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The Filament Blog


We all suffer from a profound case of “Idea Surplus Disorder” at Filament — and we think that’s a good thing. Here are some of those ideas we’d like to share with you.



Monday Morning Meeting #29

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Good morning and happy Monday!  Here are a few things we found this week we thought you'd like:

Not to start off on a downer, but it's amazing how many of these 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People also show up in organizations.  Any sound familiar in yours?

1. Be afraid, be very afraid, of economic loss. In hard economic times, many people are afraid of losing their jobs or savings. The art of messing up your life consists of indulging these fears, even when there’s little risk that you’ll actually suffer such losses. Concentrate on this fear, make it a priority in your life, moan continuously that you could go broke any day now, and complain about how much everything costs, particularly if someone else is buying. Try to initiate quarrels about other people’s feckless, spendthrift ways, and suggest that the recession has resulted from irresponsible fiscal behavior like theirs.

6. Whatever you do, do it only for personal gain. Sometimes you’ll be tempted to help someone, contribute to a charity, or participate in a community activity. Don’t do it, unless there’s something in it for you, like the opportunity to seem like a good person or to get to know somebody you can borrow money from some day. Never fall into the trap of doing something purely because you want to help people. Remember that your primary goal is to take care of Numero Uno, even though you hate yourself.

11. Ruminate. Spend a great deal of time focused on yourself. Worry constantly about the causes of your behavior, analyze your defects, and chew on your problems. This will help you foster a pessimistic view of your life. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by any positive experience or influence. The point is to ensure that even minor upsets and difficulties appear huge and portentous.

Got a coffee table in need of a few books?  Check out The Observers, a collection of "Photo books recommended by visionaries."  Very cool!

"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less." - General Eric Shinseki

Are you willing to put the work in to have an opinion?

Only then, when you can argue better against yourself than others can, have you done the work to hold an opinion. That is the time you can say, “Hey, I can hold this view, because I can’t find anyone else who can argue better against my view.”

Great thinkers, like Darwin, did the work necessary to hold an opinion. And it’s one of the biggest reasons he’s buried at Westminster Abbey.

Doing the work counteracts our natural desire to seek out only information that confirms what we believe we know. When Darwin encountered opinions or facts that ran contrary to his ideas, he endeavored not only to listen but also not to rest until he could either argue better than his challengers or understand how the fact fit. Darwin did the work. It’s wasn’t easy, but that’s the point.

Here are some great quotes on planning.  Our faves:

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Plan for what is difficult while it is easy. Do what is great while it is small." -- Sun Tzu

Why the most productive meetings have fewer than 8 people (unless they're at Filament).

Finally, if you're looking to relax, here's a youtube video of 10 hours of oceanscapes from BBC Earth.