Hope you’re having a great week. I don’t write here as much because frankly, I don’t have a lot to say for myself these days. I think I’ve been working on too much and haven’t left enough time for writing, but I’ve made it a personal promise to prioritize.
Quote of the week:
”Some men learn all they know from books; others from life; both kinds are narrow. The first are all theory; the second are all practice. It’s the fellow who knows enough about practice to test his theories for blow-holes that gives the world a shove ahead, and finds a fair margin of profit in shoving it.”
— George Horace Lorimer (Letters From a Self-Made Merchant to His Son)
I’ve spent a hand full of hours in Clubhouse rooms over the last few weeks. I’ll be the first to admit, I hate dumb trends. I loathed the ice bucket challenge in high-school, found no solace in The Harlem Shake, and I’m often increasingly repulsed by something the more it propagates. A character flaw, but I digress.
My friend Mark sent me an invite at the end of last year (thanks Mark) and I sat on the app for months. Straight up sat on it. I finally figured, why not.
Before COVID, many of us were fortunate enough to be able to get together with our family and friends on a whim. Eventually, you’d see each other so much that it wasn’t fulfilling to just give life updates. So what do you do then? You shoot the shit.
You start to explore all sorts of divergent topics: weird things you’ve read, your qualms around getting to bed on time, or maybe even a little bit about how the stock market is performing. You know, random, nearly inconsequential topics. Or a few layers deeper than that: maybe you’re discussing the ethical dilemmas behind technology, how Singapore was constructed, or even just how to write more human.
Whatever it is, it’s hard to foster these days. Many are still scheduling time to see their loved ones on behalf of our Zoom overlords. And I think that’s what I’ve been missing. I miss the constant — but ordinary — divergences. I haven’t had been having those sort of conversations because much of our new reality is built on optimizing our time inside the confines of an apartment or house.
Like I said, I’ve jumped in a few Clubhouse rooms. I’m not saying that it’s replaced what I believe to be a fundamental desire for connection deeper than than the surface, but it has impressed me for how comfortable it could slot into my lifestyle.
Tonight I was planning on finishing a newsletter issue, but I saw my friend Steven was in a room with a few other brilliant individuals. So we shot the shit on various topics like Singapore, technology, government, and even video-gaming.
Completely random, educational, and intrinsically fulfilling.
The other night I was sitting in on a room talking about Andrew Yang’s NYC mayoral race when Andrew Yang himself popped in. It was quite incredible (one might say, almost too serendipitous) and overall a pleasant experience. I’ve also listened to Robbie Crabtree speak to hundreds on public speaking, and jumped into a few other random rooms between now and a few weeks ago.
All of that to say, your thing might not be jumping into random audio rooms and I wouldn’t blame you at all. With that said, don’t forget that there’s a lot of invisible value in chatting with those around you. On anything from getting to sleep on time or even a little bit about Singapore.
Anything more than five minutes about the weather, fifty about some planned discussion point, and another ten waiting for the call to end.
A few pictures.
Here’s a few of my favorite pictures from the last few weeks.
Wishing you and yours many fulfilling conversations,