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What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#89)

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this.” (James Clear, Atomic Habits)


The dragon rises yet again:

A great history of Bruce Lee’s struggle to be taken seriously as a film star.

An American citizen, born in a San Francisco hospital in 1940 (the year of the dragon), he was racially and culturally ostracized nonetheless. Lee was turned down for the lead of a wandering Shaolin monk on the ABC action drama Kung Fu for being “too authentic.” (The role went to David Carradine, whose inauthenticity as a white man playing a half-Chinese martial arts master proved more salable.) For all the ballyhoo of social upheaval at the time, the 1960s—with the Japanese internments of WWII a recent memory, and the Vietnam War headline news—were not kind to Asian Americas. “The truth is,” Lee flatly told an interviewer, “I am a yellow-faced Chinese. I cannot possibly become an idol for Caucasians, not to mention rousing the emotions of my countrymen.”

https://thebaffler.com/latest/the-dragon-rises-yet-again-semley


Categories
What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#74)

Book excerpt I enjoyed:

“Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” (Steven Pressfield, The War of Art)


A commencement address delivered remotely:

I’m not so worried about the dangers of mental junk food. That’s because I’ve found that many of the true intellectuals I’ve met take pleasure in mental junk food too. Having a taste for trashy rom-coms hasn’t rotted their brain or made them incapable of writing great history or doing deep physics.

No, my worry is that, especially now that you’re out of college, you won’t put enough really excellent stuff into your brain

In college, you get assigned hard things. You’re taught to look at paintings and think about science in challenging ways. After college, most of us resolve to keep doing this kind of thing, but we’re busy and our brains are tired at the end of the day. Months and years go by. We get caught up in stuff, settle for consuming Twitter and, frankly, journalism. Our maximum taste shrinks. Have you ever noticed that 70 percent of the people you know are more boring at 30 than they were at 20?

This really made me think. Do you think you are more interesting now than you were 10 years ago?

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/commencement-address-too-honest-have-been-delivered-person/611572