Community Management

“A garden needs both fertilizer and weedkiller. But most of all it needs a gardener. Go back in and participate as much as before. Community manage with a heavy hand. Promote good people, respond to them. Make them shine. Build good admin tools to silence bad actors.”
Caterina Fake

A Sense of Appreciation

“The more practice you give your brain at feeling and expressing gratitude, the more it adapts to this mind-set — you could even think of your brain as having a sort of gratitude “muscle” that can be exercised and strengthened. If this is right, the more of an effort you make to feel gratitude one day, the more the feeling will come to you spontaneously in the future. It also potentially helps explain another established finding, that gratitude can spiral: The more thankful we feel, the more likely we are to act pro-socially toward others, causing them to feel grateful and setting up a beautiful virtuous cascade.”
– Christian Jarrett

Found in this article: Sense of Appreciation Is the Single Most Sustainable Motivator at Work

The Power of Positive People

“Your group of friends are better than any drug or anti-aging supplement, and will do more for you than just about anything.”

The Power of Positive People, by Tara Parker-Pope

On Recycling Plastic

“Recycling plastic is to saving the Earth what hammering a nail is to halting a falling skyscraper. You struggle to find a place to do it and feel pleased when you succeed. But your effort is wholly inadequate and distracts from the real problem of why the building is collapsing in the first place. The real problem is that single-use plastic—the very idea of producing plastic items like grocery bags, which we use for an average of 12 minutes but can persist in the environment for half a millennium—is an incredibly reckless abuse of technology.”

More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution

(via Paul)

How To Grow Old

“Make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river — small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.”

Bertrand Russell on What Makes a Fulfilling Life

How the Web Was Lost

“As public outrage grows over the centralization of the Web, and as enlarging numbers of coders join the effort to decentralize it, he has visions of the rest of us rising up and joining him. This spring, he issued a call to arms, of sorts, to the digital public. In an open letter published on his foundation’s Web site, he wrote: “While the problems facing the web are complex and large, I think we should see them as bugs: problems with existing code and software systems that have been created by people—and can be fixed by people.”

When asked what ordinary people can do, Berners-Lee replied, “You don’t have to have any coding skills. You just have to have a heart to decide enough is enough. Get out your Magic Marker and your signboard and your broomstick. And go out on the streets.” In other words, it’s time to rise against the machines.”

“I was devastated”: Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the world wide web, has some regrets

(Thank you Manu)

Mean People Fail

“There is also a complementary force at work: if you want to build great things, it helps to be driven by a spirit of benevolence. The startup founders who end up richest are not the ones driven by money. The ones driven by money take the big acquisition offer that nearly every successful startup gets en route. The ones who keep going are driven by something else. They may not say so explicitly, but they’re usually trying to improve the world. Which means people with a desire to improve the world have a natural advantage.”

Mean People Fail, by Paul Graham from 2014

(Thanks Paul)

How many people do you need to change the world?

How many social activists does it take to change the world? No, this isn’t the setup for some lame joke. It’s a question no one really knew the answer to. Until now.

Marcus Aurelius on Life

“The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.”
– Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius on Mortality and the Key to Living Fully

A Case for Solitude and Stillness

When you surround yourself with moments of solitude and stillness, you become intimately familiar with your environment in a way that forced stimulation doesn’t allow. The world becomes richer, the layers start to peel back, and you see things for what they really are, in all their wholeness, in all their contradictions, and in all their unfamiliarity.

The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You

Sitting Quietly in a Room Alone

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
– Blaise Pascal

The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You

Successful Human Relationship

“If you mount two clock pendulums side by side on the wall, they will gradually begin to swing together. They synchronize each other by picking up tiny vibrations they each transmit through the wall.

Any two things that oscillate at about the same interval, if they’re physically near each other, will gradually tend to lock in and pulse at exactly the same interval. Things are lazy. It takes less energy to pulse cooperatively than to pulse in opposition. Physicists call this beautiful, economical laziness mutual phase locking, or entrainment.

All living beings are oscillators. We vibrate. Amoeba or human, we pulse, move rhythmically, change rhythmically; we keep time. You can see it in the amoeba under the microscope, vibrating in frequencies on the atomic, the molecular, the sub-cellular, and the cellular levels. That constant, delicate, complex throbbing is the process of life itself made visible.

We huge many-celled creatures have to coordinate millions of different oscillation frequencies, and interactions among frequencies, in our bodies and our environment. Most of the coordination is effected by synchronizing the pulses, by getting the beats into a master rhythm, by entrainment.

Like the two pendulums, though through more complex processes, two people together can mutually phase-lock. Successful human relationship involves entrainment — getting in sync. If it doesn’t, the relationship is either uncomfortable or disastrous.”

– Ursula K. Le Guin

Telling Is Listening: Ursula K. Le Guin on the Magic of Real Human Conversation

(Thank you Michelle)

A Real, Effective Apology Has Three Parts

A real, effective apology has three parts:
(1) Acknowledge how your action affected the person;
(2) say you’re sorry;
(3) describe what you’re going to do to make it right or make sure it doesn’t happen again. Don’t excuse or explain.

Read full post.

6 Things You’re Recycling Wrong

Can you recycle coffee cups or greasy pizza boxes? If you’re tossing things in the recycling bin out of sheer hope, you might be an “aspirational recycler.” 6 Things You’re Recycling Wrong

The Internet Stopped Being Fun

“What happened is that the internet stopped being something you went to in order to separate from the real world — from your job and your work and your obligations and responsibilities.”

I Don’t Know How to Waste Time on the Internet Anymore, by Dan Nosowitz

The Perogative of Adulthood

“We aren’t in relationships to suffer in silence or fury; we may have come from unhappy muzzled childhoods, but it is the prerogative of adulthood to be able to complain; we simply need to give ourselves the space and compassion to learn to do so successfully, which means, with an absence of sarcasm or rage.”

How to Complain So a Partner Will Listen

How We End Things

“If you can change one thing about yourself then please be kinder and change how you end things because it matters way more than how you begin them.”
– Sartaj Anand

How We End Things, by Sartaj Anand

Beer Can

“This seems to be an era of gratuitous inventions and negative improvements. Consider the beer can. It was beautiful – as beautiful as the clothespin, as inevitable as the wine bottle, as dignified and reassuring as the fire hydrant. A tranquil cylinder of delightfully resonant metal, it could be opened in an instant, requiring only the application of a handy gadget freely dispensed by every grocer. Who can forget the small, symmetrical thrill of those two triangular punctures, the dainty pfff, the little crest of suds that foamed eagerly in the exultation of release? Now we are given, instead, a top beetling with an ugly, shmoo-shaped tab, which, after fiercely resisting the tugging, bleeding fingers of the thirsty man, threatens his lips with a dangerous and hideous hole. However, we have discovered a way to thwart Progress, usually so unthwartable. Turn the beer can upside down and open the bottom. The bottom is still the way the top used to be. True, this operation gives the beer an unsettling jolt, and the sight of a consistently inverted beer can might make people edgy, not to say queasy. But the latter difficulty could be eliminated if manufacturers would design cans that looked the same whichever end was up, like playing cards. What we need is Progress with an escape hatch.”
Jon Updike

Originally appeared in The New Yorker (Jan. 18, 1964).

(via Clay)

Several Kinds of Love

“There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-improtance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you – of kindness and consideration and respect – not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.”
John Steinbeck

Read the full letter. It’s delightful.

The End Goal

“The goal isn’t credit. The goal is change.”
– Seth Godin

When your ideas get stolen.

How To Email Busy People

“If you want a meeting, ask for a meeting. Provide some time options and ask for a specified length. If you want an introduction, ask for an introduction. If you’re looking for funding, tell him you’re currently fundraising and ask to meet to show him your pitch. Don’t be sly. Don’t hint. Make the process ridiculously easy by just asking for what you want.”

How to email busy people, by Jason Freedman

Future of Content

“The future of content, in my opinion, is all about creating context. We are bombarded with so much information from so many channels every single day, that people crave editorial that can actually help them make sense of everything. We get so much of our “content” in these little bursts now — be it an email, a tweet, a blog post. But it’s always this little bite-sized, isolated bit of information. We rarely understand how it actually fits into our lives.

Given this, I think what’s needed are curators, editors, writers, filmmakers, etc who can really zoom out from that narrow perspective and take the long view. Who can do some of that sense-making for people so that they understand how this political development fits into the long arc of history, or how developing this particular habit will give their life more meaning in the long run. The future of content is about creating a rich, well-thought-out context that makes it possible for people to really process and synthesize ideas in depth — not in this surface-y way we’re all accustomed to now.”

– Jocelyn K. Glei

This interview with my friend Jocelyn really made me think.

Ideas You Consume

“What you think is a function of the ideas you consume.”
Faris

Excellent read: How to balance your media diet.

The Love You Put Into Something

“I strongly believe that the amount of love and care you put into a project is always apparent. Even if people are not conscious of it, they can sense when you have paid attention to every little detail.”
– Jocelyn K. Glei

I wholeheartedly agree with Jocelyn. Read the full interview.