Gratitude is absolutely a key component in a practical spiritual toolkit. For one thing, it’s the antidote to self-pity. The two are incompatible feelings; you can’t be grateful and self-pitying at the same time—the two won’t arise together and seldom co-exist.
36 days remain until the end of the year. I started this blog on November 25, 2001 – nineteen years ago today! What a trip it’s been!
The Losses We Share – New York Times (Meghan Markle) – So this Thanksgiving, as we plan for a holiday unlike any before — many of us separated from our loved ones, alone, sick, scared, divided and perhaps struggling to find something, anything, to be grateful for — let us commit to asking others, “Are you OK?”
A novel approach to truth-telling – Financial Times – Twenty years ago, I assumed that the world’s two largest democracies, India and the US, would stay on course, never imagining that both countries — among many others — would see the rise of populists and the loss of so many freedoms.
Introducing the Eisenhower Matrix – Eisenhower – The Eisenhower Matrix, also referred to as Urgent-Important Matrix, helps you decide on and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance, sorting out less urgent and important tasks which you should either delegate or not do at all.
Bitcoin finally finds a rationale in doomsday scenarios – Financial Times – To be clear, I don’t believe in the risk of global authoritarianism painted by the cryptocurrency’s most fervid backers. But as a doomsday contingency system, I am glad someone created bitcoin just in case.
On (not) leaving San Francisco – On my Om – Right now, it seems that not just leaving San Francisco, but kicking it on the way out, has become a bit of a meme. And with all the bizarre propositions on our election ballots, our rabid political ecosystem, our declining quality of life, and the prospects of rising taxes, I can understand the temptation.
How Venture Capitalists Are Deforming Capitalism – New Yorker – Dunlevie admitted to a partner that he wasn’t certain how WeWork would ever become profitable, but he was taken with Neumann. Dunlevie said to the partner, “Let’s give him some money, and he’ll figure it out.” – see also Fred Wilson’s comments: Thoughts On Charles Duhigg’s New Yorker Piece – There is more truth to that article than anyone in the venture capital industry wants to admit. The idea that capital alone can create a strong company is a flawed idea that the VC industry pursued with a lot of passion for most of the last decade.
Trump Lost The Election. Why Do His Supporters Refuse To Believe It? – Refinery29 – Trump, of course, knows he has lost the election. But by creating doubt around the results, he is not only trying to undermine both the eventual Biden administration, but also to position himself as a winner to his base in an effort to subsequently make money on speeches, rallies, and books.
How Trump placed a ticking time bomb at the center of our system – Washington Post (Greg Sargent) – While this time the state legislatures appear unwilling to carry out Trump’s scheme, and a few GOP senators have signaled that they would not agree to count rogue electors in any case, that’s hardly a guarantee against future breakdowns.
It’s Time to Unfollow Donald Trump – GQ – Soon, the contents of his timeline will be no more important than that of any of this country’s many replacement-level MAGA social media personalities with bald eagle avatars, and I hope you do not follow many of them, either.
Qantas Will Require Passengers To Be Vaccinated – OneMileataTime.com – In an interview with Australian TV show “A Current Affair,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce made some interesting comments. Specifically, Joyce said that Qantas will require that passengers show proof of having received a coronavirus vaccine to travel internationally with the airline.
Need a Hypothesis? This A.I. Has One – New York Times – The machines may already have cracked hidden codes behind many human behaviors, but it will require live brains to help tease those out.
Productive Uncertainty – Jerry Neumann – It’s tempting, as a venture investor, to back companies developing amazing new technologies. But this often doesn’t work out as well as investing in companies that are using existing technologies in a new way.
Morning Nuggets – Saturday and Sunday, November 21-22, 2020
Today: Stan Musial was born on Nov. 21, 1920 – 100 years ago.
In 1864, Like in 2020, America Just Got Lucky – The Atlantic – History’s hypotheticals lead easily to scenarios few of us would like to imagine. We have just come close to another moment that would likely have produced a worse future for this country, and, for now, I’m glad we don’t have to find out for sure.
The Lady and the Trump – New York Times (Maureen Dowd) – I’ve been riveted all week by the spectacle of the most famous blond phenom on the planet, a child isolated and miserable living inside a national landmark, lashing out and spiraling into self-destructive acts.
RV Owners Take to the Road With ‘Covid Campers’ – Wall St. Journal – They are turning to “Covid Campers”: specially fitted recreational vehicles—or retrofitted existing vehicles—that offer the comforts of home and office without exposing them to the risks of public restrooms, restaurants and even people altogether.
The World in 2021 – Ten trends to watch in the coming year – The Economist (Tom Standage) – Do you feel lucky? The number 21 is connected with luck, risk, taking chances and rolling the dice. It’s the number of spots on a standard die, and the number of shillings in a guinea, the currency of wagers and horse-racing. It’s the minimum age at which you can enter a casino in America…
Iowa’s Covid Wave and the Limits of Personal Responsibility – Wired – “The governor’s reversal this week (on mask wearing) is tantamount to an admission that the policy of personal responsibility isn’t working.” and “The absence of a mask mandate, the open bars, the public gatherings—they created the illusion of normalcy. And if things feel normal, people are going to act like they are.”
When the World Seems Like One Big Conspiracy – New York Times (Yuval Noah Harari) – “The key premise of Global Cabal theories is that it is relatively easy to manipulate the world. A small group of people can understand, predict and control everything, from wars to technological revolutions to pandemics.”
California Wants Its Imperial Valley to Be ‘Lithium Valley’ – Bloomberg Businessweek – “Hot brine trapped beneath the desert floor contains potentially one of the world’s biggest deposits of lithium. Demand for the metal is soaring as automakers worldwide shift to electric cars powered by lithium-ion batteries.”
The Elements of Good Judgment – Harvard Business Review – “I’ve found that leaders with good judgment tend to be good listeners and readers—able to hear what other people actually mean, and thus able to see patterns that others do not.”
Trump Has Abdicated in the Face of Disaster – The Atlantic – “The nation cries out for leadership, yet amid one of the worst crises to face the country in decades, President Donald Trump is nowhere to be found. He is hunkered down in the White House, not giving interviews or speaking to the public except through his Twitter account, where he is mostly spreading misinformation about the election.”
Artificial intelligence is reshaping finance – Financial Times – “Essentially, Barclays and Amazon are linking data with AI analysis to approve credit (or not) and predict what customised services clients will want next.”
African fintech startup Chipper Cash raises $30M backed by Jeff Bezos – Techcrunch – “African cross-border fintech startup Chipper Cash has raised a $30 million Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital with participation of Bezos Expeditions. The company offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in seven countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.”
How to prepare your digital assets in case of death – Macworld (Glenn Fleishman) – “Most of us feel macabre talking about death, but dealing with the fussy details ahead of time can solve endless problems later. It’s especially true with digital resources, as giant technology firms, including Apple, may not be responsive to your queries when someone’s gone.”
Boeing Responds to FAA Approval to Resume 737 MAX Operations – Boeing – “The FAA’s directive is an important milestone,” said Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We will continue to work with regulators around the world and our customers to return the airplane back into service worldwide.”
The Basecamp Guide to Internal Communication – Basecamp – “Internal communication based on long-form writing, rather than a verbal tradition of meetings, speaking, and chatting, leads to a welcomed reduction in meetings, video conferences, calls, or other real-time opportunities to interrupt and be interrupted.”
M1 Macs review: The Next Generation – Six Colors – “The decision to abandon Intel, seemingly risky when we all first contemplated it a few years ago, has become blindingly obvious in hindsight. These new relatively low-end Mac models, all powered by the M1 chip, are faster than all but the very highest-end Intel Macs.”
The Golden Rule of Pandemic Survival – The Atlantic – “My colleagues’ guidance boils down to this winter’s golden rule for interacting with anyone outside your immediate household: Don’t spend time indoors with other people.”
COVID-19 and Walking Japan– Craig Mod – “What it’s like doing this walk during COVID-19? How stressful is it? How different is it?”
The Rise and Fall of Getting Things Done – New Yorker (Cal Newport) – “Imagine if, through some combination of new management thinking and technology, we could introduce processes that minimize the time required to talk about work or fight off random tasks flung our way by equally harried co-workers, and instead let us organize our days around a small number of discrete objectives.”
Huawei, 5G, and the Man Who Conquered Noise – Wired – “What gripped him most was solving a challenge that Shannon himself had spelled out in his 1948 paper: how to transport accurate information at high speed while defeating the inevitable “noise”—undesirable alterations of the message—introduced in the process of moving all those bits.”
How The “Experts” Invest Their Money – Can I Retire Yet? – The book is a collection of 25 essays written by financial experts, ranging from financial advisors, journalists, authors, and professional portfolio managers. All shared what they actually do when it is time to put their own money where their mouths are.
Why Obama Fears for Our Democracy – The Atlantic – “What I’ve always believed is that humanity has the capacity to be kinder, more just, more fair, more rational, more reasonable, more tolerant. It is not inevitable. History does not move in a straight line. But if you have enough people of goodwill who are willing to work on behalf of those values, then things can get better.”
California, Love It and Leave It – Wall St. Journal – “The harsh truth is that California has fallen into disrepair. Bad policies discourage business and innovation, stifle opportunity and make life in major cities ugly and unpleasant.”