Energy, Nonsense, and Gullibility

A few years ago, I worked with a client who was all about energy.

He had an obsession about something he called “peak state” which involved eating massive amounts of fruit in the morning (he did this instead of caffeine because fruit sugars were supposed to stimulate the brain), pushups, a thumping EDM playlist, and chugging massive amounts of water.

We weren’t filming a CrossFit training session. We were filming corporate videos about managing money. It was a little bizarre, but I went with it. I try not to judge.

Continue reading Energy, Nonsense, and Gullibility

People Getting Stuff Done

If you think about the amount of stuff a human can get done in a lifetime, it’s staggering.

In either a very good or very bad way.

The vast majority of billionaires in the world came from nothing. Many, born into no special favors, built up billion-dollar commercial empires (think Richard Branson, Sam Walton, Ralph Lauren) or tech companies (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Peter Thiel, Jan Koum). Starting from where everyone else started, they’ve amassed fortunes, acquired airlines, flown to space, built skyscrapers, and done everything in between.

Yet on the flip side, other humans can be equally staggering in the lack of anything notable: starting from nothing or in some cases starting from quite a bit, and maintaining a steadily declining trajectory of productivity across their life.

The method…the way people get things done…is the most wildly uneven and confusing aspect of a productive life.

I think that a productive life is a good life, and an unproductive life is a bad life.

It’s not just money. Productivity can be manifested in a wide range of things. It can be invention. It can be family. It can be art. It can be cash. It some cases it can even be survival. We shouldn’t use the same scales to measure everyone across all of human history and geography. The first caveman who discovered fire gets a lot of credit, but I also know how to make fire. Where’s my credit!?

Times are different. From whom much is given, much is expected. We have been given much.

Perhaps the first tribes wandering the planet were productive just by surviving another winter. But here I am, surviving many winters. Half of America survives the winter without even going to work. How much more should we be producing, now that those of us in the developed world need to do nothing in order to survive?

In 1001 AD, Leif Eiriksson got in a Viking longship, crossed the Atlantic, and spent the winter in Canada before heading back to take care of his old dad.

Who do you know today doing something that ridiculous?

Feudalism

I’m writing this short essay as an exploration into power structures. As an opinion piece, I’m sure that many could have significant issues with the assumptions herein. If so, I welcome feedback since I’m still exploring ideas.

I’d like to start out with a thought about semantics and fallacies.

It’s easy to get distracted by details. The further you can get from something, the easier it is to see it in relation to everything around it. Environment and context is so important to fully understanding the importance and effect of a subject, that it’s worth stripping away as much superfluous information as possible.

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Announcing Discosloth: Data-Driven Marketing

I’m excited to announce something really exciting.

An internet career wasn’t intentional. At fifteen, I accidentally got my first gig building a janky HTML website for $1300, back when being a webmaster was still a viable career.

Thirteen years later, the internet is still here. And through some periods of starvation alternating with windfalls, forty countries, a few worn-out pairs of Vans, good jobs, bad jobs, I’m somehow still here too.

I met Anya last year, and because it’s always wise to make multiple life decisions at once, we decided to quit our jobs, start a company, and get married all in the same year.

We started Discosloth because we were tired of hearing jargon while seeing no results. It’s so easy for those in the digital world to throw around a lot of buzzwords & processes and never actually do what marketing is supposed to do: make people more money.

We don’t like funnel-hacking gamification through disruptive tech.

We don’t like agile inbound marketing thought leadership.

We don’t like pivoting to customer journey growth hacks.

Corporate inefficiency, along with all the spreadsheets and processes and bullshit tedium, is exactly what we’re not. So we’ve based our entire workflow around providing clients with what they want: more money.

Marketing consulting is not a glamorous niche. We provide paid advertising management and the transparent reporting we think clients deserve. It’s actually pretty boring. But, since Anya is smarter than I am, we’ve already seen what I consider totally unexpected success in our launch.

We’re currently onboarding new clients. If your company needs help squeezing the maximum ROI out of your online advertising campaigns, give us a holler.

 

 

True Globalization: Rejecting Cultural Hegemony

A couple days ago I got back from Eastern Europe: Romania, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Part of traveling, or even more so living abroad, is a direct experience with globalization. You’re heading out from your origins & creating an effect in another place; you’re letting that place effect you. Ideally you’re creating value & producing something of substance while you’re at it, enriching both yourself and those around you.

Eastern Europe has seen an explosion of globalization within the past few years, and I suspect it’ll only increase in the next few.

There seems to be two bipolar camps around the question of globalization.

The first is a fundamentalist approach that tends to be nationalistic, and calls globalization “bad”. It calls for the regulation of borders, of the preservation of traditional entities like churches, parties, and cultures, and tariffs on unorthodox thought. Continue reading True Globalization: Rejecting Cultural Hegemony

Erasing Borders

In late September, I got back from a 40-day trip around the world. I saw quite the range: from the Arctic Circle to the Sahara, from the world’s northernmost capital to the world’s southernmost capital, from glaciers to jungles, from icebergs to beaches.

The concept of easy travel is a brand new thing.

You might enjoy this video, the first of a series of travel videos produced during the trip.

I’m convinced of one thing: provincialism is dead.

Continue reading Erasing Borders

Kosmopolitês

Diogenes, the famous Greek philosopher, was once asked where he was from. He replied “I am a citizen of the world”. The Greek word for this is kosmopolitês.

Later on, the Stoic crowd further developed Diogenes’ thought into an entire framework called cosmopolitanism. Essentially, the circle model of identity puts yourself in the middle of expanding concentric circles of importance: immediate family, extended family, friends, neighbors, humanity. This was underscored by an emphasis of the importance of a shared affinity for humanity.

I like cosmopolitanism. It seems like a healthy way to view the world.

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