This week: notes on power, abstraction, mistakes, movies, and more...

View this email in your browser
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Share Share
Aaaaand, we're back!

Here's where we left things off. Talking about the power of stories. Power has been on my mind a lot lately.

I figured my unease with the newsletter format had more to do with the content than the tool (for now).

Hence, I'm reclaiming my special superpowers as curator and conversationalist. 


There's power in abstraction.
Keith Haring by Riccardo Guasco
photographed by Jack Mitchell in 1984.

Website . TwitterInstagram


Here are 12 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
  1. When someone tried to buy my URL, I rediscovered how I think about what's meaningful to me. This is one way to reclaim power.
  2. I've been re-reading Maria Konnikova's The Biggest Bluff and taking copious notes. She does some of her best writing, including internal monologues. "If you haven't thought though (someone's) motivation, the behavior will be off." Here's more reading that can help you reframe uncertainty to empower yourself and your team.
  3. A friend's success can pave the path for your own flourishing. This wonderful conversation on envy with author Cheryl Strayed will make you squirm. In a good way.
  4. After reading two years' worth of articles and conversations by Jonathan Cook, and combining it with my own research and observation, I have something to say about the power of rituals.
  5. I found the remarks Anthony Shore made about the why pfizer is considered the elite, sexy, in-demand “hot person vaccine”—the Prada of vaccines— fascinating from a linguistic perspective
  6. Resonance is much, much harder with truly new ideas. Hence posterity. Rand Fishkin has a breakdown of who and why amplifies content. Power deals in specifics.
  7. Longish, excellent post about how filmmakers communicate a feel-good story. It turns out how they achieve this is also a powerful determinant of the overall quality of the film.
  8. Mistakes do happen. Accountability is power. Curiosity turns an actor into an agent.
  9. I've stumbled upon a fascinating tradition of selling itself to itself in cultural narrative. “The American hero of folklore, then, is a grifter who tells the tale of his own redemption. Only, he (nearly always) is a grifter with a heart of gold who might pull little cons to get ahead, but stays true-hearted and noble where it actually matters."
  10. I'm with Rob Campbell on why the best form of professional revenge is apathy. He points to Sarah Millican's approach to professional users.
  11. We're all authors and actors in our lives. "The actor is the vessel" says
    @McConaughey in a surprisingly refreshing conversation with @montemagno.
  12. What Leszek Kolakowski says gives creative types hope: "Total consistency is tantamount in practice to fanaticism, while inconsistency is the source of tolerance."  
I took these photos in Pisa
during one of my famous Christmas pilgrimages in Italy in 2018.

Thank you for reading.
This letter is free, but not cheap.

To show your support, forward it to someone who'd like it,
shop from my suggested readings (I get a cut),
hit the yellow button, or hire me to consult.


Forward this email Forward this email

buy me coffee?
Grazie mille,

If you're reading this and you're not a subscriber, sign up here.
If you're a creator check out

Graduate to fast, affordable WordPress hosting.

Copyright © 2021 Conversation Agent LLC, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp