Quotes · The World

“Consider yourself blessed if you have a passion for anything.”

At the end of an article about a decades-long archaeology effort in Southern California, the protagonist says this:

Consider yourself blessed if you have a passion for anything. Passion is a way of organizing your life; otherwise you go off in 20 different directions, and in the end, you wonder what you have.

Fred E. Budinger (LA Times | Apple News)

This dude knows what he’s talking about.

Fred E. Budinger has been pushing to prove, from the evidence in the ground in the Mojave Desert, that humans were in North American 200,000 years ago (not 11,000 years ago as previously thought) despite decades of misfortune, hostility, and even vandalism.

Good luck to you, Fred (pictured right, below). ✌️ Your passion is inspiring.

Travel

From rebel outpost to Silicon Docks

The story of Boland Mills in Dublin is sort of the story of modern Ireland itself.

In 1916, the mills stood as a rebel outpost for an independent Irish state. Now it’s part of a high-end residential development in that independent Irish state. See the post for more. 👇

This looks like an interesting stop on my upcoming trip to Ireland. ☘️

Books

Super summary: Quiet, The Power of Introverts

A super-summary on this blog is basically a “summary of a summary” of a book, with a few additions of my own. It gives you the basic idea of a book to see if you want to read the real thing.

Next up via Lucid: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking [book | audiobook].

Who are the introverts?

Introverts are people who tend to benefit from alone time. They favor reflective and deliberate thinking. This approach lets them dig deep.

Some classic introverts are Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, and Warren Buffett. Isaac Newton was known to be “a deeply introverted character and fiercely protective of his privacy.”

👉My favorite new introvert is standup comedian Taylor Tomlinson, who framed introversion with this joke:

I read a statistic that said in 80 percent of homicides cases the killer was someone the victim knew. When I read that, I was relieved. Like thank god, I don’t want to get murdered and meet someone. That’s a lot for a Friday, getting stabbed and acquainted.

Introverts have a hidden side

While introverts tend to be outwardly quiet, they can also be bold, strong, and courageous. This is not a paradox.

See examples above. ☝️ You don’t have to be loud to revolutionize our understanding of the world, save a nation, or build a fortune.

They may not be fun at parties, but these are some heavy hitters when it comes to lasting, positive change in the world.

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Via Lucid

Introverts aren’t always introverted

Introverts can act extroverted pretty convincingly if it is in the service of something they love. An introvert can do public speaking or standup comedy as long as it serves a core purpose.

This explains introverted, charismatic entertainers such as Prince

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Via Lucid

👉 As a bit of an introvert myself, I admire the fun, freewheeling nature of many extroverts. I’m trying to learn from them to do more and think less. But I also appreciate that my core happiness lies within and I can have some of my best nights all to myself.

Travel

The Cerne Abbas Giant

Next time in England, it would be fun to visit some of the ancient geoglyphs etched into chalk in the hills there.

The Cerne Abbas Giant, for one, is 180 feet tall and has a 26-foot-long, uh, thing. People visit it for fertility. 🤔

👉 The Mysterious Origins of the Cerne Abbas Giant (The New Yorker)

And there are plenty of others with odd stories. Always a good excuse to get out to some otherwise random English countryside.

Books · The World

On Tyranny – Little Things You Can Do To Save The World

In America, we have the assumption that tyranny naturally comes from the government. After all, our whole origin story is based on some scrappy settlers rebelling against a meddling, powerful empire.

But the January 6 siege of the US Capital showed us that tyranny can also come from common American citizens, determined to disrupt the own constitutional process, spurred on by distributing, nonsensical, violent theories. It’s a reminder that tyranny can happen here, and it may come from the most unexpected sources. 🤔

“We see ourselves as a city on the hill, a stronghold of democracy, looking out for threats that come from abroad. But… human nature is such that American democracy must be defended from Americans who would exploit its freedoms to bring about its end.”

With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to visit practical tips from book On Tyranny. This book is full of simple lessons from 20th century Europe that we can apply to our own lives to help maintain our freedom in this really weird modern American scenario.

On Tyranny book cover
Look for the fun graphic edition coming this summer. 🙃

Contribute to good causes. (Some ideas: help make good information accessible, empower people, fight hate, or go local.)

Pick a charity or two and set up autopay. Then you will have made a free choice that supports civil society and helps others to do good.

Support a newspaper or a magazine. Real journalism is tough work and needs your support.

“Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on the internet is there to harm you. Take responsibility for what you communicate with others.”

Support the multi-party system. It is critical to have viable liberal and conservative parties vying for power.

Support the multi-party system and defend the rules of democratic elections. Vote in local and state elections while you can. Consider running for office.

Be inclusive. Take responsibility for the face of the world.

“You might one day be offered the opportunity to display symbols of loyalty. Make sure that such symbols include your fellow citizens rather than exclude them.”

I try my best. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Practice professional ethics. State election officials got tested this time around but stood strong, even dealing with violet threats. It’s a reminder that democracy doesn’t just happen automatically.

Maintain your rational, independent thought and individualism. Don’t let yourself get duped into something just because you like being part of a group (looking at you, yoga moms).

To abandon facts is to abandon freedom.

The renunciation of reality can feel natural and pleasant, but the result is your demise as an individual—and thus the collapse of any political system that depends upon individualism.

Be a patriot. Love your country and the best of what it stands for.

A patriot… wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves.

A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.

So there are some simple things anyone can do to help. It’s easy but also hard.

History · Travel

Christmas Night Drama: Washington’s Crossing

Next time I’m in New York City 🙏, I’d like to see the original Washington Crossing the Delaware painting.

I’m sure you’ve seen this painting before, but it would be amazing to see it in its original, massive form (12′ by 21′) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There are so many fascinating things about this painting. Here are a few highlights, but I recommend listening to at least the intro of Washington’s Crossing to really appreciate it.

  • The painting depicts the secret Christmas-night 1776 launch of the momentum-grabbing surprise attack on the British and German soldiers occupying New Jersey.
  • At the time, five months after the Declaration of Independence, the new American army had seen defeat after defeat and was 90% destroyed. Thus the gloomy atmosphere with a hint of sunshine in the background.
  • The painting was made by German-American painter Emanuel Leutze in 1850 with a goal of promoting democracy in Europe and fighting slavery in the United States. 🤩
  • The painting makes efforts to show all kinds of people from all over America literally in the same boat together. This includes a black man, a big statement back in 1850 during slavery. The paining was used for abolition fundraising.
  • The copy in NYC was the second one painted by Leutze. The first went to his native Germany and was destroyed by a British bombing raid during World War II — Britain’s final revenge on the American revolution. 😆
Washington Crossing the Delaware, Emanuel Leutze (American, Schwäbisch Gmünd 1816–1868 Washington, D.C.), Oil on canvas, American
History

The Tulsa Massacre of 1921

Quartz published the story of the Tulsa massacre of 1921, in which the burgeoning “Black Wall Street” neighborhood of Tulsa was set ablaze in a bizarre night of white racial rage. Hundreds or African Americans were killed, and many thousands lost their homes.

👉 We still don’t know just how much was lost in the Tulsa massacre of 1921

More than a thousand African American homes and businesses were looted and burned to the ground; you had a thriving community occupying more than 35 square blocks in Tulsa that was totally destroyed.

But the real story is how little we know about this, “the single largest incident of racial violence in American history.” This terrible story was purposefully forgotten, apparently out of shame.

Despite the gravity of the event, like other important chapters of African-American history, the Tulsa race massacre was all but deleted from the US’s collective memory for decades.

It is also interesting that this savage attack did not destroy the neighborhood, which came bouncing back stronger than ever after the violence. However, eventually the larger forces of “desegregation, urban redesign, and competition from large-scale white businesses” did it in. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Via Apple News.