The hero within

Going inward. That’s the real work. The solutions are not outside of us. Get to know who you really are, because as you search for the hero within, you inevitably become one.

~ Emma Tiebens

slip:4a738.

Do not delete!

Many mysteries still surround the issue of what noncoding DNA is, and whether it really is worthless junk or something more. Portions of it, at least, have turned out to be vitally important biologically. But even beyond the question of its functionality (or lack of it), researchers are beginning to appreciate how noncoding DNA can be a genetic resource for cells and a nursery where new genes can evolve.

~ Jake Buehler from, https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-complex-truth-about-junk-dna-20210901/

I knew there were “large” portions of the DNA strand that weren’t [as far as we could tell] important. But 98%? waaaaaaaaat? Also, many other great things in this article—and it’s always nice to link to Quanta Magazine.

ɕ

Tolerance

Tolerance is becoming accustomed to injustice; love is becoming disturbed and activated by another’s adverse condition. Tolerance crosses the street; love confronts. Tolerance builds fences; love opens doors. Tolerance breeds indifference; love demands engagement. Tolerance couldn’t care less; love always cares more.

~ Cory Booker

slip:4a736.

When I’m having a recorded conversation for a podcast, “being loving” or “loving the other person”, aren’t the words I’d choose. Low-brow jokes aside, it just doesn’t feel like the right word choice. Booker’s phrasing is obviously rhetoric. But there’s a reason rhetoric is like that: It works.

When I read Booker’s rhetoric I was thinking how shifting one’s context to coming from being loving changes the way I’d approach those situations. …or at least, how I might approach those situations. Changing my mindset would enable me to see opportunities I’d otherwise miss. (While still allowing me to rationally choose when it might be wise to walk by, cross the street, build a fence, get on with life, etc..)

And my new mindset—coming from being loving—made me think of a conversation I had a little while ago with Andrew Foster.

Ruh-roh, there might just be something to this “love” thing.

ɕ

PS: *gasp* I too have been misattributing “ruh-roh”, as in “ruh-roh rhaggy” to Scooby Doo. “ruh-roh” is Astro’s catch-phrase. Both dogs were voiced by the same actor though…

Power

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.

~ Alice Walker

slip:4a737.

Since I’m guilty of this, I often try to catch myself having power. One way I do this is to journal; If I write down, “Yesterday I did these 12 things, and people said such-and-so about my having helped them,” that’s glaring evidence that I’ve affected the world by exercising my power.

Another way I try to catch myself is to zoom farther out and look for longer-term successes. So if—for example, just sayin’, askin’ for a friend—one feels they cannot affect change in the world, but the evidence after 7 months is that one created the spark that ignited a community… well, maybe I—err, not me, my friend should stop thinking they have no power.

And instead start asking: What could I do in the next 5 minutes?

My answer: I could write one blog post which might inspire someone else!

ɕ

Framed dialogs

And I mean dialog which is set up with certain agreed-upon concepts and boundaries, not literally framed for hanging on a wall.

A while back—January 4th, 2021 to be specific—I made some notes about an idea tickling my brain. I had had a conversation with two people. We had decided to get together to talk about… something. I’m not sure what. It probably was something like:

I feel like I need to talk to someone. But, I’m in this place where too many people—basically, all the people I regularly interact with—see me in a certain way. They know me in a certain context. Anything I say or do, they evaluate it as a continuation of what they know about me. That’s not a criticism of them, but simply a statement of reality.

…something like that. Not saying that’s it exactly. I’m asking for a friend. ahem.

We three hopped on a call and it didn’t really go well. We didn’t have an agenda, (which was probably a good thing). But also, we didn’t have a purpose nor clear idea of why we wanted to have the conversation. We expended an hour, (of our expected 694,700 total available,) shrugged, and moved on with our day. After my mind moved on from the experience, when I returned to thinking about the tickling idea, and the conversation, somehow I felt like the conversation had been useful. So in hindsight, it felt like the conversation was much closer to being useful, then I thought it was in the moment.

Since I’m generally interested in conversation, I scratched some notes—as I mentioned, in January a year ago—about what I thought might have been the magic: Time limit, ephemeral, minimal structure, and anticipation. Those four properties seem to be the essentials for my having felt the conversation was useful in hindsight. This isn’t about “talk therapy.” But, somehow, those features (which would be a part of a talk-therapy session) still facilitate… something.

ɕ

slip:4c2co3c.

Sliding without thinking

There are two ways to slide easily through life: Namely, to believe everything, or to doubt everything; Both ways save us from thinking.

~ Alfred Korzybski

slip:4a735.

Recently I’ve noticed several conversations where the topic of extremes has come up. I’m not certain this is new, only that my noticing it is new. The idea that we each fall somewhere on the spectrum of whatever-it-is we care to talk about is not new. And I’m absolutely not implying that moderation is always better; It is not necessarily true that the correct viewpoint is towards the middle.

What I am saying—what I’ve been recently noticing—is that the people towards the ends of the spectrum of whatever topic you care to consider are the louder people. There’s always a majority of people between the extremes, who aren’t as vocal. (Who don’t speak, write, nor post as much as those toward the extremes. “Fool and fanatics” as it were.

ɕ

Failing to consider

Failing to consider second- and third-order consequences is the cause of a lot of painfully bad decisions, and it is especially deadly when the fist inferior option confirms your own biases. Never seize on the first available option, no matter how good it seems, before you’ve asked questions and explored.

~ Ray Dalio

slip:4a734.

The Long Tail

Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.

~ Chris Anderson from, https://www.porchlightbooks.com/blog/changethis/2004/the-long-tail

There are certain pivotal works in any field. If your work, or your business, is online. This is a work you should read. It would be better if you read it when it came out, back in 2004. But, at least you can read it now so you understand where the idea of the “long tail” originated.

ɕ

slip:2lo1.

Diligence, energy, patience

If you do the job in a principiled way, with diligence, energy and patience, if you keep yourself free of distractions, and keep the spirit inside you undamaged, as if you might have to give it back at any moment— If you can embrace this without fear or expectation— can find fulfillment in what you’re doing now, as Nature intended, and in superhuman truthfullness (every word, every utterance)— Then your life will be happy. No one can prevent that.

~ Marcus Aurelius, med 3.12

slip:4a733.

Oxytocin

“We often see it discussed in relation to attachment and social-related behaviors, including empathy and bonding,” says Lily Brown, PhD, Director of the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania. But it’s a lot more than a fleeting chemical high. Oxytocin is a hormone that functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It’s thought to be a driving force behind attraction and caregiving, and even controls key aspects of the reproductive system, childbirth, and lactation.

~ Alexandra Owens from, https://www.psycom.net/oxytocin

slip:4c2oo2a.

I regularly have conversations with people. I am fascinated by how the privacy, exclusivity of attention, and close proximity of a good conversation works. There’s magic— deep seated, ancient, evolution-driven, psychological and biological affects—in a good conversation.

The other day, I stumbled over a post mentioning the hormone Oxytocin being produced by eye contact. I wanted to leave a link for myself, and perhaps you’d be interested too.

ɕ