Seeking Tribe #12: Home for the Holidays

I’m back at my Mom’s house and I’ll be here for the next 2+ weeks.

After spending my Thanksgiving watching Lord of the Rings and eating frozen pizza with one of my housemates, it’s nice to be celebrating the season in a more conventional way. Like listening to Bing Crosby and eating stollen. 

My plan is to spend the rest of 2020 reading books (being less online), scheming for a better 2021, and enjoying some quality time with my Mom and Daisy, her Havanese doggo.

This will likely be the last edition of Seeking Tribe for the year. I’m grateful to all 204 of you for joining and sticking with me on this adventure! It’s only going to get better in 2021, that’s a promise 🙂

The Best of my Recent Reads:

  • When I was 15, my ‘Grandpa Chuck’ died. A humble man, he was kind to those he met. His career included being a U.S. Marine, a Police Officer, and a long time Detective for the Rochester Police Department. His capability as a Detective was built through decades of treating those he met with respect. This accrued social equity provided information that other detectives could never attain.

    At his wake, hundreds attended. The wealthy and powerful, the poor and the meek, the innocent and the guilty. RPD escorted him to his burial; shutting down a major highway to keep the procession uninterrupted.

    This fundamentally shifted my understanding of success. I will never know how successful I was in life; I won’t be at my own funeral.

    Legacy is more valuable than currency.” from my older brother Clark’s newsletter, Forward.

    I was only five years old when Grandpa Chuck died. It was great to be reminded of this story. I learned a similar lesson from the life and passing of Paul J. Burgett – as anyone who has read my book knows.

  • This great migration from mainstream to ‘free speech’ platforms will inevitably have the effect of fostering hyper-partisan, right-wing echo chambers — tailored realities which barely offer even a glimpse of an alternative opinion.” from the provocatively titled, Tech’s QAnon Crackdown was a Huge Mistake by Mark Ledwich

    If anyone has read anything that argues the opposite, I’d love to read it.

    Currently, I’m thinking that these heavy-handed strategies are mostly good for shareholders, not for society. We’ll bear the costs of increased radicalization, atomization while Facebook, Google, etc get to wipe their hands of being a part of a solution to help rebuild genuine trust and facilitate open, critical conversation.

    The problems of online radicalization are not going away anytime soon and we’re never going back to a world where there’s a handful of mutually credible news sources.

  • Having earned a Ph.D. in English and taught poetry courses, there is no question raised so frequently as some variation of:

    Can literature exist on Instagram?
    Is Instagram poetry real literature?
    What do you think of Rupi Kaur?

    from Precursor Monthly – December 2020 by Tim Wilcox

    Tim and I recently collaborated on a podcast. We both read Life of Pi and watched Donnie Darko, these two pieces of media were released within a month or so of each other. We had a wide-ranging conversation about their numerous shared themes.

A Few Last Points:

  • Reflections on One Year as a Published Author (new from me)

    Ever wanted to know how many copies I sold? Check it out.
  • Year Compass is a great little planning exercise for the new year. This is my 3rd Year Compass in a row. I’ll likely be reflecting a bit more about what I’ve learned from my plans and failures in 2019 and 2020

My currently reading list: Collaborative Circles by Michael P. Farrell, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, One Billion Americans by Matt Yglesias, Your Music and People by Derek Sivers, and The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (almost done).

I’ve already got a lot planned for 2021 and I’m determined to make it a better year than 2020. This year has emphasized what is and what is not within our control. My plans are going to focus on what’s within my control and take to heart many of the other lessons that I’ve learned and re-learned in 2020.

I hope that each of you has an excellent holiday season (and a happy new year if you don’t hear from me)!

This post was initially sent on December 13th, 2020 as part of an early prototype of my newsletter Seeking Tribesubscribe here!

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