What Would Happen if I Do Nothing? — 7 Takeaways No. 113

Hammock on the beach.
(Image: canva.com)

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1. “What would happen if I do nothing?”

Dense Discovery 224 – Kai Brach – (Newsletter)

This is a quick summary of Brach’s listening to a podcast episode entitled Why too much medical treatment is causing more harm than good. While I haven’t listened to the episode, the summary highlights some important considerations.

Harris believes that doctors are overprescribing medication, giving drugs to people for “vanishingly small benefits”, and yet exposing them to the same harms/side effects and costs.

Before you jump to the conclusion that the episode is about the broken American health care system (and you’ll get no arguments from me on it being broken), the podcast participants are in Australia.

Do this: Honestly, the best thing you can do for your own health care is to own it, and take more responsibility for your own proper education and decisions.

2. “Electricians are going to see a real surge in demand”

We need a lot more electricians if we’re going to electrify everything – Emily Pontecorvo – (Canary Media)

Honestly, this triggers one of my pet peeves. One of the common complaints for just about any technology change is job loss. Except there’s rarely any actual loss. There’s simply a change in what jobs are in demand. Coal workers, for example, will be in less demand over the coming years, as we switch away from that energy source. In more demand? Electricians, and electrification-related jobs.

younger people are getting lured into the tech industry with the promise of big salaries and just aren’t drawn to the prospect of getting dirty underneath houses.

This is a deep dive into the complexities of the issue and why electricians are so hard to find right now, but honestly, it applies to much more than this one segment.

(I just realized: I don’t think “surge” was an intentional pun at all. 🙂 )

Do this: Don’t just embrace change, leverage it to your advantage.

3. “Gaining a reader”

On piracy and bootlegged copies of my books – Austin Kleon – (Blog)

A brief reflection on the topic. I loved this take:

As an author, you can think of every pirated copy as losing a sale, or you could think of it as gaining a reader. If you zoom out a bit, over the long run, gaining a reader is much more valuable than selling a book.

I’m not condoning piracy, but I acknowledge its existence. The lengths we sometimes go through to prevent it punishes the honest and only slightly inconveniences the pirates. Taking the view above in my mind is a much more pragmatic, and less ulcer-inducing approach.

Kleon’s piece also links to a fascinating and entertaining video on physical book piracy in India. Yup. Physical books.

Do this: Support the authors.

4. “Ambiguity is a feature, not a bug”

Netflix wants to chop down your family tree – Cory Doctorow – (Pluralistic blog)

Serendipitously after reading the previous takeaway, I caught up on this one: Doctorow’s takedown of the scheme(s) Netflix plans to put into place to “discourage” password sharing.

Netflix says that its new policy allows members of the same “household” to share an account.

Great. What’s a “household”?

Doctorow outlines several legitimate scenarios which are a) common, and b) not at all in line what Netflix’s definition might be. (He then describes how Netflix built its business on the very kinds of gray area leniency that it’s now trying to block.)

Do this: Share with integrity.

5. “Average is not necessarily the same as healthy”

Worried you’re not normal? Don’t be – there’s no such thing – Sarah Chaney – (Psyche)

Many years ago I was called the “normal” person in a group of individuals who were dealing with an issue that I had no direct experience with. I resisted the term, believing then as I do now that there’s no such thing. I preferred something like “average”, which is still perhaps an inappropriate description.

One problem with “average” is that it sounds desirable, particularly when compared against one end of a presumable bell curve (the “normal” distribution, as it’s called). And yet the other end of the bell curve seems more desirable still.

The fact is, we’re all different, in all our unique ways. There is no normal (the article outlines an attempt to literally find representative “normal” people by some definition). There is no average. As I’m fond of saying, there are no absolutes.

Do this: Embrace your weird.

6. “Own your shit”

Admit You’re Wrong – Steve Makofsky – (makoism blog)

I had an item last week about admitting mistakes as well, and it’s a powerful and important concept. It seems to be particularly ignored by politicians and corporate leaders.

As a leader, the worst thing you can do is blame someone else for your error or look for lame excuses. “It’s on me” are potent words. How many leaders do you know that start to yell or try ‘command and control’ when something isn’t fluid, right, broken, or incorrect, rather than leaning in to own and fix it.

To answer the rhetorical question: too many.

Do this: Take responsibility.

7. “Irrelevant anachronisms”

Your Age Does Not Define Your Worth – Don Akchin – (The EndGame newsletter)

Aging, and agism, is another recurring theme I seem to be drawn to, probably for obvious reasons. One reason these anti-agism articles speak to me is that spreading awareness is an important key to addressing the issue. Hence: it’s a takeaway.

Growing older wouldn’t be so bad, really, were it not for all these voices hectoring us that reaching advanced years is a weakness, a deficit, a disease, and a problem that should make us afraid or ashamed.

Calling bullshit on what the author refers to as the “trash talk” of  all those voices is how we deal.

Do this: Watch your language. And your assumptions. And your pre-conceptions. Both about others and yourself.

More links & thoughts

What I’m Reading

In progress:


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