Longform interview (podcast) with Cal Fussman

I enjoy almost all the podcast episodes with Tim Ferriss, but one of the most recent, with Cal Fussman, was an absolute delight to listen to. Cal is a great story teller.

He speaks about his encounters with Muhammad Ali, that I found endearing. Also Cal and Tim talk about interviewing styles and writing.

Sheer enjoyment, thanks Tim and Cal!

cal_fussman

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Not-Knowing

Central theme in my meditations and writings at the moment is Not-Knowing. I am influenced by The Zen Peacemakers Sangha, whose tenets are:

  1. Not-Knowing by giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe
  2. Bearing Witness to the joy and suffering of the world
  3. Taking Action that arises from Not-Knowing and Bearing Witness

Buddhist meditation teachers often say that the practitioner should not judge, or have opinions about others, either positive or negative. I think that the moral position of Not-Knowing goes even one step further, because when I have the choice of either judging or not judging, that implies that I have an understanding about the other. In taking the position of Not-Knowing, I do not even pretend to understand, because usually understanding comes with preconceptions, e.g. labels or categories that you impose on the other. Therefore, Not-Knowing is more free.

In the video below, the psychotherapist Harlene Anderson explains this concept in a way that accords a lot with my experience.

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Second Thoughts About The First World

Photo of an Arabic beggar

Photo courtesy of Fatimeh Nadimi

We live in the first world and we are very lucky. We have more than enough material wealth, we belong to the richest countries in the world. During my upbringing, I was told that the reason that we are rich, is that we are a developed nation. Countries like Ghana are poor and that can be explained, because Ghana is not yet developed as fully as our country.

Recently, I wonder if it is not the other way around. Richness always brings forth development of science and art. The Italian Renaissance was also the time of greatest relative wealth. Later on, in the same country, production of art declined together with the economy.

We are developed because we are rich. Do not use development as legitimization for wealth. Development is equal to wealth. There is only wealth versus poverty.

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Follow-up On Work The System

Cover of The Systems Mindset

Sam Carpenter is the author of the terrific book Work The System. I wrote about it here. The content was mainly about business, so about the running of a company using standardized procedures.

Now, Sam has published a follow-up, which centers around your personal life. Is is called The Systems Mindset and is available for free here.

I highly recommend it, I will write a review of this inspiring book later.

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Linux history command with searchable comments


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