Vanilla Sky

The little things... there's nothing bigger, is there?

Hi again, I’m Steve Makofsky and this is a semi-whenever list of interesting articles, podcasts and videos that I come across during the week. Hopfully you’ll enjoy it, have something new to think about, and share it with your friends. In case you forgot, this is in your inbox because you asked me to send it to you. You can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of this email.

In 2001, right after his critically acclaimed film "Almost Famous" Cameron Crowe released Vanilla Sky, an American adaptation of the 1997 Spanish film Open Your Eyes. The film, following their previous collaboration on Jerry Maguire, was deemed all over the map - it was called everything from "incoherent jumble" to "self-destructive cinematic havoc" to Roper saying it was one of "the best films of the year".

I don't get why people were rubbed the wrong way with this film; it had an amazing soundtrack, and provided plenty of delicate layers on layers that made the movie's ending up to your own interpretation. In ways, it reminds you of a Twilight Zone episode (which later on I found out it was indeed inspired by Shadowplay). The plot is straightforward: it's the story of David Aames, a man who has everything, who's choices catch up to him when crazy ex-lover (played by a bonkers Cameron Diaz) drives their car off a bridge, killing herself and horribly disfiguring him. Actions have consequences, and this film twists and turns into nightmarish scenarios.

The ending? Cameron Crowe himself has said there's 5 different ways to interpret the film. Wikipedia describes it best as "an odd mixture of science fiction, romance and reality warp"; I've always viewed this film similar to Inception - looking at subconscious blips, heartache, introspection and self-confrontation. It's one of my favorite films to this day.

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This weeks “Deep Links”

The Twitter hack last week made headlines; read the story of how a 17-year old hacked Twitter, and got caught - More

I've been super cautious never to post photos of my kids online for a variety of reasons (and boy, I have stories about this). But that's not the case for many and kids today are facing a new reality that their whole life is online without their consent - More

The inversion principal is a crazy interesting mental model based on the idea of "invert, always, invert". It "forces you to either stop doing certain things or avoid the actions that lead to the negative outcomes" - More

Apple recently patented "vein-matching biometrics"; it uses the shape of your veins to unlock your phone. Crazy cool idea, and makes unlocking your phone with a mask on much easier (and apparently solves the "evil twin" problem) - More

Nothing made me happier over the last few months than erasing everything that I had ever posted on Facebook (and blocking their tracking everywhere I could). Now Facebook employees are speaking about about the network that they have built in “Facebook Is Hurting People At Scale” - More

"The experience of Disney World under these circumstances is one of unsettling solitude"; in "I Went to Disney World", a look at the happiest place on earth during the pandemic - More

I'm guilty of consistently falling down the "life hacking" rabbit hole. The constant quest to burn through inefficiencies and being able to game the constant information overload is now getting a critical look at the practice. "It is possible to devote so much time to organizing your work that you never actually do any of it"; I'm not sure I agree with the assessment as I'm constantly being asked about my workflow - More

Nothing is more symbolic of the Star Wars saga than its iconic score from John Williams. A look back at the collective work and ongoing magic of a music legend - More

If you manage people, try to understand what level of "career conversationalist" you are with your employees - More

In 1971, Jim Irwin (Apollo 15) left a small piece of Oregon lava rock on the moon. Read the story on how a man from Bend, OR helped get it there - More

"Find canvases for other people to paint on" - simple advice from Ryan Holiday to "discover opportunities to promote their creativity, find outlets and people for collaboration, and eliminate distractions that hinder their progress and focus" - More

“Reality” is constructed by your brain through visual illusions. This article questions the conflict between perception and what is really going on in the brain - More

End Thoughts

Do you remember what you told me once? That every passing minute is a another chance to turn it all around.

I'll find you again.

I'll see you in another life... when we are both cats.

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Jamie Larson