An ocean-inspired issue of Align Center, with outstanding writing on the price of convenience, the last motivational post you’ll ever need, and remembering the founder of the first B-Corp. Listen in on a new podcast from Ocean Wise, and discover the grand plans behind a coworking behemoth. Then we have a classic dystopian sci-fi recommendation, and four things I’m digging lately (two ocean-themed).
◦ selected words
With the myriad of food delivery services, ride hailing apps, and everything on demand, corporations are shaping our wants and creating needs that weren’t there. Technology saves us from manual labor for many non-noble activities, like washing our clothes, but when is convenience too much? We already have hard boiled eggs and pre-sliced apples neatly wrapped in plastic packages, can you imagine a future of Amazon Go automated checkout stores on every corner and everything delivered to your door by drones? We’ll spend less time doing things slowly, but then we’d have more time for hobbies. Sounds great? But aren’t hobbies just activities we choose to do slowly? There is a price for a world built for convenience, it’s our piece of mind, and what the article doesn’t mention, the Earth.
The New York Times (11min read)
We don’t need any more life hacks, advice on finding your passion, or clickbait headlines listing the 10 ways to be more healthy / happy / productive / present. And if that’s not enough, this constant barrage of self-help messages are accompanied by mindfulness exercises and self-affirmations reminding us that “You are enough. You are beautiful. You are perfect the way you are.” It’s all so simple, yet it’s all so confusing. But deep down, many of us know the “how”, and even the “what”. So, what’s holding you back? It’s not laziness, it’s that other four-letter word. This so needed to be said.
Medium (8min read)
There are more than 2,300 B Corps in over 50 countries, but the very first was a travel company called Untours, founded by Hal Taussig. For the past 25 years, Hal donated all of Untours’ profits to a foundation to invest in businesses that serve the poor all over the world. From farmers in Brazil, to artisans in Vietnam and a laundry company in Philadelphia, this seed money changed lives. A loving look back at an inspiring man, two years after he left our world.
B the Change (4min read)
After a mostly successful launch of the reusable Falcon Heavy, SpaceX keeps on rolling roll with a launch at 6:21am tomorrow morning. In addition to a commercial payload, SpaceX will be testing two of its own internet satellites, the first big test in creating a constellation of broadband satellites to provide high-speed Internet around the globe.
Engadget (1min read)
◦ listen in
Ocean Wise, the Vancouver Aquarium’s sustainable seafood program, has over 300 participating restaurants in Canada, and now they’ve branched out to media. Their new podcast, My Ocean, brings listeners together with change makers who are dedicated to protecting our oceans. The first episode on blue mind vs red mind advocates for time in the ocean for mental health. The second interviews a Brazilian actress whose underwater photos went viral as she donned nothing but a dress (no breathing apparatus) while circled by sharks. I’m looking forward to who they bring on next.
My Ocean Podcast by Ocean Wise (~30min podcasts)
◦ eat well
This Vancouver-based, vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO fermented cultured cashew cream-cheese styled spread is quite a mouthful (pun alert). Try the Jalapeno Lemon and you won’t be going back. This isn’t a sponsored post, but if you’re reading, Spread’em, I’d love some samples. 🙂
◦ read slow
You can’t ignore this $20 billion New York start-up. It’s all over the news, but I was surprised to learn it’s not just a company subleasing office space to the laptop armies — they have a vision that’s grand in scope and idealism. They’ve recently purchased a popular coding academy, and their for-profit elementary school is set to open in September. Critics argue if they have their way, tenants will be working everywhere in their glorified dorms for adults, sipping on microbrews while managing social media accounts. In downtown Vancouver, Amazon has already snatched up 80% of WeWork’s new 80,000 square foot co-working space. Despite hot desks and dedicated desks going for $450CAD and $600CAD per month respectively, people are buying as they’re almost sold out.
The New York Times (20min read)
◦ current read
My first memory of Aldous Huxley’s classic was in highschool as yet another book my English teacher forced us to read. I wasn’t a reader back then, but I’m so glad this made it on my reading list as I went through the classics a decade ago. Published in 1932, it’s as relevant today as Orwell’s 1984. You can be tthe creators of Black Mirror were inspired by this one.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (268p book)
◦ dig this
What I’m digging lately:
- Surfboard Sensors – Surfboard fins gathering data on climate change? Citizen science is on the brink. (4min on YouTube)
- The Part-Time Heroes Fighting to Protect Our Oceans – A Great Big Story on Sea Shepherd, the volunteers that combat illegal fishing (13min on YouTube).
- The Knife Media – Stripping the bias from the headlines to give you news without the spin. Media made possible by crowdsourcing.
- Champions Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir – …and the entire Canadian Olympic team. Killing it since Vancouver 2010. What wonderful ambassadors for our nation.
◦ humble thought
“The best way to get approval is to not need it.”
– Hugh MacLeod, Artist, Gaping Void
Settling back into Vancouver, always my home, yet the city I keep leaving at pivotal moments in my life, I haven’t made much time to reflect. This issue contains many local mentions, partly by accident or subconscious mechanisms. Balancing work, movement, new friends and old while not having a steady residence has proved to be a challenge. This is around the 15th bed or couch I’ve slept in during my travels since mid-December, but the last three weeks on Commercial Drive was my longest stint in awhile. I’m also keenly aware this is a luxury and embracing this situation, extremely grateful to have these options and friends and family who trust me to housesit or sublet their homes. Living back on the same street and shopping at the same small grocer I was a regular at two years ago brings a certain nostalgia.
As I navigate this new old world, a vastly different city, and so many options before me, this quote struck a chord:
“We are hardened materialists, fully beholden to identity and addicted to distraction. We evade pain and crave security, and doing so assures us painful, insecure lives. The imminent unknown is not to be avoided, but embraced. Our resilience, our adaptability, is reliant upon us being completely sensitive to the moment, and understanding it as being a new, unique experience. We live in a series of infinite nows, which are always dying, and always being reborn. To be immersed in this reality is to be transformed, for it is there that eternity is available.”
– Tom Maxwell, “Alan Watts and the Eternal Present”
So much has changed since I lived here, and my mind jumps from idea to travel plans to hunkering down and starting a business. I don’t have a clear vision, I don’t think I ever had, and that brings about pings of anxiety and thoughts of what I “should be” doing, though I know that way of thinking doesn’t serve me. I don’t know what the future looks like, but I’m learning to be OK with that, and to surround myself with supportive, loving people who are also here to enjoy this great journey.