August New Beginnings, Connecting The Dots, And More Shenanigans
What connects Oppenheimer, philosophy, and our current approach to both AI and climate change?
At some point in June, I began writing a Friday post, realized I didn’t have much to say, and decided to post again in exactly a week. Here we are instead, in August, and finally, I have something to say. For this week anyway.
In marketing as in life, I am a firm believer in ‘When you don’t have something to say, don’t say anything.’ But, how does a distribution algorithm feel about this erratic behavior?
We know for a fact that both Facebook and Instagram hate creators who cannot create to clockwork precision. I suspect LinkedIn is no different- my favorite creator has spent the last week discussing writer’s block almost exclusively, and I must admit I’m growing tired.
After watching Oppenheimer on a very quiet weekday afternoon, I am now prone to Physics-based espousals. Newton’s first law of motion says, ‘An object at rest continues to remain at rest until a force is employed on it.’
Inertia is a weird thing when it takes place in the human brain. Sure, we’d all love to tune into our flow and work based on our personal rhythms. But, when it comes time for more of an ebb than a flow, how many of us can actually bear it?
I know I can’t.
In my freelancing days, I’d often be asked how I manage to get to the laptop at 9 AM every day like clockwork. This is because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t know who I am for the rest of the day.
So yes, an object at rest continues to remain at rest until force is employed, but the direction of that force is rather important as well. There’s truly no point pulling said object in multiple directions, and wondering why it refuses to budge. Which is kinda what I’ve been doing with my brain over the last few weeks.
And I Am Become Death…
Is it a good idea to watch one movie every week so there’s enough to espouse in a newsletter? I suspect that could get boring real soon.
Boredom in humans is a natural enemy in a world that rewards attention deficit. As I write this sentence, my phone is pinging continuously, and curiosity is killing me.
One thing that strikes me about the World War II era in which the movie is set is this- there was nothing more exciting or dreadful in anyone’s life than the idea of building an atomic bomb. It was either that or nothing. So of course it got built in two years flat.
In theory, we should be able to compartmentalize sufficiently so as to be able to smoothly move from one task to the next. Having switched to a new productivity tool every quarter for the last five years, I can tell you this is a bad way to motivate oneself. As James Clear says, it is the systems that define who we become, and adding tasks to a Google Calendar is not it, apparently.
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In any case, my other conclusion from Oppenheimer is that Physics is just Philosophy with a function slapped onto it.
A lot of science is cutting-edge, in that it has a tendency to cut, often in ways we don’t always foresee. It is impossible to see this movie as anything other than a narrative on the other low-visibility experiments we seem to run- such as who makes the most amount of money off the back of AI innovation, and how far we can push our luck when climate change is concerned.
Two days ago, we reached this year’s Earth Overshoot Day. This means all of the resources we use this year, from this point forward, are like borrowing from a fund that is depleting too fast, and a fund that we’re doing absolutely nothing to replenish.
Every time I see PVR’s ad-claim that they are doing their bit for the planet, and it is now my turn to use less plastic, it causes a certain overheating of my blood. This, coming from a theatre that doesn’t allow us to carry any of our own food or water, and then blames us for consuming Coke in single-use tumblers.
Important, I guess?
A lot is happening in August.
On Wednesday the 9th, we launch Season 3 of The Damn Good Marketing Podcast. In hindsight, the five-month gap was well worth it, but it sure as hell didn’t feel that way on days when I knew we were doing another season, but just didn’t know what to do about that.
We’ve moved the podcast to Substack as well, so you’ll now be able to find the entire archive here.
Not that I’d expect you to head into a weekend thinking, “Oh great, now my favorite creator’s content is all available on one platform for me to binge!” But if that is indeed the case, you probably need help. Please let me know.
The Season 3 trailer is here, in case you missed it.
A lot also happened in July.
I had the opportunity to go on my first solo dive trip, and to say that it was enlightening would be an understatement.
Picture this- you are a vegetarian, in a remote corner of South East Asia, and there is no 4G or WiFi in your room. The only food you could eat is bordered on all four sides by water, and you have exactly one Yoga Bar left.
Plus, you have to lug 40-odd kilos of equipment onto a boat and back again, usually three times a day. When you are indeed on firm ground, you spend your time in wet clothes.
At what point do you break?
Well, I guess this is what the Hustle Culture Bros talk about when they talk about doing what you love. I am proud to report that I didn’t, in fact, crack, even though my meal usually included toast and baked beans consumed on repeat mode.
In fact, I loved it. I loved learning from a teacher who has been at it for 24,000 dives and counting. I loved being able to be disciplined even when conditions were rough. I loved spending time with a group that loves diving as much as I seem to be growing to.
Yes, I even loved the rising anger upon realising I’d have to make do with rice and ketchup yet again for dinner.
Of all the things I give myself credit for, fortitude is not one, but maybe it is time to change that. And maybe, we are all actually stronger than we think.
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