Pete's June 2022 update
Fiction, kindness, and 50 words for 💩
One of the clichéd benefits of owning your own home is the ability the put hooks wherever you like but considering our hundred-year-old house in Newtown had half a centimetre of crumbly plastery stuff on top of the toughest bricks ever, and our current house has no studs at a suitable height for hanging, I have come to the conclusion that removable stick-on hooks are the best and I won’t hear a word against them.
Good morning, and welcome to my update.
We’ve owned this house for two years now and the anniversary passed us by without notice. Every day we appreciate the experience. It’s not our forever home but we absolutely enjoy being here.
I received a cool comment on my article about standup comedy business models.
I wanted to share with you how much extreme valuable I got from this.
A lot of our thoughts are parallel and I appreciate you looking at the shifts in stand up under the microscope and in so much detail. This is going to help a lot of comedians understand how they can help build their own businesses.
That’s the third “comedy entrepreneur” that I’ve connected to via this post, and I’ve had some interesting conversations as a result.
I used to nerd out on improv and comedy stuff. Now I nerd out about startup and business stuff. It’s a strength/niche I should lean into more.
Nerding out is what led me to write a post on the revenue model of Pokemon Go, many years ago. (That has been by far the most popular post I’ve ever written, at 12.5k views.) It starts with an assumption that what a company does is logical, even though it seems like a dumb move, and then figuring out why.
So, after Lucy’s Instagram account was hacked, that nerdy part of my brain got thinking (and writing) about why Meta has zero incentive to help her get it back.
Days without an incident
Toilet training update: At the time of writing this it has been 26 days since Meggie’s last “incident”. I say incident, not accident, because the last couple of times definitely felt like a choice.
But she has been very good the past 3+ weeks and we, our rugs, and our doormats are grateful.
It’s been a slow process, re-toilet-training an older dog in a new living situation. We don’t believe in negative-reinforcement training, so we’ve had to be very diligent not to let the wrong thing happen (frequent trips outside), and to praise and treat wildly when she goes in the right places. For the record, the command for onesies is “showtime!” — because it’s a command one can speak in public without shame. (Jazz hands optional in polite company.)
Twosies, as they are known in the biz — or unchi which is Japanese for poop and is our chosen command for public acceptability — have been a different story.
Are you still with me? Boy, I bet you’re glad you subscribe to this old monthly funtime update.
For a while there we struggled with regularity of production. And given the previous indoor incidents we very much wanted to empty the hopper twice a day. We experimented with different locations, routines, pace, lucky socks and even a particular series of chanted words and phrases to find what worked. “She did it here last time, so let’s walk back and forth a few times just in case.”
And that’s how we became… very pooperstitious.
🎹 Bada-da-da dum da-da-da daaa dop
I’m angry. I try to be a beacon of light and happiness (generally, and in this newsletter) but eff it because some things are worth being noisy about.
There are things that really need our time and attention and action right now. Even if you choose not to accept the evidence that humans are causing irreversible change to the climate, we can probably agree that we should stop buggering up the planet.
A study in which she was involved for the Lancet found that 45 percent of young people around the world said that their feelings about the climate crisis are negatively impacting their daily functioning and 56 percent said that humanity was doomed, she says. “We found that these manifestations in young people's lives were not just because, for example, the environment isn't doing well. But they were really tightly associated with feelings of being betrayed by leaders and lied to by governments, which introduces the concept of institutional betrayal and moral injury of being caught up in a system that is not protecting young people's mental health. — RNZ
But instead of spending our energy and intelligence making the world better, we have to fight distractions. *Glances towards the idea of carbon credits, the plastics/oil industry telling us to use more plastic and just sort our recycling even though plastic recycling doesn’t work, and the USA generally right now*
*Long glare at Boris*
I feel betrayed by corporations, politicians, lobby groups, marketers and publishers who willingly profit from the exploitation of people and the environment. They’re getting away with sin, and that’s why I no longer believe in Batman.
(Today’s breaking story about Uber and lobbying politicians is a good example. But my perspective is not that Uber shouldn’t have done it, rather that politicians shouldn’t open themselves to being influenced. My next big idea: salary caps for political parties!)
Things I didn’t do last month
Fix the automation on Jobs for Generalists, nor edit the videos or… well, anything else really.
Promote my book The Startup Guide. (Buy my book! There, job done. 😆)
Stick with my usual monthly update format
Feel too bad about not doing the above things
I have said “no” to some very cool things this year. One was a week teaching a startup course in Queenstown, which would have been amazing but I said no because it was face-to-face, and at the time I didn’t know how safe it would be. Now case numbers are increasing 30% week-on-week, and I’m feeling like my mind is already full with work, and I have no regrets.
Things I did last month
Built some steps in our outdoor pathway and garden
Ran a pitch workshop for Startup Dunedin
Ran three learning design workshops
Co-designed a “sustainability consulting” one-day workshop for high schoolers that YCA ran in a Gold Coast school. (Another one coming up this month.)
Prepared my first company tax info (but I’m still waiting on the accountant…)
Went to the supermarket for the first time since about February!
Walked more than usual, thanks to Nutmeg. 🐕🦺
Read, watch, listen
[Read, 5 minutes] Apparently Gen Z TikTokers Are Making Cash Cool Again, due to a fear of debt and some trendy methods of splitting cash into different savings buckets. “Another trend includes organizing extra cash into envelopes dedicated to various expenses. Others, like 21-year-old McKenna Alvizo, are simply flaunting the items they paid for with cash — which, in their minds, is basically “free.””
Celebrities: put your money into this cryptocoin!
Gen Z TikTok: put your money into envelopes.
Will 2023 be the year of the chain letter? Or maybe the slapband bracelet…
[Watch, TV series] Severance is exactly my kind of thing. I love speculative fiction, taking one little “what if…?” prompt and building a whole world around it, and telling a story that can only happen in that world.
(The City and The City is another example — investigating a murder that takes place in two countries whose geography and borders overlap.)
In Severance, employees undergo a procedure that means their “work persona” is completely separate from and inaccessible to their everyday personality. They share a body but not a mind or memory.
We watched it about a month ago but it was only the other day I realised it is (or could be) a metaphor for artificial intelligence. If machines were sentient, but they spent their existence stuck in a box doing work they didn’t understand and provided meaningless rewards.
I look forward to re-watching it with this AI analogy in mind.
[Listen: 40 minutes] I’ve just discovered Conan O’Brien’s podcast “Conan needs a friend”. In episode 2 actor Kristen Bell had some super interesting things to say about kindness, self care and friendship.
[Look, 30 seconds] Abstract art (a comic)
[Watch: 4 minutes] Comedians playing mind games in Carrot in a Box. (If you enjoy this, they have done a couple more since then.)
[Watch, 3 minutes] Key and Peele play with magic in the sketch If Hogwarts Were an Inner-City School.
“Trust is essential to improvisation. First trust yourself. Then trust your fellow performer to support you. Finally, trust another to come through with the challenges you give [them]. It is often necessary to give an idea over to another performer to play. This expands the work of each performer.” — Tamara Wilcox-Smith, Notes On Improvisation compiled from working with Del Close.