5 Things I’m Into This Week #12

406 days.

A little over 13 months after I tore my knee up, I finally stepped back onto the same soccer field. It’s weird to finally do something you’ve spent so much time & energy working toward.

I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little apprehensive on the drive over. The truth is there are 7 exits between my house and the field, and I thought about taking every one of them.

But I’d made it this far, and decided to push through — and I’m glad I did. The game was good (spoiler alert: I’m still a terrible player), but seeing everyone again was amazing. It’s easy to forget how important community can be in one’s life.

Maybe that’s the bigger lesson here? I had a whole story written about perseverance and sticking to one’s goals. At the end of the day, the bigger reward was the sheer joy of seeing my friends again.

On to the good stuff:

1. Scott Galloway made a compelling case for Twitter switching to a (tiered) subscription model. I have to say I agree with him. I think it would go a long way toward making the platform a more engaging — and pleasant — place to be.

2. Ear candy: My playlist for this week.

3. The overarching narrative has been that America narrowly averted disaster on January 6th and that our Republic is somehow infallible. This excellent piece by John Ellis deconstructs that and walks us through the much more alarming “truth” that also exists.

4. Former Montreal Canadien Ken Dryden on how goalies are changing hockey — and not necessarily for the better.

5. What a time to be alive!

What milestones did you hit this week? What grabbed your attention? Let me know in the comments!

5 Things I’m into This Week

If you’re reading this, I’m pleased to tell you we’re still here. Our republic is down, but not out.

As terrifying as last week’s insurrection was (and the more we learn, the worse it gets), I don’t think the fate of our nation was ever in doubt. That may be naivete but for me, the appeal of the American Experiment is its resilience.

We bend but never break.

A huge part of the larger discourse has been the rise of social media, and the influence it has on the populace. There is no shortage of analysis and/or hot takes on the massive reach of Facebook (or the calls to #DeleteFacebook), the often arbitrary moderation of Twitter, and whateverthehell Parler was.

The latter was effectively erased from existence last week, and a lot of people made sure we all knew they thought their freedom of speech was being infringed on.

Regardless of where you stand on Parler’s extinction, we can all agree on 2 distinct truths:

1. Civics needs to make a return to our school’s curriculum, post haste.

2. For all intents and purposes, social media IS today’s Town Square. It’s where we go to share ideas, get on our (cyber) soapbox, and debate. The discourse isn’t happening down the street- it’s on your screen.

The First Amendment doesn’t apply to private companies, and everyone has to consent to a platform’s Terms of Service as a condition of participation. The easy answer here is to point to that, and say “if you don’t like it, leave.” I know, I’ve done it. But maybe the better solution is to model Terms of Service after the First Amendment.

It’s pretty clear that online is where people are now assembling, and as broad as it is, 1A still has defined guardrails. I don’t think you could legislate (read: force) companies to do this, but it’s certainly a model worth looking into going forward. Don’t @ me*.


On to the good stuff…

Like many of you, I often find refuge in music. This week was no different. Here are a few songs that made navigating life during wartime a little better.

Speaking of escape, the life of the Digital Nomad has exploded in popularity. COVID has been an accelerant for many things, and this is no different. As the Knowledge Economy has blossomed, so too has the ability to work from anywhere as long as you have internet access. Susanna Perkins has written a great piece about the age of the “Anywhereist.” As she explains, it goes far beyond simple categories, and far beyond the stereotypical 20-something.

“An “anywhereist” goes beyond “work from home,” “remote work,” or “digital nomad” — although it encompasses all of them. To me, it means I have the ability to truly work and live anywhere, either as a remote employee or through my own business.”

With some nations now offering work visas (Aruba, anyone?), there’s never been a better time to load up your laptop and go. Work From Home sounds a whole lot more appealing when “home” is an island paradise.

Long live the Business Traveler. As COVID continues to ravage the aviation industry, many have predicted the end of corporate travel. Given the disproportionate amount of revenue they bring in, this is particularly concerning. The truth is, this is nothing new.

The end of biz travel has been predicted before; after 9/11, and again most recently after the Great Recession. After this year, it may look different-especially if people disperse from huge cities to work from home (or anywhere), but there’s a very simple reason why rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated, and Gavin Baker only needs 130 words to tell us why.

When the Suits do return to the terminal, you know what won’t be there? CNN Airport News. Not sure I’d be able to write any kind of elegy here, but it is more proof that change is constant.

COVID has clearly changed how we work, how we travel, and how we… (checks notes)… build stadiums?

The new facility for St. Louis CITY SC (caps intentional) will be open on all sides, like a porch.

For any soccer fans wondering, they are already working on ways to make sure the noise level from the stands stays LOUD.

Onward up the mountain,
Kevin—

*Actually, you should totally @ me; I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.

5 Things I’m Into This Week

Merry Christmas to those of you celebrating! I know this has been a year like no other, but wherever this finds you, I wish you a season of joy & wonder.

It’s no secret that more and more people are cutting the cord, and ditching traditional cable for streaming platforms. For soccer fans, having access to channels like NBCSN and Bein Sports mean stead access to games for the first time…ever?

Now channels are looking to move more and more games behind paywalls. That could mean the death knell for channels like NBCSN. Further, what happens to platforms like Fubo if those games are no longer available? Do subscribers vanish too?

In the early days of the pandemic, hoarding cash was the name of the game for airlines. All retreated to their main hubs, pulled flights down, and used daily cash burn as a barometer of relative health. Brett Snyder, aka Cranky Flier argues that the time for such conservative behavior is over, and now is the time for airlines to experiment with new routes and get back in the game.

Fortune favors the bold, but does it favor carriers with aggressive strategies? Snyder certainly thinks so.

Hanlon’s Razor is a maxim that states, “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”  In other words, not everything people say is necessarily a personal attack. Polina Marinova walks us through how keeping this in mind can help avoid petty arguments. In this season of grievance culture, and social media rage machines, that might be the best gift we can give each other. One of the next best would be to sign up for Marinova’s newsletter, The Profile. It’s fantastic.

The Queen’s Gambit has brought chess back into mainstream discussion. Its rules require a steady mind and concentration- the antithesis of today’s Attention Economy. Getting off our phones and back to games like this can reap huge benefits- the least of which is the ability to think clearly. From the article:

“Our problem today is not that we don’t or can’t pay attention, but that the systems and structures of society oblige us to pay attention so frequently and fleetingly that we cannot in fact concentrate. Lacking an ability to concentrate, it’s a struggle to construct and maintain a coherent and autonomous sense of self, which leaves us at the mercy of digital, commercial and political puppeteers. Without concentration, we are not free.”

Many people used their extra time this year to finally chase their creative dreams. New Podcasts sprang up, got back to playing music, and dusted off their pens to write for the first time in years (including yours truly). Whatever your endeavors are, keep this quote from James Clear in mind, and above all else, keep going!

“Your favorite athlete’s first workout was just as bad as yours.

Your favorite chef’s first meal was just as bad as yours.

Your favorite artist’s first work was just as bad as yours.

Keep going.”

Thanks for being here,

Kevin–