The Life Equation

(Also, hello from my new home on substack)

If you had to look in your spam folder to find this email, or if you unsubscribed in the last day or so, but still got this email, please alert me.

Another week with a gnomic cartoon in lieu of a wall-of-text fully unpacked idea. I’ve always been fascinated by the interplay of history, generational cycle theories like Strauss-Howe, and the life stages of an individual life. How do they interact? My theory: via a summation and a convolution, leading to the pseudo-math Life Equation in the cartoon.

Now on to an important administrative announcement.

As of this issue, I have migrated the Breaking Smart email list from Mailchimp to Substack. You can now find the archives, and your subscription management options, at Many internal links etc. might now be broken, so bear with me while I decide what, if anything, to do about that.

If you had to look in your spam folder to find this, please alert me.

Note: I believe the subscriptions/unsubscriptions have been migrated correctly as of this morning (May 17), but if you unsubscribed in the last day or so, there is a slight chance you may get this unwanted email. In which case, I apologize for the inconvenience: please unsubscribe again on substack, or let me know and I can unsubscribe you manually.

For those of you interested in these backstage matters, the proximal reason is cost and product-me-fit. Currently, the Breaking Smart list is 6652 strong, and I’ve been paying $90/month on Mailchimp to run it (along with the Ribbonfarm updates list which is 3852 strong, and which I may also migrate here). Substack is free (they make their money via a 10% cut on paid newsletters), so that saves me money.

I also really like the product. It is clean, modern, unfussy, and clearly set up for writers and publishers. While I like Mailchimp, and it served me well for years, it is clearly (and increasingly) evolving into a power tool for marketers. Much of what Mailchimp offers or plans to, I don’t need. And much of what I need, it is unlikely to ever offer.

Substack also gives me a nice option to painlessly add a track of paid-subscription newsletter issues in the future. I may actually do this. Perhaps a podcast track, or or a track of special issues requiring more research. I don’t know.

I’m open to suggestions.

If I do end up adding a paid track, it won’t be for at least 6 months, since I have too much going on. This track of free issues will continue regardless, of course, as long as I keep writing this newsletter.

In the meantime, welcome to our new home. Let me know if you have any problems, and apologies for any temporary inconveniences caused by the migration.