The Kairos Newsletter

A collection of useful, valuable and interesting stories.

A Tribute to K. Barry Sharpless

An interview with K. Barry Sharpless showed up in my newsfeed last week

Insights from Childhood to Adulthood

I'm not judging this characterization that takes place with adults.

Simultaneous Intelligence

One of the important traits of psychological maturity is the ability to hold opposites.

The Art of Contradiction

"I wish there was something we could do, but our personality assessment says we're incompatible for this job."

Unidentified

His personality assessment identified him as an introvert..

Reuniting with Myself

Sweet, smart, strange. They're identity words. They don't..

Bright Breakage

"Do you know the pride of the beggar?," my friend asked me. "I don't know," I responded. 

Clashing Symbols

Accept that others have powerfully different experiences of reality

Holding Opposites

At one point, I realized this wasn't going to end and I gave him a look

My marriage is better

These adorable quirks can morph into conflicts, but they don't have to

Not Doing

Aphrodite was completing her task, a drowning man appeared in the river begging her for help.

No Socks

He was sure it was a sign of carelessness, or maybe disrespect

Gesuto

The man drove away and out of my life leaving me wanting to be a better person.

Ads and Jokes

To sell skin science, they used cognitive science.

A bouquet of attentions

She launched into a tirade about me not listening or something..

Fast Forward to Yesterday

The gloves came off. I decided to focus on my backlog instead of my backstroke.

What, no puppets?

my favorite way of being is to engage my living self with another live person

Demanding Discipline

I was described as a dreamer, a fantasist, even as the village idiot. I didn't care.

Searching for Pauses

My 2024 calendar is in front of me right now. My last task of 2023 is to write this post.

It's a Paradox

I keep an index card with three to five tasks on it.

Breaking News

No coffee in the hotel room. I had to go downstairs to the common area.

Muddle-Headed; Simple-Minded

At this point in the 21st century, we have a reasonably durable understanding that there are two dominant ways of processing knowledge

Friends of Entropy

This morning, I'm trying to embrace the entropy I'm creating for myself.

A Question for You

Has anyone ever asked you a question that knocked you back, and you thought, maybe even said, "What a great question."?

Three Times

Anticipation, Activation, Reflection.

Your Seven Attentions

Did you hear that?

Same Place; Same Time

I live off the kindness of strangers.

A Good Chance

I love science and scientists because my work is all about uncertainty.

I Don’t Have Time For That

I didn't have time to write this. Now I'm going for a walk.

Closer Than They Appear

A week ago, I got my first Christmas catalog of 2023.

Co-Creation Groups

Working with other people is tough.

Watching Our Minds at Work

“All true attention is prayer.” Simone Weill

The Right Strategy

Kairos Cognition is about the energy that gets released for you when you understand the deep drivers of your attention and energy.

Uncertainty

I recognize some days, the higher powers have put me in their rat-maze for reasons beyond my understanding.

Juneteenth -- Late Thoughts

When our knowledge and experience is unsound it results in prejudice. And sometimes sound knowledge and experience changes.

Future Self Framework

I grew up with people in the building trades. I live in an old house largely for the opportunity to keep it from falling down.

Read the Room

I get the news I need . . .

Specifically, Dark Sky, It gives highly local, near term, weather forecasts. If I'm going to be outdoors for the next few hours, This is all I need.

Be aware Beware

Awareness and persistence to be useful, must be guided by discernment.

By Any Means Necessary

I was wrong. This post is to hold me accountable not to do that again. I need to hold my attention on this injustice.

Dialectic

Below is our correspondence captured in the form of a Socratic dialogue.

But you are...

By as soon as eight weeks, they may single our faces as objects meriting a higher degree of attention.

Reverse Siri

Instead of asking it questions and getting answers, it would ask them questions.

Falling off the airboat

Folks, truth is, we can't even neurohack a worm. Hope is not lost though.We don't understand how it works, but we can observe worms' learning.

Someday; Maybe

I learned the concept from David Allen. Someday; maybe is for aspirational doing.

You're not procrastinating

Procrastination focuses on all the things you're not doing: in short, the infinite. Doing, therefore, is optimized by choosing the best you've got available to you right now.

Ass paining

One of the great things about physical labor is I always knew when I was working.

"for reasons unknown.."

Among his breathtaking range of accomplishments, Dwight was chosen to be one of America's first astronauts.

You're not a team

Any organization bigger than one person, think a marriage for starters, has friction and inefficiency.

Getting to Simple

getting to simple often requires significant mental lifting. Simple often must be dug out from under the Mountains of Distraction.

In Sync

A lot of our human cooperation is the result of occult cues we pick up from one another, which guide us into alignment. 

Natural Arc

I have an unusually short attention span for reading. That’s strange because I love to read, was an early reader, and, by contrast...

Cash or Candlesticks?

Ha! Gift giving. If it's not the hardest negotiation we have as humans, I don't know what's harder.

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens modeled the pattern I thought I'd so cleverly assembled...

Uncertainty

In a dynamic world, we need to always steer toward opportunities and away from threats

What might emerge?

in what better time than this Thanksgiving weekend to step away from the crowds, to write long letters, to think long thoughts, and to pray long prayers?

Ebb and Flow

It's actually hard to hold our attention on one thing. In some contexts this is powerfully useful.

Uncanny Valley

In our current condition, it’s glib to think virtual presence replaces physical presence. For some it does, Does it for you?

Listening

john a. powell, Black Lives Matter, Muriel Bowser, Stacey Abrams, Larry Wilmore, Gil Scott Heron

Hole

Seemingly instantly, the walls at the front slid; the forward guy was buried up to his chin, the second up to his waist

Caves

For several weeks, I've lived in a cave; albeit as he notes, one that is ". . . safer, air-conditioned, and equipped with electricity and wifi."

Same place; Same time

“Maybe the best way to describe it is as people who only care about themselves in one group, and people who believe in the greater good in the other group.”

Defended Space

Creating spaces -- either physically, or psychically through selective attention -- to defend us somewhat from the bombardment of information coming to us from our surroundings is important work for us.

What am I missing?

Even if you and I, right now, stood in the same place at the same time and looked together in the same direction, we’d have a different experience.

Team culture

We have two dominant ways we think about things. Aristotle called them dike and gnomos;

January

For those of us following the Gregorian calendar, it is the month named in honor of the Roman divinity, Janus.

Five hours and 400 miles later...

Eastern Colorado. Dropped down from Denver, put on cruise control, and set the tiller for the Delaware Water Gap.

Humans are an apprentice-learned craft

If you’re in my social circle and acquired a child, I’m likely to have given you The Scientist in the Crib.

Coffee and conversation

Comparing the essential quality: how well does the thing do what it’s supposed to do, both of them will do.

Predictable Randomness

Most of what happens in the world is ultimately predictable; Colds and flu, taxes, flight cancellations.

Breaking habits 1 minute at a time

We often complain about our attention drifting, but the fact that we don’t hold our attention in an unrelenting way turns out to have an advantage when it comes to managing our cravings.

Three Minutes to Save Your Life

Francis Sopper

Event Horizon

For physicists, an event horizon is that boundary beyond which events can’t affect the observer.

Valentine

St. Valentine. Patron saint of beekeepers. Blessing those who navigate between the honey and the sting.

Gotta have that swing

Embrace the oscillation displayed in this latest wisdom of the crowd. Step away from the screen. Jump in some cold water.

Ephemery of Memory

Our mind appears to work as hard at forgetting as it does at remembering. We’re exposed to too much information to hold it all.

How to have a car accident

Accident responders and your insurance company describe the rubbernecker accident. It goes down like this.

The invention of attention

So far as I can determine, the first person history records as having read silently was Ambrose of Rome in the fourth century.

What moves you?

Bad actors in crime dramas, after they discover, “You can’t prove that,” doesn’t apply to Dick Wolf, invariably claim, “I had no choice.”

Allowable Leakage

If you look closely at the image of Boston’s Quincy Market, built in 1825, you’ll note a fire hydrant in the foreground.

Getting to no

Getting a few no’s tells use we’re engaging in the right amount of risk.

What are you curious about?

What stirs us up so we make the magic happen is the mystical element of curiosity.

Flunk your next test

“I want you to flunk your next test,” I said to my daughter. She was in her first year at high school.

Grow your leadership by holding opposites

Hard to do, but vitally important as a leader is to hold opposites, and to mentor others to do the same.

Taking a break

Essential to our best is rest and recovery. Roosevelt offers a formidable example of how strength is nurtured and refreshed.

The power of ten

Some things are best accomplished over extended periods of time. We need time to just be.

Five steps for contingency planning

“Let me take this opportunity to tell you about our earthquake-preparedness program.”

Fill out your Bracket!

Fill in the first column at random. Don’t worry, the best choice will win all the contests on the way to the finish.

Hot list

This hot list gives these tasks momentum. (You’re reading this. It got finished. Quod erat demonstrandum.)

Defendable Space

To stay focused on one thing long enough to complete it, create a defendable space.

Hey, are you listening to me?

For many of us our auditory processing system defaults to a deep resting state

Learning from others

The art of exploring another’s view is sharply different from argument, persuasion, and interrogation.

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