Categories
Community Startups

Day 1145 and Vitality

The most gratifying part of early stage startup investing is the vitality. When you are in the mindset of optimism, all things are possible.

I first met Isaiah Taylor about a year ago. We found each other on Twitter. I cold DM’s him with “you seem interesting.” We’d hop on the phone and go through what he was working on in long strategy talks.

I think in our first conversation we spent half an hour just discussing origin stories. We’d both had strongly American west families and we were neighbors in the upper Rocky Mountains. We shared a Christian faith. I liked his style.

Those early rambling sessions when a founder is discovering their market and their unique talents is a precious time. I knew I wanted to invest in him long before Valar Atomics had come into focus.

Ambition and vision are honed over time as you broaden your horizons. It’s the most fascinating tension. The bigger you dream the more you must see your path clearly and pursue it relentlessly. Vitality begins with knowing where to apply your will.

I feel the optimism that Isiah has brought. And I admire how he has taken it to a bigger community. Watching the El Segundo community self-mythologize in real time during this weekend hackathon has been an exercise in collective application of will. Like its cousin in techno-optimism e/acc , the American dynamism “new vitalism” egregore values building for the future.

@ADoricko and @isaiah_p_taylor opening up the Gundo Defense Tech Hackathon via Rasmus

Categories
Chronic Disease Travel

Day 1137 and High Friction

I’ve been experiencing several forms of friction over the last week or two.

Some of it was a deliberate step back to be grounded and present. I introduced the friction myself to focus on my nervous system.

But other things have acted as more of a drag on my days than I’d have anticipated. The ambient noise of city living. The small frictions of daily needs like cooking and cleaning.

I even added some friction to my own shopping to speed up my decision making. So maybe there is a theme to be found in the extra friction. And truthfully I’m not sure all of it is net positive. I’m in the red more than I’d like. So I’ll cut down on any friction that isn’t performance enhancing.

Categories
Emotional Work Travel

Day 1133 and Trading Capital for Labor

I had very ambitious plans to be present in the daily routine of being far off the civilization grid. A cabin in the woods where I attended to the daily needs of life seemed like a reinvigorating prospect. Time spent in the wilderness improves cognitive function.

I am however finding it to be really tiring to do all of the cooking and cleaning in a tight space. I feel like I just don’t have the energy to keep up with it. I am more tired by it than I has hoped I’d be.

I actually feel pretty good except that it’s just a lot more strain than I’d like to manage the basics of life. I benefit a lot from access to help as I similarly don’t have that much spare energy in a day.

Thankfully it’s possible to find civilization with a little effort. No matter how remote it is possible to find someone who would like to exchange their labor cooking a meal for your capital. Trade is the connective tissue of our species.

Categories
Travel

Day 1131 and Cabin In The Woods

I’m pretty far off the grid right now. I’m taking this week to get some time offline to do focused work

A common theme I’ve written about is the toll of stress hormones and nervous system fatigue that we are all experiencing as life accelerates.

I find I can better focus in my very online life if I’ve taken time to be extremely offline to compile my thoughts. So I’m in a cabin in the woods.

I’m in a small space that requires a certain discipline to maintain. The very considered space has all amenities of life but I am a little removed from the hustle and bustle of a city.

I usually have the option to get help with food or chores even when I’m home in Montana. But in this off the grid retreat I am responsible for all the basics personally. That slows me down to be in the moment.

I’ve got to make each meal for myself, wash each dish by hand, and otherwise maintain my small living space with constant “pick it up and put it away” intention.

It quickly becomes cluttered and claustrophobic if I don’t. The small kitchen doesn’t allow the sprawl of multiple meals to pile up. There simply isn’t the space.

It’s my hope that by being present and effortful in these daily activities I also find that I can be present for myself. Hopefully the insights are worth it as I can’t say I care much for cooking or cleaning. But it sure is peaceful.

Categories
Travel

Day 1128 and Distrustful Hospitality

I showed hubris. I was pleased to have smooth sailing on my travel. A joke was made that surely we must suffer some misfortune as it’s so rare for travel to go well. Well, never call upon the gods about a bad possible fortune as you just might get their attention

The Marriot Bonvoy I was staying with wouldn’t honor my husband’s elite platinum status because he “wasn’t yet with me.”

I don’t know if that status is good or bad, my husband handles loyalty. We share status and accounts across most things hospitality related because we are married. We have never had troubles with using the status if I’m using the account before he arrives. I just used it in Amsterdam and Helsinki

Now this matters in that I only would be granted lounge access if I had this status apply as his wife. I’d been counting on lounge for both working and breakfast. Having someone handle basics like water, morning coffee and yogurt, and good working space is important for business travel.

Without that, I wouldn’t have booked the place at all. I explained that, but naturally no one cared. No amount of pleading with the desk manager or staff could convince them to honor the guest status, not even my husband calling en route himself through Istanbul.

Mind you, for loyalty and points reasons, Marriott Bonvoy is the credit card we both use in a shared account. I literally used it to pay for the stay. But without loyalty pricing and perks, the hotel in this instance was a net negative. It was both expense and inconvenience without the loyalty program. I needed to get what I paid for or I wouldn’t buy.

I stayed the night as I was exhausted but found an Airbnb for a few days and hightailed it out of the way. No sense in giving Marriot Bonvoy business any longer than necessary if they can’t see their way into acting hospitable.

I suppose I brought this upon myself. Thinking all was well and I’d been spared. In other sad news my Apollo Neuro got lost at Heathrow as I was trying to prevent my medical cooler containing injection biologicals from being confiscated. I’m really sad about that too.

Categories
Travel

Day 1127 and Smooth Sailing

I’m on the last leg of my journey. Yesterday I was marveling at the miracles but today I’m putting one foot ahead of the other. I want to keep getting through the connections and keep my head down.

I’ve had a relatively uneventful trip. No weather got in the way. No mechanical or crew issues delayed us for more than a few minutes No unruly passengers threw fits.

Even getting through security at my least favorite airport wasn’t so bad. Getting through airport security with injectable biologics is usually chore but the Gods smiled on me.

I appreciate how with tempered expectations every moment of travel can be appreciated. Smooth sailing in a choppy ocean is worth a smile.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 1124 and Go Within and Look Out

I am considering doing a pullback from social media for a few weeks. I must hone my instruments. Don’t worry, I’ll still write daily and you can message me on Twitter or send me an email.

I don’t like where my attention is being pulled and I need some time to reorient myself so I can more effectively pursue wider goals for the year.

While considering how this short term goal can serve me, I came across Daisy Alioto’s fine essay on refusal and the loneliness economy.

Much of the current attention economy demands that you turn your focus to this or that crucial “thing” even as engagement with others has few agreed upon social boundaries.

Even the nature of replying has changed, as Mariah Kreutter writes, “The Reply is ambiguous. It can indicate any level of intimacy, any level of investment, any level of care.”

Dirt.fyi “The Loneliness Economy”

So much is being demanded of our focus with so little being given in return. And yet we have to make such critical decisions about our own lives and future. I must go within myself to look out for

Categories
Emotional Work Travel

Day 1123 and Drawing In

I spent some time packing today as I’ll be on the road a little more frequently in the coming months. The joys of the cozy Montana winter have had their comfort and I sincerely wish I’d never have to give them up. But there is work to be done.

I find travel to be a bit stressful but crucial to keeping a good read on reality. The more chaotic the narrative the more I think I prefer to do a bit of on the ground work.

I am feeling the urge to keep some of this close to my chest. I don’t know if that’s temporary as I am tired or if I think it might be beneficial to pull back as I know the road is going to be hard this year.

The uncertainty is palpable. I’ve had an interesting influx of people seeking out my opinion. I’ve got a reputation for being the woman you call when shit is chaotic. I’ll be busy so my introversion may increase as I lay ground work. We sit at a number of crossroads and it seems everyone knows it.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 1119 and Capacity for Presence

I trust my ability to be present now. I wish I was less present in some ways. I’ve learned to be present to the ways of the internet in particular as part of my general capacity with the signs and signals of those who communicate with words. I try not to show up in person too much anymore except for my own neighbors.

My capacity to be present waxes and wanes with the attention that I give to the margin. And I like to be present for the weirdos. I am not as detailed as some with effortful thought pieces but I pay very close attention. I diligently note and revise bigger trends here in public. It’s not my job to endlessly footnote it for everyone. That’s thankfully now in the hands of artificial intelligence.

I trust that I notice things when they need to be noticed and that I will curb my attention away from those who do not use me well. I will so rarely take it personally when someone tells me I do not serve them. The favor is usually returned when I say a hard no but I rarely have to give it. The average isn’t that persistent.

I do not wish to be become significantly more scaled than I am now in terms of presence with people. I am picky and I cultivate my taste and I believe I’ve built trust with the people who intend to build things. I will continue to be as widely available to them as possible if they do even a modicum of homework. My experience is not free but I do not horde it.

I believe I’ve shown my capacity to pick not through momentum or hype but early presence. It’s a long road and I’ve got the patience to walk it for decades more.

I leave you with a thing I noticed today from someone who is very effortful and has been for much longer than me. How we distribute our attention matters even in the most intimate of settings.

Attention without feeling, I began to learn, is only a report. An openness — an empathy — was necessary if the attention was to matter

Mary Oliver on Molly Malone Cook in “Our World via Maria Popova at Marginalia

Categories
Internet Culture Media

Day 1112 and Signals and Noise

I want to be as available as possible on the Internet as that’s been the best possible path to being available to other weirdos for the longest period of time. I shift through a lot of chaff but the wheat has always been there. I’m not for everyone and everyone is not for me.

But the open human Internet is struggling under the weight of non-human actors. Machines create more and more of the content and so many interests groups, philosophies, nation states and general chaos agents are acting within the group mind and/or network state that we call the Internet.

You can complain about bots sure, and crypto folks are in the thick of it, but some of what’s going on is just the noise of people who are under the influence of algorithms. Humans are happy to be NPCs in the great game of life. And it’s much easier to play out a fantasy the Internet while you struggle to find meaning in your daily real life.

I like to intake as much information as I can but even I have my limits as to how much noise I can tolerate in the search for signal. Consider sending me an email. Maybe we go back to private corners of blog comments and email correspondence. Get a little more signal as a treat.