What are you scrolling for?

What do you think will be different now, 120 seconds after you last checked your feed? Will there be a new comment of effusive praise? A new like? Maybe a new follower, who may or may not be a real person?

I see you scrolling over there, like you're doing God's work. I do it too. We all do it. But does that make it okay?

When your phone isn't immediately available, you get nervous. If it's not sitting within direct eyesight you get worried.

The vibrations hold us accountable and the uncertainty is addicting. Will this be the hit that fulfills the original promise? Will it deliver that sweet, sweet high you've have been chasing for so long? Will this new notification make you feel loved?

Sure, sometimes you really do just need to check the time. But more often than not that's just an excuse, and not a very good one. It's an excuse for your brain to justify unlocking the screen, one more time, to see if there's any more love to extract. Any excuse will suffice; our brains even create false positives, phantom vibrations that never actually happened. Sometimes you feel these phantom vibrations even when the phone isn't in your pocket, sitting on a desk with its screen facing upward, displaying a beacon to the world when you are needed by someone else in another time and another place.

Just let me check one more time, you say. Just once more. This will be the last time I check, until the next time, and I don't know when the next one will come so I need to check now. This is the behavior of a person with a problem. This is the behavior of a person enslaved. This is the behavior of an addict, and the substance we are addicted to is love. Deep down we all know this. And yet we don't stop. Phones don't cause cancer, at least not like cigarettes do. And so we continue.

Unlike drugs, you cannot develop a tolerance to the love you extract from life. You can only develop a tolerance to how that love is delivered. Screens are a poor delivery mechanism for love, and so the potency is diminished with each new arrival.

The question you might be asking right now is, "So, how do we increase the potency of love we get from our screens?" This is not the right question. A better question is, "How do we find new ways of recieving love?" And an even better one is, "How do we find new ways of sharing our love with the world?"

There isn't an immediate or a correct answer to either question, at least not one that is all-inclusive. It's putting a bandage over a bullet wound: something to stop the bleeding at best, to provide peace of mind at worst.

Stop relying on the screen, stop relying on the people who aren't with you. Still recognize the power that the screen provides and take advantage of it, but don't let it take advantage of you.

Stop scrolling and start looking, listening, learning, living.

It's my birthday

October 2016. See the full gallery.

iPhone 7 Plus test photos

After taking a subway at 7am to the Apple Store in Grand Central Station, I got an iPhone 7 Plus yesterday and immediately started taking photos.

I never really took photos until I got an iPhone, so the flexibility offered by the dual camera system on the 7 Plus was intriuging. I've gone out of my way to take a bunch of photos since yesterday — including taking the same photo with each lens to compare the difference — and it's clear that both lenses have their strengths and weaknesses. I feel like this phone makes me better at taking pictures. I like that feeling.

These photos were taken in two parts of New York City: Williamsburg, Brooklyn and midtown Manhattan right outside of Grand Central Station.

Click here to view in gallery format

Even Dwarfs Start Small — And So Do Chickens

And so the chicken runs around, back and forth, holding his prize but never getting to actually enjoy it. He is a stupid animal, and yet he is strangely human. He is selfish, in more ways than one: it appears as
if he wants the other chickens to recognize him as alpha male, as the one who has the food. But he also doesn't want to share, and to keep the spoils to himself. 

Read More

Books I'm Reading, Spring 2016

Zero to One by Peter Theil — (I finished this book late March, and started re-reading it almost immediately after.) Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl — (Finished!) #AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk
Werner Herzog's Guide for the Perplexed
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss

Summer 2015 books

Introducing @stndrdGold

For the last few weeks, I've been tweeting links that I'm glad I clicked on from a separate Twitter account called @stndrdGold.

This is an experiment of-sorts where I'm trying to be more aware of how I spend my time online. I want to make sure that the content I consume online is worth my time, and rather than mindlessly clicking my way down the rabbit hole, I want to recommend worthwhile content to others.

You can read more about my philosophy behind @stndrdGold here or you can click one of these handy buttons.