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Welcome to Time Well Spent
On the people who live for their work and the founders who employ them, the similarities between founders and artists, aiming badly, being weird like Jack Dorsey, and relaunching Time Well Spent
As a non-professional, and up until just recently, I had no clue what the phrase “professional life” meant, partly because the first word in the phrase was nondescript, faceless, and unassailable by route of words to me. Who were the professionals described here? As far as I could tell, everyone, when it came to handling careers and things related, was just sort of winging it; business decisions were all post hoc, no? And no one takes themselves seriously enough as to self-define as a “professional” without a hint of imposter syndrome, right? And, at the very least, no one would put their profession before their love, their family, their art, their God or friends or books or walks, yes?
Well, I found that things are a lot different for others after a certain threshold of wealth and status-attainment, more sobering than a 5 year AA anniversary, and more helpful for my own self-definition than I would have expected.
After a certain line of achievement is crossed, people begin to live for their work. They are their work, and not just the rote brain-labor they perform everyday, but the rules of the workplace, both formal and informal. No matter the time they greet you they’re on the clock, their nods turn the world into a Zoom meeting. I hate them. Their every decision has an air of certainty, and they take themselves very, very seriously.
These shouldn’t be confused with the people who create their own businesses, since founders are in nearly every case just like artists, and I don’t know why this is exactly but maybe, like artists, they understand that the realization of a dream will be awfully difficult, bound to instill dread in their bones, but worth it anyway. Founders are a different breed entirely from the people who work for them, which is a major irony, that the makers of companies aren’t very corporate at all, they’re all variations of Jack Dorsey, totally baffling to any onlooker, and I like them a lot, because they’re just like me.
Founders do what they do to make a little room for themselves, to be free in the way that their soul burns toward, and I want to do the same here. I need space to do my business of thinking freely, like Jack Dorsey. You just know that guy is free, just being as weird as he likes. I need this too, pursuing truth wherever it lies, even if it’s someplace uncomfortable, counterintuitive, strange, secret, or holy. But I can’t express myself everywhere now since our cultural climate has taken on the same disposition as the people I dislike, it’s become corporate, which is why I’ve partnered with Substack and am officially relaunching this newsletter today, so that I can be anti-corporate, which is just being myself! And the coolest thing is that you get to come along with me.
There are three Barriers to Trying I can think of which most would-be creatives face and which prevent (I’m guessing) millions every year from writing, filming, recording, or building something they can be proud of, which are:
Not trying because you think things will be hard
Not trying because of what others might think
Not trying because things won’t be perfect (And related: trying because you think things will be easy and then giving up when they aren’t)
What we don’t realize about the people who have succeeded, who stand in the lofty positions we envy, is that often their products, their art or music or films or podcasts, are often complete garbage, and there’s no explanation for their success besides that there is literally no one else trying. They are the only ones doing anything, and that’s maybe all it takes, just trying.
And this is what I’m doing now, what this relaunch is, not aiming for success but aiming badly. Throwing shit at the wall and hoping it sticks, and hoping that together we can learn more about the world here than anywhere else.
TIME WELL SPENT
The ultimate goal of this publication is to be the place where the best, most insightful, most relevant conversations in the world happen. Every business has a resource it leverages toward some useful, meaningful, value-creating end, and I’m going to leverage the most brilliant minds the world has ever seen to answer the toughest questions in science, politics, technology, and much more. This will be a focal point online for thoughts well said, emotions well delineated, and time well spent.
Interviews will be conducted primarily in text-format, but will likely wade more into audio-format over time for greater accessibility (while transcripts will still be made available).
Apart from interviews with the greatest minds on earth, Time Well Spent will also publish articles on a range of interests, like my conversion from Christianity to Judaism or the latest political scandal that the mainstream news simply isn’t getting right. Articles will be published weekly in addition to a summarized, recommended reading list of all the interesting and quizzical scientific findings, recent articles, book excerpts, and the like that I’ve found throughout the week (for subscribers only), and subscribers can also expect open threads for debating ideas and jumping in with commentary on important topics.
Besides the recommended reading list (which subscribers will have exclusive access to), all articles and interviews will be free to view for up to 5 weeks after their publication. Subscribers will have access to the entire archive indefinitely, access to audio-versions of articles, and the option to comment on posts and join in with the community! Being able to publish frequently is only possible with your help, and together we can spend our time well on Time Well Spent.