Re: Escondido, Genius


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Re: Escondido

Dear David,

I actually have just been calling myself a utilitarian. Not quite minimalist in the sense that I can take out everything that gives me joy, but I’ve learned to identify the ones that don’t give me any joy or purpose. It’s led to working towards choosing clothes based on quality and their ability to fit with everything else in my closet, not trends. I honestly buy less stuff because I spend time asking, “Is this something I can actually use? Is this something I can see myself using in my day to day?” The answer is usually no.

And the access economy is interesting, in the sense that I don’t really own something so there’s less of that friction, but it’s also easy to forget that it’s still an economy. These are still businesses trying to get me to want to things that I don’t really need. Do I *need* to board a plane to create good memories with friends? Do I *need* to go visit that famous landmark if I have a track record of not being interested (AKA observatories or viewing towers)?

Maybe that’s just me and my own doubts about traveling, as I come from a tourism-dependent country in Southeast Asia. But my answers have been no, and I’m personally trying to see the magic in my everyday. And that answer might change! What matters is I asked myself.

Yours truly,
Shannelle C
Re: Escondido

It’s funny when you detach for a moment or two and see how the world actually works. To see everyone scrambling for something they didn’t need yesterday. However, even though I see this I still get sucked into the trap. The hardest part of detachment is actually staying detached. I believe most people want the freedom you are talking about, yet they are hanging on by a thread (as am I). It would be interesting to see the world if everyone cut that last thread holding them to a world of consumerism. How would an ordinary day look? I am not sure, but I don’t know if the world would be recognizable.

Anyway, I appreciate this post. It is always nice to get a reminder of the bigger picture. I just had a company party last night and as I sit at my desk hungover I question why I indulge like I did last night. Is it out of habit? Or because I am still at a point where I partake out of fear of being judged?

Have a good rest of your trip. Thank you for the newsletters. And remember to look up!

Nick B
Re: Escondido

This is one of your best pieces. Probably because I think about these types of things a lot.

My whole thing coming out of college with an Industrial Design degree was, “I’m designing things people don’t need and can’t afford.” Beautiful design was priced out of reach for most Americans, and the stuff they could afford would show up on a shelf and end up in a landfill a year later, designed to fall apart so that they had to buy another one later (planned obsolescence).

Today I think a lot about, “If we have everything we need, and we can access it pretty much whenever we want – what’s next?” If ownership – previously the thing to strive for – isn’t a requirement to experiencing a quality life, why is everyone so damn busy? Why is conspicuous consumption still a thing? Are people really that self-absorbed? And if so, is there any hope we’ll be able to change our habits before our egos destroy the everything we’ve built to this point?

I hope so.

Matt R
Re: Genius


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Accentuate the positive,

Re: Genius

Hi David,

Who was it who said that genius is finding out what you’re good at and doing that for 95% percent of your life? I vaguely remember it from a Tim Ferriss episode with Adam Robinson talking about Bobby Fisher.
Anyway, my husband once told me that his professors who took a class with Richard Feynman said he was terrible at teaching Physics. Absolutely terrible. You can only appreciate his awesomeness if you were already a physicist because he had a unique perspective. But he was not gifted in the actual teaching of the field to a new student, like entering freshman.

So the elephant in this room question: how do you find the intersection of what you’re good at? Today, it’s not enough to be good at cooking or food or a chef. You’ve got to be the master at Argentinian open-fire grilling (Francis Mallmann). Or blending ice cream and architecture (Coolhaus). Niches! Or talent stacking as Scott Adams calls it.

So how do you have to be to find that genius inside you?

If you’re just joining us, I’m David Sherry ( , and you signed up to Creative Caffeine, or found me through Death to Stock ( .

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