Week 25 of 2023 slipped in the front window while you were guarding the back door. It's time to walk over to your 4K Weeks poster and fill in another square.
Done?... Ok, here are some juicy, fat morsels for your Mostly Hairless Great Ape Brain.
First: Happy Father's Day.
Every single day of my life I have known that my Dad and Mom love me and are proud of me. It's that simple. Thanks, Dad.
Second: This blew my mind while down a rabbit hole today…
Bonobos and Chimpanzees are our closest animal relatives... it's just the three of us on this branch of the Animal Kingdom....bonobos are matriarchal, chimpanzees are patriarchal. Here's what blew my mind ...to quote from the research study:
"From a cognitive standpoint, bonobos perform better in social coordination, gaze-following and food-related cooperation, while chimpanzees excel in tasks requiring extractive foraging skills."
Is that mind blowing to you? The way their societies are structured has changed their brains... or did their brains choose the societal structure? I think the key takeaway here for us Hairless Great Apes, is that there are SO MANY types of intelligence... and we have agency... so we can choose which type applies to the moment. More on this down below in the "What I Am Thinking About" section.
Thanks for being here and reading. It is vital to "sharpen the saw" as a regular practice. I think of these emails as a way for me to sharpen my saw and help you sharpen yours.
If you like reading this... forward it to a friend. I'd appreciate it.
The 4K Weeks Brightsider- A Multicolor Extravaganza!
The 4K Weeks Fade to Black- Momento Mori, Anyone?
The 4K Weeks Long View- A Different Horizon
Week #25 in the year 2016, Jessica Lange won her first Tony Award for her role in A Long Day's Journey Into Night. She was 2521.86 weeks old. (67.19)
Week #25 in the year 1984, Alexandre Yersin discovered the bacillus responsible for the bubonic plague. He was 1604.14 weeks old. (30.76 yrs)
Week #25 in the year 1968, Jim Hines became the first man to break the 10 second barrier in the 100 meter race... 9.9, manual timing. It's hard to "by hand" time a 10th of a second to the"gnat's ass"... so... once again physical and technological human achievement needed to increase hand in hand! He was 1136.29 weeks old. (21.79 yrs)
This Weeks Quote
"What would you do if you knew you would fail? What would be worth doing even though it's not going to work?"
I haven't quoted Seth here before, but he is a powerful influence on my thinking.
This quote needs some context... it is from Episode #475 of the Tim Ferriss Show, and it is the flip side of "What would you do if you knew you wouldn't fail?" which is kind of a BS question, because the only reason we don't dare mighty things is because we are scared they might fail and that would mean we are a failure!
So, this quote flips it... what would be worth doing, even if someone told you up front that you wouldn't succeed.
There is a group of things that you do only because you think they are important, not because of an outcome.
I would write this newsletter each week even if I knew that no one would read it... but that's cheating, because I am saying that ex post facto. And that's ok, because sometimes we have to trip and fall into a mission that isn't outcome driven. Writing this email each week has shown me how important to me it is to speak the truth of personal improvement and collective responsibility, and that truth is important to me even if no one listens and the world burns. (The stoic's actually demand it of me). Gold star if you read this.
What Seth is getting at here is that it is HUGELY important to have the courage to do things that you think SHOULD BE DONE regardless of the measurable outcome.
And ironically, those are the things that will likely succeed. It's weird.
What I Am Consuming This Week
A bit different focus this week... it's summer, and I have been full of "cognitive load heavy" inputs... and so it has been hard to add more. I have been consuming more passive content... Listening to music and watching Ted Lasso. I don't often watch TV. But everything in moderation... including moderation.
Louis Tomlinson Concert.
My teen loves One Direction, and I love my teen... and so we spent my birthday evening under the stars watching a feast for the senses. It was delightful.
Ted Lasso: Episodes 4-10 I know! Nearly 6 hours of passive entertainment! I know you all don't come here for pop culture recommendations, and I know there are thousands of articles about how Ted Lasso is "BUILT DIFFERENT"...but... I don't like tv mostly be cause I don't like watching the hammer fall on people who make bad choices... so. It's da best!
Weathervanes, Jason Isbell and the 40o Unit I have loved Isbell's songwriting since I heard this 2013 interview with him on Terry Gross's Fresh Air. I think he is one of the best songwriters working today. We're going to see him tonight in concert, and I'm excited about it... This will be #6 maybe? Post script... While I was finishing the email, I was re-listening to that interview, and I remembered what first made me "look further" into Jason... At 32:50 Terry asks him to "redeem an overlooked country song" and he plays "All These Years" by Sawyer Brown, it's a staggering song that I loved when I was a very different 15 year old boy. That was a fun walk down memory lane.
Every Tool is a Hammer, Adam Savage. What a good book. A delightful read with some great stories, and lots of lessons about life. The subtitle is "Life is what you make it". There is a lot to be discovered about living a good life if you are paying attention while you are making stuff.
What I am Thinking About This Week
To continue from above... I just wrote a TON of words and then deleted them in favor of this summary. Brevity is the soul of something...
Chimps and Bonobos...
Our culture has it's priorities... Those priorities are a result of all of the culture that has come before... billions and trillions of individual's decisions that led us to this moment...
Each of us is both changing the culture, and 100% subject to the culture all of the time. Truly, you can't exist outside the culture... you can rebel... but that is still of the culture, ask Stan...
My intelligence is like a chimp's... I am good with tools, I see the world through the eyes of a problem solver, trying to turn resources into warmth and safety for my troop of apes. It is hard for me to see the world differently than this... not impossible, but not my instinct... it takes the work of the only animal mind on the planet that can "think about thinking".
My type of intelligence lines up perfectly with the dominant values of the culture... Lucky me... except...
If I lean hard in to my type of intelligence, I miss more than half the world.
We each have our own type of intelligence based on our bodies, our experiences, and our instinctual response to external stimulus. If we need categories... (which chimps like me usually do!)...maybe there is a more masculine intelligence, and a more feminine intelligence... and OBVIOUSLY the world isn't binary, and everything is a spectrum, but CLEARLY there isn't only one.
There are problems that can't be solved with each type, try as I might, not all problems need solving, some need holding.
There is beauty and wonder in the tool maker who yearns to plow new fields, and there is beauty and wonder in the bond maker who knits a community together with their emotional labor.
But what I think will be truly magical, and what I think will cause humans to possibly earn the right to be a multi-planet species, is when our culture comes to fully recognize, respect, and focus on developing the multitudes of different intelligences.
Send me an email... Ask me a question... I will respond!
Thanks for walking down this road with me... It's nice to have company.
Spencer, Owner of 4KWeeks.com
Dad Joke O'The Week
What do you call an apology written with dots and dashes?