Reading time: About 5 minutes, 1100 words.
Get 7 for Sunday in your inbox. → Subscribe here.

I do have some rules

One rule is: Anything I find, which ticks two (or more!) boxes from my list of decadent favorite pastimes, I must include herein. For example: Something that bashes on social media platforms and makes me chuckle out loud? Oh, that's getting included. Another rule, written but almost impossible to enforce, is: Don't over think it.

The humble knife is a good example. An edged tool for cutting tough materials apart is just as useful to 21st-century home chef as it was to a nomadic hunter a hundred thousand years ago. The long past of the knife suggests it will have a long future. In other words, we’re probably not living in the last few years of an eons-long Knife Era.

By the same token, something that has just become “a thing” is less likely to be a long-lasting thing. If everyone around you is suddenly watching rapid-fire videos on something called TikTok, what are the odds we’re in the first few years of a thousand-year TikTok Era?

~ David Cain from, https://www.raptitude.com/2023/09/this-will-not-always-be-a-thing/

But unlike Fight Club, this entire online blog/web site I have isn't built upon self-delusion… waaaaaaaaait a minute.

Commitment

Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt, but in spite of it.

~ Rollo May

Tagged out

In the beginning of this, the most recent, incarnation of my web site (like the Doctor, I myself am not certain what number I'm actually on) I purposely chose not to pre-imagine a taxonomy of tags. I learned that lesson the hard way. For a while, I willy-nilly tagged with reckless abandon. Later, I tried to get clever and always use a tag for any person, place or thing that applied. There are quite a few place tags today. There are a lot more tags for people. There's an untold number of tags for things, ideas, threads and through-lines. Today, there are a lot of tags (in fact, 2,066 tags—go ahead, I dare you.)

Any system with an upfront access cost this high is just asking to break. This alone, in my opinion, makes tags not worth using.

But there’s more. Oh God there’s more.

~ Tiago Forte from, https://fortelabs.com/blog/tagging-is-broken/

I was delighted when I found this article (is venticle a word? venting + article? it should be) from Forte which lays out very clearly—with some humor—just what it is that makes tags hella suck.

Yet, I'm still clinging to tagging People. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I also have specific tags (eg, podcasting, meta, intermittent fasting) which I use when I want to link to a specific idea. When someone asks me a question, which I think would be well-answered with a link to a collection of blog posts… I head to the site, do some searching, do some reading, and shine up that tag. Then I share it.

If you resisted my dare above to look at 2,066 tags, I double-dog dare you to look at the page of all the Interesting Tags. It's much shorter, but not short.

What’s in your way?

I'm fond of saying that the first 90 percent of something is vastly easier than the second 90 percent. There's so much wisdom packed into that, and it's funny—if you know how to tell a joke. Gee Willikers! I'm almost done! When in fact, I've only just scratched the surface.

In practice, this means you need to limit distractions to the full extent possible. Pull quotes, so effective near the top of an article, become a nuisance further down; many readers will find themselves unconsciously drawn to them, even when they want to focus on the text. Attention to the basic typographic details, line length, a readable typeface, the right balance between font size and line height, appropriate contrast between the text and background, can make the difference between a reader who makes it to the end of the article versus one who tires and gives up.

~ Mandy Brown from, https://aworkinglibrary.com/writing/in-defense-of-readers

I can say, without exaggeration, that I've tortured myself over every single tiny detail of what you are looking at. That includes the fact that 7 for Sunday looks slightly different in email. (It looks great in email; but what you see isn't quite as controllable as a web site.) It would probably be good enough if I hadn't tortured myself about the details, even though I think craftsmanship matters.

But of course readers matter most.

Pictures

The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don't have to explain things with words.

~ Elliot Erwitt

Passion

With the power of hindsight I can see there was an age of fire. There was a long period—too long, probably—of trying to carve a path through the world. A period of trying to make a dent in the universe. Making my mark. I think it's telling that all those metaphors involve destruction and defacement. Eventually I see a transition to the age of water. The metaphors are nicer there; flowing, accommodating, and shaping to fit the container.

What do I mean by explorers? I am talking about people who have found and are pursuing a very specific form of passion – I call it the “passion of the explorer.” These people are excited about opportunities to have more and more impact in domains that matter to them. They are constantly seeking new challenges that can help them to learn faster by creating new knowledge that never existed before. They also are actively seeking help from others in addressing these new challenges – they freely acknowledge that they don’t know the answers and that they need help in finding the answers.

~ John Hagel from, https://www.johnhagel.com/from-expert-to-explorer/

Transitions are the difficult times. The wind blows from wildly varying directions. The currents shift. The lighting changes. Grand vistas come into view. More, and different, metaphors.

I can feel my raw power subsiding. Literally. Some days, a 20-minute nap, an hour or so after a nice lunch, is just the most sublime thing. (Not the nap of exhaustion. Not the nap of collapse.) After running the engine with the tachometer near the red-area, it feels nice to settle into the solid, long-haul part of the power curve. More metaphors: A journey. A quest. A culmination. A destination. An end.