Kudos fellow earthlings, on a 2018...done.
I suppose I've been dating myself with all my 90s references lately. Last week's newsletter featured a Simpsons image, and this week, it's a Seinfeld image.
There's a fun Seinfeld story arc where Elaine's boss, J. Peterman, suffers a nervous breakdown, and runs off to Burma ("You may know it as Myanmar, but it will always be Burma to me") to live as a crazy warrior-sage in a cave, leaving the running of his apparel catalog company to Elaine. Of course Elaine screws up royally and nearly runs the company into the ground. Peterman's comment to her after returning to take back the reins, "Kudos Elaine, on a job...done." That pointedly unspoken well before done was one of the funniest words to ever remain unspoken on television.
That's kinda how I feel about 2018. If somebody truly crazy were in charge of running the world, and went off without warning, leaving the rest of us in charge, and then returned to take charge again, that's what they'd say to us. The best thing we can say about 2018 is probably that we got it...done (fingers crossed, 10 days to go).
The best thing I can say for myself is, I suppose, that I too got 2018... done. I managed to stay plugged in for every crazy turn of events from cloned monkeys to drones shutting down Gatwick airport. My situation awareness is clear as mud, but it covers the ground. And it's finally starting to feel like I am getting ahead of the curve again after 2 years.
Here's a rundown of the newsletters this year. I'd like to hear your thoughts/reactions, and suggestions for topics you'd like to see covered in the newsletter in 2019. If you'd like to introduce friends to this newsletter, this might be a good issue to forward with your personal best-of-2018 picks. See you in January!
"Kudos fellow Earthlings, on a 2018...done."
I ended up sending out 24 newsletters this year, so this nominally weekly newsletter is in practice a biweekly one now. I think I got some good ones out though. Eyeballing the list, I think I see roughly equal coverage of breaking smart philosophy for individuals, breaking smart philosophy for organizations, the state of the Great Weirding, and technology-culture issues.
My personal favorites from the year were probably Against Waldenponding (10/5) The Zeroth Mile (7/13) and GUTS: The Grand Unified Theory of Striving (or Slacking) (2/2). As always, you can find the link to the full archives at the bottom.
12/14/2018 - Let's Make Things Boring
12/07/2018 - I don’t care to die on any hill I’m actually capable of climbing
11/09/2018 - The Algorithmic Bonus Mindset
10/26/2018 - Self-Interest and Seized Initiatives
10/05/2018 - Against Waldenponding
09/14/2018 - Destruction is a Choice
08/24/2018 - How to Not Lose at 4d Chess
08/10/2018 - So You Think You're Customer-Driven?
07/13/2018 - The Zeroth Mile
07/06/2018 - Eddies in the Informational Continuum
06/29/2018 - Eigenyou Theory
06/08/2018 - Jonathan Livingston Corporation
06/01/2018 - Life After AI
05/18/2018 - Stream Time
04/13/2018 - The Use and Misuse of the OODA Loop
04/06/2018 - When Business As Usual Ends
03/23/2018 - In the Eye of the Time Storm
03/09/2018 - How Circled Are Your Wagons?
03/02/2018 - The Splintering of the Second World
02/02/2018 - GUTS: The Grand Unified Theory of Striving (or Slacking )
01/26/2018 - The Art of Laser Focus
01/19/2018 - Intellectualism in a Digital Milieu
01/12/2018 - Why Cities Fail
01/05/2018 - How To Ride Your Brain Bicycle
Feel free to forward this newsletter on email and share it via the social media buttons below. You can check out the archives here. First-timers can subscribe to the newsletter here. More about me at venkateshrao.com
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