2017 Q1 - The Inevitable, Awareness Through Movement, Rework
The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly is one of the most interesting humans alive. Check out his incredible biography here.
Let's start by clarifying what Kevin means by inevitable: "The kind of inevitability I am speaking of here in the digital realm is the result of momentum" - it's more of "very likely" than "destiny." He did an incredible job of defining and explaining the following 12 technological forces that will shape our future: Becoming, Cognifying, Flowing, Screening, Accessing, Sharing, Filtering, Remixing, Interacting, Tracking, Questioning, and Beginning.
Kevin's understanding and projection of technology's future influences on society & culture is an incredible feat of imagination and research. The cultural and personal experiences he portrays are especially fascinating, not to mention his brilliant (and obvious) dissection of the metamorphosis of the music industry over recent decades. He extrapolated the trends and forces that have permeated the music industry into a variety of upcoming cultural and societal phenomena.
The book is a mind-bender. It feels as if the book was written using vocabulary from the future (2046?), not 2016, when it was published. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
"We are moving away from the world of fixed nouns and toward a world of fluid verbs."
"A utopia has no problems to solve, but therefore no opportunities either."
"We are now People of the Screen."
"For most things in life, accessing will trump owning."
"What goes for music goes for anything and everything that can be rendered in bits."
"Forget about all the critically acclaimed creations that mean nothing to you personally. Focus instead on just the things that would truly excite you."
"Large quantities of something can transform the nature of those somethings."
"A good question is worth a million good answers."
Pick it up if you have any interest in what daily life could be in the next 20-30 years.
Awareness Through Movement by Moshe Feldenkrais
This classic read on the relationship between our physical selves and our emotional selves is a must-read for anyone with any curiosity between the body & mind. One of my biggest take-aways was the relationship we have between the movement of our body and the awareness of the map of our body in our mind. In other words, it's the difference between how you think you move versus how you really move. A simple way to experience this is to perform this exercise while standing in front of a mirror: close your eyes & raise your arm straight up; without opening your eyes get an image of your arm in your mind's eye. Now open your eyes an notice how "straight up" you actually hold your arm, and notice how different the amount of space between your ear and your arm actually appears compared to what you envisioned in your mind's eye. It is incredible how detached many of us are from our own bodies. This book guides you back to reconnecting your mind to your body and it's impact on our psyche & self-perception.
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hasson
This book was referrenced in Smartcuts (mentioned in the previous Quarterly) and it did not disappoint. It is a playbook for anyone interested in starting or running a company focused on delivering an unapologetically simple and unique product or service while keeping the enterprise efficiently small. The book is free from jargon and generic page-fillers. It delivers counter-intuitive and experience-based maxims and concepts that will force you to rethink what you really want out of your company. Rework will make you rethink your work. I will revisit Rework every 1-2 years. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
"Decide what you’re going to do this week, not this year."
"Small is not just a stepping-stone. Small is a great destination in itself."
"You need less than you think"
"Constraints are advantages in disguise."
"Do less than your competitors to beat them."