Weekly Review Issue. 1
Friday 18 November 2022
Hello, and welcome to a more regular, far more normal newsletter-ish edition of Notes from the Edge!
I’m in the process of writing up some new pieces, and in the meantime - given the hubub of Twitter and its own turmoil at the hands of Elon Musk - I thought it would be interesting and useful to share some things I’ve been reading this week, along with some other pieces for your pleasure. The hope is that we can continue to act as nodes for interesting and important things regardless of the noise/decline of a certain social media network.
I’ve always appreciated and loved when people share whatever they are reading/working on/listening to, so I hope whenever this edition - entitled Weekly Review - comes in your inbox, you’ll find at least one thing you’ll enjoy or take something from. I’ll try and push this out once a week, some weeks may be very short, others longer, depending on what’s been going on. You know, like real life?
If you don’t find something to your taste, or you find something you love, let me know! I’d like to know what resonates. Just comment below or email me.
I’ll finish up this weeks links with some links to my favourite newsletters/emails as an extra gift to you for reading. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
This week for me
This week has been about prototyping. We’ve been developing a digital product, Palliate, for some time now at the Helix Centre. And this week, I’ve spent it in video-tutorial-mode, making an early prototype of something I think will add a lot of value to the training platform we’ve created. What has really surprised me is the wealth of tools that are out there that enable you to make really high quality video content, like veed.io. Check it out!
It’s also been a week of digestion and integration for me, as on Sunday I - along with a group of incredible humans - finished the almost-year-long programme of New Constellations. It’s still very hard for me to describe the experience of this programme, but needless to say, I close this year feeling so much clearer about myself and my role in the world. It fundamentally re-shaped how I approach my work and my hopes and dreams for us all. I hope to write up about what the programme did for me, at a later date. So, a bit cryptic, but have a look and read up on some of their amazing posts and definitely check out their podcasts, which include some friends and crazy interesting people.
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Onto the links!
Research on the edges
Some recent papers and publications that have stimulated a lot for this me this, including:
😌 Self-Acceptance and Interdependence Promote Longevity: Evidence From a 20-year Prospective Cohort Study
The study suggests that components of well-being may make meaningful contributions to longevity, and practically recommend that self-acceptance and interdependence could be added to interventions to promote aging health.
💬 Talking about death and dying: Findings from deliberative discussion groups with members of the public
Findings show that the concept of death as a ‘taboo’ did not resonate with participants and is more nuanced than portrayed in attempts to generate a public conversation about death and dying. We have illustrated that there are differences between willingness to talk about death per se and being willing to talk about one’s own or a loved one’s death, and between discussing the hypothetical, and talking with someone about their imminent, certain death. A key disparity should also be noted between thinking about death and talking about death. We suggest these nuances are not captured by the kinds of language used to drive the premise of ‘the national conversation’.
🍄 Psychedelic Trips Can Mirror Near-Death Experiences And Reduce Death Anxiety
…Not only can the features of psychedelic experiences be similar to Near Death Experiences, both are rated as among the most meaningful lifetime experiences and both produce similar enduring decreases in fear of death and increases in well-being.
The duende is an earth spirit who helps the artist see the limitations of intelligence, reminding them that "ants could eat him or that a great arsenic lobster could fall suddenly on his head"; who brings the artist face-to-face with death, and who helps them create and communicate memorable, spine-chilling art. Or as García Lorca puts: it:
The duende, by contrast, won’t appear if he can’t see the possibility of death, if he doesn’t know he can haunt death’s house, if he’s not certain to shake those branches we all carry, that do not bring, can never bring, consolation.
New frontiers of technology
I’m very curious and sensitive to how we use technology to work through and with things like death, bereavement, mental health. A lot of it is terrible in my opinion, but nevertheless, I’m glad people are working through potentially useful and desirable solutions for people. Here’s what I’ve seen this week:
Chptr is a collection of memories gathered together to tell your loved one’s full life story.
Dive deeper into your unconscious to discover the hidden meaning of your dreams with help from symbolism, literature, AI, and friends.
Nils Frahm has a new album, Music for Animals (Spotify), which as per Pitchfork reflects:
Trading his customary piano for a mostly electronic palette, the Berlin composer conjures an air of stillness and solitude. The results are both meditative and, at three hours long, sprawling.
It’s a beautiful, wintery album. I highly recommend it.
💌 Newsletters I love
Hands down the best newsletter I get in my inbox. I think because it has the spirit of the early days of the internet about it. Which is not surprising given its written by Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder and Claudia Dawson. It always has at least one link that changes everything for me.
The New Fatherhood
It was actually
I was fortunate enough to meet Erin a few years back over some Apple-expensed lunches and dinners, and when I learned she had created this insanely amazing newsletter with her partner Jonah, I knew it would be amazing. I can’t say I get all the lingo, which is a good thing, it makes me pay attention, but I love everything about it. For the jawns.
🤔 Last thought
As the final neurons fire upon terminal decline of our collective consciousness (aka Twitter #RIP?), it is funny what memories get thrown into the spotlight. Thanks😂
“We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.”
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