Having logged more hours sitting on video conference calls over the past couple of weeks than I care to remember, I’ve noticed a few trends that (for me at least) can totally make or break a call.
- Remain ready at all times and in all places
- Approach every opportunity to receive help
- Adopt the adventures of Robin Hood
- Avoid the culture of sports
- Honor all women at all times
- Treat all men as equals at all times
- Think about your own death only enough to prepare
- Be careful never to become too comfortable
- Borrow as little as possible
- Learn to sharpen blades
- Delight in good food and drink
- Find a trade and a bride and a place
This past weekend, I had the privilege of participating in the first workshop offered by Umbau School’s new Studio Shenandoah in Staunton, Virginia. Umbau, which means something like transformation zone, is a school of studios—or places of focused study.
Whenever feasible, I’m an advocate of value-based pricing in creative work and particularly digital work. Having tracked and billed hours for many years, I understand the model and that it’s sometimes appropriate, but I think the future is fixed.
Herein lies the paradox: if our ego can convince us that the pain of bearing hard things isn’t worth the strength that comes from it, we will never be excellent. We will be comfortable and mediocre.
Smartphones come out of the box in full-on casino mode. They are pre-programmed to do everything they can to trigger your inner Neanderthal screen junkie. But it need not be so.
I would suggest that Charlottesville doesn’t have a housing problem, so much as we have an imagination problem. (And, frankly, a smidgen of obstinate utopianism.) What if we let the city do what successful cities tend to do? Higher property values and higher property taxes. I wonder what we could do with all that extra cash?
To design is to make decisions for others. Because this involves an exchange of power, however slight,
designis best understood as a moral pursuit.
Industrial and urban models were a requisite chapter in the story of human civilization advancing through the 20th century. It seems baffling to think that anyone should wish to continue into the 21st century in this same mode.
If you’re still a member, shift your thinking away from the everyone-you’ve-ever-sort-of-known to people you encounter with some regularity. At work, school, play and with proximity to your home. Map your social media network over the kind of real-world network you’d like to inhabit.