On the productivity front, The Harvard Business Review has an interesting article about a family that started using a meeting similar to a sprint retrospective. This ties in nicely with a blog post I wrote recently about how my wife and I have incorporated startup style processes at home. I am very excited to see other people talking about this, as I think there are real gains to be had in household productivity. I love the way their bottom-up model empowers kids to plan their weeks and set goals which are vital skills for later in life.
Bloomberg Citylab looked into the arrogance and lack of perspective of white environmental groups in carrying out a tree planting program in black and brown communities without actually talking to the people living there. This is just one instance of a long history of outside do-gooders presuming to know what is best for a community. I hope that the cultural conversations happening today will help shift the culture enough to avoid this in the future.
I finished the Discourses of Epictetus this week. Though I was generally familiar with stoicism, its increasing popularity amongst a certain Silicon Valley, very Online sort of cohort motivated me to familiarize myself with some of the source material directly. I wouldn't normally complain about a philosophy that promotes moderating your emotional responses to things and tells you to take a shower. If you really need a book for this, I’d rather it be the Stoics than Jordon Peterson. True to form, though, your usual startup Stoic is using it as a way to justify their own wealth and existing power structures. No amount of fasting and meditation will bring you fulfillment if your goal is so narrow. I do wonder how much of Stoicism’s popularity amongst this group is due to the fact that it is The Greeks, and therefore Cool and okay for men to do, whereas going to therapy, having close emotional connections with friends, or actual introspection are brushed away as unimportant, unmanly, or simply not a priority.
In a bit of levity, I came across Parlia this week. Pitch: Uber for opinions. I expect billions from SoftBank. Particularly of note is their FAQ in which they explicitly state they will be differentiating between fact and information and flagging offensive content. I’m sure thats going to go great, considering we have completely lost the ability to think about thinking.
Be kind to yourself and others.