I had the pleasure to have so many of my friends and family come to Toronto this week for a work-related event. It was an incredible experience where we all came together to push ahead some of the cooler projects we’re respectively working on, and generally catch up and spend time with one another. It was really an opportunity to deepen our relationships while, at the same time, goofing around and just enjoying one another’s time.
Throughout I was struck by the value, and importance, of just connecting with one another in person. We all often communicate with one another using digitally-mediated tools and technologies. But there is something that is always missing with those technologies: a fundamental element of our humanity cannot be communicated over a text, hangout, or phone call. We can’t read one another’s expressions the same way. We can’t perceive one another’s feelings the same way. Nor can we just hug one another to greet one another or to provide a sense of support to one another.
Our ability to remain ‘connected’ with one another is an incredible element of the contemporary digitally-mediated world. But connection is also something that is far too often regarded as a substitute for physical presence and sharing of time with one another. Digital connections are incredible supplements but surely cannot replace actually being with one another, and I’m deeply appreciative that I had the opportunity to spend time with my favourite people this week, and can’t wait until we pull everyone back together against next year.
On a slight administrative note, I’ve started providing some context around the various links, podcasts, and other materials that I’m trying to roundup on a regular basis. Hopefully it’ll help clarify why those items struck me as worth including in any given week.
Inspiring Quotation of the Week
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
― Fred Rogers
Great Photography Shots
Takashi Nakazawa’s images of Mount Fuji are absolutely breathtaking.
Music I’m Digging
- Lavinia Meijer – Glass: Metamorphosis, The Hours//I really enjoy how this work by Philip Glass develops and morphs over the hour; it’s a deeply peaceful listen that supplements most quieter activities.
- Jorja Smith – Lost & Found//I’ve been listening to Smith’s EPs for the past few months. It’s a real treat to enjoy her full length album.
Neat Podcast Episodes
- The Upgrade – How Should a Man Be?//A good discussion about the nature of Western masculinity, the threats that men experience to their egos in contrast to women, and ways of addressing the emotional intelligence deficient held by most men
- Planet Money – The T-Rex In My Backyard//Yet another amusing podcast from Planet Money, this time about the economics of dinosaur bones. Left unstated is whether these economic ‘rules’ apply globally or principally to the United States.
Good Reads for the Week
- Brendan Fraser’s #MeToo Story Is Why More Male Victims Don’t Speak Out // It’s deeply important that we reflect on how gender norms are used to silence and shame woman and men who have suffered from abuse and experienced abusive situations
- How to Navigate Gaslighting at Work// I’m not sure how well the actual solutions play out in reality, but the signs to determine if you’re being gaslit are helpful
- You’re hired: 6 ways to welcome your new employee on their first day//I’m increasingly involved in hiring processes and this is helpful to make sure that I’m covering the most basic of bases for new hires and fellows
- On macOS Mojave’s Dark Mode//Stephen Hackett has a great analysis of the Dark Mode coming in the next version of macOS; if you’re interested in how things are changing, this post is for you
- The Language of the Trump Administration Is the Language of Domestic Violence//”A slow, quiet terror continues to spread through the American populace. We are all being made into complicit bystanders in Trump’s violence. We are all members of Trump’s toxic, traumatizing family now.”
- Made on an iPad Pro: How the 12.9-inch iPad Pro took me by surprise and replaced my laptop//An interesting and lengthy review of how an iPad Pro can fit into a daily work tempo. I’m not sure it convinces me to move away from a MacBook for work, but as someone who mostly uses an iPad for personal writing a lot of Paul’s points resonated with me.
- Being Suitably Appalled//Steve Saideman has a good, brief, and direct piece on why we should all be so upset about the United States’ policy of separating children from their parents.
- How to Create File Templates on Your Mac With Finder’s Stationery Pad Feature//I had no idea this was possible. So cool!
- Lighting Up The Bedroom//Did you know you could use Command Hook velcro strips to hand a light on your wall? Neither did I!
- Substitute Phone// Phones are becoming an undeniably addictive object in our lives and we constantly interact with them—more often than not without intention. Austrian designer Klemens Schillinger created the minimal Substitute Phone as a way to help smartphone addicts cope in its absence.