What I learned last week (#137): fake plastic grass

Learned last week: lawn waste, life management, spreading attention, and more!

A weekly selection of what I was reading, drawing, writing, and doing.


Quote I enjoyed:

A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.

Jerry Seinfeld

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

Suppose that people live forever. Strangely, the population of each city splits in two: the Laters and the Nows. The Laters reason that there is no hurry to begin their classes at the university, to learn a second language, to read Voltaire or Newton, to seek promotion in their jobs, to fall in love, to raise a family. For all these things, there is an infinite span of time. In endless time, all things can be accomplished. Thus all things can wait. Indeed, hasty actions breed mistakes.” (Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams)


Overlap goals as much as you can:

Related to the above excerpt and the opposite ends of the spectrum of being either all about the “now” or “planning for the future”, some more food for thought on approaching “life management”.

Shift your focus from separate tasks to practice intergoal facilitation and visualise your life goals as being part of one overall outcome.

Life management: a holistic approach to make the most of your life: https://nesslabs.com/life-management


Don’t spread your attention to thin:

My house was overflowing. But it didn’t feel that way at the time. In each moment, I was giving just one pet my full attention. My life was full of so many loves.

How many pets do you have? https://sive.rs/pets


Keeping a lawn, real or artificial, is a waste:

A pretty strong argument against keeping any type of lawn. I like having someplace to play catch or lie down in the sun, but constantly mowing and watering is strange and unnatural when you stop to think about it. There is certainly a better alternative out there.

There isn’t much that’s ‘natural’ about tidily demarcated, closely cropped, monocultural, pesticide-coated, water-greedy green stubble. Maintaining a patch of blank land on which no food grows, no animal feeds and no carbon is stored is as absurd as installing fake plastic grass.

The Lawn Problem: https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2021/august/the-lawn-problem


A visual guide to the chaos in Afghanistan:

The visuals used in this piece are really good and helped me understand more about what was/is happening there.

Chaos in Kabul: https://graphics.reuters.com/AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT/KABUL-AIRPORT/movannkgkpa/


What I wrote and drew about this week:


What I did, was reminded of, or was thankful for last week:

  • I was off work for most of the week and spent the majority of my time getting the kids back into school and picking them up after. My wife and I also had a couple of good mornings out and lunches together in Glasgow (at Mono and The Steamie) with no kids around. It was really relaxed and strangely disorienting to not have the kids hanging about.
  • We watched Restrepo last week. With everything happening in Afghanistan at the same time, it was a bit surreal to see a documentary about what it was like in one small part. Hard to imagine what the soliders who fought are feeling now.

Last but not least, check out what I’m up to now.

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