I hereby invite you to take a mini-sabbatical from your hectic Friday. Look out the window, take a deep breath, and notice the space around you.

Then, enjoy five of my favorite things I explored this week:

  1. Most people I speak with think the world is getting worse every day. But Hans Rosling’s book Factfulness (was on BGates’ book list) starts with a quiz about the world which may surprise you. Free version here.
  2. In case you still aren’t convinced, the head of the Psych department at Harvard Steven Pinker offers an analysis of why we’re so bad at understanding how good things really are. I watched the last Democratic debate, after which it was hard to remember that. But, fear sells.
  3. The American water is strong, and it’s tough to recognize how it manipulates us. It’s even tougher to live differently. In my quest to do so, it’s always inspiring to read good writing that doesn’t make me feel like I should be achieving/buying/acquiring more. Feel like I found a gem in Erik Rittenberry.
  4. My meditation practice got a shot in the arm this week, when I was reintroduced to the concept of ‘noting’ by one of the top teachers in the US, Kenneth Folk, and then stumbled upon the uber-practical Buddhist Geeks website, in which Vincent Horn has lovingly created a simple git-repo of the meditation path to peace, ease and eventually (really) enlightenment. People have been training their minds for thousands of years, and as would be logical, there is a map.
  5. As someone planning (maybe?) to go to SXSW for the first time next week, this announcement from Tim Ferris (typically the hugest of speakers there, I understand) gave me pause. Anyone else going? Not going because of CoronaVirus?

Let me know what you think in the comments, or if you stumble upon something excellent I should be aware of let me know that as well.

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Frank Garland
Frank Garland
1 year ago

Hi Ryan – Good post. I was particularly struck by the phrase “Fear Sells.” As a long time worker in the media business, I often have to explain to people that things aren’t as bad as they seem, it’s just that the media needs to tell you about the bad stuff because that’s how they make money. Has anyone ever turned on the news and heard – “Every thing’s good, have a good day”. No way. Follow the money.

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