Week 27, 2024

Week 27, 2024

Week 27 of 2024 has arrived. We're going to do this all over again next year. I'm going to send you an email in week #27 of 2025, and likely you won't remember this one.  The cycle will have run one full course, and we will all still be humans trying to make the most of what the universe has brought us.

Time to walk over to your 4K Weeks poster and fill in another square. Done?

I have been very interested in cycles lately, and that is most likely a result of the books I am consuming this week. I am a sucker for viewing the world through the lens of my current book.

I will say... thinking of time in the form of cycles (common with the ancients) as opposed to a unidirectional line (the modern way) has made the background anxiety around the crisis of this present moment in history easier to bear.

If it's one phase of the current cycle, then we are just at a point somewhere on the circle, and all will come around again. And if it will all come around again, then it's not an existential crisis... it's just not my favorite thing! And once I know that... then I know how to suck it up and be happy with what I have.

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Remarkable Weeks

  1. Week  27 of 1928, John Logie Baird demonstrated the first colour television transmission in London. He also built the first television. What does it mean to build the first television when there are no channels broadcasting? He was 2,081.14 weeks old (39.91 yrs). 
  2. Week  27 of 1934, Arthur W. Fuchs took the first x-ray photo of the entire body through the Eastman-Kodak Company in Rochester, New York. He was 2,060.71 weeks old (39.52 yrs).
  3. Week  27 of 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com as an online bookstore, which later expanded rapidly into a vast range of products and services. He was 1,590.29 weeks old (30.49 yrs).

This Week's Quote

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. -Richard Bach

I have been thinking about different versions of this for the last few weeks.

It just seems like so much is possible.  Thoughts are energy, and energy changes the world. 

We know so little about what can happen, and even less about what will happen. It gets dicey when, like most humans, I try to prove (definition 3:a) the rule with extreme cases... Of course, it is highly unlikely that by trying real hard and opening myself up to what is possible that I can make unicorns fly out of my eyeballs...(the best pop culture illustration of the chaos of what is possible.)

But...let's stick to the useful universe of possibility, and stop trying to find extreme edge cases so that we can eschew the personal responsibility of creating our dreams. I know we are all terrified of failing ourselves.  That's a fact. It is true in varying degrees of every human in the modern age.  

As a start, just stop arguing for what is NOT possible... because you don't really know.... and start saying "maybe" to all of the improbable dreams you have. You and I don't have enough of an understanding of the world to know what is possible for us, so let's be open to all the "what if's".

What I am Consuming This Week

The Fourth Turning is Here I read the first version of this book, written in the 90's when we were still squarely in the 3rd turning... not sure if it is true, but is is interesting... and strangely calming.

The Storm Before the Calm Birds of a Feather...

No Stupid Questions. #200 What's the difference between Empathy and Sympathy?  My sister sent this to me... which is awesome... It's a good podcast... I will keep listening.

The Ezra Klein Show. Trump's Vision for America, Higher Prices! A very interesting discussion of the expected effect's proposed policy changes would have on the economy.

The Prof G. Podcast. What Went Wrong with Capitalism? With Ruchir Sharma. I think I will read his book... I like that Galloway and Sharma are on different sides of this issue for the most part...

The Last Question, Isaac Asimov I left this from last week.. it deserves it. In light of the fact that AI is rapidly changing the world, and the fact that this email is largely about opening our minds, and increasing our understanding and connection with the world, I thought I would mention this short story.  Published in 1956.  Ahead of its time is an understatement.

What I am Thinking About This Week

Why We Build The Wall.

I love the musical Hadestown.  I love that it was first an album written by Anais Mitchell, I love the concept, I love the translation to a musical, I love the setting... I knew nothing about it the first time I saw it, and was blown away.

It is based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and how hard it is to have faith in a world that is trying to beat you down.

I was listening to the Original Cast Recording the other day while working. There is this song... "Why We Build The Wall" that is remarkable for a few reasons.  The first is that actor Patrick Page's (Hades) beautiful bass vocal is so low the notes seem dangerous...

But second, and what I have been thinking about all week is when Page's Hades asks "Why do we build the wall, my children, my children?" And the chorus answers: "We build the wall to keep us free."

It seems so comforting.  We're all scared. The world is dangerous and there are things and people to keep safe.  I will build a wall and be safe and free!

There is no useful wall that isn't also a prison.

You can build a wall that is thick enough and high enough to keep out everything that is dangerous and scares you. You can build a wall that keeps out contrary opinions, different types of people, uncomfortable situations, change, people who are stronger, people who are weaker, poor people, drug addicts, new ideas, love, hate, sadness, envy, etc. etc. etc.

You can build that wall. But then you have to live inside it. 

The risk of brushing up against the chaos of living will always be better than building yourself a prison to live in. In small ways, and in big ways, personally and culturally.

As the song continues, Page yells, "and our work is never done!"  If you commit to living behind a wall, you can never stop building it.... and that sounds exhausting.

Better to live free.

Until Later,

Spencer, Owner of 4KWeeks.com

Dad Joke O' The Week

I’ve been bored recently, so I decided to take up fencing.

The neighbors keep demanding that I put it back.

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