Short-Form

An ongoing collection of short-form pieces created as I work out ideas and insights related to my current projects. No pics, no formatting—just thinking.

Voegelin’s “The New Science of Politics”: Intro

Dec 15, 20225 min read

I’ve begun reading Eric Voegelin’s The New Science of Politics: An Introduction, published in 1952 and based on a series of lectures he delivered the previous year at the University of Chicago. If the first 26 pages are any indication, Voegelin’s writing style (and speaking style?) is dense and somewhat indirect. I found myself having to focus on an almost word-for-word basis to decipher what he was saying. I do think over time I’ll adapt to his style and the meaning will come easier. Even so, I am going to do a quick post as I read each chapter to work out my understanding of Voegelin’s arguments. In this post I am going to attempt a quick articulation of the…

I’ve never felt this way about reading and it’s not good

Nov 24, 20225 min read

I have noticed in myself a tendency for the last several months to read a book with the goal of getting it done. Of course everyone that starts a book intends to finish it, so it should not be that much of a surprise that I read with this intention. However, what I have been noticing is not my commitment to finish, but rather my impatience to get there. To wit, whenever I am reading a book I am constantly monitoring page numbers, pages read, and how many pages left to finish. I even sit calculating after each session how many pages I would need to read each day to finish the book by a certain date. It’s terrible. And,…

Epiphanies, newsletters, and a life’s work

Oct 12, 20226 min read

I had an interesting experience with the creative act yesterday. As some of you may know, I have been wrestling for years with the question of what should my life work be about. I’m guessing most folks know me as a strategy consultant that has a small YouTube channel. And, that’s fine. I could easily continue to grow the channel (and my audience) while consulting—all the way into retirement. But, I have felt this urge for about four years now to make my last act count. I want to devote my work to something that’s meaningful and that uses who I am in a way that matters. Whatever that all means. It’s been difficult to sort this out. On one…

Found, and lost, and found again

Aug 14, 20224 min read

I am struck by the power of attention. And, more specifically, how the power of what we attend to—and don’t attend to—guides our actions and, ultimately, our lives. Just a couple weeks ago I had come to a conclusion so important that it made me a little fearful. I had resolved a multi-year struggle over what I should be working on for the rest of my career. I had my answer, a vision really, and it was big. It scared me because it seemed bigger than me. For over a decade I’ve had the image of Peter stepping out of the boat in order to walk across water to Jesus. It’s been a sort of call that won’t go away.…

Attention as a cognitive requirement for the generation of creativity

Jun 25, 20222 min read

This is probably the most important aspect of the generative cognitive requirements. Look, I’m not qualified to say really which is more important, but it strikes me that attention is foundational and at the moment under a great assault, more so than say the acquisition of general knowledge or the ability to make connections. What we attend to shapes us. It is as simple as that. And, given the current state of the technological world we find ourselves in, attention is currency. Don’t buy it? The fact that a multitude of powerful and sophisticated entities are working to capture our attention should be proof. Political parties, news media, entertainment conglomerates, sports teams, consumer brands, social movements, governments, religious institutions, social…