January Notes

Years go by way too fast anymore. Even 2020. Say what you will about this unprecedented year but if it dragged on for you we did not have the same experience. It was filled with some of my best and worst experiences of my life and that is saying a LOT!!

A friend said to me the other day, “the big winners of 2020 were divorce lawyers and therapists”. On principle I have no disagreements. It was a trying year and there is no significance to the calendar rolling ahead into 2021. The election is still causing drama and instability. The government in general has had a shining year of incompetence. Upon review we have seen that almost none of our leaders and law makers are qualified for their jobs. The Corona Virus is still on a rampage in America. I had my turn with it and even with just very mild symptoms it was nothing I’d want to go through again. More people are dying per day than at any other time in the country’s history.

The “just in time” nature of the country being able to make a miraculous transition to remote work while keeping the wheels turning has been impressive. When compared to the actions of the government, the corporations have knocked it out of the park. Seriously! I don’t care where you stand on capitalism but businesses stepped up. Not without massive casualties, and a strange logistical failing on paper products, but by and large comforts are still provided for. No mass food, water or power interruptions occurred. The stock market really exposed a strange new feature too. With tons of businesses impacted, many of which shut down permanently the value of the market climbs. An unemployment and eviction crisis does not seem to set the market back. Is this a bug in the system we didn’t predict or a feature of the modern American Stock Market?

I am impatiently waiting for someone to uncover where the disconnect is between the values of all the companies and financial instruments in play, and the experience of the average American. I have a theory and I will expand on it in a stand alone article but there is obviously something smelling funny here.

The public conversation is drowning in pleas for help and rejections based on “where is the money going to come from?” First of all shame on all of us that this conversation even needs to be had. Anyone hoarding wealth against pleas for help is garbage, and Mitch McConnel is the supreme leader of this thought group. Wealth inequality gets exposed in times of struggle just like the lifeboats on the Titanic. So many people are struggling and suffering that deaths of despair are on a rapid rise. The aggregate of the stock market is seeing a rise in value while people are killing themselves because they cannot take anymore. That is an unforgivable imbalance and one that needs to be solved immediately. It is unthinkable and entirely fixable. What will it say about us if we only change as the technology makes it more frictionless instead of simply because it was the right thing to do?

How did everyone do on their 1 Week Challenge? Mine was a magnificent success. I have found the craziest subgroups on Tik Tok that are just nuclear bombs of positivity. People who suffer from Tourrettes and Tic disorders, ADHD, and addiction just supporting people with beautiful content. There is even a group of old guys who provide virtual dad advice and lessons. It is absolutely beautiful.

The X Prize is something that is awesome and everyone should be familiar with. It is the accelerator competitions trying to incentivize big advancements in technology. The most famous of which was a precursor to the private space race offering a prize for the first team that could launch a privately built craft to space twice. The most recent one that I saw was a mask design competition to help battle the pandemic. Super positive and inspiring.

Favorites of the month:

BLOG

brainpickings.org. Unbelievably well written and just super enjoyable. Maria Popova knocks it out of the park. Some are on ideas, and others are deep dives of poets and writers explored in a variety of contexts. I absolutely love the “compliment with” suggestions for further reading. It is soul food for the brain and I love it a lot.

Stand Up

I have been chasing my lifelong dream of doing stand up comedy lately and it has been a great experience. In that spirit I would like to direct you to some of the better comedy I consumed this month. Schulz Saves America and Deon Coles 1 hour special are both amazing performances. Shulz throws his hat in the arena of comedians exploring current news and events but he does it at a frenzied, break neck speed in a style that reminds me of Dennis Miller’s stand up style but with more recognizable names.

Deon Cole is just smooth AF and delivers in his trademark style complete with his trusty notepad and “trying some jokes”. It is awesome and I can’t recommend it enough.

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