In the end

Not just that every day more of our life is used up and less and less of it is left, but this too: If we live longer, can we be sure our mind will still be up to understanding the world—to the contemplation that aims at divine and human knowledge? If our mind starts to wander, we’ll still go on breathing, go on eating, imagining things, feeling urges and so on. But getting the most out of ourselves, calculating where our duty lies, analyzing what we hear and see, deciding whether it’s time to call it quits—all the things you need a healthy mind for… all those are gone.

So we need to hurry.

Not just because we move daily closer to death but also because our understanding—our grasp of the world—may be gone before we get there.

~ Marcus Aurelius, Med. 3.1

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Better figure this part out

Despite having been published in 1910, Arnold Bennett’s book How to Live on 24 Hours a Day remains a valuable resource on living a meaningful life within the constraints of time. In the book, Bennett addresses one of our oldest questions: how can we make the best use of our lives? How can we make the best use of our time?

~ Farnam Street from, https://fs.blog/2017/05/arnold-bennett-living-meaningful-life/

I’ve mentioned Arnold Bennett before, and my opinion remains the same: How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, is a delightful little read. Although this post from Farnam Street isn’t where I first heard of the book, it remains a terrific summary. If you’ve ever thought, “I wish I could find time to…” you should read Bennett’s thoughts.

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Excellence

Most see excellences as some grand aspiration. Wrong. Dead wrong. My two cents: Excellence is the next five minutes or nothing at all. It’s the quality of your next five-minute conversation. It’s the quality of, yes, your next email. Forget the long term. Make the next five minutes rock!

~ Tom Peters

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Macro versus micro

This is super important. Everybody’s impatient at a macro [level], and just so patient at a micro [level], wasting your days worrying about years. I’m not worried about my years, because I’m squeezing [everything] out of my seconds, let alone my days. It’s going to work out.

~ Gary Vaynerchuk

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Black Friday at my house

Not only do I not shop, but I very specifically try to not spend one cent. NOT because I hate shopping—I do hate shopping. And NOT because I hate sales, mobs, false-scaricity, commercialism, consumerism—I do hate those too. No, I do it because I like people; And no people should have to work any sort of holiday chaos insanity. I digress.

But I do have a Black Friday tradition! I have a rather enormous collection of sappy holiday music. I shuffle that play list and turn it up. If you’ve never heard Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of Sleigh Ride… uh… I don’t know what to say. (Other than, go find a copy and play it.) Giddy up! Giddy up! Let’s go!!

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Leadership

And in the end, cynicism is a lousy strategy. Hope without a strategy doesn’t generate leadership. Leadership comes when your hope and your optimism are matched with a concrete vision of the future and a way to get there. People won’t follow you if they don’t believe you can get to where you say you’re going.

~ Seth Godin

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Justice

It is not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people.

[…]

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Interconnected

The Scientific Revolution began in the 1500s; the Industrial Revolution not until the 1700s. Since industrial progress is in large part technological progress, and technology is in large part applied science, it seems that the Industrial Revolution followed from the Scientific, as a consequence, if not necessarily an inevitable one.

~ Jason Crawford from, https://rootsofprogress.org/relationship-of-the-scientific-and-industrial-revolutions

It seems clear to me, (and the article does not disagree,) that the the Scientific Revolution was a necessary precursor to the Industrial. So, “was it necessary?” isn’t a very interesting question.

But the question, “how did it lead to and enable the Industrial revolution?” is a very interesting question. I hadn’t thought about how, specifically, did the one lead to the other. The Scientific Revolution didn’t simply create some sort of encyclopedia of human knowledge, (spread out among all the scientists.) It did that, yes. But it also set things up for the Industrial revolution because suddenly the regular, uneducated people believed the world was knowable and believed that they could tinker, and iterate to improve things.

Which is an interesting point to keep in mind the next time I’m ready to throw my hands up in frustration at some wacky something-or-other.

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