wire talk

we send notes over wires all day
sometimes the notes dash through the air
and phew we can read them from our palm

our pockets buzz with new notes
sometimes the notes are from strangers
who want us to give them money for who knows what

remember the fax?
how magical that a note could teleport like that

it’s nice when we can send one note to many people
except for when we do it by accident
that video of cats falling off tables was not for you

i always sign my notes with my name or my initials
i dont even know why i sign the notes at all
the machine says they’re from me

it’s nice to be able to ignore notes when i want
although that feels weird
you wouldn’t do that in person

String Theory, Email Threads, and Happiness

Our lives are made up of millions of threaded moments in numerous conscious and subconscious dimensions. Identifying these threads – from multiple emails to time volunteering to a loving relationship – and making them last, making them stronger, and weaving them through multiple life dimensions is a key to health and well-being.

String theory attempts to relate multiple disparate concepts about our universe into a more unifying framework. Specifically, it states that subatomic elements (electrons, quarks, bosons, etc) are not three-dimensional objects but rather are one-dimensional strings that vibrate to take on semi-measurable characteristics (mass, spin, flavor, charge). Additionally, string theory posits that our universe is made up of unobservable dimensions that, at the most basic level, provide some sort of logical consistency to the known laws and theories of the physical (and metaphysical) world.

Well on a more macro level, our lives are very much made up of strings and dimensions. For our purposes, let’s just call them threads. Threads are made up of several connected points spanning one to many dimensions of our lives. These threads are our conversations, our friendships, our good deeds, our actions, and our spontaneous thought streams – the basic units by which we live our life. Our life dimensions are our jobs, families, friends, teams, systems, cultures, and countries, as well as our core knowledge, ideas, and feelings  – the encompassing elements by which our lives fundamentally exist. And finally, our lives have outputs too! They are our health and our well-being, our happiness, our faith, our understanding, and the meaning we extract from the world.

Think about some threads of your life:

  • Email Threads – Maintain a steady stream of conversation to build new knowledge, ignite new thought, and establish a strong connection with someone.
  • Volunteering – Show up when you don’t feel like it, encourage others to work harder, and continually establish yourself as a reliable and dependable contributor to society.
  • Love & Relationships – Always give to, and never give up on, the ones you love most in this world.

So now to the crux of my point: these life threads are the critical inputs to ensure our happiness and well-being are properly sustained, cultivated, and shared. By identifying these basic units, making them stronger, tying them together, crossing them through multiple dimensions of our lives, and “vibrating” the heck out of them, we can collectively share happiness and good faith as a society through better relationships, systems, and mutual understandings. Seems chaotic, yes, but in chaos there is a natural simplicity. Said the great thinker and founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung: “In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.”

Thanks to Outpatient.com for use of the image.

two quick email tips

Here are two quick notes on how to improve email communications within an organization. 

In addition to good filters, flags, folders, rules, and search, it seems that sometimes there is no way around a good old fashioned email headache (I think I get on average about 30-40 work emails per day). Although you cannot control how your senders organize their emails, when they send them, how frequently they send them, or how they format them, it is your duty to maintain organization and minimize headaches for recipients of your emails. Hopefully karma applies to email traffic…

1. Minimize emails! Take an extra minute or two to gain all your thoughts around a subject. Create the email as a draft and come back to it later. By minimizing the amount of emails that end up in other people’s inboxes, it will help manage and maintain email threading as well as package your organized, detailed, well-worded thoughts in your email communications.

2. Keep threads going when appropriate. Well-titled subject lines should stick around like discussion board threads. If you are responding to an email that arrived a week ago, find that last email in the thread and reply to it. Maintaining the breadcrumb of communication will assist in your own personal work efficiency and desktop organization and additionally allow all parties involved the ability to see what has been discussed previously.