Are we exhausted or just infatuated with the concept

Hello Uncommoners, 

Here's your random dose of intrigue — a collection of content, ideas, and resources that I've recently found mind tingling.  Consume, skim, or skip at your leisure.  Enjoy. 


A few weeks ago I wrote about my 2016 theme: Clean up & Simplify. It’s been a fantastic goal with many rewards. But now that we’re almost beginning Q4 one thing has become clear: It takes time to slow the momentum of complexity.

My personal take-away:

It’s a big mistake to assume that when you embark on a complex goal or project that a clean and quick incision is an option when you decide you’re ready for an exit.

For many things in life, it’s possible to cut the majority of consequential ties by simply refusing to feed the task more time and energy. However, the same is not true with complex issues. Just because you’ve decided to discontinue a complicated goal or project AND have even taken real action to sever ties, you can’t expect an immediate remedy. Committing to complex things is a long term investment.

So why would someone commit to complex goals and projects in the first place?  Assuming there was some deliberation done beforehand, complex dealings can offer disproportionate rewards. And those rewards can be well worth it. But as I’m learning, if you want to avoid extended, time-consuming “wind-down” periods that overlap inconveniently with each other, your life portfolio of goals and projects also require the discipline to seek balance in the types of commitments you make.


“…anxieties about exhaustion are not peculiar to our age. Those who imagine that life in the past was simpler, slower and better are wrong. The experience of exhaustion, and anxieties about exhaustion epidemics in the wider population, are not bound to a particular time and place. On the contrary: exhaustion and its effects have preoccupied thinkers since classical antiquity.” – Anna Katharina Schaffer via Aeon

“We are — as far as we know — the only part of the universe that’s self-conscious. … We could even be the universe’s form of consciousness. We might have come along so that the universe could look at itself… It’s such a lucky accident, having been born, that we’re almost obliged to pay attention.” – Mark Strand via Brain Pickings

“Because computers cannot come to us and meet us in our world, we must continue to adjust our world and bring ourselves to them. We will define and regiment our lives, including our social lives and our perceptions of ourselves, in ways that are conducive to what a computer can ‘understand’. Their dumbness will become ours.” – Aeon, The attention economy


How Exhaustion Became a Status Symbol – Building on the quote in the above section: “Sometime in the eighteenth century, doctors and philosophers stopped blaming exhaustion on the weakness of the individual and started blaming it on changes in society. … To say that you’re exhausted is to telegraph that you’re important, in demand, and successful. It’s akin to the humblebrag of ruefully describing yourself as “so busy”—naturally, since exhaustion follows from busyness.”

How technology disrupted the truth

How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children


Heading to the gym at least three times a week has been linked to higher pay — 7% more for men, 12% for women, according to Cleveland State associate professor Vasilios Kostas

“People with adequate levels of vitamin C burn 30 percent more fat during high-intensity workouts that those with sub-par levels.” – K. Aleisha Fetters in GQ


Now that Siri is built into the new Sierra Operating System, it’s time for a refresher course about what she can actually do for you, because chance are, you’re probably underutilizing the digital assistant you have at your beck and call: “Siri has grown a lot over the years, and in doing so, it’s hard to remember everything you can ask it. ‘Hey Siri’ is a site that hopes to document as many of the commands as possible.” – Hey Siri


10 of Nikola Tesla’s Most Amazing Predictions

Hope you enjoyed this eclectic collection of brain food. Every UM newsletter is slightly unique and may include intriguing quotes, interesting reads, recommended resources, cool products, and other fun surprises.

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