Issue № 17

Full stop

Death is a declarative punctuation mark – a period in a life full of commas and semicolons. Death is a full stop, the end of opportunities for the deceased and those who knew them. Death is cruel like that.

~ Hugh Hollowell from,

I like the punctuation metaphor. I like the finality of the imagery. When I read that turn of phrase, I heard the sharp crack of a mechanical typewriter striking the period. I’m just not sure that the metaphor is apt for the experience of someone else’s death. That’s always been more like turning the page, midway through a book, and discovering the next face—and alas all the subsequent pages—are inexplicably blank. That’s not a period or an ellipses or even a highbrow em-dash. That’s just


Courage exists, not in blindly overlooking danger, but in seeing and conquering it.

~ Jean Paul

And in the end

It’s great to live a life of courage and compassion… but all the courage and compassion in the world doesn’t make any of it any easier. All it can do is hopefully make it more meaningful, somehow.

~ Hugh MacLeod from,

I’d go further: The more courage and compassion I muster, the harder it gets. Compassion gives me a big “why” that burns inside, driving me to the next, harder challenge. Courage begets more courage; With each win won through courage, it becomes easier to again deploy courage intentionally. It seems that courage and compassion lead to the tackling of increasing great and difficult challenges. Meaning is great, but I haven’t yet figured out how to use any of it to pay the proverbial rent.


The point of journalism is the truth. The point of journalism is not to improve society. There are things, there are facts, there are truths that actually feel regressive, but it doesn’t matter, because the point of journalism isn’t to make everything better. It’s to give people accurate information about how things are.

~ Sebastian Junger


What’s the difference between a good leader vs. bad leader? What do good leaders do differently?

It’s an essential question every leader must ask themselves.

~ Jason Evanish from,

“What do good leaders do differently?” They ask themselves that question. It’s a good article (an actual article, not just a wee listicle) worth glancing at simply for the first graphic which should make you chuckle and stick with you.

I want to ask the next question: What do effective leaders do differently? Because I’m emphatic that it’s possible to be a good leader—even a great leader—but end up not being effective. Great leader, great goal, and yet… sometimes failure. There are also some horrific examples of bad leaders who manage to be extremely effective. It really feels like the quality of a leader and the effectiveness of a leader aren’t interdependent. What’s up with that?


Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you—they might have different tastes.

~ George Bernard Shaw

What is technology

As for technology, my working definition is: “a tool that radically solves problems.” After all, technology pre-dates scientific knowledge (and mathematics), as does engineering. Indeed, the printing press was once technology, as was writing — as was the wheel. If your technology is not radically solving a problem, perhaps it isn’t technology. Perhaps it is simply software, or simply a business on the internet. Food for thought.

~ Kanyi Maqubela from,

I don’t recall having actually wondered what, specifically, constitutes technology. Upon reading this, I thought about it…

Let’s see, what is a screw driver? Well, that’s obviously a tool. It drives screws. Is a screw an example of a technology? …yeah, I suppose so. And what, really, is a screw? It’s an application of the concept of an inclined plane. So I came up with: A tool is a thing which operates some technology—it facilitates me applying the technology to some situation. And the technology is the application of some knowledge. Printing presses and pencils are tools; they facilitate the technology of writing. It’s interesting to note that each tool is itself composed of multiple technologies. All of which gives humanity a woven, layered-up, system of technology, tools, technology, tools.

Food for thought, indeed.

Until next time, thanks for reading.



Leave a Reply