Gladiator

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Hi again, I’m Steve Makofsky and this is a semi-whenever list of interesting articles, podcasts and videos that I come across during the week. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it, have something new to think about, and share it with your friends. In case you forgot, this is in your inbox because you asked me to send it to you. You can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of this email.

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Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator' was this weeks classic watch; while considered by many a cinematic masterpiece of storytelling and visual - it could be broken down to the simple concepts of "vengeance and redemption". My goal for the watch wasn't to revisit one of my favorite films or to enjoy the epic score (another Hans Zimmer classic), but rather to explore the films portrayal of the stoic nature of both Marcus Aurelius and Maximus. 

Certainly the film has taken it's liberties with historical accuracy, but these challenging 2020 times has me leaning hard into finding some sense in all the madness. In his book Meditations, Marcus Aurelius ponders about using what is thrown at them as the path, as raw material to make things better and shape their reality. "A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it".

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This weeks "Deep Links"

As technology becomes more pervasive in every day life, the "revenge effect" of technology and the unintended consequences will continue to haunt us. Rarely do we consider where shifting harm can be the result of the ripples tech creates - More

Time management is a recurring theme for me in 2020. A look at how Marc Andreessen value "open time" and delegation - More

One from 2015 that I have in my "favorite reads" is 'How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne'. Developing the unconscious ability to understand what is going on around you to be a skill that requires constant attention and practice. It's incredibly valuable to continuously refine this super-power - More

Long ago I fell out of love with Evernote due to weird privacy, pricing and feature lags. This week, after a huge re-write, they re-launched their new iOS application, and while it hasn't won me back, I'm hoping they can nail the note-taking space (my gut is saying they'll be acquired though) - More

Would you need a third thumb? While deemed by a few as an "unnecessary" prosthetic, teaching your brain to work with an additional finger is somewhat fascinating - Watch

Since the Apollo program, something has happened to humanity's ability to solve big, complicated problems. While this one is from 2012, many of the same themes resonate today - More

After dealing with the smoke/air quality in the Pacific Northwest the last week, prompted me to find out more about climate change and these "mega fires" that have been happening. What I found out was saddening - there's data and experience that can help prevent them; and few are listening - More

In the "bizarre story of the week" category, 'The Married Woman Who Smuggled Her Boyfriend Out of Prison in a Dog Crate' - More

It now looks as if Big Oil has been misleading the world in that plastic would be recycled. "All used plastic can be turned into new things, but picking it up, sorting it out and melting it down is expensive. Plastic also degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can't be reused more than once or twice." - and it's cheaper to just use 'new' plastic - More

A look at how weather forecasting is getting better and better, but the reality is that 'there will always be a gap between the weather and the forecast' - More

Remote working is slowly becoming the new norm across companies and Gitlab is at the forefront of this transformation. A deeper look at their workforce of 1,300 people that are spread across 67 countries - More

End Thoughts

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.