Issue № 9


Under one square metre of undisturbed ground in the Earth’s mid-latitudes there might live several hundred thousand small animals. Roughly 90% of the species to which they belong have yet to be named. One gram of this soil – less than a teaspoonful – contains around a kilometre of fungal filaments.

~ George Monbiot from,

There’s mind–boggling complexity in the microscopic realm.

Here’s a quick zoom towards the macroscopic: If you imagine the Earth the size of a peppercorn, then the moon would be a pin-head about 2.5″ inches away. At this scale, the sun is an 8″ ball, sitting 14 yards from the peppercorn Earth. How far away, at this same scale, is the next closest star? It’s thousands of miles at this scale to the Centauri star system (a 4 year trip at the speed of light.) How far is it across our just-average-sized Milky Way galaxy? …and how many stars are here, with our cozy Sol? …and how far to the next galaxy? …how many galaxies? Frankly, I’m confident there’s other life—even other intelligent life—out there. But, will we ever meet each other across such vast gulfs of emptiness?

First principle

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.

~ Richard Feynman

Please be kind: Rewind

[We] didn’t discover his work in the theater, much less at Cannes. Rather, we found it at the video store, ideally one that devoted a section specifically to his work—or at least to his signature genre of “body horror,” which his films would in any case have dominated.

~ Colin Marshall from,

Do you remember video stores? …I mean the individual stores, from before Blockbuster came along? Sections. You had to walk to the section in the store. New releases. Maybe there was a staple employee who knew every movie. Maybe you—like me—wondered if working there meant watching each movie before putting it out… what a job that would be!! Maybe there was a hand-written sign whose perennial message stands atop this missive. Maybe family movie nights? The lottery that was the occassional “doesn’t play” tape. “Tracking”—and then the magic of “Auto Tracking”. And all of that from two words: video store.

The best of their thoughts

I was aware that the reading of all good books is indeed like a conversation with the noblest men of past centuries who were the authors of them, nay a carefully studied conversation, in which they reveal to us none but the best of their thoughts.

~ René Descartes

You’re doing it wrong

That morning, my mind spun as I tried in vain to re-create the various perceptions and emotions that had been written into Google’s servers and were now abandoned to the ether. I felt a sudden sense of mourning that I still have not gotten over. And yet, to my surprise, I felt something else alongside it: a conflicting sense of relief and even levity. I would never have voluntarily deleted all of those emails, but I also can’t deny, not entirely, that there is something cathartic about sloughing off those thousands of accumulated disappointments and rebukes, those passionate and pathetic fights and dramas, even those insights and stirrings—all of those complicated yet ephemeral layers of former selves that no longer contain me. I began to accept that I would need to imagine my way back into those previous mental states if they were truly worth revisiting—and that if I could not, then the loss was necessarily manageable. I closed my laptop, wandered outside into the specific corner of France that my former selves’ cumulative choices had led me to inhabit, and was overtaken by a sense of hope.

~ Thomas Chatterton Williams from,

Disclosure: I quoted the entire last paragraph. Yes, that takes the zing out of the article—but I fear few of you, dear readers, will click through for something… this again, Craig?! …related to my opinions about email.

If you have folders (and sub-folders, and sub-sub-folders) of email, or especially if your Inbox is not empty: You are doing it wrong. Don’t save the email. Instead figure out why you feel the urge to save the email. Then fix that urge.

The real underlying problem is that systems thinking is not something everyone is accustomed to. And lest you fear that Wikipedia article, it’s really very helpful. Does this sound like something worth understanding?

Systems thinking is a way of making sense of the complexity of the world by looking at it in terms of wholes and relationships rather than by splitting it down into its parts. It has been used as a way of exploring and developing effective action in complex contexts.


You’re saving that email because it has a photo attached. Saving this other email because it has the order confirmation for that thing you just ordered—should be fine, but every once in a while you need that email when the thing doesn’t show up, or you need to return it, or you can’t log into their online system. Saving this other email because it has the details for that thing we’re going to. And this email has a link to something your friend said to read. That email is a newsletter you really want to maybe read later some day maybe. And so on. I’m not saying it’s easy to imagine systems for all of that stuff— but it is possible. Pick one of those emails, and have an honest think about why you’re saving it.

Real goodness

Real goodness is not something that can be acquired in an instant, but only through constant effort, because real goodness lies in constantly striving for perfection.

~ Leo Tolstoy

The balance

Ultimately, there was a part of me that wanted to express my physicality and I wasn’t ever going to be able to do that through the robotic, linear approach to fitness. I realized that only through circularity can one truly express themselves through movement.

~ Galo Narajo from,

This is taken from Narajo’s Motus Made publication over on Substack. If you’re interested generally in movement, I recommend subscribing, and there’s also an episode of Movers Mindset, Philosophy – with Galo Alfredo Naranjo. This issue of Motus Made reminded me of a conversation I heard recently (a podcast episode, The Process with Dan Gaucher from Life’s Tee Time) where two golfers discussed the balance between mechanistic and holistic approaches to coaching and learning advanced golf. In the earliest days, sure, mechanistic is necessary, but beyond beginner levels, the holistic approach has to be addressed. The balance question (they were discussing) is whether you can go all-in on the holistic? …can you ever be advanced to a point where a mechanistic approach—as a learner, or as a coach—is definitely no longer useful. I’m not sure they reached a conclusion.

And so that discussion, and question, came to mind as I was reading Naranjo’s comments.

Until next time, thanks for reading.



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