Hobbyist Academia #10
A random musing on the topic of digital sociology: There’s a certain nostalgia for the “pre Internet” age when we theoretically knew our neighbors in a way we don’t anymore. I’d argue that technology is actually enabling the same core connections with our neighbors.
I can still borrow a teaspoon of cinnamon or ask if someone else heard that noise outside. The interaction likely has a digital/textual component but it’s still grounded in the real world. It’s the micro moments of a shared experience and being able to rely on each other for small favors that makes a neighborhood feel like a community.
Engage and Interact
Sari Azout, writer of the Check Your Pulse newsletter, announced she’s going “all in on startupy”. I’ll miss Check Your Pulse, but she’s sending a new weekly newsletter instead. Startupy is a new kind of search engine she’s building, with the goal of organizing data with context built into the structure and the creation process. Instead of isolated search results based on keywords, knowledge is organized in an interconnected web that works more like your brain does. It has a bend toward particular topics, but it’s an infrastructure play at its core. You can read the project manifesto here.
Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering and one of my biggest inspirations in the realm of designing human-first experiences, announced her new digital course. It’s a 6 week course that will teach you how to create intentional gatherings. The inaugural session begins May 16th.
Regenerate X, an inspirational learning agency from Canay Atalay and Rudy de Waele, is launching a 6 session leadership program called Regenerate Leadership. The launch event is on May 4th and the sessions will run on the first Wednesday of the month from May through October.
Brené Brown’s new HBO Max special, Atlas of the Heart, is a 5 part series based on her new book of the same title. She brings to life the ideas in the book and presents a framework that you can put into practice.
The new Netflix documentary White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch is a wild trip down memory lane- with additional context about the cultural moment in which Abercrombie had its heyday that I definitely didn’t remember. Some of that context ties back to the phenomenon of shopping mall culture, which was, in retrospect, a very specific moment in time. The documentary does not shy away from the numerous issues with the Abercrombie brand, and features some of the plaintiffs who sued the company for hiring discrimination.
I went down a full rabbit hole of Susan Cain’s media tour for her new book release. She was on The Tim Ferriss Show and We Can Do Hard Things talking about similar topics but with different hosts. I enjoyed the different angles and conversations, all returning to some central themes about the importance of the negative and painful moments of life as a juxtaposition to the positive and beautiful moments.
I also listened to Monika Jiang of the House of Beautiful Business on PURPOSE-LIVED, a podcast by the TSIBA Business School. I’m a Resident of the House, which is a global platform and community working to make business more beautiful. TSIBA works to offer access to business and leadership education for young people. It was an interesting conversation that offered a new perspective on the refrain of “human-centric”- a refrain that is common in the corners of the Internet that I frequent, and a philosophy to which I generally subscribe.
I’ve been enjoying Malcolm Gladwell’s email newsletter. It’s called Oh, MG and it’s Malcolm at his most Malcolmy, tangents and all. I saw him live in Boston a number of years ago on his book tour for Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know, and it added another dimension to my experience of his words and ideas. This newsletter has a similar effect of inviting readers into his brain.
I’m still working my way through Still Life: The Myths and Magic of Mindful Living by Rebecca Pacheco and Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get From Start-Up to IPO on Your Terms by Jeffrey Bussgang.
Save This For Later
I have added another 7 books to the To Read stack. Looking back at the titles, I’ve been on a bit of a future of work kick the past few weeks.
The Pathless Path: Imagining a New Story for Work and Life by Paul Millerd
Paul also writes Boundless, an email newsletter about alternative approaches to work and life.
Lovework: The Seven Steps to Thrive at Work by Sophie Devonshire and Ben Renshaw
Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain, officially added to the list a few weeks ago but certainly long anticipated
I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Niequist
The Secret Society of Success: Stop Chasing the Spotlight and Learn to Enjoy Your Work (and Life) Again by Tim Schurrer
The Burnout Society by Byung-Chul Han
The Disappearance of Rituals: A Topology of the Present also by Byung-Chul Han
Also on the topic of rituals, The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities Into Soulful Practices by Casper Ter Kuile (which is in the Already Read pile)
If you enjoyed this, check out The Collection on my website.