Remembering each of us a little longer

That is the beauty of the internet. Before it, we had paper. And before paper, there wasn’t much available to record outside people’s memory.

With technology, we can document our journey and share it with others. That is one of my hopes with this blog that when I am gone people who knew me can find a piece of me on the web.

That is really powerful.

The internet isn’t just a micro medium, a connection tool, or a place to waste time but also a place we can remember each other just a little longer.

YouTube concert recommendations

This has really become a fun thing to do in our household. A great way to “scroll” together as a family. Each of us will pick live songs to watch and listen to together.

Katie Pruitt will make you want to bop your head and then cry.

Gordi does a great rendition of Unready and a great set at the Sydney Opera House.

The War on Drugs blowing the socks off with Red Eyes.

St. Vincent bringing the house down with Down.

Vance Joy covering Sia’s Elastic Heart.

Leon Bridges brings that old-school sound with Coming Home.

Modest Mouse reminds us of the dangers of missing our opportunities.

On our own, together

For most of us on a day-to-day basis, we walk around as if things are out of our control. That there is nothing to be said or done, we are just here for the ride. That all problems are systemic and too large for someone so small.

But that isn’t true.

As a species, we are on our own. The fairy godmother isn’t going to come down and waive a magic wand. The Wizard of Oz certainly isn’t going to help. Which means we don’t have to wait around. Instead, we can take responsibility instead of giving it away.

The great fictional philosopher, Uncle Ben, once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” That is great wisdom. But flip it around and it says, “With great responsibility comes great power.” The latter is much more pertinent in today’s world.

Top 40’s

Recently, I came across a great community project with an Indie Rock Reddit group called Top 10 Tuesdays. They put together a list of their favorite bands and every Tuesday they poll their favorite songs. Deep cuts and all.

It’s refreshing to see hardcore fans speak about the music that has touched their lives.

Juxtapose that from America’s Top 40 or the NYT’s Bestseller. These lists lack heart. You have to pay to play. If you want to play a game, you have to change your art to fit in with the masses. But the masses usually don’t have good taste.

It’s been said plenty of times on this blog: What’s popular isn’t the same as important.


“Nature versus nurture” is a term so ingrained into our language when talking about the upbringing of children to why people behave the way they do.

It turns out, that phrase was coined by Francis Galton, the father of the pseudoscience of eugenics.

We mirror our behaviors from the people that have come before us. Most of the time, without even knowing. When we hear phrases like “In this economy?” or “ballpark figure”–what are we really saying? More importantly, who are we copying?

“Always the bridesmaid, never a bride”

Oddly enough the phrase originated from a 1925 Listerine ad. The big selling point was how this antibacterial product can help women with halitosis (bad breath) get a man. There were two cultural phenomena happening during this period.

1) An emphasis on cleanliness. In fact, taking baths was seen as unnecessary for most of human history. Many believed it could lead to getting sick. But that changed as we moved to cities and bleach became a more widely available product.

2) As Betty Friedan pointed out in her essential book, The Feminine Mystique, women moved to the workforce during the War and were then asked to go home. During that time period, women were indoctrinated to find meaning in their lives as caregivers and were treated as second-class citizens.

It had me thinking about why is Utah last in the country in terms of women’s rights. I’m not suggesting that an advertisement in 1925 that it led to it. I am saying that when you tell a story long enough, loud enough we can begin to confuse fiction with fact.

Cooperate or suffer the consequences

One of the reasons why humans are such unique creatures is because of our ability to cooperate. But often that cooperation cannot sustain long enough to confront a crisis of large scale.

When we throw our hands in the air and give up, that mistake in judgment drives a feedback loop that makes a crisis louder.

Clarity loses itself in the noise. Taking a step back may be the prudent move before advancing forward. But often players will begin to find a way forward on their own. What probably should happen instead is to do the hard thing and reach across the aisle.

The absence of a negative

This is truly rock bottom. When no emergencies happening is a good day. What a difficult way to measure one’s life. (We have all been there.)

The opposite is also true: The absence of a positive. What you likely need is a break. Hang in there because light does find a way at the end of tunnels.

Being short on luck isn’t the same as being short on effort

“Fighting the good fight” can feel like sweeping leaves in the wind. It just doesn’t feel like there is progress made despite our best efforts. The worst part is when we don’t see any improvements, even slight incremental ones, we can begin to believe there is something wrong with us. Which is unlikely to be true. Sure, there might be more things you can do, and you can change tactics but if you are in the space of creating change you are looking for those opportunities to do so. The world is a difficult, complex space to operate in, your effort doesn’t have to be always the thing in question.