Greetings from the Future

Finding meaning amidst the pandemic.

Hello Subscribers!

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted. I started this list in Revue, moved to a MailChimp signup for a good long while, and now I’ve moved things over to Substack.

Lots has changed since I started doing design and technical consulting in late 2018. Mid-2020 the world feels entirely different—like a strange and alien landscape.

During quarantine I’ve come back to this thought over and over again:

I never thought this is what the apocalypse would look like.

The quiet. The stillness. Warring ideologies. Disinformation, racism, and violence tearing the world apart from every angle. And then, the physical quiet. I’ve been running almost every day and the natural world is still so wild and teeming with life. Our backyard is filled with birds, nests, and small bustling garden. My wife and I awoke several nights ago to the strangest (and most violent) cat fight we have ever heard—it went on for far far too long in the dark of night.

All this and yet the roads feel much less travelled. Shops and grocery stores and suburban parking lots feel like eerie ghost towns. Encountering strangers in public feels more “strange” than it used to. Modern life has been stunted and is being pushed aside by the force of the natural world once again.

It’s hard to make sense of these realities that often seem diametrically opposed to one another. It has caused a sudden increase in tension. Tension between friends and family. Tension within. Desiring to return to normal and then realizing that “normal” may never return in the way we knew it.

This has all driven me to start asking new questions:

What does the future look like?
How will we all emerge from this?
Will we be proud of who we’ve become at the end of the pandemic?

New Paths

Moving forward into the future will require “new paths”. We will have to find new ways to build community and work through our differences. The way we use social media (or the way it uses us) will need to adapt if we want to be part of a culture that can come to the table, create shared understanding and meaning, and then rebuild what the pandemic, our broken ideologies, and evil have torn from us.

I’m hoping this email list can be a space to pause, digest, and consider the space we are currently in, evaluate what we are bringing to the table, and then formulate ideas on how we can move forward together.

I’ll be publishing about the future, faith, design, technology, Internet culture, and other bits of history and culture that I find interesting.

I’m hoping you’ll enjoy the ride! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or want to chat.

👋 Jonathan


Curated

Every week I’m hoping to curate this section with a small list of tools, items, and links that I find interesting or engaging. Here is this week’s list.

  1. mymind is a beautiful new product that intelligently tags anything you save to it—notes, images, articles, inspiration, and more.

  2. I’ve been using Roam Research to capture and connect all my thoughts and ideas—it has introduced an entirely new paradigm of connected thinking.

  3. If you are working on naming a new company, product, or feature then Onym is a resource of tools to help your process.

  4. If you are curious about wormholes or have kids that are curious about wormholes, then this awesome video should help.

  5. The black/black BRICK clock from Leff Amsterdam is a beautiful, machined, mechanical flip clock.


True strength
is the courage to ask for help.
Simon Sinek


The image at the top of the post is a photograph of the painting Om/Aun, Alpha & Omega by Makoto Fujimura (2013).