Varieties of Human Experience | #26

A link roundup

Hello dear friends :-)

These days I find myself thinking a lot about how others see the world. I haven’t written much about it (yet), but that’s been the theme in my recent reading. Here are some things you might find interesting.

How Not To Let Work Explode Your Life. This one’s pretty long (11K words) and worth it. A look at how people used to work in the past, the role work played in their lives and relationships, and how society in general felt about work. Our perspectives on life are often limited by our experience. It’s hard to imagine living in a world very different from ours and being ok with it. So it’s always good to be reminded that there are many ways to live that we haven’t even considered.

Let The Others Find You. Make a deep connection with someone, and you’ll have one friend. Invite others to make deep connections with you, and you’ll never be lonely.

The Hawk. A lovely short story.

Hoist the Colors. I wrote last fall about how pirates were the startups of the 1700s. Here’s a longer, deeper, and more colorful version of that story.

The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics. Oldie but goodie. I’ve been noticing more and more that a big part of decisionmaking is avoiding blame. That leads people to take less initiative and ignore problems they could be fixing.

Weirdo Subcultures Are No Longer Producing Great Art. A back-and-forth discussion about why there hasn’t been much “great” art created in the last twenty years. I’m not sure I buy the premise (look at scenes like improv, standup, graffiti, NFTs) but its provocative. My best theory to support this claim is that “great” means something like “critically acclaimed”, and the critics are old-media elites who’ve become less relevant in recent times (do people still care about the Oscars?). So the art is still good (in fact there’s more of it than ever before) but there’s less consensus on what counts as great.

The best is yet to come 🚀