Showing posts tagged back to work
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.

I sure hope that pithy aphorism is true, Sir Francis Bacon.   

"Begin With Certainties" may as well have been on our family crest.  

My new “Go Home” Home Screen.

(I now find myself locking/unlocking my phone three or four times per minute)

“…maybe I should have just come in and given email tips because maybe that’s really all people have the ears to hear.   I can’t go in and say like, ‘oh, corporate America should be different’..and maybe it shouldn’t matter, except that all of those people have lives: everybody who spends those hours and hours and hours living inside a big brick building full of lies..that’s hurting them, that’s harming them.  They’re not only not doing good work they’re having to subsist on this diet of cognitive dissonance that I think is really harmful…because you’re really forcing your brain - if you’re a smart person and you’re compelled to look at posters of a boat all day - like, at a certain point - what are you gonna do? - you’re just gonna give up…

It’s probably not a coincidence that a lot of times the people who bring me in - it’s not like they get fired or something - but I think sometimes they realise they didn’t really want to be there…and they end up going ‘wow, y’know, I can’t really change the problem that’s real let alone the problem I want to change’…so sometimes I feel like I leave them feeling sadder than when I arrived, which is…I don’t know, I don’t know if that’s good or bad…finding out the truth is a real pain in the ass.

But if you really do care about your work…you have to figure out which of these cognitive dissonances you can live with and be happy and feel whole.”

- Merlin Mann, Back To Work podcast, S1E17 “Brick Building Full Of Lies”


Played 880 times

When I finally get my thoughts collected, and can put together something that doesn’t come across as either saccharine and insincere or creepily effusive, I will write to Mr Mann and thank him.  I’ll thank him not just for this Back To Work podcast - though it is indeed great and he and Dan Benjamin should be proud of what they’ve put together - but for so much more.

Merlin is far-and-away the person that I most admire and respect across the whole Internet and he’s involved in an astonishingly-high percentage of the things that I most enjoy. From the MacBreak Weekly’s where I first encountered him several years ago (where he and Andy brought/bring so much fun, wit and intelligence even to the driest discussions about OLED shipments), through inspired pieces like The Noises Rest, the hilarious You Look Nice Today podcasts, to his Twitter feed and this Tumblr of course.  

While it’s his fantastic sense of humour that struck me first, it’s his honest, reflective, challenging, encouraging posts about creativity and doubt and fear and excuses and distraction and hard-work that set him apart.  I love that he is a talented, creative guy with a young family who is working it all out very publicly, not a guy with a dogmatic public mantra hiding private doubts.  As much as we don’t ever “know” anyone else on the Internet - at best, we’re all just showing heavily-edited parts of ourselves - I strongly suspect that Merlin Mann the internet persona is pretty close to Merlin Mann the husband and father and fellow Dora-The-Explorer-endurer. And I respect that so much.  

Part of the reason I’ve never written to him despite setting out to do so many times is that - with so many followers and ‘likes’ and ‘faves’ - my little note of appreciation seems pretty pointless and redundant, right?  But, on second thoughts, the fact that he’s now very well known and is an Internet Superstar doesn’t in any way diminish how much I personally appreciate him and what he gives of himself every day…and maybe he doesn’t actually hear an endless stream of thunderous praise like I assume he does.    

So thank you, Merlin: I’m really grateful.


That’s my favorite (non-useful) 105 seconds in the latest episode of Back to Work.

So, yeah. I’ll be talking about this new show a lot. Because it’s my new thing. And, because a person doesn’t get the chance to do that many things that feel special.

I totally understand if you are now or soon will be sick of hearing about this. Because you will certainly not be alone. But—understand this though I do—and, per half of the point of this entire latest episode, I don’t have a lot of control over what anyone else thinks or does or expects. Which I’m actually kind of strangely grateful for.

Thing is: as immodest as I may sometimes seem, I don’t actually love every single thing I make. Not by a long shot. Not by a longity long long long McLongLong shot.

But, I do really love this. And, I really hope you do too.

(Reblogged from merlin)