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You should read

These are articles I saved to Pocket this week—and that I read beyond the headline. I save a lot of articles and 95% of them I never get around to reading, at least not right away. This is the first post of something I plan to do each Friday, a selection of articles I actually read, and think you should read, too. Hopefully, this will encourage me to read more of what I save instead of endless scrolling my social media accounts collecting more cruft.

What I share is going to be a reflection of whatever eclectic mish-mash of ephemera that typically catches my eye. Semi-eclectic. Because there's definitely a shape to the areas I like to explore. Here's a taste of the topics you are likely to find here in the future: america, anarchism, art, books, buddhism, california, capitalism, comic books, cooperatives, creativity, culture, democracy, design, education, entrepreneurship, equality, ethics, fascism, finland, gun violence, history, inequality, innovation, movies, music, organizations, philosophy, photography, police brutality, politics, psychology, scandinavia, socialism, star wars, systems, work, zen.

This is the black-metal nature of task management: Every single time you write down a task for yourself, you are deciding how to spend a few crucial moments of the most nonrenewable resource you possess: your life. Every to-do list is, ultimately, about death. (“Dost thou love life?” wrote Ben Franklin. “Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”)

Hundreds of Ways to Get S#!+ Done—and We Still Don’t (Wired)
The article talks about the tsunami of incomplete tasks that piles up week-over-week into "The List of Shame", at which point we scrap the list and start again. I've certainly done that. And what I usually take away from that long list of tasks I've taken on and no one gave a rip whether they were done or not, is that a great percentage of my to-dos are ultimately pointless and unnecessary.

CSR is a self-regulated framework that has no legal or social obligation for corporations to actually create positive impact for the groups they purport to help. Corporate Social Justice is a framework regulated by the trust between a company and its employees, customers, shareholders, and the broader community it touches, with the goal of explicitly doing good by all of them. Where CSR is often realized through a secondary or even vanity program tacked onto a company’s main business, Corporate Social Justice requires deep integration with every aspect of the way a company functions.

We’re Entering the Age of Corporate Social Justice (Harvard Business Review, June 2020)
I wish we were, but not yet. This article hit just weeks after George Floyd's murder and the subsequent protests against police brutality in the US. At the time, I had high hopes for a shift in action, in both my company and my community. But, clearly and sadly, the passion of last summer seems to have cooled.

As in the previous survey, levels of expressed support for secession are arrestingly high, with 37% of respondents overall indicating willingness to secede. Within each region, the dominant partisan group is most supportive of secession. Republicans are most secessionist in the South and Mountain regions whereas it is Democrats on the West Coast and in the Northeast. In the narrowly divided Heartland region, it is partisan independents who find the idea most attractive.

Still miles apart: Americans and the state of U.S. democracy half a year into the Biden presidency (Bright Line Watch)
What caught my attention was the unexpectedly high acceptance of secession, at least conceptually. As a sometimes advocate of California secession, my experience has been that talk of secession will get you laughed out of the room, or, at least, the subreddit. The very foundations of American democracy, particularly the Senate, the Electoral College, are literally undemocratic structures  disenfranchising millions of voters in a country who's modern population size would have blown the Founders' little colonial minds. What's more likely? A reform of the Senate? Or legal and peaceful secession? The status quo cannot stand.

With resilience, a university website puts it, failure can be the “revenue” we invest in later success; a video testimonial from a cofounder of Pandora, a Stanford grad, recalls his early struggles in this way. But while most business ventures fail, student debt skyrockets, and college tuition spirals out of control, it’s unfair to preach resilience as a prelude to business triumph. What if it’s just a willingness to endure what you shouldn’t have to?

Resilience Is the Goal of Governments and Employers Who Expect People to Endure Crisis (Teen Vogue, July 2020)
A timely reminder from last year as we enter Pandemic Phase II (or is it Phase III?). Sometimes the Buddhist virtue of "equanimity" gives me similar pause.

Simone Biles herself leaned into her own humanity and recognized she wasn’t ready. That continuing to compete ran the risk of real physical ruin for her and, quite possibly, would irreparably damage any chance her team would have. So rather than being guided by media idolatry and public perceptions of invincibility, she listened to her body. She accepted that she wasn’t, in this moment and in this place, perfect. And as a true leader and a world class athlete, she didn’t fight it, she embraced her imperfection* and made the smartest decision possible.

The Pathology of Perfection vs Progress (Hilton Barbour)