of creators who collaborate to make the magic we hear onscreen. From field recording and Foley to sound design and mixing, these artists reveal their process, showing us how they use Mac to bring to life sounds from the Star Wars universe and beyond."
While obviously marketing for the Mac, I still enjoyed it.
Be well. ✌🏻… and see you in two weeks.