Boundless Reads #126: Walking in Japan, Meaning & Robert Caro
Greetings from Taipei 😀 Here is a bookstore I stopped by Taichung a few weeks ago
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#1 A Walk Through Japan
A thoughtful piece from Craig Mod on using light technology and walking through Japan for 30 days:
In the context of a walk like this, “boredom” is a goal, the antipode of mindless connectivity, constant stimulation, anger and dissatisfaction. I put “boredom” in quotes because the boredom I’m talking about fosters a heightened sense of presence. To be “bored” is to be free of distraction.
I’ve been reading Robert Caro’s Working, which is a book he published this year as a teaser to his latest Lyndon Johnson documentary, which he has been writing as a series over the past forty years.
It’s incredible to get into the brain of someone who is so deeply curious about something and has a hunch that the story is always deeper than what others accept. A lot of this book is in this New Yorker Article:
And now, when I asked Mr. Corcoran what had changed Lyndon Johnson’s status in October, 1940, he said, “Money, kid, money.” Then he added, “But you’re never going to be able to write about that.” I asked why not. “Because you’re never going to find anything in writing,” he said
He then spends months if not years finding the truth behind this question and others.
#3 Old People In America
Why do 70+ year olds seem to be running everything in the US? It’s great that people are living longer and healthier, but what how do you transition to the next generation in such a world? Perhaps it is hard in a culture that values youth and work ethic so highly.
By 2030, every living Boomer will be elderly (that is, age 65 or older), and by 2035, the Census Bureau projects, the elderly will outnumber minors for the first time in U.S. history.
#4 Skin In The Game
Alex Danco bemoaning how the tech world has taken a concept “skin in the game” and co-opted and misunderstood it. He sees people thinking that a tech employee making $200k with equity has skin in the game. That’s upside. Skin in the game would be if they lost all the salary if the company went belly-up.
This article highlights the shift in psychology research from seeing negative and positive emotions as opposites and instead seeing that a sense of “meaning” can come from either. A good challenge to the “you always need to be happy” mindset that I grew up with.
Bonus: Philosophy Stole My Ambition
Yes, philosophy stole my ambition…to make lots of money, compare myself to no end and never be content, no matter how much I achieved. But it redirected that ambition into doing meaningful work, enjoying life’s pleasures and living a life true to myself.
Response from last week:
Last weeks question was “What is an article, essay, book or quote that you keep coming back to?”
From Conan O'Brien via Armie:
‘This is going to sound grim, but eventually, all our graves go unattended...What are you talking about? None of it matters.” None of it matters? “No, that’s the secret. In 1940, people said Clark Gable is the face of the 20th Century. Who [expletive] thinks about Clark Gable? It doesn’t matter. You’ll be forgotten. I’ll be forgotten. We’ll all be forgotten.”’ (link)
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