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Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

As I write this, the United States stands on the precipice of an election that will radically shape the future of American politics. The whirlwind of news and hot takes is nearly overwhelming and will likely continue even after the final vote is counted.

But amidst the torrent, we have a chance to step back and look at how our nation is changing and what it means for us in the years ahead. A recent video from Bloomberg QuickTake really drew out the question of where we’re going. …


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Photo by Taras Chernus on Unsplash

Every year, the founder of the Non-Obvious Company, Rohit Bhargava, offers a series of predictions for major trends that will impact our world. Bhargava is an author, entrepreneur, and former marketing strategist, and as his company’s name suggests, he has forged a reputation for seeking out the non-obvious trends that may be on the horizon.

This year, he presented some of these predictions at the virtual South by Southwest festival. I recommend checking out the entire talk, but one that seemed especially prescient was #3: We are in the midst of a deep believability crisis.

#3, we’re in the middle of a believability…

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Photo by tom coe on Unsplash

“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

It’s time to make American decent again. The dictionary definition of being “decent” is “marked by moral integrity, kindness, and goodwill”. At this moment, we need goodwill for one another. We need kindness, and we need moral integrity.

As the United States takes the first steps to reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown, we’re seeing a classic American tension thrown into sharp relief: the community vs. the individual. …


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Get ready to kiss your old life goodbye

Desperately Seeking Normal

A phrase that I’m hearing often is “finding the new normal”. With COVID-19 still a very real threat, our entire world has been thrown for a loop. It seems like everyone is waiting and searching for some level of certainty and routine to return. But it’s time to accept that uncertainty is the new normal.

Social distancing has forced some very dramatic changes to our daily lives, including school closures and remote work. Some of those may be temporary, but in many areas, we’re living through a tipping point. …


This month, Alex shares The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil. We take look at what the future may hold and how soon it may arrive.

https://youtu.be/f9i3WIkJbyQ

You can purchase The Singularity is Near on Amazon. And keep up with advances towards the singularity on Kurzweil’s personal website and on Singularity Hub.

Explore further with the Janelle Shane’s Ted Talk titled The danger of AI is weirder than you think.


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Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

Around 50 years ago, the architect Paulo Soleri coined the portmanteau “ Arcology” to describe a union of architecture and ecology. His vision was population-dense urban constructs where people could live, work, eat, and even attend civic events all within a single superstructure. You may be familiar with the idea from pop culture references like Sim City 2000 or the 2012 Judge Dredd movie.

The idea actually predates Soleri in a few different ways. Science fiction writers were describing similar settings as early as 1912. …


Alex shares Dr. Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and considers big questions about aging and how we can create a meaningful life even at the end.

You can purchase Being Mortal through Dr. Gawande’s website.

Explore further with the Hidden Brain episode The Ventilator.

Contact Alex Acton on Twitter @alexpacton or find more Modern Polymaths at modernpolymaths.com, on twitter @modernpolymaths, or on Facebook at Modern Polymaths Media.


It’s 2020 and time for episode #4 of the Reading for Your Life podcast. Alex shares Yuval Noah Hararri’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. We look at big challenges that face the world, how we build communities and what you and I can do personally to face the future.

You can purchase 21 Lessons for the 21st Century through Hararri’s website.

Contact Alex Acton on Twitter @alexpacton or find more Modern Polymaths at modernpolymaths.com, on twitter @modernpolymaths, or on Facebook at Modern Polymaths Media.


In episode number 3 of the Reading for Your Life podcast. Alex shares Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. Both the lecture itself and the book that followed are about chasing your dreams and cherishing the time that we have.

You can find The Last Lecture in print on Amazon.

Or you can watch Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo

Contact Alex Acton on Twitter @alexpacton or find more Modern Polymaths at modernpolymaths.com, on twitter @modernpolymaths, or on Facebook at Modern Polymaths Media.


In episode number 2 of the Reading for Your Life podcast. Alex shares Sarah Wilson’s First We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety. This month is about understanding what causes anxiety and how to live with it.

You can buy a copy of First We Make the Beast Beautiful from Sarah’s website here: http://www.sarahwilson.com/books/

If you find yourself struggling with anxiety and want to find some help, you can find a local therapist or a telemental service provider in your state here: https://adaa.org/finding-help

Contact Alex Acton on Twitter @alexpacton or find more Modern Polymaths at modernpolymaths.com, on twitter @modernpolymaths, or on Facebook at Modern Polymaths Media.

About

Alex Acton

Professional Amateur & Avid Question Asker

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