being wrong

I’ve been on a binge-read-and-reread of Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck in the last few weeks. The title sounds gimmicky, but it’s really f*cking good — good enough for me to read three times in a row, which says a lot given my short book attention span.

One of Mark’s five values to live our lives by is uncertainty. We cannot learn anything, and therefore improve things, without first not knowing something. Seems simple, but this openness to being wrong is f*cking difficult, and it must exist for any real growth to take place. The more you embrace uncertainty, the more comfortable you feel in finding out what you don’t know.

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whiplash (intro)

I just finished reading Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe. I loved it… it’s especially pertinent to the technological change in my industry and the role I hope to play in it. Here are my notes from the intro. More to come.

The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.

William Gibson

Technology has exceeded our capacity, as individuals and as a society, to understand it. This book offers the operating guidelines for survival in the future.

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climate change, close to home

We have to make the climate message more social, because – as I said – if you only talk about glaziers and arctic ice or polar bears or Bangladesh or Pacific Islands – it’s way far for me. But if it’s something that happens in my network with something that people that I care about. Then suddenly it feels much more near and more personal, and more– Urgent too, because it’s here and now in a way.

—Per Espen Stoknes, on the You Are Not So Smart podcast

Last week on The Commons, we covered flooding in Bangladesh, a distant land far, far away. While the news in Bangladesh is terrible, Stoknes is right, it’s just not close enough to home. The opposite is also true – I’m feeling particularly disturbed about the floods happening so close to home and affecting people I know. Maybe these psychologists are onto something.

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hearts over charts

This week I heard an insightful podcast interview with psychologist Per Espen Stoknes, author of the book “What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming”.

In the book and the podcast, the author lays out what he calls the climate paradox – the more we know about climate change the less convinced we are that it’s real and the less action we take to fix the problem.

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hope over despair

It’s easy to read the news on climate change and think we’re totally f*cked. Especially if, like me, you live in the Midwest, where even believing it’s happening seems to put you in some conspiratorial minority.

We may be totally f*cked—that might even be highly likely—but what happens if we flip the script of despair and focus on the opportunities of this moment?

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introduction to carbon offsets

This week I’m flying to DC for the Peoples’ Climate March. I’m super excited, but one little detail of my trip has me puzzled… Flying massively increases my carbon footprint. How do I justify flying halfway across the United States in order to protest about climate change?

After poking around I was relieved to find that others have had this dilemma, and one suggested solution is to purchase carbon offsets. Then I could wipe my hands of the trip guilt, so to speak, right? Well, not so fast…

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how to talk to climate change deniers

Last week on The Commons, we talked about all the reasons people disagree with scientists on climate change. This disagreement is a big problem because it prevents us from making sound decisions and taking action. And by us I mean individuals, of course, but also our society. Our elected officials and corporations make decisions based on what they think we want, and if don’t bother with science, neither will they.

So the next step is to figure out how to talk to the “other side” in order to bring them around. Before we begin, let’s get a few things out of the way up front.

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authenticity

Lately I’ve been pondering whether or not I’ve ever shown up in the world as my true self. Real talk.

I’m finding solace in these quotes on authenticity, both via The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown:

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want.

―Margaret Young

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