Leadership Lessons From The Great Books #85 – Orwell, de Quincey & Frye On Literature, Language and Leadership w/Tom Libby

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Orwell, de Quincey & Frye On Literature, Language and Leadership w/Tom Libby

  • 00:00 Welcome and Introduction – Orwell, de Quincey & Frye.
  • 05:37 Grandma’s Word, Spirals, Twisted Prose, Jargon Use.  
  • 11:32 Balancing Formal and Informal in Remote Work.  
  • 20:55 Sales and Marketing Consultant Cutting Words. 
  • 24:51 Mixed Metaphors, Code, and Communication in Leadership. 
  • 31:51 Misunderstanding the Meaning of the Term “-Ism.”
  • 35:43 Leaders Delay Reaction, Gather Thoughts, and Then Respond Strategically. 
  • 38:40 Politeness, Authenticity, and Communication in Modern Culture.
  • 47:49 How can Leaders Balance Politics and Reality within Small Brands.
  • 49:56 Leadership Challenges of Discussing Sex, Religion, and Politics Today. 
  • 58:24 Orwell’s Writing and Understanding WWII.
  • 01:04:32 Literature Beyond Providing Information.
  • 01:13:23 de Quincey on Owing Power to Milton’s Writing.
  • 01:22:02 Modern Society Appears Natural.
  • 01:22:50 Conformity in Society and Literature’s Conventions.
  • 01:37:29 Literature and Music Provide Well-Rounded Perspectives.
  • 01:46:30 Staying on the Leadership Path with Orwell, de Quincey & Frye.


Opening and Closing theme composed by Brian Sanyshyn of Brian Sanyshyn Music.

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Hello. My name is Jesan Sorrells, and this is the Leadership Lessons

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from the Great Books podcast, episode number

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85 with

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our regular, now regular, I guess. Now I’m no longer

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semi regular. You’re now the regular cohost,

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Tom Libby. How are you doing, Tom? Fantastic as always,

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Ehsan. Thanks for asking. He’s my Ed McMahon.

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We’re just talking about this. Except with with less ego

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issues or or maybe Less hair too. And less hair.

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Or maybe Hank on, on the Larry Sanders which, by the way, is a great

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show. You should watch it, also

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again with fewer ego ego issues. So

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today, We are going to read

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selections from the Norton Reader 4th

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edition shorter. And I’m gonna kinda go over the conceit of

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the Norton Reader here in just a second, but this is copyright

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1977. And so We’re gonna

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read some of the selections from The Norton Reader. There’s 3

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essays that we are going to cover today. George Orwell’s

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Politics and the English Language, literature of

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knowledge and literature of power by Thomas De Quincey,

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and Keys to Dreamland by Northrop Fry. And we’re

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gonna kinda draw a through line, between those 3

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essays around the impact of language,

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the impact of elite of, literature

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and the impact of knowledge and power and how that can

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help leaders become that are leaders.

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And so we’re going to start off with, of course,

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politics in the English language, by George Orwell.

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And opened with an assertion that Orwell makes

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here, And I quote, most people who

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bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a

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bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious

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action, Do anything about it? Our civilization is

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decadent and our language. So the argument runs must inevitably share in

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the general collapse. Now I’m gonna, we’re gonna do this a little bit differently than

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we normally do this. I’m gonna read some stuff, then I’m gonna pause and talk,

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and Tom’s gonna jump in and talk, and it’s gonna be it’s gonna be great.

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You’re gonna have to Gonna have to follow along a little bit. So just that

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1 sentence right there, our civilization is decadent and our language. So the

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argument runs most inevitably share of the general collapse.

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This was written, Politics in the English

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Language was written in let’s

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see. Let me go to the the big page here with all

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of the copyright information. And I know some of you who are listening know when

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this was written because this is a very famous, essay from

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Orwell, was written in, like,

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1945. Right? So he’s writing this in the 19 forties.

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I think Orwell would probably have a problem with our language now.

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I think anybody from the 19 forties would have a problem with our language today.

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Well, I think I I think he would be shocked that

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that we weren’t further down the spiral.

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Maybe. Maybe, maybe not because, like, you know, we both have kids

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in their twenties. Right? So Oh, yeah. I’m always arguing or complaining with my

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kids. Like, I I said to one of my sons, I was like, why do

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you guys keep trying to shorten words? Like, just say the word. How

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lazy can you be? And the word is just

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suspect. Why do you have to say sus? Like, I don’t even understand, like, what

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why what advantage do you have by abbreviating the word? Right? And then his response

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to me was, Well, you guys just made up words, like, you know

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That’s no response. Get back out of town. Yeah. I was like it’s

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like, But at least our words ended up in the, you

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know, when I was a kid, you never you can’t say ain’t. Ain’t isn’t a

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word. Well, it is now because it’s in Webster’s. Right? So There you go. Yep.

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Made it into Lexicon. Yeah. Exactly. So anyway but I

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think it’s any I think it’s pretty funny that that I agree with you. He

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would’ve thought I don’t know about the spiral part. I think I think he he

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I think he’d be shocked either way. Well, the entire

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Internet would shock him and dismay him just in general. And

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then and then after that, social media would just be the cherry on the, the

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cherry on top of the on top of the the, the the ice

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cream, cake there. Alright. Back to the back to politics

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in the English language. So picking up, he says, it follows that any

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struggle against the abuse of language It’s a sentimental

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archaism, like preferring candles to electrical light or handsome

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cabs to airplanes. So stop your struggle, Tom. Underneath

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this lies, in the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not

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an instrument. Which we shape for our own purposes. I agree

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with that, by the way, languages and instrument we shape for our own purposes and

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for our own time. Now it is clear that the decline of

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language must ultimately have political and economic causes. It is

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not simply due to the bad influence of this or that individual writer,

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but an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and

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producing the same effect in an intensified form and so on

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indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to

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be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks.

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It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes

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ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the

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slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.

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My grandma would have agreed with him, by the way. That’s number 1. Number

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2, my grandma would have used the word slovenly.

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So that endears me already to work well, outside of the

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whole 1984 Animal Farm thing. But then number 3,

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I like it how he he sets up right at the beginning

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of this essay, the idea that

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an effect can become a cause reinforcing the original cause of producing the

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same effect in an intensified form. Basically a spiral, you know,

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basically a cul de sac that you can’t get out of. And he’s about to

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point this out with certain pieces of prose that he’s

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that he’s going to select that are twisted,

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beyond all recognition, but he’s also going to talk about 5 different areas

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where where where you can see this.

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One of the things that we have never talked about on this podcast is the

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use of jargon, particularly

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in business. And I remember a few years

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ago, there was a consultant that wrote a

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book called, No BS or something,

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I think. And he might have had a

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consulting agency that was, you know, bull, you know.

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And and and, basically, his point was I remember him

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hearing him interviewed on, on another podcaster

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show. It might have been Mitch Mitch Joel’s show, Six Pieces of Separation.

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But he was talking about how And and this is where I got an

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idea. I got the idea from him. He was talking about how

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business people, particularly business leaders, use jargon to hide

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in a in a political way, and that that jargon

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actually warps culture, which I thought was a great point.

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Yeah. Well and and I I think there’s an I think there’s an interesting

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dynamic that, or or not that there’s some

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sort of paradigm shift that happened while I was

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asleep, and because I well, quite frankly,

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I can’t remember when it was. I know it was a while ago. It was

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probably 10 years ago or more. But it it there’s this that

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that theory behind, like, meet them where they are Kinda thing, right, where

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leaders in today’s workforce will find themselves

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bringing their Their own vernacular

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down to the level of the people they’re talking to rather than trying to

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pick them up. Right? Mhmm. Because 50 years ago, if you were at the

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low entry level you’re working for a Fortune 500 company. You’re entry-level.

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Your entire career is trying to better yourself to Push yourself up

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that ladder. Right? Like, you wanna be a I’m I’m a entry level sales

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guy. I wanna be a sales manager. I wanna be a VP of sales. I

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want so you have to start talking the talk, walking the walk, and my my

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grandmother, as you just said with the lemon, my grandmother used to have a saying

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that I I took to heart when I was a kid, which was, Don’t dress

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for the job you have. Dress for the job you want. Yeah. That same

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that same vernacular today doesn’t apply because the higher you go

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up the ladder, the less You worry about what you wear today. Right? Like

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so, like, you see CEOs of huge companies wearing T

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shirts and gym shorts to to work where I would

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think I’d be wearing a suit it when I when I when I was a

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kid as a CEO, right, or as a as a upper-level management person or

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whatever. And what I’m I’m boiling down to my point here is back then,

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it was that upper level expected you to

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educate yourself to speak the way they spoke. And in today’s world,

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we are taking the upper level and coming down to where our entry-level people

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are talking and talking their talk. So all that street slang and all

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that stuff that I would have never thought to learn in the 1st place when

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I was a kid, now I have to learn to talk to my

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Entry level people. The the script was flipped a while

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back. Well, it’s millennials’ fault, but that’s alright. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s fine.

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We’ll blame it on the millennials. Yeah. We’ll blame them.

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But does that make it easier? Do you agree with Orwell that that makes it

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easier for us to have foolish thoughts? Yes. I I Okay.

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But, again but think of it coming from generational. Right? Like, be

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because I was raised in like I said, my grandmother dressed for the job you

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want, the job you have. Right? So so now I’m expected if I

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want to be that CEO, I’m gonna go to work

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wearing a T shirt and gym

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shorts? Like, I I I I can’t see myself doing that. Right? So Right. To

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your point, like, that’s how the ridiculousness of it happens, Where I I

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gotta I gotta try to find a happy medium where I can’t show up to

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work in gym shorts and a t shirt, but I also don’t wanna be in

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suit because I don’t want the upper level people thinking that I’m brownnosing

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or kissing rear end or whatever. You know what I mean? Well but But that

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becomes, like, that self perpetuating thing that he’s talking about. Right? Definitely.

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So I, as the CEO, If I’m

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coming in in gym shorts and a t shirt, right, I’m

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setting the tone. Now the tone is set.

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Now I’m I’m expecting people to

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be serious in their roles, but I’m in gene I

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mean, I mean, I’ll just go over it. Jean Jean. I’m in

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jorts. I’m in no. I’m in jorts. I’m in jean shorts.

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And Crocs of all things. What the hell? Crocs.

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It looked like what’s his name from, oh, what was that

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HBO show with the with the comedian who played

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the the guy with the mullet? Oh, it’ll come to me in a minute.

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It’ll come to me in a minute.

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We thought he was, like, you and he was an ex baseball player. I remember

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it anyway. It doesn’t matter. But but to your point, like, the CEO now The

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CEO now. Back back then, you’re talking about a CEO back then trying to set

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the tone. The CEO now is saying, look what success looks like. When you’re

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successful, you can dress like this. Okay. But you’re not gonna get any serious

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right. But you’re not gonna get any but then you want me to think seriously

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about solving your problem. Right. Right. Do you want me to deliver, like,

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PhD level suit and tie thinking to your

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jorts and your your your

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Whatever you’ve got going on on the back of your head that’s short in the

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back and long in the front or long in the back, short in the front

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or party in the back and series of the front or whatever the heck it

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is. Like, where where Orwell or Orwell was

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was a little bit correct in how lang not a little bit. He was a

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lot correct in how language and action to create this

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self perpetuating cycle, but then the demands and the expectations that

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are then placed upon people don’t match that. And now, I mean, there’s

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and particularly in a remote environment where if you’re working

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remotely, like and we saw this during 2020, during

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during the height of the lockdowns. Like, how many people were at

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home, and we haven’t talked about this on the podcast ever at all, but we

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might as well talk about it right now. How many people at home We’re pantsless

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on sales calls. For sure. I’m wearing pants right now

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just so everybody knows who’s watching the video. Okay. So yeah. Well,

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like, I believe in pants. Like like like like, if

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I wanna be taken seriously, I’ve gotta show up to

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pants on in pants on a Zoom call. Well,

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and and I think so I again, I don’t I I agree with you to

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To a pretty heavy degree, but, like, for me, the mentality

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was I still felt like I had to get up and get dressed in the

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morning in order to start my day. I couldn’t just come

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down in my pajama pants or like, to me, I wasn’t

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mentally ready for work unless I was ready for work. So I

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had I never lost the routine of getting up, get

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showered, get shaved, get ready, get dressed as I’m getting normally dressed,

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and then go down and go to work. Like, I But in fairness,

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like, sales and marketing professionals have been working remote for 20 years. Like, this is

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not this was not new for us. Right? Like, this was new to the it

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was new to the rest of the world, but it wasn’t new for us. Like,

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so for we it was a little bit different, but but I do I I

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I still go back to the the essay. I still think he’s right. Like, I

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I think it it it it gets us into these It gets us into

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these, like, these tug of wars of

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expectation and normalcy, right, like of what we expect and what we find

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as normal. Because What we find is normal and what we expect are sometimes

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very 2 very different things. Well, he’s about to address that. So

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back to the essay for just a moment. He says the point is that the

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process is reversible, so he thinks that all this is reversible. We could we could

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rescue this. Right? Remember, he’s writing in 1945. You know, again, if he were

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around now, I don’t know that he would think the process is reversible. I would

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love George Orwell today. Like, I I would love to see him.

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Not not Not in his nineties or a hundreds or whatever. I’m not him as

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him. So I’m saying, like, the just take him out of 1945 at the same

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age and Put I’d love to see him our age, like, right now. At, like,

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40 just walking around with all of this.

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Fascinating. Modern English, especially written

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English back to the essay, modern English, especially written English is full of

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bad habits. Which spread by imitation and which can be

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avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. So if you’re willing to

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put forth the effort and think a little bit, you can avoid some of these

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habits in your language. If one gets rid of these habits, one

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can think more clearly, which by the way, I’m a big fan of. And to

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think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration.

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I did not highlight that, but I’m going to highlight it now. I’m

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gonna watch my process happen. Usually folks I go through, I highlight things

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that I’m going to read And somehow I missed that.

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And then usually, I will read it again in my own mind, but

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now I will read it again out loud because

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This is a very, very important point.

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If one gets rid of these habits, one can think more clearly, and to think

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clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration.

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If we want political regeneration in our country, which almost everybody says they

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do, and we’re not a political podcast, but we do wade sometimes

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into political waters because it’s just the nature of, you know, the things that we

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cover. And of course, Orwell was a political writer. I already mentioned 1984

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and Animal Farm, and he cut his eye teeth on reporting on

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communism mean, on fascism when those words actually meant something.

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Political political Speech was very important to

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him, and the and the freedom to speak politically, particularly in

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England in his time, was very, very important to him. I think

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it’s even more critical now.

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I will come back to this presently, back to the essay. I will come back

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to this presently, and I hope that By the time the meaning

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of what I have said here will become clearer. Meanwhile, here are 5

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specimens of English language as is now habitually

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written. These 5 passages have not been picked out because they are especially

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bad. I could have quoted far worse if I had chosen, but because they illustrate

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Various of the mental vices from which we now suffer.

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They are a little below the average, but are fairly representative samples. I number

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them so I could refer back to them when necessary. Now, if you go pick

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up this essay, you could read those 5. I’m going to I’m going to

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skip them reading the samples because they are one of them is incredibly

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convoluted, but I will tell you the sources. So

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One is from an essay written by a professor named Harold

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Lasky. Another is, written by a

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professor, Lancelot Lancelot Hogben in a a

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magazine called Intercolossal, which is kind of amazing. I love that last name,

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Hogben. And then there was an essay that he selected, a

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piece from On Psychology and Politics that was written in New

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York. Then he threw in, much to my surprise,

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the language of a communist pamphlet, which

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add which add the term petite

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bourgeois in it,

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which I love. That makes me giggle.

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And letter and then then a letter that was written to the New York

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Tribune from just some average writer. So those were his 5 his 5

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samples. From each one of those

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samples, he then says, each of these passages has faults of its own, but quite

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apart from avoidable ugliness, Again, I love the way this guy

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writes. Two qualities are common to all of them. The first is

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staleness of imagery. The other is lack of precision. The

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writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says

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something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether

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his words mean anything or not.

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Interesting.

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We now live in a world, speaking of Orwell, bringing Orwell to 2023, I

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think he would be shocked at the drowning at at how much we

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have drowned in words, but words that don’t mean anything.

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Absolutely. And I run a podcast. I mean, I make

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my living from talking. This is what I do.

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And I’m not the only one. I mean, Joe Rogan makes his

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living from talking, Jordan Peterson makes his living from

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talking. Who else?

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Anybody that you could name on on, CNN, MSNBC,

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Fox News, most of what

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you see on social media platforms, Outside

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of the meme culture and the visuals and the videos

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is written, almost all of Google

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search operates through words. I mean, that was Google’s great

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innovation, those 2 guys. Sergei and Larry’s great innovation

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was taking the internet

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from a page based search system to a word

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based search system, which opens up just an infinity

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of options. Nobody else saw that, by the way. Not

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even Yahoo Saw that back at the nineties, and they didn’t even understand how Google

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was going to work, but that’s genius. It is. And one day on the

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podcast, I’ll explain exactly how Google makes its

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money in the keyword auction process, which most people don’t understand how

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that works. But the keyword auction process is absolutely genius, and Google

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was the first one to come up with it, they just applied it to words

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versus other things like cars or land

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or something like that. They didn’t invent it, but

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they perfected it. Oh, they they they got it down to a science. That’s

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the whole that’s the whole, you know, automobile industry with Henry Ford,

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Yeah. Right? Like, he didn’t invent automobiles, but he certainly invented how we make a

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lot of money with them. Yes. He did. So Well or or Hollywood

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with cinema. Like, the French created cinema, and they didn’t know what to do with

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it. Right. Like, oh, we got moving pictures. I don’t know. I don’t know what

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you do with that. New York is like, hold my

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beer. We we got this. We

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we are we are the BASF of We don’t make

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the stuff. We just make the stuff that you make better. That’s what we do.

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So I think Orwell would be Shocked at the

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volume of words we produce, but I

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think he would be more appalled by the lack of meaning behind all those

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words.

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I just thought I just thought I was thinking about the conversation we had before

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we started the podcast about About my profession. Right?

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Like, so I’m I’m a I’m a sales I’m a sales and marketing consultant, and

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we were just talking about how much I hate The way that marketing does

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exactly what you’re talking about. We say they they they put an awful lot

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of words on on on screen or on paper or whatever That don’t say

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anything. And my my claim to fame, I guess,

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is I’m the word hacker. Right? Like, I’m the one that goes in, and and

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by hacker, I’m not talking about, like, Making it easier, better, faster, whatever.

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I’m talking about making it simple. I go and I I hack, literally cut.

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I cut words out of the phrases that people write because

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I, To to Orwell’s point, just get to the point. Like, why are

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you putting all these words in here? Well, and this is why I wanted to

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read Orwell’s essay because I read it, and I thought, oh my gosh. This is

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Tom, Tom would love this because this is what this is what

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Orwell Orwell and George Orwell and Tom Libby separated

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at birth or something more. I would’ve gone along with

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him fabulously.

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Well, he says, As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts

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into the abstract, and no one seems to be able to think of

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terms of speech that are not hackneyed. Rose consist less

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and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning and more and more

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of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen

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house. Mhmm. I list below

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with notes and examples various of the tricks by means of

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which the work of prose construction is habitually

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Dodge. That’s an excellent sentence. Then he goes into all of

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them. I’m going to read off some of them for you. Dying metaphors,

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A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other

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hand, a metaphor which is technically dead, for example, iron

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resolution, has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and could

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generally be used without loss of vividness. This is one area he

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says is overdone. By the way, he also points out that

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many of the metaphors, and he lists a whole bunch of them, like ring the

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changes on, take up the cudgels for, something that I never heard of, Tow the

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line, ride rough shot over, stand shoulder to shoulder with,

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play into the hands of, no ax to grind, wrists to the mill, Fishing in

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Troubled Waters, Achilles’ heel. Some of these we don’t even use

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anymore. Swan song. Like, when’s the last time you heard anybody talk about a swan

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song? Like, nobody Also, he uses that term anymore,

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hotbed, but I’m sure we could fill up our own modern

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era with dying metaphors. And what he says is many of these are used

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without knowledge of their meaning. What is a rift, for instance?

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And incompatible metaphors are frequently

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mixed. A sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is

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saying. David Chase on The Sopranos I’m gonna

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pause there. David Chase on The Sopranos took this idea of

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mixed metaphors and stuck it in the Italian gangsters’

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mouths to make things mean what they didn’t

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mean. And this is the

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province of people who want to be smart or used to be, and this is

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where, Like, David Chase was using it in The Sopranos and his writing of The

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Sopranos. It used to be that people

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mixing metaphors to sound smarter was the province of people who weren’t that smart,

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But these guys were that smart. And so, like, Tony Soprano was an

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intelligent guy, but he just mixed metaphors all the time.

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And a mixed metaphor, there’s a term for it. It’s called malapropisms, and

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I I freaking love that term because it’s it’s

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00:24:30,900 –> 00:24:34,695
it’s literally It’s

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literally malappropriating a metaphor

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and twisting it to get it to do something that you wouldn’t you

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00:24:42,480 –> 00:24:46,179
wouldn’t want it to do. Polywallnuts was notorious for this.

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00:24:51,495 –> 00:24:55,015
Okay. Well, I was thinking more in the lines of, like, so mixed

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00:24:55,015 –> 00:24:58,855
metaphors, it like, the the one of the smart ways to use them is, like,

399
00:24:58,855 –> 00:25:02,660
in code. Right? Like, Sure. When you’re with your friends and you’re a kid

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and you don’t want your parents to know what you’re talking about, sometimes you throw

401
00:25:05,940 –> 00:25:09,525
around a couple of mixed metaphors, and the parents are like, the hell is wrong

402
00:25:09,525 –> 00:25:13,044
with these kids? You know exactly what you guys are talking about. That is a

403
00:25:13,044 –> 00:25:16,725
second level intelligence that we don’t give good enough to to younger

404
00:25:16,725 –> 00:25:20,570
people for. Right? And again, I I I talk about my kids often, and

405
00:25:20,570 –> 00:25:24,409
we’ve talked about our kids often together, but they do the same thing.

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Like, they’ll be they’ll talk about something, You know, that they read in

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about Ukraine or about Israel or whatever the world politics

408
00:25:31,745 –> 00:25:35,090
are going on. But if they don’t want me to know What their side of

409
00:25:35,090 –> 00:25:38,690
the store like, what they what side they land on Mhmm. They’ll they’ll throw in

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00:25:38,690 –> 00:25:41,649
these mixed metaphors, and I’ll be like, you guys aren’t even making any sense. And

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they’re like, yeah. We are. It’s us. Like, yeah. Speak English. Like,

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speak speak speak English. Stop it.

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Then the other one he gives so that’s dying metaphors. The other one he gives

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It’s operators or verbal false limbs. I love that. He

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says these save the trouble of picking out appropriate verbs and nouns, and at the

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same time, pad each sentence with extra syllables, which given an appearance

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of symmetry. By the way, this is what Tom hates. Characteristic

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phrases are render inoperative, militate against, make

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00:26:10,465 –> 00:26:14,200
contact with, be subjected to give rise to, give grounds for, have the

420
00:26:14,200 –> 00:26:17,960
effect of, play a leading part, role in, make itself felt,

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00:26:17,960 –> 00:26:21,735
take effect, exhibit a tendency to, serve the purpose of. The keynote

422
00:26:21,735 –> 00:26:25,415
is the elimination of simple verbs. Instead of being a single word, such as break,

423
00:26:25,415 –> 00:26:29,095
stop, spoil, men, kill, a verb becomes a phrase made up of a noun or

424
00:26:29,095 –> 00:26:32,630
adjective have tacked onto some general purpose verb, such as prove, serve,

425
00:26:32,630 –> 00:26:36,090
form, play, render. In addition, the passive voice

426
00:26:36,390 –> 00:26:40,115
is, wherever possible, use your preference to the active, And noun constructions

427
00:26:40,174 –> 00:26:43,775
are used instead of gerunds. By the way, no one remembers gerunds. The

428
00:26:43,775 –> 00:26:47,294
range of verbs is further cut down by means of the is and deformation, and

429
00:26:47,294 –> 00:26:50,899
the banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the

430
00:26:50,899 –> 00:26:52,039
not un formation.

431
00:26:56,794 –> 00:27:00,335
We’re not doing a whole English lesson here, folks, but it is important to realize

432
00:27:00,635 –> 00:27:03,615
that when you’re looking at bad writing,

433
00:27:04,650 –> 00:27:07,950
so when someone says, for instance, I’ll use this in a sentence,

434
00:27:08,330 –> 00:27:11,150
we are going to make contact with the Ukrainians today.

435
00:27:12,595 –> 00:27:16,355
You’re gonna call them. Just say

436
00:27:16,355 –> 00:27:19,395
we’re gonna make a phone call. Now, by the way, Donald Trump is amazing at

437
00:27:19,395 –> 00:27:23,130
this. This was We’re talking about the phone

438
00:27:23,130 –> 00:27:26,570
call that he had to

439
00:27:26,570 –> 00:27:30,415
the the Ukrainians or something, and he he says, That was the

440
00:27:30,415 –> 00:27:34,174
cleanest phone call ever in the history of phone calls. That’s what that’s

441
00:27:34,174 –> 00:27:37,934
what Orwell is talking about. It’s that kind of padding of the sentence

442
00:27:37,934 –> 00:27:41,750
when you don’t need to pad it, you know? Right. Right. Again, a sign

443
00:27:41,750 –> 00:27:45,590
of foolish thinking. Back to the essay. So

444
00:27:45,590 –> 00:27:49,095
pretentious diction, Words like phenomenon, element, individual

445
00:27:49,315 –> 00:27:52,835
as a noun, objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic

446
00:27:52,835 –> 00:27:56,060
basic. That’s a big one. Primary, promote,

447
00:27:56,280 –> 00:27:59,740
constituent, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize.

448
00:27:59,960 –> 00:28:03,375
That’s another one. I eliminate, utilize everywhere I see it. Eliminate,

449
00:28:03,434 –> 00:28:07,215
liquidate are used to dress up simple statements and give an air of scientific

450
00:28:07,275 –> 00:28:10,815
impartiality to biased judgments. You see that all over the place.

451
00:28:10,950 –> 00:28:13,910
We’re going to utilize x y z or we’re going to,

452
00:28:17,270 –> 00:28:21,015
we’re going to, objectify or we’re going to,

453
00:28:21,635 –> 00:28:24,215
oh, I I love this one. We’re we’re categorically

454
00:28:26,360 –> 00:28:29,960
We’re categorically this or we’re categorically that. No. You’re you’re not. And he makes a

455
00:28:29,960 –> 00:28:33,420
point a little bit further down. Bad writers and especially scientific,

456
00:28:33,925 –> 00:28:37,765
Political and sociological writers are nearly always haunted by the

457
00:28:37,765 –> 00:28:41,605
notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon

458
00:28:41,605 –> 00:28:45,320
ones. Oh, for sure. I yeah.

459
00:28:45,320 –> 00:28:49,000
That I I I I I I can’t say I

460
00:28:49,000 –> 00:28:52,804
hate it. I don’t hate it because there are cases where you should use

461
00:28:52,804 –> 00:28:56,565
them. Like, for example and, like, especially if they’re in

462
00:28:56,565 –> 00:29:00,220
common theme or common language, like quid pro quo. Right? Like, Sure. If you

463
00:29:00,220 –> 00:29:03,580
know what quid pro quo means, it makes sense to use it.

464
00:29:03,580 –> 00:29:07,260
But there are other circumstances where you’re just trying to make you’re just trying to

465
00:29:07,260 –> 00:29:11,025
outsmart the other person. I mean, stop it. Like, it’s almost it almost

466
00:29:11,025 –> 00:29:14,705
approaches being a malproprism where you’re mixing a metaphor almost.

467
00:29:14,705 –> 00:29:18,540
Like, when I hear quid pro quo, I think of Squid Pro Ro.

468
00:29:18,840 –> 00:29:22,600
Like, that’s what I that’s what that’s what I think of, and

469
00:29:22,600 –> 00:29:26,445
that’s a ridiculous malproprism from Futurama. But it’s

470
00:29:26,744 –> 00:29:30,505
mocking this idea that, yeah, yeah, that, you know, you can use this.

471
00:29:30,505 –> 00:29:34,320
And in and in today’s and especially in the corporate world, Quid pro

472
00:29:34,320 –> 00:29:38,000
quo has become something of, like, a negativity. Right? Because they’re

473
00:29:38,000 –> 00:29:41,220
thinking it’s some sort of, like, like, some sort of,

474
00:29:42,160 –> 00:29:46,005
leadership role or or Superior, you know,

475
00:29:46,305 –> 00:29:50,145
person trying to get somebody to do something that’s illegal not illegal, but, like,

476
00:29:50,145 –> 00:29:53,419
out of whack or whatever, and it’s Sexual in nature sometimes and, like, all this

477
00:29:53,419 –> 00:29:56,539
stuff. Yeah. And the reality of it is it just means this for that. It’s

478
00:29:56,539 –> 00:29:59,659
just a way of doing business. I’m gonna do this for you, you do this

479
00:29:59,659 –> 00:30:02,925
for me, Right. And it’s a quid pro quo. It’s like it doesn’t have to

480
00:30:02,925 –> 00:30:06,625
be negative, but we have turned it into this connotation that just

481
00:30:06,684 –> 00:30:10,350
every time you say, oh, like, their relationship, is there a quid

482
00:30:10,429 –> 00:30:13,710
Quid pro quo, and you’re like, no. They just like each other. Like, I don’t

483
00:30:13,710 –> 00:30:17,549
understand. Each other. Just say handshake and move

484
00:30:17,549 –> 00:30:19,090
on. Move on. Exactly.

485
00:30:21,735 –> 00:30:25,275
Or oh, okay. Here’s back to back to the essay, meaningless words.

486
00:30:25,575 –> 00:30:29,175
In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary

487
00:30:29,175 –> 00:30:32,919
criticism, ism, which by the way, I studied our criticism in school. I ran across

488
00:30:32,919 –> 00:30:36,059
this a lot, this next criticism that he’s going to give, and he’s correct.

489
00:30:36,600 –> 00:30:39,975
In certain kinds of writing, particularly in our criticism and literary criticism.

490
00:30:40,995 –> 00:30:44,515
It is normal to come across long passages which are almost

491
00:30:44,515 –> 00:30:47,255
completely lacking in meaning.

492
00:30:48,930 –> 00:30:52,070
That is true. Words like romantic,

493
00:30:52,370 –> 00:30:55,590
plastic values, human dead, sentimental, natural vitality

494
00:30:56,210 –> 00:30:59,505
are used As used in our criticism are strictly

495
00:30:59,565 –> 00:31:03,265
meaningless in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable

496
00:31:03,485 –> 00:31:07,000
object, but are hardly ever expected to do so by the

497
00:31:07,000 –> 00:31:10,679
reader. When 1 critic writes, quote, the outstanding feature

498
00:31:10,679 –> 00:31:14,395
of mister X’s work is its living quality, unquote, while another.

499
00:31:14,775 –> 00:31:18,235
Quote, the immediately striking thing about mister X’s work is his peculiar

500
00:31:18,295 –> 00:31:21,895
deadness unquote. The reader accepts this simple, this as a

501
00:31:21,895 –> 00:31:25,480
simple difference of opinion. If words like black and white were involved,

502
00:31:25,480 –> 00:31:29,320
instead of the jargon words, dead and living, he would see a one set language

503
00:31:29,320 –> 00:31:33,165
is being used in an improper way. Many political words are

504
00:31:33,165 –> 00:31:37,005
similarly abused, and this is a knock for our

505
00:31:37,005 –> 00:31:40,530
time. Here we go. And I I I double underline this. The word

506
00:31:40,530 –> 00:31:44,289
fascism has now no meaning except in so far

507
00:31:44,289 –> 00:31:47,510
as it signifies something not

508
00:31:47,890 –> 00:31:48,390
desirable.

509
00:31:51,545 –> 00:31:55,385
I’m now going to get on my hobby horse. He wouldn’t like

510
00:31:55,385 –> 00:31:59,200
that metaphor either, I would ride it around the corral a little bit of

511
00:31:59,200 –> 00:32:01,380
my show and say this.

512
00:32:03,280 –> 00:32:06,895
Almost nobody knows what the textbook definition of the word ism is.

513
00:32:07,995 –> 00:32:11,355
Almost nobody knows what the textbook word is because it has come to

514
00:32:11,355 –> 00:32:14,655
mean precisely what Orwell predicted in 1945.

515
00:32:15,500 –> 00:32:19,100
It has come to mean anything that is outside of

516
00:32:19,100 –> 00:32:22,640
what I like and what works for me in my political

517
00:32:22,780 –> 00:32:26,235
schema of reality. And by the way,

518
00:32:26,235 –> 00:32:29,535
since now, and by the way, Orwell’s writing this

519
00:32:29,675 –> 00:32:33,355
before feminism, western feminism really kicked off, second wave

520
00:32:33,355 –> 00:32:36,990
feminism really kicked off in the 19, the late ’50s and early ’60s and

521
00:32:36,990 –> 00:32:40,350
then into the ’70s. In the

522
00:32:40,350 –> 00:32:43,765
’60s, feminist Thought and

523
00:32:43,765 –> 00:32:47,525
feminist theory postulated that the personal

524
00:32:47,525 –> 00:32:51,220
was political. Okay, fine. Well, if the personal

525
00:32:51,220 –> 00:32:54,900
is political and I personally don’t like fascism, then everything

526
00:32:54,900 –> 00:32:58,595
that I don’t like is politically fascist. That’s ridiculous,

527
00:32:59,215 –> 00:33:03,055
and that’s where we’re at now. And Orwell was dead bang on. Yeah. That’s

528
00:33:03,055 –> 00:33:05,860
right. I rode my hobby horse around the corral. Tom doesn’t have to say anything.

529
00:33:05,860 –> 00:33:08,419
You see him on the video. He’s making the face. He doesn’t wanna say anything

530
00:33:08,419 –> 00:33:11,480
because he don’t wanna get in trouble. I will get in trouble. It’s my show.

531
00:33:11,539 –> 00:33:14,805
Look. You if you don’t know what the word means, stop using it.

532
00:33:15,765 –> 00:33:18,925
For sure. Stop using it. Just like the word by the way, I’ll go on

533
00:33:18,925 –> 00:33:22,645
the other side. Communist. You don’t know what the word communist means. They

534
00:33:22,645 –> 00:33:26,470
have no clue. And the other hobby horse word is socialist.

535
00:33:26,530 –> 00:33:30,370
You don’t know what that word means either. Well

536
00:33:30,450 –> 00:33:34,085
and I think they get butchered an awful lot by I’m not gonna I’m not

537
00:33:34,085 –> 00:33:37,285
gonna throw the young people under the bus here, but I am because I think

538
00:33:37,285 –> 00:33:40,965
I think they get misused by I think they get misused a lot by the

539
00:33:40,965 –> 00:33:44,620
younger generation, and I’m not talking about Kids, I’m talking about the twenties, right, like

540
00:33:44,620 –> 00:33:48,460
20 somethings that Mhmm. That that think that that this or

541
00:33:48,460 –> 00:33:51,924
that, like socialism or anyway, Communism is evil, and

542
00:33:51,924 –> 00:33:55,684
socialism is wonderful. Like, if you understood the definition

543
00:33:55,684 –> 00:33:58,770
of the 2 of them completely, then you might not be thinking that. I’m I’m

544
00:33:58,770 –> 00:34:01,770
not again, we’re I don’t need we don’t need to get political here, but No.

545
00:34:02,050 –> 00:34:05,809
But to your point, the reality of it is you don’t really know what that

546
00:34:05,809 –> 00:34:09,495
means. Like, you don’t really know what because if you did,

547
00:34:09,545 –> 00:34:13,244
I I I tell people, communism at its

548
00:34:13,244 –> 00:34:16,830
purest form in a small Scale

549
00:34:17,130 –> 00:34:20,330
is probably not the worst thing in the world. No. It works just fine for

550
00:34:20,330 –> 00:34:23,824
a tribe or a family. Past that, it doesn’t work. Right.

551
00:34:23,824 –> 00:34:27,585
Past past that, it doesn’t work. And we’ve had multitude of people try to

552
00:34:27,585 –> 00:34:31,025
make it work on a global scale or a a country wide scale, and it’s

553
00:34:31,025 –> 00:34:34,850
proven time and time again that it doesn’t. But the younger people just

554
00:34:34,850 –> 00:34:38,450
think communist equals evil, and that’s that’s not the case. It’s

555
00:34:38,450 –> 00:34:42,145
not the case. No. It’s really not. No. It’s Well, it’s it’s it’s that it’s

556
00:34:42,225 –> 00:34:45,905
it goes back to what Orwell was talking about in his setup to the beginning

557
00:34:45,905 –> 00:34:49,300
of this, which is if you If you

558
00:34:49,300 –> 00:34:51,639
don’t understand,

559
00:34:54,980 –> 00:34:58,415
that language is a natural growth and not an strument, which we shape for our

560
00:34:58,415 –> 00:35:01,935
own purposes. If you think that language is something that happens naturally versus something you

561
00:35:01,935 –> 00:35:05,075
have control over, you’re just gonna use words,

562
00:35:06,090 –> 00:35:09,850
and you’re not going to actually think about the precision of

563
00:35:09,850 –> 00:35:13,664
language necessary. And I’ll go a step further, I

564
00:35:13,664 –> 00:35:16,305
will say this for leaders. Here’s the tip coming out of this because leaders are

565
00:35:16,305 –> 00:35:19,424
listening to this going, why are we talking about this? Well, here’s the tip. The

566
00:35:19,424 –> 00:35:22,820
more precise you are in your language, the more you get to win if that’s

567
00:35:22,820 –> 00:35:26,020
really what you’re looking for. And I’m not just talking about winning a negotiation. I’m

568
00:35:26,020 –> 00:35:29,380
talking about winning and leading your people, winning and establishing a

569
00:35:29,380 –> 00:35:33,195
vision, winning and role modeling, In all these kinds of ways that

570
00:35:33,195 –> 00:35:36,975
we want leaders to win, whether you’re in jorts or not,

571
00:35:37,275 –> 00:35:39,215
if you have precise language,

572
00:35:41,170 –> 00:35:44,850
You win. Well, and on top of that,

573
00:35:44,850 –> 00:35:48,290
and something that I’ve said on this podcast before, and I I don’t remember what

574
00:35:48,290 –> 00:35:51,575
episode, but it was quite a while back, but There there’s a there’s something to

575
00:35:51,575 –> 00:35:55,015
be said about not reacting right away, not

576
00:35:55,095 –> 00:35:58,830
Right. Like he like Orwell talks about. Something like, if you’re just so

577
00:35:58,830 –> 00:36:02,670
willing to jump in as soon as somebody I’ve said on

578
00:36:02,670 –> 00:36:06,210
this podcast before, I was when I went through through my very first

579
00:36:06,575 –> 00:36:10,415
Management training course. I when I the very first management training course, they said something

580
00:36:10,415 –> 00:36:13,474
to me that I never understood until much later in life, which was

581
00:36:14,559 –> 00:36:18,260
Don’t just do something, stand there. And they it completely

582
00:36:18,400 –> 00:36:21,520
contradicts what you’re told as a kid, right? Like when you’re told, don’t just don’t

583
00:36:21,520 –> 00:36:25,265
just stand there, do something, like You gotta react no, no, no. From a management

584
00:36:25,265 –> 00:36:29,105
and a leadership level, don’t just do something, stand there. And what that allows

585
00:36:29,105 –> 00:36:32,720
you to do is take everything in, formulate your thoughts, Make sure,

586
00:36:32,720 –> 00:36:36,560
to your point, your words are crystal clear coming back. So when you’re

587
00:36:36,560 –> 00:36:40,000
getting feedback from people or you’re listening to, people give

588
00:36:40,000 –> 00:36:43,435
you, You know, counter ideas or whatever the case may be,

589
00:36:44,935 –> 00:36:48,635
just stop. Just sit there and lit like, take it all in. Listen.

590
00:36:49,250 –> 00:36:53,010
To your point, this is here you go, leaders. Like, don’t just do something. Stand

591
00:36:53,010 –> 00:36:56,375
there. Stop reacting to things immediately, and start listening and and

592
00:36:56,455 –> 00:37:00,215
Formulating and getting very concise on on what you’re how you’re going to

593
00:37:00,215 –> 00:37:03,915
respond to those things. Well and Orwell gives practical

594
00:37:03,975 –> 00:37:07,420
advice for how to write even in this. And so he says a little bit

595
00:37:07,420 –> 00:37:10,700
later on in the essay, which we’ll pick up here, people who write in this

596
00:37:10,700 –> 00:37:14,484
manner usually have a general emotional meaning, But they dislike

597
00:37:14,484 –> 00:37:18,105
one thing and want to express solidarity with another, which is fine,

598
00:37:18,325 –> 00:37:21,704
but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying.

599
00:37:22,289 –> 00:37:25,970
So he he’s critiquing, people in this

600
00:37:25,970 –> 00:37:27,910
section. He’s he’s critiquing people,

601
00:37:29,329 –> 00:37:32,795
utilizing words in ways to create images that they

602
00:37:32,795 –> 00:37:36,555
don’t understand, basically. He says and then he writes in

603
00:37:36,555 –> 00:37:40,150
opposition to this, a scrupulous writer In every

604
00:37:40,150 –> 00:37:43,930
sentence that he writes, we’ll ask himself at least 4 questions.

605
00:37:44,309 –> 00:37:48,155
Thus, what am I trying to say? This is, by the way, this

606
00:37:48,155 –> 00:37:51,915
goes out to Tom Libby. This is the Tom Libby editing, suite right here of

607
00:37:51,915 –> 00:37:54,815
questions, 4 of them. What am I trying to say?

608
00:37:55,515 –> 00:37:59,020
What words will express it? What image or

609
00:37:59,020 –> 00:38:02,780
idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough

610
00:38:02,780 –> 00:38:06,305
to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself 2

611
00:38:06,305 –> 00:38:09,985
more. Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything

612
00:38:09,985 –> 00:38:12,085
that is avoidably ugly?

613
00:38:14,660 –> 00:38:15,240
Love it.

614
00:38:18,339 –> 00:38:22,095
I got got nothing else to say. I just think that everybody should copy.

615
00:38:22,175 –> 00:38:24,974
Everybody should cut and paste that and put it right on their computer desk, on

616
00:38:24,974 –> 00:38:28,815
a sticky note, right on their screen. So every time they try to write, just

617
00:38:28,815 –> 00:38:32,080
look at it. Well and I would I would even I would even assert would

618
00:38:32,080 –> 00:38:35,060
assert 1 more, make it 6. I’ll make I’ll assert 1 more.

619
00:38:35,920 –> 00:38:39,575
Does this thing need to be written by me? Even better.

620
00:38:39,575 –> 00:38:43,335
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Because the the the I I said this with another guest,

621
00:38:43,655 –> 00:38:47,280
back in episode 51 when we were talking about politeness in the zone

622
00:38:47,280 –> 00:38:51,040
to Toby’s The Way of the Samurai. And, we were we

623
00:38:51,040 –> 00:38:54,640
were discussing, with my guest on that show, on that

624
00:38:54,640 –> 00:38:58,395
episode, the nature of polite communication and how

625
00:38:58,395 –> 00:39:01,455
we have had a decline in politeness in our culture overall,

626
00:39:02,235 –> 00:39:05,720
and we mistake rudeness for

627
00:39:05,720 –> 00:39:09,480
transparency and truth, when in reality, rudeness is just

628
00:39:09,480 –> 00:39:13,295
rudeness. Right? And we’ve we’ve

629
00:39:13,295 –> 00:39:17,055
negated that because we are looking for people to express their

630
00:39:17,055 –> 00:39:20,870
authentic selves. Well, Natoby would say

631
00:39:20,870 –> 00:39:24,710
being authentic includes being polite because rudeness is,

632
00:39:24,950 –> 00:39:28,575
it’s a cudgel rather than a sword. It does

633
00:39:28,575 –> 00:39:32,195
something different. Right? I think Orwell would agree with that by the way. But

634
00:39:33,615 –> 00:39:37,109
the The idea of, does this have to be

635
00:39:37,109 –> 00:39:40,869
said by me even before we go into those other things,

636
00:39:40,869 –> 00:39:44,134
those other elements of writing, which, by the way, I would agree Is can does

637
00:39:44,134 –> 00:39:47,974
this have clear idiom? What am I trying to say? What words

638
00:39:47,974 –> 00:39:51,690
will express it? You know, that Putting a putting

639
00:39:51,690 –> 00:39:55,530
a break on the hot take culture of self that we

640
00:39:55,530 –> 00:39:59,290
are currently in in our communication culture in the west because of

641
00:39:59,290 –> 00:40:03,025
social media, which values the hot take over the slow burn,

642
00:40:04,365 –> 00:40:07,664
or the measured response is

643
00:40:08,045 –> 00:40:10,830
is is critical, I think, for for writing success,

644
00:40:11,690 –> 00:40:15,370
as a leader and, quite frankly, for for everybody. I mean, I think of how

645
00:40:15,370 –> 00:40:19,175
many times I’ve seen stuff on the Internet, not on the Internet,

646
00:40:19,175 –> 00:40:22,055
on social media. And I’m I’m a huge Twitter guy. I’ve said this before, but

647
00:40:22,055 –> 00:40:25,890
now x, I’m a huge Twitter guy. Loved Twitter. Right? Or or at least loved

648
00:40:25,890 –> 00:40:29,510
Twitter. It was all those things I had to wean myself away from. And

649
00:40:30,930 –> 00:40:34,755
Twitter exists algorithmically to get you

650
00:40:34,755 –> 00:40:38,535
to respond, to react like that. And

651
00:40:38,675 –> 00:40:41,975
once I realized that, I had to train myself out of

652
00:40:42,650 –> 00:40:45,789
The the quick clap back that gets a lot of likes

653
00:40:46,329 –> 00:40:50,010
and move more into a measured response. And it’s interesting. When you give

654
00:40:50,010 –> 00:40:53,845
more measured responses, The algorithm hates you because it doesn’t

655
00:40:53,845 –> 00:40:57,605
generate as much heat as the hot

656
00:40:57,605 –> 00:41:01,290
take does, and particularly a well written algorithmic

657
00:41:01,290 –> 00:41:04,350
response with a lot of words in it, everybody runs away from that.

658
00:41:05,050 –> 00:41:08,005
You want the key to driving people away from your, For your Facebook page, you’re

659
00:41:08,005 –> 00:41:11,305
reducing drama. Just write well really well written

660
00:41:11,685 –> 00:41:13,065
responses to things,

661
00:41:15,910 –> 00:41:19,750
because no one’s looking for that. Nobody wants

662
00:41:19,750 –> 00:41:23,590
that. Nobody wants that. One other point from politics in

663
00:41:23,590 –> 00:41:26,975
the English language, and then will we’ll move on to to Thomas DeQuincy.

664
00:41:28,555 –> 00:41:32,155
A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance towards turning

665
00:41:32,155 –> 00:41:35,690
himself into a machine. So here he is talking about how

666
00:41:35,690 –> 00:41:39,370
it’s broadly true, and he mentions this at the beginning, that political

667
00:41:39,370 –> 00:41:43,065
writing is bad writing. He says orthodoxy of whatever

668
00:41:43,065 –> 00:41:46,585
color seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The

669
00:41:46,585 –> 00:41:50,345
political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestos, white papers,

670
00:41:50,345 –> 00:41:53,849
and Speeches of undersecretaries do, of course, vary from party to

671
00:41:53,849 –> 00:41:57,529
party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds

672
00:41:57,529 –> 00:42:01,145
them finds in them a fresh vivid homemade turn of

673
00:42:01,145 –> 00:42:04,825
speech. When one watches some tired hack on the platform

674
00:42:04,825 –> 00:42:06,924
mechanically repeating the familiar phrases,

675
00:42:08,330 –> 00:42:12,010
Bestial Atrocities, Iron Heel, Blood State Tyranny,

676
00:42:12,010 –> 00:42:15,850
Free Peoples of the World, that one’s coming back. Stand Shoulder to Shoulder,

677
00:42:15,850 –> 00:42:19,685
that one’s coming back. One often has a curious feeling that one is not watching

678
00:42:19,685 –> 00:42:23,525
a live human being, but some kind of dummy, a feeling which suddenly

679
00:42:23,525 –> 00:42:27,260
becomes stronger at moments when the light, This was great. When the

680
00:42:27,260 –> 00:42:31,020
light catches the specter the speakers’ spectacles and turns

681
00:42:31,020 –> 00:42:34,480
them into blank discs, which seem to have no eyes behind them.

682
00:42:36,635 –> 00:42:40,395
And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that

683
00:42:40,395 –> 00:42:43,995
kind of phraseology has gone some distance towards turning himself into a

684
00:42:43,995 –> 00:42:47,760
machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx,

685
00:42:47,820 –> 00:42:51,020
but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his

686
00:42:51,020 –> 00:42:54,635
words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is

687
00:42:54,635 –> 00:42:58,475
accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he

688
00:42:58,475 –> 00:43:02,180
is saying as 1 as is 1 As is

689
00:43:02,880 –> 00:43:06,720
sorry. As one is when one utters the responses in

690
00:43:06,720 –> 00:43:10,465
a church. And this reduced state of consciousness, If

691
00:43:10,465 –> 00:43:14,065
not indispensable, is it any rate favorable to

692
00:43:14,065 –> 00:43:15,445
political conformity?

693
00:43:18,359 –> 00:43:21,339
It’s also favorable to organizational

694
00:43:21,800 –> 00:43:25,005
conformity. I think of how many times Tim Cook’s

695
00:43:25,404 –> 00:43:29,164
Spectacles have turned into mirror glasses when he speaks at the New York Stock Exchange

696
00:43:29,565 –> 00:43:32,065
Yeah. Or at an Apple event.

697
00:43:33,650 –> 00:43:37,330
I don’t think it’s an accident that Steve Jobs, his eyes, you could

698
00:43:37,330 –> 00:43:40,690
always see them at the Apple events. Tim Cooks, you can’t see

699
00:43:40,690 –> 00:43:44,515
him. The light catches up just right. Yeah. Half of

700
00:43:44,515 –> 00:43:48,355
that the reading of that last part, I was I was actually thinking more

701
00:43:48,355 –> 00:43:51,950
in the lines of, like, Have you ever noticed, like, somebody who’s

702
00:43:51,950 –> 00:43:55,470
uses ChatGPT to write a blog, there’s an awful lot of words that say

703
00:43:55,470 –> 00:43:59,295
nothing, and you’re supposed to be a thought leader. You’re trying to represent yourself

704
00:43:59,295 –> 00:44:03,134
as a thought leader in your industry. You use chat gpt to write a, like,

705
00:44:03,134 –> 00:44:06,734
a that that’s what it reminded me of, the

706
00:44:06,734 –> 00:44:09,970
last Part of the you were right you were reading. Well and if you look

707
00:44:09,970 –> 00:44:13,810
at their videos on TikTok, you can’t really you probably can’t really see their

708
00:44:13,810 –> 00:44:17,225
eyes either. Alright. No. That’s terrible. I’m sure you can. I’m sure it’s fine. They’re

709
00:44:17,225 –> 00:44:20,905
thought leaders. Yeah. Their their thoughts a little little

710
00:44:20,905 –> 00:44:24,745
shaky. In our time, back to the back to the essay, and I’ll close

711
00:44:24,745 –> 00:44:28,520
here On this one, in our time, political speech and

712
00:44:28,520 –> 00:44:31,260
writing are largely the the defense of the indefensible,

713
00:44:32,945 –> 00:44:36,705
such as in 1945 as is now. Things

714
00:44:36,705 –> 00:44:40,550
like the continuation of British rule in India, The Russian purges

715
00:44:40,550 –> 00:44:44,010
and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan

716
00:44:44,550 –> 00:44:48,285
can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which

717
00:44:48,285 –> 00:44:52,045
are too brutal for most people to face and which do not

718
00:44:52,045 –> 00:44:55,859
square with the professed aims of political parties. Thus,

719
00:44:55,859 –> 00:44:59,619
political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question

720
00:44:59,619 –> 00:45:03,320
begging, and sheer cloudy vagueness.

721
00:45:07,225 –> 00:45:11,065
George Orwell for the win. Well, yeah. I mean, if you

722
00:45:11,065 –> 00:45:14,710
ever listen to a political ad, Again, they say an awful lot of words without

723
00:45:14,710 –> 00:45:18,470
saying much of anything. I mean, I I had to go look online.

724
00:45:18,470 –> 00:45:22,035
There was 1 I’m not gonna Say who it is. This it’s irrelevant. But there

725
00:45:22,035 –> 00:45:25,575
was a political ad I saw, and I had to go look up this person’s

726
00:45:25,715 –> 00:45:29,500
platform because the The ad didn’t tell me what they stood for. Like, the

727
00:45:29,500 –> 00:45:33,020
ad didn’t tell me anything. I had no idea what this person was saying that

728
00:45:33,020 –> 00:45:36,865
they were, like so I started reading on their, Like, on their political page

729
00:45:36,865 –> 00:45:39,985
and Mhmm. What they stood for and what they how where they stand on certain

730
00:45:39,985 –> 00:45:43,700
issues. And I was like, oh, Yeah. I couldn’t vote

731
00:45:43,700 –> 00:45:47,300
for this person. Like Oh, no. We’re all Looking at the

732
00:45:47,300 –> 00:45:50,945
ad, I was like, oh, they seem pretty cool. Like, I I, you know. We’ll

733
00:45:50,945 –> 00:45:53,745
just wait till all of their political positions are written by Chad g p t

734
00:45:53,745 –> 00:45:57,525
five. You’re gonna love that. It’s gonna be great. No, I’m not.

735
00:45:58,400 –> 00:46:02,080
Nobody’s gonna love that. Nobody’s gonna love it at all. It’s gonna be

736
00:46:02,080 –> 00:46:05,460
terrible. And Orwell hits on something

737
00:46:06,335 –> 00:46:10,175
that I think is human. It’s the

738
00:46:10,175 –> 00:46:13,695
human tendency, and I don’t think it’s just in the English language. I think we

739
00:46:13,695 –> 00:46:17,490
could apply this anywhere. Like, if you wrote politics and, the

740
00:46:17,490 –> 00:46:21,170
Russian language or politics and the Hindu language

741
00:46:21,170 –> 00:46:24,805
or politics and the Spanish language. I

742
00:46:24,805 –> 00:46:28,405
think you would probably, with some with

743
00:46:28,405 –> 00:46:32,085
some minor differences based on culture because language

744
00:46:32,085 –> 00:46:35,319
also drives culture, with minor differences in that.

745
00:46:36,099 –> 00:46:39,779
I think you’d run across the same thing. I think there’s the human tendency to

746
00:46:39,779 –> 00:46:43,495
hide inside of language, the human tendency to look for, and

747
00:46:43,495 –> 00:46:47,175
we’re gonna we’re gonna read from, Thomas De Quincey here in a minute,

748
00:46:47,175 –> 00:46:49,915
but the the human tendency to look for power

749
00:46:50,920 –> 00:46:54,520
Inside of words is is is almost yeah. Not

750
00:46:54,520 –> 00:46:58,200
almost. It is a universal. You know, you get more

751
00:46:58,200 –> 00:47:02,045
power out of words than you do, that you do out of images. One other

752
00:47:02,045 –> 00:47:04,945
thought. So

753
00:47:06,880 –> 00:47:10,720
Orwell’s writing in 1945 or so, right around there, right around the end of

754
00:47:10,720 –> 00:47:14,480
World War 2. I think that’s that’s about the time the

755
00:47:14,480 –> 00:47:18,065
Politics of the English Language was published, or at least that’s when it’s

756
00:47:18,065 –> 00:47:21,845
copyrighted. And one of the points that he makes

757
00:47:22,065 –> 00:47:25,760
is that, In our age, there is no such thing as keeping

758
00:47:25,760 –> 00:47:29,440
out of politics. All issues are political issues. Remember I said the

759
00:47:29,440 –> 00:47:33,265
personal is political, and politics Self is a mass of lies,

760
00:47:33,405 –> 00:47:35,665
evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.

761
00:47:38,125 –> 00:47:41,710
I mean, that’s pretty much the definition. Right? That is that’s the whole thing. Yeah.

762
00:47:41,869 –> 00:47:45,490
Yeah. That’s the definite that that’s that’s just described

763
00:47:45,550 –> 00:47:48,290
every politician you’ve ever met in your in your life.

764
00:47:49,715 –> 00:47:52,055
So okay. So here’s the challenge question then.

765
00:47:54,035 –> 00:47:57,875
Should leaders in small and medium sized business entities

766
00:47:58,035 –> 00:48:01,849
I’m not talking about the the places where you get paid $50,000 a month and

767
00:48:01,849 –> 00:48:05,609
you’re, like, running a small country. The IBMs and the AT and

768
00:48:05,609 –> 00:48:07,230
Ts of the world forget those folks.

769
00:48:09,325 –> 00:48:13,165
One of the challenges in small and medium sized businesses, particularly in, like, the

770
00:48:13,165 –> 00:48:16,145
the half a1000000 to $50,000,000 range,

771
00:48:17,320 –> 00:48:21,020
The the challenge in those kinds of business organizations is,

772
00:48:21,080 –> 00:48:24,300
for leaders in particular, is how political to be,

773
00:48:24,825 –> 00:48:28,285
particularly now. Right? And

774
00:48:28,425 –> 00:48:32,105
if those leaders are are uninterested or don’t have

775
00:48:32,105 –> 00:48:35,820
the stomach, right, to engage in a process

776
00:48:36,040 –> 00:48:39,820
with language that fundamentally is going to be about

777
00:48:40,040 –> 00:48:43,400
lies of Asians, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. They don’t wanna engage in

778
00:48:43,400 –> 00:48:46,825
that. What’s their get out of jail free card in

779
00:48:46,825 –> 00:48:50,665
2023 when we’re way down the road of

780
00:48:50,665 –> 00:48:54,470
politics being everywhere? We’re way down that road, more so than we we were

781
00:48:54,470 –> 00:48:55,210
in 1945.

782
00:48:59,430 –> 00:49:03,055
Because I think that’s a real leadership challenge. If I don’t wanna be

783
00:49:03,055 –> 00:49:06,494
political, if I want to speak

784
00:49:06,494 –> 00:49:09,795
truth for my local

785
00:49:09,855 –> 00:49:13,059
community or for my region, or for my state,

786
00:49:14,880 –> 00:49:18,480
and I’m not gonna be publicly traded. I don’t have ambitions of

787
00:49:18,480 –> 00:49:21,815
being IBM or AT and T or Apple or any of these big companies that

788
00:49:21,815 –> 00:49:24,935
we talk about, they always write the case studies about in Harvard Business Review. If

789
00:49:24,935 –> 00:49:28,640
I don’t have any interest in any of that, yet I

790
00:49:28,640 –> 00:49:32,340
live in an environment where one wrong interaction

791
00:49:32,640 –> 00:49:36,455
on social media destroys everything or can

792
00:49:36,455 –> 00:49:40,295
or has the capacity to do so. How do I

793
00:49:40,295 –> 00:49:43,815
engage with with language? How do I

794
00:49:43,815 –> 00:49:45,115
engage with thought?

795
00:49:48,539 –> 00:49:52,059
You know, that’s that’s an interesting question, actually. That’s that’s a

796
00:49:52,619 –> 00:49:56,214
I I don’t think there’s a simple answer for that, Ehsan, honestly, I think there

797
00:49:56,214 –> 00:49:59,835
is either. Yeah. I think I think that question because,

798
00:50:00,454 –> 00:50:04,150
you know, one of the things, you know, we we we grew up We grew

799
00:50:04,150 –> 00:50:06,790
up listening to our our parents say, you know, there are 3 things you never

800
00:50:06,790 –> 00:50:10,630
talk about, you know, with friends, family, or or at work or whatever. Right? It’s

801
00:50:10,630 –> 00:50:14,455
sex, religion, politics. Like, you don’t talk about that stuff, And in today’s day and

802
00:50:14,455 –> 00:50:18,295
age, there’s no way you’re gonna avoid talking about 1,

803
00:50:18,295 –> 00:50:22,099
if not all of those 3 things, right? But I think

804
00:50:22,099 –> 00:50:24,920
there’s something to be said about about a leader

805
00:50:25,700 –> 00:50:29,400
who sticks to factual information and simplicity

806
00:50:29,460 –> 00:50:33,135
in response Versus somebody that gets kinda dragged through the mud or

807
00:50:33,135 –> 00:50:36,974
dragged into the weeds of of a fight. Right? So, and and

808
00:50:36,974 –> 00:50:40,750
I I think there are ways, Like, I I think that’s another

809
00:50:40,750 –> 00:50:44,510
podcast, honestly, because I think that that could be a podcast all by itself, right,

810
00:50:44,510 –> 00:50:48,065
where we’re talking about actual Tactics and and and and

811
00:50:48,065 –> 00:50:51,905
strategies behind not getting not allowing yourself to get dragged into these

812
00:50:51,905 –> 00:50:55,740
types of things because I I I also think there’s, You know,

813
00:50:55,740 –> 00:50:59,100
some compartmentalization that needs to happen and and people need to learn about

814
00:50:59,100 –> 00:51:02,700
how to, like, you know, go to a city hall

815
00:51:02,700 –> 00:51:06,155
meeting and voice their opinion, but not allow that opinion to run their

816
00:51:06,155 –> 00:51:09,915
company if it if it if it’s you know, again,

817
00:51:09,915 –> 00:51:13,375
let’s we’re here in the US. Right? We have Democrat, Republican,

818
00:51:13,515 –> 00:51:17,160
independent Voters, if you have a 100 people in your company

819
00:51:17,160 –> 00:51:21,000
and 30 of them are Democrats, 30 of them are Republican, and 40 of them

820
00:51:21,000 –> 00:51:24,395
are Independent, And you go off and say something about

821
00:51:24,615 –> 00:51:27,255
x topic on a city, at a city,

822
00:51:28,295 –> 00:51:32,010
city hall, like, council meeting or something like that, you’re gonna upset At

823
00:51:32,010 –> 00:51:35,850
least half the apple cart, right? Oh, yeah. Mhmm. Something you say is gonna be

824
00:51:35,850 –> 00:51:39,130
upsetting into one of those, but if you go back to work and and you’re

825
00:51:39,130 –> 00:51:42,875
sayin’, listen, the facts of the matter are this, This is how the, this is

826
00:51:42,875 –> 00:51:46,555
how it impacts our company. You know, I think there’s ways to do

827
00:51:46,555 –> 00:51:49,940
that, but I don’t think it’s as simple as I’m gonna write a I’m gonna

828
00:51:49,940 –> 00:51:53,619
write a statement and call it a day. Right? I don’t think that’s Well well

829
00:51:53,700 –> 00:51:55,720
and we ran into this with

830
00:51:57,380 –> 00:52:01,225
the, uh-huh, Social Unrest

831
00:52:01,285 –> 00:52:05,125
During the Year 2020, during the summer, right,

832
00:52:05,125 –> 00:52:08,450
during the lockdowns. And

833
00:52:21,840 –> 00:52:23,220
relations in America.

834
00:52:25,600 –> 00:52:27,700
Put that everywhere they could,

835
00:52:30,265 –> 00:52:33,865
And it wasn’t just the big boys. Right. It was

836
00:52:33,865 –> 00:52:37,520
all the way down the down the line. And talk about a

837
00:52:37,520 –> 00:52:41,200
subject, by the way, that people said an awful lot of words that meant nothing.

838
00:52:41,200 –> 00:52:45,040
That meant nothing. Correct. Oh my gosh. I I was mortified by half

839
00:52:45,040 –> 00:52:48,734
those statements that Came out, I I didn’t even understand it. It was insane. And

840
00:52:48,734 –> 00:52:52,275
and at a certain point, even I

841
00:52:54,180 –> 00:52:56,200
Have to go I have to say

842
00:52:59,619 –> 00:53:02,680
I have to I have to say I already have to paraphrase,

843
00:53:04,325 –> 00:53:08,165
a very important insight that Michael Jordan once had that you I think

844
00:53:08,165 –> 00:53:09,625
you know what I’m about to say.

845
00:53:12,560 –> 00:53:14,660
Even Republicans buy sneakers.

846
00:53:17,520 –> 00:53:21,345
Yeah. The rioters are gonna buy Nikes, And

847
00:53:21,345 –> 00:53:22,724
so were the cops.

848
00:53:25,265 –> 00:53:28,940
So is your job to pick To write is your

849
00:53:28,940 –> 00:53:32,619
job if you’re Nike no. Forget Nike. If your

850
00:53:32,619 –> 00:53:36,375
job is is your job as a shoemaker In

851
00:53:36,375 –> 00:53:39,115
a local town who’s distributing Nikes,

852
00:53:40,135 –> 00:53:43,195
is your job to put a statement on your website

853
00:53:43,880 –> 00:53:47,720
that says you support 1 or the other, or is your job just

854
00:53:47,720 –> 00:53:51,080
to shell just to sell shoes to both the

855
00:53:51,080 –> 00:53:53,974
rioters and the cops? Right. Exactly.

856
00:53:55,474 –> 00:53:59,315
Kind of what I was saying earlier. Right? Just you can state fact. Right? That

857
00:53:59,315 –> 00:54:03,130
that that’s the way that I was I would answer those questions. So stop

858
00:54:03,130 –> 00:54:06,570
writing about all the fluff and stop writing about something that you may or may

859
00:54:06,650 –> 00:54:10,405
you you may not have. If I’m writing that statement, I

860
00:54:10,405 –> 00:54:14,245
have not lived through what that community lived through, so why am I writing a

861
00:54:14,245 –> 00:54:18,085
statement? I’ll I’m gonna address, like, it shouldn’t be that. Like, it should just be

862
00:54:18,085 –> 00:54:21,220
simply, Well, there’s some point. It’s okay to

863
00:54:22,580 –> 00:54:26,020
again, because we live in the world of the hot take. Right? The impolite hot

864
00:54:26,020 –> 00:54:29,705
take where we are now and this is we we talked about this a little

865
00:54:29,705 –> 00:54:33,545
bit on a on a shorts episode. I did I I we, we recorded recently.

866
00:54:33,545 –> 00:54:37,350
I think it was, number 104, I think. Go

867
00:54:37,350 –> 00:54:41,030
back and listen to it. But it’s this idea, and I’m concerned about

868
00:54:41,030 –> 00:54:44,550
this, where we’ve now had almost 5th no. More than

869
00:54:44,550 –> 00:54:48,295
that. We’re now approaching 20 years of algorithmically driven

870
00:54:48,295 –> 00:54:50,715
behavior in our communication and social media platforms,

871
00:54:52,680 –> 00:54:56,300
and we have now trained our brains over the core collectively

872
00:54:56,440 –> 00:55:00,119
over the course of 20 years to go into hot

873
00:55:00,119 –> 00:55:03,714
take mode, and that doesn’t work outside of a

874
00:55:03,714 –> 00:55:07,555
social media echo chamber. Right. But because we’ve trained our

875
00:55:07,555 –> 00:55:10,640
brain, my mama used to say back in the day, and the neuroscience just back

876
00:55:10,640 –> 00:55:13,460
this up. Your brain only knows what you tell it.

877
00:55:14,799 –> 00:55:16,980
My brain doesn’t know the difference between

878
00:55:18,665 –> 00:55:22,265
My communication, my relationship with my employees if I’m a

879
00:55:22,265 –> 00:55:25,865
leader, and my communication if I’m in a relationship with people on

880
00:55:25,865 –> 00:55:29,330
Reddit, It doesn’t know the difference. It’s just

881
00:55:29,330 –> 00:55:33,170
communicating. I, to Orwell’s point about telling about

882
00:55:33,170 –> 00:55:36,230
about having precise language, I have to tell my brain.

883
00:55:37,315 –> 00:55:40,994
My brain isn’t just operating or it shouldn’t be anyway, operating on

884
00:55:40,994 –> 00:55:44,595
autopilot. And so if I’ve been if I’ve been training myself

885
00:55:44,595 –> 00:55:48,160
algorithmically over the course of time. And now I have

886
00:55:48,160 –> 00:55:51,880
to there’s a a term that black people use called code switch, but it works

887
00:55:51,880 –> 00:55:55,465
here too. If I have to task switch or code switch into

888
00:55:55,465 –> 00:55:58,665
another spot. That’s gonna be a real challenge for me, and I’m gonna have to

889
00:55:58,665 –> 00:56:01,785
think about that. And it’s just gonna be easier for me to put it’s gonna

890
00:56:01,785 –> 00:56:04,185
be easier for me to take my Reddit based behavior and put it on the

891
00:56:04,185 –> 00:56:07,050
front of my business. And by the way, those 100 people who work for me,

892
00:56:07,050 –> 00:56:10,810
those 30 democrats, those 30 republicans, and let’s just make it

893
00:56:10,810 –> 00:56:14,295
easy, those 30 independents, and then, of course, the 10 people who are just like,

894
00:56:14,295 –> 00:56:17,975
I don’t have an opinion. I just wanna, like this is just something I do

895
00:56:17,975 –> 00:56:21,780
in between my hobbies. Why Are You Bothering Me? Because there’s those

896
00:56:21,780 –> 00:56:25,620
people are around. Trust the truth. That’s true. And there’s actually more than 10 of

897
00:56:25,620 –> 00:56:28,984
them, but let’s just keep the ratios right. It’s probably

898
00:56:28,984 –> 00:56:32,125
2020 and 40 of them. It is, actually.

899
00:56:34,345 –> 00:56:38,045
As a leader of a company, as a leader of an organization,

900
00:56:41,490 –> 00:56:43,990
Jin. Is this something I should be struggling with?

901
00:56:48,154 –> 00:56:51,295
Because the because if you if you if you hang on in the online echo

902
00:56:51,835 –> 00:56:55,589
chambers, you’re you’re you’re not a good human You’re not a moral

903
00:56:55,589 –> 00:56:58,869
human being unless you’re struggling with this. Well, I wanna be a moral human being.

904
00:56:58,869 –> 00:57:02,329
I don’t wanna be a moral, so I need to struggle with this. But, like,

905
00:57:02,950 –> 00:57:05,905
your job is to sell shoes or glasses

906
00:57:06,445 –> 00:57:10,285
or headphones or t shirts or deliver

907
00:57:10,285 –> 00:57:14,020
services to people. I think the other, like I said, my 2nd part of

908
00:57:14,020 –> 00:57:17,160
that, which is like compartmentalization, right, like, so to your point,

909
00:57:19,115 –> 00:57:22,875
You are not your company, right, so your company’s job is to sell shoes.

910
00:57:22,875 –> 00:57:26,475
You as a human being, as an individual, go right ahead and struggle with

911
00:57:26,475 –> 00:57:30,110
it. That’s perfectly okay, As long as that struggle does

912
00:57:30,110 –> 00:57:33,950
not leak over into your business, because

913
00:57:33,950 –> 00:57:37,710
that’s really, the business shouldn’t struggle with it, to your point, the business is selling

914
00:57:37,710 –> 00:57:41,455
shoes. So shoes to whoever the hell wants to buy them, but as a as

915
00:57:41,455 –> 00:57:44,895
a human being, I can then I can detach myself from the

916
00:57:44,895 –> 00:57:48,630
company and still struggle with The moral compass of it, like, of

917
00:57:48,630 –> 00:57:51,830
of how of how I’m supposed to react or what it was supposed to do

918
00:57:51,830 –> 00:57:55,595
here. Well, in that that sort of And, again, this is a whole

919
00:57:55,595 –> 00:57:58,555
podcast episode just by itself, so I wanna I wanna reel this in a little

920
00:57:58,555 –> 00:58:01,194
bit. And, by the way, this is something we could discuss next year on the

921
00:58:01,194 –> 00:58:04,910
podcast because next year is 2024. Big election year. Election

922
00:58:04,910 –> 00:58:07,410
year in America. Election year in America. It’s gonna be great.

923
00:58:08,350 –> 00:58:12,035
Marty. I’m already dreading it. Are you kidding me? It’s

924
00:58:12,035 –> 00:58:15,154
gonna be great for it’s gonna be great for the podcast, Tom. Oh, alright. Yeah.

925
00:58:15,154 –> 00:58:18,694
Yeah. High high ratings. High ratings. Lot of downloads.

926
00:58:21,220 –> 00:58:24,420
Fiery hot takes. Don’t you know? We’re in it for the hot takes. Hot takes.

927
00:58:24,420 –> 00:58:25,560
That’s right. I

928
00:58:27,940 –> 00:58:31,785
think the the the challenge for people is, And and Orwell

929
00:58:31,845 –> 00:58:35,365
was writing when the was

930
00:58:35,365 –> 00:58:38,025
writing during a time when the full

931
00:58:41,150 –> 00:58:44,990
comprehension of what the Germans did to the Jews in

932
00:58:44,990 –> 00:58:48,414
World War 2 hadn’t quite all landed yet. Like, it was

933
00:58:48,414 –> 00:58:52,174
starting I mean, Nuremberg was starting to happen. The judgments at

934
00:58:52,174 –> 00:58:55,855
Nuremberg were starting to occur. Like, we were starting they were starting to get an

935
00:58:55,855 –> 00:58:59,050
idea, particularly in Europe, of exactly just how

936
00:58:59,349 –> 00:59:03,130
far the third Reich had pushed

937
00:59:03,750 –> 00:59:07,295
the the argument of European

938
00:59:07,295 –> 00:59:10,734
programs that have been happening for a millennia in Europe.

939
00:59:10,734 –> 00:59:14,230
Right? And and and and

940
00:59:14,230 –> 00:59:17,050
Orwell’s writing at the beginning of that understanding,

941
00:59:18,070 –> 00:59:21,510
he didn’t live, obviously, to see the end of

942
00:59:21,510 –> 00:59:25,275
communism. But even during his time, there

943
00:59:25,275 –> 00:59:29,115
were rumors that Stalin was putting together

944
00:59:29,115 –> 00:59:32,720
the Gulag Archipelago, things Alexander Solzhenitsyn was writing about the move

945
00:59:32,720 –> 00:59:36,020
read on this podcast and Vaclav Havel a lot later,

946
00:59:37,680 –> 00:59:41,445
and that this this idea of an iron curtain coming down across Europe,

947
00:59:41,685 –> 00:59:45,125
That was about 10 years out, but the rumors were

948
00:59:45,125 –> 00:59:48,840
starting to come out that maybe Walter Littmann, who was writing for the for the,

949
00:59:48,920 –> 00:59:52,520
I believe the New York Times back in the day might have gilded the lily

950
00:59:52,520 –> 00:59:56,335
a little bit when he went to Russia. Right? It might not might not have

951
00:59:56,335 –> 01:00:00,015
been exactly what it is that that Stalin was

952
01:00:00,015 –> 01:00:03,795
portraying it to be. And, of course, Orwell didn’t survive to see China’s

953
01:00:03,855 –> 01:00:07,289
turn and the great famine and the cultural revolution and all of

954
01:00:07,289 –> 01:00:10,970
that, which he would have been shocked by all of that. He was

955
01:00:10,970 –> 01:00:14,035
right at the beginning of all that, and so I think For us, we live

956
01:00:14,035 –> 01:00:17,635
in the backwash of all of that, all that culture and all that

957
01:00:17,635 –> 01:00:21,380
history. The the the The idea that we

958
01:00:21,380 –> 01:00:24,040
always have to be on guard, we always have to be vigilant against,

959
01:00:25,059 –> 01:00:28,815
you know now I’m gonna use the word. Also do vigilant

960
01:00:28,875 –> 01:00:32,635
against fascism that’s arising in either our language. Right? But

961
01:00:32,635 –> 01:00:36,235
but it’s become so mean the vigilance has become so meaningless, I

962
01:00:36,235 –> 01:00:40,010
think, particularly when the political

963
01:00:40,010 –> 01:00:43,630
law becomes personal. I I I I think we’ve we’ve bled over realms.

964
01:00:43,690 –> 01:00:47,365
And and to your point, you used the term compartmentalization. I would use the word

965
01:00:47,365 –> 01:00:51,125
boundaries. We we’ve we’ve allowed boundaries to dissolve,

966
01:00:51,125 –> 01:00:54,244
and now everything’s sort of mushed to the middle, and that’s that’s not a good

967
01:00:54,244 –> 01:00:57,750
move for leaders. Well, I think, like, to your point, I think

968
01:00:58,289 –> 01:01:01,890
as I I think those 2 things are are not mutually

969
01:01:01,890 –> 01:01:05,715
exclusive. I think that the compartmentalization of leaders is

970
01:01:05,715 –> 01:01:09,395
starting to fade because the boundaries of the

971
01:01:09,395 –> 01:01:12,930
people that we’re leading are fading. Right. Like,

972
01:01:12,930 –> 01:01:16,690
that’s it’s like if they’re not mutually exclusive, they’re they’re act they’re

973
01:01:16,690 –> 01:01:20,130
action reaction type things. Like, we’re we’re trying to not

974
01:01:20,130 –> 01:01:23,705
compartmentalize as much because our, our subordinates

975
01:01:23,765 –> 01:01:27,465
or the people that we’re supposedly leading are starting to blur those lines,

976
01:01:27,525 –> 01:01:30,730
so now we feel like we have to blur those lines with them order to

977
01:01:30,730 –> 01:01:34,490
be an effective leader. Now, I don’t I don’t believe that. I

978
01:01:34,490 –> 01:01:38,250
don’t buy into that. I think that I think that the more the more they

979
01:01:38,250 –> 01:01:41,835
blur the lines, the more We should be putting up the compartmentalization

980
01:01:42,295 –> 01:01:46,135
part of it. I actually think the opposite effect should be happening, and it doesn’t

981
01:01:46,135 –> 01:01:49,776
always. It doesn’t always. Yeah. That’s a that’s a that’s a tough one,

982
01:01:49,776 –> 01:01:53,280
and that’s why or or will kinda trigger that over in my head as I’ve

983
01:01:53,280 –> 01:01:56,400
been as I’ve been thinking about it as we’ve been as we’ve been reading it.

984
01:01:56,400 –> 01:02:00,125
Alright. We’re gonna turn the corner here. We’re gonna talk about literature of knowledge

985
01:02:00,125 –> 01:02:03,105
and literature of power. This is Thomas DeQuincy.

986
01:02:04,125 –> 01:02:07,820
Interesting fact about Thomas DeQuincy, Thomas Penson

987
01:02:07,820 –> 01:02:11,040
De Quincey, who was born in August of 17/85

988
01:02:11,900 –> 01:02:15,675
and died in December of 18/59, so he lived He had

989
01:02:15,675 –> 01:02:19,275
a he had a good long good long life. Was an English writer, this is

990
01:02:19,275 –> 01:02:22,815
according to his speaking of words, according to his Wikipedia article,

991
01:02:24,099 –> 01:02:27,460
which Orwell would love his own Wikipedia article, was an English

992
01:02:27,460 –> 01:02:30,200
writer, an essayist, and a literary critic.

993
01:02:31,465 –> 01:02:34,925
De Quincey was best known for his, love this title, folks,

994
01:02:35,145 –> 01:02:38,525
Confessions of an English Opium Eater, written in 18/21.

995
01:02:39,960 –> 01:02:43,260
Many scholars suggested in publishing this work, De Quincey

996
01:02:43,320 –> 01:02:47,155
inaugurated the tradition of addiction literature in the West. By the way, in

997
01:02:47,155 –> 01:02:50,995
case you don’t know what addiction literature is, think of the movies Trainspotting and Requiem

998
01:02:50,995 –> 01:02:54,295
for a Dream or any drug movie

999
01:02:54,755 –> 01:02:58,510
or drug film, that you’ve ever seen in

1000
01:02:58,670 –> 01:03:00,210
or heard of in your life.

1001
01:03:02,510 –> 01:03:05,835
This guy was the grandfather apparently of all of that. So Would would would the

1002
01:03:05,835 –> 01:03:09,535
movie limitless fall into that category? I would think so.

1003
01:03:09,835 –> 01:03:13,195
Okay. Just making sure. Just, I mean, you

1004
01:03:13,195 –> 01:03:16,970
know. Kinda like that movie. That’s funny. Well, but but right. I mean, it

1005
01:03:16,970 –> 01:03:19,869
does it does offer a panacea. I will grant you that.

1006
01:03:21,775 –> 01:03:25,615
Alright. So, reading from DeQuincy’s essay here, literature of

1007
01:03:25,615 –> 01:03:28,515
knowledge, literature of power and literature of power.

1008
01:03:31,990 –> 01:03:35,589
And by the way, the sentences here are a little bit what Orwell was

1009
01:03:35,589 –> 01:03:39,115
railing against just as a warning. In that great

1010
01:03:39,115 –> 01:03:42,875
social organ, which collectively we call literature, there may be distinguished

1011
01:03:42,875 –> 01:03:45,935
2 separate offices that may blend and often do so,

1012
01:03:46,530 –> 01:03:50,370
but capable, severally, of a severe insulation and naturally

1013
01:03:50,370 –> 01:03:54,130
fitted for reciprocal repulsion. What that means is that

1014
01:03:54,130 –> 01:03:57,645
there’s Two aspects inside of literature that are bound

1015
01:03:57,645 –> 01:04:01,345
together, but should actually be separated, should actually repulse each other.

1016
01:04:02,390 –> 01:04:06,010
Back to the essay. There is, first, the literature of knowledge,

1017
01:04:06,550 –> 01:04:10,245
and secondly, the literature of power. The function of

1018
01:04:10,245 –> 01:04:14,085
the first, that would be knowledge, is to teach. The

1019
01:04:14,085 –> 01:04:17,790
function of the second is to move. That’s power. The first is

1020
01:04:17,790 –> 01:04:21,630
a rudder, the 2nd an or or a sail. The first speaks to the

1021
01:04:21,630 –> 01:04:25,365
mere discursive understanding. The second It speaks ultimately, it may

1022
01:04:25,365 –> 01:04:28,984
happen to the higher understanding or reason, but always through

1023
01:04:29,045 –> 01:04:31,385
affections of pleasure and sympathy.

1024
01:04:32,940 –> 01:04:36,720
Remotely, it may travel towards an object seated in what lord Bacon

1025
01:04:36,860 –> 01:04:40,620
calls dry light. Approximately, it does and must operate, else

1026
01:04:40,620 –> 01:04:44,425
it ceases to be a literature of power and on through that human light,

1027
01:04:44,425 –> 01:04:48,265
which closed itself of the mists and glittering iris of human passions, desires,

1028
01:04:48,265 –> 01:04:52,080
and genial emotions. Men have so little reflected on the

1029
01:04:52,080 –> 01:04:55,920
higher functionals of literature as to find it a paradox

1030
01:04:55,920 –> 01:04:59,765
if one should describe it as a mean or subordinate purpose of books to

1031
01:04:59,765 –> 01:05:03,224
give information. Basically what he’s saying here is

1032
01:05:03,765 –> 01:05:07,539
people haven’t thought about literature being a source of power. It said they

1033
01:05:07,539 –> 01:05:11,240
merely think about it as a source of information. And by the way, he’s writing,

1034
01:05:11,299 –> 01:05:15,000
you know, in the early 19th century, where

1035
01:05:15,165 –> 01:05:18,525
Again, before you have mass communication, at

1036
01:05:18,525 –> 01:05:22,365
scale, before radio, obviously before television and

1037
01:05:22,365 –> 01:05:26,119
forget the internet, Right? And so this is a

1038
01:05:26,119 –> 01:05:29,640
highly literate culture in comparison to ours, right? A high

1039
01:05:29,640 –> 01:05:33,165
literate literate culture, that is looking for or

1040
01:05:33,165 –> 01:05:36,925
seeking to merge 2 things together, and he’s seeking to

1041
01:05:36,925 –> 01:05:40,460
he’s seeking to separate them. Whenever we talk In

1042
01:05:40,460 –> 01:05:44,060
ordinary language of seeking information or gaining knowledge, we understand the

1043
01:05:44,060 –> 01:05:47,714
words as connected with something of absolute novelty, But it is the

1044
01:05:47,714 –> 01:05:51,234
grandeur of all truth, which can occupy a very high place in human

1045
01:05:51,234 –> 01:05:54,730
interests, that it is never absolutely novel to the meanest of minds.

1046
01:05:54,730 –> 01:05:58,410
It exists eternally by way of germ or latent principle in the

1047
01:05:58,410 –> 01:06:02,110
lowest to the highest, needing to be developed, but never to be planted.

1048
01:06:02,365 –> 01:06:06,045
To be capable of transplantation is the immediate criterion of a truth

1049
01:06:06,045 –> 01:06:09,405
that ranges on a lower scale. In

1050
01:06:09,405 –> 01:06:12,870
essence, If you have to move an idea from

1051
01:06:12,870 –> 01:06:16,650
literature, from a high space down to a lower space,

1052
01:06:16,870 –> 01:06:18,410
it’s probably not that valuable.

1053
01:06:21,325 –> 01:06:25,105
Besides which, there is a rarer thing than truth, namely power,

1054
01:06:25,245 –> 01:06:28,710
and this is how he defines power to Quincy, or a deep

1055
01:06:28,770 –> 01:06:32,609
sympathy with the truth. What is the effect, for instance, upon

1056
01:06:32,609 –> 01:06:36,385
society or children? By the pity, by the

1057
01:06:36,385 –> 01:06:40,145
tenderness, and by the peculiar modes of admiration, which connect themselves with the helplessness, with

1058
01:06:40,145 –> 01:06:43,650
the innocence, and with the simplicity of children, Not only are the

1059
01:06:43,650 –> 01:06:47,410
primal affections strengthened and continually renewed, but the qualities which are

1060
01:06:47,410 –> 01:06:50,785
dearest in the sight of heaven, the frailty, for instance, which appeals

1061
01:06:50,944 –> 01:06:54,325
forbearance, the innocence were symbolizing the heavenly, and the simplicity

1062
01:06:54,625 –> 01:06:58,464
which is most alien to the worldly are kept in perpetual remembrance, and

1063
01:06:58,464 –> 01:07:01,060
their ideals are continually refreshed.

1064
01:07:02,480 –> 01:07:05,860
A purpose of the same nature is answered by the high literature

1065
01:07:06,240 –> 01:07:09,915
vis a vis the literature of power. What did you learn from

1066
01:07:09,915 –> 01:07:13,755
Paradise Lost? That’s John Milton. Nothing at all. What did you

1067
01:07:13,755 –> 01:07:17,435
learn from a cookery book? Something new, something that you did not know before

1068
01:07:17,435 –> 01:07:21,040
in every paragraph. But here’s the question,

1069
01:07:22,460 –> 01:07:26,060
but would you therefore put the Wretched Cookery book on a higher level of

1070
01:07:26,060 –> 01:07:29,605
estimation than the divine poem? Is a cookbook more

1071
01:07:29,605 –> 01:07:32,964
valuable to you than Milton? And then his

1072
01:07:32,964 –> 01:07:36,630
point. Well well, DeQuincy, I got

1073
01:07:36,630 –> 01:07:40,309
something for you here. Yes? Yes. The cookbook is more valuable than Milton.

1074
01:07:40,309 –> 01:07:42,869
Okay. Hold on a second. Before I before I hit you with his with his

1075
01:07:42,869 –> 01:07:46,655
penultimate conclusion there, Why is it a cookbook? Because

1076
01:07:46,655 –> 01:07:48,655
we do live at a time. This is one of the questions I have from

1077
01:07:48,815 –> 01:07:52,494
I have 1 here for you, or one of the questions I wrote

1078
01:07:52,494 –> 01:07:56,090
down. Why do we. Why do we live in such a

1079
01:07:56,090 –> 01:07:59,690
utilitarian time? Cause we do, we live in a time of, or not utilitarian, a

1080
01:07:59,690 –> 01:08:02,670
utility oriented time, because if it’s not useful,

1081
01:08:03,435 –> 01:08:07,055
They were like, you know, I don’t have time for that.

1082
01:08:08,315 –> 01:08:11,930
And as we’ve moved everything towards usefulness, I I think

1083
01:08:11,930 –> 01:08:15,450
De Quincey would argue we’ve moved away from beauty and power. We’ve actually

1084
01:08:15,450 –> 01:08:19,210
reduced things. We’ve reduced Milton to

1085
01:08:19,210 –> 01:08:22,734
a cookbook. I

1086
01:08:22,734 –> 01:08:25,715
mean, I don’t know. I I think

1087
01:08:27,215 –> 01:08:30,840
I think I think part of it is, like, we we get so wrapped up,

1088
01:08:32,279 –> 01:08:33,899
How do I word this? So, like,

1089
01:08:35,719 –> 01:08:39,445
time, you time Is the only thing that you

1090
01:08:39,445 –> 01:08:42,965
can spend and not earn, right? Yes. You can spend

1091
01:08:42,965 –> 01:08:46,725
time, you can never get time back. Like, you can’t earn more

1092
01:08:46,725 –> 01:08:50,200
time. You can’t say That I’m gonna I’m gonna, you know, live

1093
01:08:50,340 –> 01:08:54,100
till I’m 75. Let’s just say we have predictive analytics that say I’m

1094
01:08:54,100 –> 01:08:57,795
gonna die at 75. I can’t go, Nah, I’m gonna wait till

1095
01:08:57,795 –> 01:09:00,595
I’m 80. Like, I’m gonna die when I’m 80, so I get 5 years back.

1096
01:09:00,595 –> 01:09:04,435
I’m gonna go it doesn’t work that way, right? So like, so

1097
01:09:04,435 –> 01:09:08,250
if I’m There, for me, and I

1098
01:09:08,250 –> 01:09:11,930
was, everybody listening to this, when I answered that I was

1099
01:09:11,930 –> 01:09:15,234
talking about me, myself, and I, not In general,

1100
01:09:15,375 –> 01:09:19,135
because I love to cook. I love to cook. I it’s a

1101
01:09:19,135 –> 01:09:22,529
passion of mine, and if if I think we’ve talked about it once twice on

1102
01:09:22,529 –> 01:09:26,130
these podcasts. I went to culinary school, I cook every Sunday for my

1103
01:09:26,130 –> 01:09:29,889
entire family. There’s 12, 15 people that come to my house for dinner every Sunday

1104
01:09:29,889 –> 01:09:33,495
because I cook Random stuff that they think that is

1105
01:09:33,635 –> 01:09:37,475
unique and amazing and whatever. Right? So for me Do you cook, by the way

1106
01:09:37,635 –> 01:09:40,614
pause one second. Do you cook the last Thursday in November?

1107
01:09:41,859 –> 01:09:45,380
No. No. The the the the the the the

1108
01:09:45,619 –> 01:09:48,915
that day that you’re talking about for us, That that’s

1109
01:09:49,055 –> 01:09:52,814
football day. It’s football okay. Football day. Okay. Alright. I cook I cook all football

1110
01:09:52,814 –> 01:09:56,620
foods on that day. Fine. That’s I was just curious. After the

1111
01:09:56,620 –> 01:09:59,980
Wounded Knee episode, I was just curious. Go ahead. Keep going. Don’t let me stop

1112
01:09:59,980 –> 01:10:03,280
you. The the so so the so the point for me is,

1113
01:10:03,775 –> 01:10:07,295
And I think, to what he’s thinking about, it’s really about

1114
01:10:07,295 –> 01:10:11,055
reading what’s gonna move you forward as a person. I don’t think it, like,

1115
01:10:11,055 –> 01:10:14,440
so The the the the utilitarian

1116
01:10:14,780 –> 01:10:18,320
piece of this, it for me, it seems like it Utility piece.

1117
01:10:18,860 –> 01:10:22,505
It seems like the It seems like the cookbook is more utility, but it for

1118
01:10:22,505 –> 01:10:26,345
me, it’s not about utility. For me, it’s more the love of cooking that

1119
01:10:26,345 –> 01:10:29,880
leans me more toward the cookbook. Right? Okay. So if Milton if Milton wrote a

1120
01:10:29,880 –> 01:10:33,320
cookbook, you’d be all over it. You’d be all over it. Right. I would wanna

1121
01:10:33,320 –> 01:10:36,705
read it because I wanna see now, again, so My son and I, by the

1122
01:10:36,705 –> 01:10:40,545
way, have this discussion all the time because for some strange reason, I

1123
01:10:40,545 –> 01:10:44,260
can’t bring myself to read fiction. I I just don’t like fake

1124
01:10:44,260 –> 01:10:48,040
stuff. I don’t like fantasy stuff. I don’t like I don’t I don’t

1125
01:10:48,179 –> 01:10:51,960
thrive. I thrive more on factual information and

1126
01:10:52,195 –> 01:10:54,995
That Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You and

1127
01:10:54,995 –> 01:10:58,695
I have read Shakespeare. Yes. And Jane Austen.

1128
01:10:59,155 –> 01:11:02,840
Yes. That doesn’t mean I love it. The

1129
01:11:02,840 –> 01:11:05,880
fact that I understand it and I could speak on it doesn’t mean I love

1130
01:11:05,880 –> 01:11:09,285
it. Wow. Very My Heart entire

1131
01:11:09,285 –> 01:11:13,045
podcaster. Very My Heart Wounded Knee is one of my favorite

1132
01:11:13,045 –> 01:11:16,890
books. It’s one of my all time favorite books. It’s factual. It’s

1133
01:11:16,890 –> 01:11:20,650
data driven, there’s information in there, there’s not a lot of story behind it, there’s

1134
01:11:20,650 –> 01:11:23,850
not a lot of fake stuff in there, right? Like it’s, those are the types

1135
01:11:23,850 –> 01:11:27,465
of books That I will read in my spare time

1136
01:11:27,465 –> 01:11:31,305
for leisure, for me to enjoy the book it needs to be that, right? It

1137
01:11:31,305 –> 01:11:34,844
needs to be something like that. I don’t really get

1138
01:11:35,530 –> 01:11:39,070
How, like I don’t get lost in a book like people do. Like my son,

1139
01:11:39,130 –> 01:11:41,770
he makes fun of me all the time, he’s like, when you read, when he

1140
01:11:41,770 –> 01:11:45,585
read, You know, Game of Thrones and 1984 and, you know,

1141
01:11:45,585 –> 01:11:48,625
The Great Gatsby, all the great books, right? He’s like, but dad, you can get

1142
01:11:48,625 –> 01:11:52,000
lost in these books, and I go, I need a map. I don’t get lost

1143
01:11:52,000 –> 01:11:55,040
anywhere. I don’t I I don’t wanna be lost. I don’t wanna be lost. I

1144
01:11:55,040 –> 01:11:58,215
wanna be able to find my way in and out. Wanna be able to drive

1145
01:11:58,215 –> 01:12:00,894
down the road and take a left hand turn, and I know where I’m go

1146
01:12:01,014 –> 01:12:03,335
I know what’s at the end of the street. Right? I think I think you

1147
01:12:03,335 –> 01:12:06,710
should give Orwell a shot then. After politics in the English

1148
01:12:06,710 –> 01:12:10,070
language, now we’ve covered this, I think you should give Orwell a shot. I think

1149
01:12:10,070 –> 01:12:13,770
you should give 1984 animal farm. Start with animal farm.

1150
01:12:14,635 –> 01:12:18,315
It’s it’s it’s like 80 pages. It’s dead. And and and just, again, for the

1151
01:12:18,315 –> 01:12:21,850
reader’s sake, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ve never I I’ve read

1152
01:12:22,170 –> 01:12:25,850
Steinbeck. I’ve read Arthur Miller. I’ve read I’ve read all these books. Death of a

1153
01:12:25,850 –> 01:12:29,690
Salesman, that’s appropriate. That’s appropriate. Yeah. So exactly. I’ve read I’ve read

1154
01:12:29,690 –> 01:12:32,835
a lot of these books Mostly because I’ve had

1155
01:12:34,015 –> 01:12:37,855
to. It was it was it was required reading when you’re

1156
01:12:37,855 –> 01:12:41,320
in the advanced English Classes that I was taking.

1157
01:12:41,540 –> 01:12:45,060
So it’s not that I didn’t read them. What I’m getting at, and and to

1158
01:12:45,060 –> 01:12:48,825
to go back to your your essay here, When you asked the question, would

1159
01:12:48,825 –> 01:12:52,505
you rather read the cookbook than than, I forget the author now. Than

1160
01:12:52,505 –> 01:12:56,205
Milton. Milton. Yes. Thank you. Paradise Lost. Yeah. Paradise Lost. Very

1161
01:12:56,780 –> 01:13:00,380
It’s it’s would you rather read it, and and for me, I would rather read

1162
01:13:00,380 –> 01:13:04,219
the cookbook because that’s where I I love that. I love reading

1163
01:13:04,219 –> 01:13:07,335
it. You know what we’re doing next year? We’re doing we’re doing poetry next year

1164
01:13:07,335 –> 01:13:11,014
because it’s taken me 3 years to kind of work into poetry. I’m signing oh

1165
01:13:11,014 –> 01:13:14,750
oh, you’re You’re cohosting. You’re cohosting with me on poetry. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

1166
01:13:14,750 –> 01:13:18,430
Yeah. I’m changing schedule right now. Tennyson. You’re

1167
01:13:18,430 –> 01:13:22,135
gonna meet Tennyson. Yeah. Oh

1168
01:13:22,135 –> 01:13:25,895
my god. Well, back to the essay

1169
01:13:25,895 –> 01:13:29,600
because what DeQuincy would say to you is this. What you owe to

1170
01:13:29,600 –> 01:13:33,440
Milton is not any knowledge of which a 1000000 separate

1171
01:13:33,440 –> 01:13:37,200
items are still, but a 1000000 advancing steps on the same earthly

1172
01:13:37,200 –> 01:13:40,415
level. What you owe is power that is

1173
01:13:40,875 –> 01:13:44,635
exercise and expansion to your own latent capacity of sympathy with

1174
01:13:44,635 –> 01:13:48,360
the infinite, where every pulse and each separate influx is a

1175
01:13:48,360 –> 01:13:51,800
step upwards, a step ascending as upon a Jacob’s

1176
01:13:51,800 –> 01:13:55,420
ladder from earth to mysterious altitudes above the earth.

1177
01:13:55,995 –> 01:13:59,835
All the steps of knowledge from first to last carry you further on the

1178
01:13:59,835 –> 01:14:03,615
same plane, but can never raise you 1 foot above your ancient level of earth.

1179
01:14:04,060 –> 01:14:07,820
Whereas the very first step in power is a flight, is an

1180
01:14:07,820 –> 01:14:11,435
ascending movement into another element where earth

1181
01:14:11,515 –> 01:14:14,235
is forgotten. By the way, that’s a fancy way of saying you’ll get lost in

1182
01:14:14,235 –> 01:14:17,915
a book. I know. That’s what I’m saying. So what he doesn’t

1183
01:14:17,915 –> 01:14:20,175
understand about guys like me is that’s not happening.

1184
01:14:21,980 –> 01:14:25,660
I will when I read I’ll give you an example. When I when

1185
01:14:25,660 –> 01:14:29,260
I read, Of Mice and Men, right? Yes.

1186
01:14:29,260 –> 01:14:33,045
Okay. No. No. No. I, a better one. 12

1187
01:14:33,045 –> 01:14:36,805
Angry Men. I read 12 Angry Men, okay? And this is

1188
01:14:36,805 –> 01:14:40,610
a fictitional book, It’s a fictitional story about 1

1189
01:14:40,610 –> 01:14:44,370
juror in a room full of jurors that changes the mind of every juror

1190
01:14:44,370 –> 01:14:48,074
1 at a time. Mhmm. I read that book and I was like, this could

1191
01:14:48,074 –> 01:14:51,835
really happen. The I understand it’s fiction, the characters are fake, but I could

1192
01:14:51,835 –> 01:14:55,550
I could see this actually happening in in a courtroom. Like, so

1193
01:14:55,550 –> 01:14:59,310
for me to read, for for me to read that stuff, I have to be

1194
01:14:59,310 –> 01:15:02,955
able to translate it into real world experience because if I can’t Translated?

1195
01:15:03,095 –> 01:15:06,535
It doesn’t work. Like, what was what was the what was the

1196
01:15:06,535 –> 01:15:10,375
Steinbeck, what was the Steinbeck no. For oh, To Kill a Mockingbird, same thing. To

1197
01:15:10,375 –> 01:15:12,840
Kill a Mockingbird. Yeah. Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my time favorite

1198
01:15:12,840 –> 01:15:16,679
books when it comes to fiction stuff. Why? Because I could see that happening. It

1199
01:15:16,679 –> 01:15:19,560
might have been a fictitious book, but when it was, at the time it was

1200
01:15:19,560 –> 01:15:23,385
written, and I also, by the way, at the same time, I was I

1201
01:15:23,385 –> 01:15:26,265
I was doing a report. I had to build I had to build a a

1202
01:15:26,265 –> 01:15:29,865
report on Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

1203
01:15:30,105 –> 01:15:33,820
Okay. At the at that time frame. So, again, that book

1204
01:15:33,820 –> 01:15:36,780
was like, oh my god. I could just use the book for the translation of

1205
01:15:36,780 –> 01:15:40,240
this this this thing I have to do on an actual

1206
01:15:40,565 –> 01:15:44,085
Court case, like, it was like a So you found the

1207
01:15:44,085 –> 01:15:47,605
utility in it. Right, exactly. Even in the fiction, I found the

1208
01:15:47,605 –> 01:15:51,300
utility of, like, being able to, It has to do something for me,

1209
01:15:51,300 –> 01:15:54,760
and and for me, it can’t be getting lost. For me, it has to be,

1210
01:15:54,980 –> 01:15:56,040
you know, again,

1211
01:15:58,765 –> 01:16:01,885
I’m a I’m not I’ve got something for you. I’ve got a Northrop Fry for

1212
01:16:01,885 –> 01:16:05,105
you because actually, weirdly enough, he agrees with you.

1213
01:16:06,079 –> 01:16:08,880
See? I love that guy. I don’t even know who I don’t remember. Who did

1214
01:16:08,880 –> 01:16:11,780
you say? He’s Canadian, Northrop Frye. Northrop Frye. Canadian.

1215
01:16:12,639 –> 01:16:16,005
Canadian essayist. We’re gonna move on to him because, Apparently,

1216
01:16:16,005 –> 01:16:19,845
DeQuincy, we’re gonna bump him. No. Herman Northrop

1217
01:16:19,845 –> 01:16:23,145
Fry, he was born in 1912, July

1218
01:16:23,445 –> 01:16:26,920
1912 and died, in January of 1991.

1219
01:16:27,300 –> 01:16:31,140
So, he lived throughout the the majority, actually, all

1220
01:16:31,140 –> 01:16:34,915
of the 20th century. Wait, wait. Before we get into this, can I

1221
01:16:34,915 –> 01:16:38,755
just say one thing? Yeah. Go ahead. The name of your podcast is Leadership

1222
01:16:38,755 –> 01:16:42,590
Lessons in the Great, Of the great books. From the great books. Yes.

1223
01:16:42,590 –> 01:16:46,429
You’re taking utility out of the great books. I am. I did not say that

1224
01:16:46,429 –> 01:16:48,845
I did not say that I was above it. I just wanted to make sure

1225
01:16:48,845 –> 01:16:51,565
we were clear on here for you all. I did not explain I did not

1226
01:16:51,565 –> 01:16:53,985
claim moral high ground here.

1227
01:16:55,620 –> 01:16:58,580
I haven’t said anything at all. It felt that way. It felt like you were

1228
01:16:58,580 –> 01:17:01,160
implying more on high ground. I

1229
01:17:02,155 –> 01:17:04,974
I think I think that we all have to own our own feelings.

1230
01:17:07,994 –> 01:17:11,690
We all have to be big boys and girls and, compartmentalize. No.

1231
01:17:11,690 –> 01:17:15,070
No. I agree with you. Yeah. No. I agree with you. It’s it’s

1232
01:17:16,330 –> 01:17:18,990
I think I think we we have an age where

1233
01:17:20,465 –> 01:17:23,825
we’ve done. I think we’ve gone too far into utility. I, I, I would say

1234
01:17:23,825 –> 01:17:27,370
that I think we’ve probably pushed, and I think the internet, As we’ve

1235
01:17:27,370 –> 01:17:31,210
mentioned again today, like with language, I think the internet has driven a lot of

1236
01:17:31,210 –> 01:17:34,890
this because that’s what it does. You know, it drives, I mean, we’re just talking

1237
01:17:34,890 –> 01:17:38,575
about marketing tech versus marketing creative, you know, before we

1238
01:17:38,575 –> 01:17:42,355
started this episode. Right? And where has creative

1239
01:17:42,415 –> 01:17:46,020
gone? Right in the toilet. Because creative doesn’t serve

1240
01:17:46,020 –> 01:17:49,639
any utilitarian or, sorry, utilitarian.

1241
01:17:49,780 –> 01:17:53,375
It doesn’t serve any useful purpose. If

1242
01:17:53,915 –> 01:17:57,515
you’re creating a pharmaceutical ad, right, it really

1243
01:17:57,515 –> 01:18:00,815
doesn’t. Like, that’s why you have a Cialis commercial

1244
01:18:00,875 –> 01:18:04,670
with 2 people in 2 tubs holding hands, and then they

1245
01:18:04,670 –> 01:18:07,950
just run the contra indicators and tell you that it’s going to give you a

1246
01:18:07,950 –> 01:18:11,170
heart attack, and now go back to your show.

1247
01:18:14,565 –> 01:18:16,665
That’s why. And so

1248
01:18:19,840 –> 01:18:23,460
When you overemphasize usefulness, you de emphasize

1249
01:18:23,600 –> 01:18:27,280
beauty, and and I think DeQuincy was searching

1250
01:18:27,280 –> 01:18:31,045
for truth and beauty, which is something that artists have been looking for

1251
01:18:31,045 –> 01:18:34,805
for for for years, and searching for beauty and truth. And

1252
01:18:34,805 –> 01:18:38,380
I think that that is a worthwhile pursuit that maybe some of us in the

1253
01:18:38,380 –> 01:18:42,219
west have forgotten. Even look at the style of our buildings. I mean, even the

1254
01:18:42,219 –> 01:18:46,000
physical spaces that we’re in, they’re not beautiful anymore. They’re brutalist,

1255
01:18:46,139 –> 01:18:48,945
and they just they serve a purpose, and then they’re done.

1256
01:18:49,645 –> 01:18:53,245
Yeah. And that’s a real and I’m not the

1257
01:18:53,245 –> 01:18:57,030
1st person to say this. That’s a real problem. It shows

1258
01:18:57,030 –> 01:19:00,489
a real cultural poverty, because,

1259
01:19:00,949 –> 01:19:04,684
yeah, I mean, we can Exchange dollars and more

1260
01:19:04,684 –> 01:19:07,985
people are wealthier than ever have been in the history of the world,

1261
01:19:08,925 –> 01:19:12,730
and yet, You know, you

1262
01:19:12,730 –> 01:19:16,270
have brutalist concrete architecture, and you can’t get something nice.

1263
01:19:17,530 –> 01:19:20,730
Well, one of my other sons talks about it from an,

1264
01:19:21,595 –> 01:19:25,215
It’s industrial looking versus There you go. Yeah. Versus creative. Right?

1265
01:19:25,755 –> 01:19:28,955
So, however, I will tell you, if anybody watching this pod or listening to this

1266
01:19:28,955 –> 01:19:32,590
or watching this has an opportunity to Google the new

1267
01:19:32,969 –> 01:19:36,650
building that State Street Bank just built in Boston, in downtown Boston, the financial

1268
01:19:36,650 –> 01:19:40,405
district. Okay. The building’s beautiful. They they they did Actually, a nice

1269
01:19:40,405 –> 01:19:43,625
job doing the exact opposite. They were looking for that

1270
01:19:44,005 –> 01:19:47,364
sleekness, that modern look, that stylistic look

1271
01:19:47,364 –> 01:19:50,849
versus Institutional and, you know, and that

1272
01:19:50,849 –> 01:19:53,969
kinda they wanted the building to be creative. And I thought they they actually did

1273
01:19:53,969 –> 01:19:57,090
an alright job. So Well, I no. I think and I think I mean, not

1274
01:19:57,090 –> 01:20:00,675
I think. I know. I mean, you know, I I’ve mentioned this

1275
01:20:00,675 –> 01:20:04,515
before on the podcast, but, you know, I have a background as

1276
01:20:04,515 –> 01:20:07,820
an art major. I I was in art. I was in the visual arts, you

1277
01:20:07,820 –> 01:20:11,440
know, painting, printmaking, all of that, drawing, and so

1278
01:20:12,060 –> 01:20:15,495
I’m also an intellectual guy who likes the utility part 2. I like

1279
01:20:15,495 –> 01:20:19,175
usefulness just as much as anybody else, but I would

1280
01:20:19,175 –> 01:20:22,720
like it to be at least attractive. I

1281
01:20:22,720 –> 01:20:25,780
would like an object to sit on my desk

1282
01:20:26,640 –> 01:20:29,220
that has usefulness and is beautiful,

1283
01:20:30,565 –> 01:20:33,785
and I think that there is a place for that. Now

1284
01:20:34,405 –> 01:20:38,090
if we’re at the end of and and you can’t really talk about beauty and

1285
01:20:38,090 –> 01:20:41,770
usefulness without talking about being at the end of mass consumer culture. And so we’re

1286
01:20:41,770 –> 01:20:44,650
at the end of mass consumer culture, and we have been at the end of

1287
01:20:44,650 –> 01:20:48,306
it for the last 30 years. It’s just the backwash of it because we produce

1288
01:20:48,306 –> 01:20:52,121
so much, it’s still just flowing out to us. But mass consumer culture doesn’t

1289
01:20:52,121 –> 01:20:55,790
allow for it only allows for industrialization to your son’s point. It doesn’t

1290
01:20:55,790 –> 01:20:59,230
allow for beauty. And DeQuincy was writing during a

1291
01:20:59,230 –> 01:21:00,290
time when,

1292
01:21:02,885 –> 01:21:06,565
Industrialization hadn’t quite yet begun, but it was starting, and it

1293
01:21:06,565 –> 01:21:10,330
was the attitude that was shifting towards that. I was just about to say that.

1294
01:21:10,330 –> 01:21:12,730
It was right at the beginning of it. Right at the beginning of all of

1295
01:21:12,730 –> 01:21:16,330
it. Right at the beginning of all of it. Yeah. Yep. Alright. So Northrop Fry,

1296
01:21:16,330 –> 01:21:19,915
we’re gonna read the keys to dreamland from chapter 4 of The

1297
01:21:19,915 –> 01:21:23,595
Educated Imagination published in 1964. As I said, Fry

1298
01:21:23,595 –> 01:21:27,090
was born in July of 18/12, and he died in January of

1299
01:21:27,090 –> 01:21:30,850
1991. He was a Canadian literary critic and

1300
01:21:30,850 –> 01:21:34,635
literary theorist, considered one of the more influential folks of the

1301
01:21:34,635 –> 01:21:38,395
20th century. Influence, I already mentioned

1302
01:21:38,395 –> 01:21:42,160
this guy on the podcast already this episode, but I’ll mention it again. Jordan

1303
01:21:42,160 –> 01:21:45,920
Peterson talks about Northrop Fry all of the time, as well

1304
01:21:45,920 –> 01:21:49,200
as other Lex Fridman, as well as other,

1305
01:21:49,520 –> 01:21:51,140
folks you may have heard of.

1306
01:21:53,825 –> 01:21:57,285
So he begins with an idea or a thought process,

1307
01:21:57,745 –> 01:22:01,470
and, I’m not gonna bring I’m not gonna read the higher chapter because it’s

1308
01:22:01,470 –> 01:22:05,230
way too long. But he makes a point here that I think is

1309
01:22:05,230 –> 01:22:08,594
is going to be something that’s gonna resonate with Tom and resonate with leaders who

1310
01:22:08,594 –> 01:22:12,295
are listening to us. So let’s start off with, with the premise.

1311
01:22:12,915 –> 01:22:15,574
Suppose you’re walking down the street of a North American city.

1312
01:22:16,760 –> 01:22:20,039
All around you is a highly artificial society, but you don’t think of it as

1313
01:22:20,039 –> 01:22:23,445
artificial. You’re so accustomed to it that you think of it as natural. But

1314
01:22:23,605 –> 01:22:26,965
suppose your imagination plays a little trick on you, kind of, that it often does

1315
01:22:26,965 –> 01:22:30,485
play, and you suddenly feel like a complete outsider, someone who’s just blown in from

1316
01:22:30,485 –> 01:22:34,290
Mars on a flying saucer. Instantly, you see how conventionalized

1317
01:22:34,990 –> 01:22:38,830
everything is. The clothes, the shop windows, the movement of

1318
01:22:38,830 –> 01:22:41,710
the cars in traffic, the cropped hair, the shaved faces of the men, the red

1319
01:22:41,710 –> 01:22:45,505
lips blue eyelids of blue of that woman that women put on because they want

1320
01:22:45,505 –> 01:22:49,105
to conventionalize their faces or look nice as they say, which means the same

1321
01:22:49,105 –> 01:22:52,190
thing. To be outside the convention

1322
01:22:53,050 –> 01:22:56,410
makes a person look queer, or if he’s driving a car, a menace to life

1323
01:22:56,410 –> 01:22:59,945
and limb. The only exceptions are people who have decided to conform To different

1324
01:22:59,945 –> 01:23:03,785
conventions like nuns or beatniks, there’s clearly a strong

1325
01:23:03,785 –> 01:23:07,530
force making toward conformity in society, So strong,

1326
01:23:07,530 –> 01:23:10,830
it seems to have something to do with the stability of society

1327
01:23:10,970 –> 01:23:14,410
itself. So he opens up with this idea about

1328
01:23:14,410 –> 01:23:18,235
conformity, right, and convention. When

1329
01:23:18,235 –> 01:23:21,675
we move to literature back to North of Fry, when we move on to

1330
01:23:21,675 –> 01:23:25,330
literature, we again find conventions, but This time, we noticed that they are

1331
01:23:25,330 –> 01:23:29,090
conventions because we’re not so used to them. These conventions seem to have something to

1332
01:23:29,090 –> 01:23:32,764
do with making literature, And this is to Tom’s point,

1333
01:23:32,824 –> 01:23:36,525
as unlike life as possible. Chaucer

1334
01:23:36,585 –> 01:23:40,200
represents people as making up stories in 10 syllable couplets. Shakespeare

1335
01:23:40,200 –> 01:23:44,040
uses dramatic conventions, which means, for instance, that Iago has to

1336
01:23:44,040 –> 01:23:47,840
smash Othello’s marriage and dreams of future happiness, and get him ready

1337
01:23:47,840 –> 01:23:51,465
to murder his wife in a few minutes. Milton, speaking of

1338
01:23:51,465 –> 01:23:55,065
Milton again, Milton has 2 nudes in a garden

1339
01:23:55,065 –> 01:23:58,870
harangue each other in set speeches Beginning with such lines as daughter of god

1340
01:23:58,870 –> 01:24:02,550
and man, and more to Eve, Eve being Adam’s daughter because she’s just been

1341
01:24:02,550 –> 01:24:06,185
extracted from his rib case. Almost every story we read

1342
01:24:06,185 –> 01:24:09,965
demands that we accept as fact, something that we know to be nonsense,

1343
01:24:10,665 –> 01:24:14,270
that good people always win, especially in love, that

1344
01:24:14,270 –> 01:24:17,710
murders are complicated and ingenious puzzles to be solved by logic and so

1345
01:24:17,710 –> 01:24:21,415
on. It isn’t only popular literature that demands this, More

1346
01:24:21,415 –> 01:24:25,095
highbrow stories are apt to be more ironic, but irony has its conventions

1347
01:24:25,095 –> 01:24:28,855
too. If we go further back into literature, we run into such conventions as

1348
01:24:28,855 –> 01:24:32,660
the king’s rash promise, The enraged cuckold, the cruel mistress of

1349
01:24:32,660 –> 01:24:36,500
love poetry, never anything that we or any

1350
01:24:36,500 –> 01:24:40,295
other time would recognize, and again, this is to

1351
01:24:40,295 –> 01:24:43,975
Tom’s point, would recognize as the normal behavior of adult

1352
01:24:43,975 –> 01:24:46,715
people, only the maddening ethics of fairyland.

1353
01:24:50,659 –> 01:24:52,599
I don’t even think I have to say anything here.

1354
01:24:54,635 –> 01:24:56,015
This one’s for Tom.

1355
01:24:58,875 –> 01:25:01,375
Yes. I I get it. Now

1356
01:25:02,280 –> 01:25:05,719
He he takes this premise, so this is his premise, right, but the

1357
01:25:05,719 –> 01:25:09,560
maddening ethics of fairyland is what literature is all about. And

1358
01:25:09,560 –> 01:25:12,995
he says, Even the details of literature are equally

1359
01:25:12,995 –> 01:25:16,355
perverse. Literature is a world where phoenixes and

1360
01:25:16,355 –> 01:25:20,110
unicorns are quite as important as horses and dogs, And in literature, some of the

1361
01:25:20,110 –> 01:25:22,290
horses talk, like the ones that Gulliver’s Travels.

1362
01:25:24,110 –> 01:25:27,890
And then he talks about the swan of the Avon by Ben Johnson and Shakespeare

1363
01:25:28,110 –> 01:25:31,764
and singing and swans, how swans can’t sing and

1364
01:25:31,764 –> 01:25:35,580
birds and da da da. He’s like, this is all ridiculous. Yeah.

1365
01:25:35,580 –> 01:25:38,780
And then he ends this this this when he goes on about Shakespeare for a

1366
01:25:38,780 –> 01:25:42,460
paragraph, then he sends he ends by saying, Shakespeare didn’t burst into

1367
01:25:42,460 –> 01:25:45,895
song before his death. He wrote 2 plays a year until he made enough money

1368
01:25:45,895 –> 01:25:49,435
to retire and spent the last 5 years of his life counting his take.

1369
01:25:53,480 –> 01:25:57,240
So so however useful literature may be in

1370
01:25:57,240 –> 01:26:00,925
improving one’s imagination or vocabulary, It would be the

1371
01:26:00,925 –> 01:26:04,605
wildest kind of pedantry to use it directly as a

1372
01:26:04,605 –> 01:26:08,420
guide to life. Now I got to admit,

1373
01:26:08,420 –> 01:26:12,180
I read this and I thought, as I was with him all the way up

1374
01:26:12,180 –> 01:26:15,160
to that, and then he said that and I went, well,

1375
01:26:16,905 –> 01:26:19,005
I might as well just burn the whole podcast down.

1376
01:26:24,105 –> 01:26:27,880
I mean Yes, no, it’s fine. You can say it out loud. It’s

1377
01:26:27,880 –> 01:26:31,560
okay. Because he, he, he pushes the argument and then he takes a weird turn,

1378
01:26:31,560 –> 01:26:34,655
which I’m not gonna get to today, but he takes a weird turn in the

1379
01:26:34,655 –> 01:26:37,875
middle of it where he basically undercuts his entire argument that you just set up

1380
01:26:41,000 –> 01:26:44,840
to make a defensive literature. And I and I thought because at first, right,

1381
01:26:44,840 –> 01:26:48,280
at first, I was like, oh, this is oh, this guy oh, who is this

1382
01:26:48,280 –> 01:26:52,085
guy? Who’s Who is this Northrop Fry who is speaking to me as if I

1383
01:26:52,085 –> 01:26:55,844
needed his opinion? Canadian,

1384
01:26:55,844 –> 01:26:59,670
nonetheless. Right, and a Canadian. What’s going on

1385
01:26:59,670 –> 01:27:00,970
in my attic up there?

1386
01:27:04,230 –> 01:27:07,830
But he, but I stuck with it and I read through it and I

1387
01:27:07,830 –> 01:27:11,205
I I because that’s what you do. You stick with hard things.

1388
01:27:11,585 –> 01:27:15,265
You read them. You read people who disagree with you. And he does

1389
01:27:15,265 –> 01:27:19,100
make several Excellent points. And and a good one is this one,

1390
01:27:19,100 –> 01:27:22,940
back to the essay. Life and literature then are both

1391
01:27:22,940 –> 01:27:26,685
conventionalized, which is actually true. And of the conventions of

1392
01:27:26,685 –> 01:27:29,885
literature about all we can say is that they don’t much resemble the conditions of

1393
01:27:29,885 –> 01:27:33,645
life. It’s when 2 sets of conventions collide that we realize

1394
01:27:33,645 –> 01:27:37,400
how different they are. Then he goes into h g Wells. He talks a little

1395
01:27:37,400 –> 01:27:41,080
bit about Dickens. What we never see

1396
01:27:41,080 –> 01:27:43,775
except in a book is often what we go to books to find. And I

1397
01:27:43,775 –> 01:27:47,614
think that that’s very, very important, an important point that he

1398
01:27:47,614 –> 01:27:51,010
makes. And he says, If we’re writing to convey

1399
01:27:51,010 –> 01:27:54,449
information or for any practical reason, going to

1400
01:27:54,449 –> 01:27:57,969
cookbook here for just a moment, our writing is an act of will and

1401
01:27:57,969 –> 01:28:01,785
intention. We mean what we say and the words we use represent that

1402
01:28:01,785 –> 01:28:05,545
meaning directly. It’s different in literature. Not because the

1403
01:28:05,545 –> 01:28:09,170
poet doesn’t mean what he says too, because his real effort is one of putting

1404
01:28:09,170 –> 01:28:12,930
words together. What’s important is not what he may have

1405
01:28:12,930 –> 01:28:16,765
meant to say, but what the words themselves say, when they get fitted

1406
01:28:16,765 –> 01:28:20,365
together. I think that’s an important that’s an

1407
01:28:20,365 –> 01:28:24,205
important distinction for leaders. That’s that’s something that we can take from from

1408
01:28:24,205 –> 01:28:27,870
Fry and apply it to and this is where this now

1409
01:28:27,870 –> 01:28:31,330
dovetails with what Orwell was talking about in politics of language.

1410
01:28:31,710 –> 01:28:33,490
We can dovetail this with,

1411
01:28:35,125 –> 01:28:38,805
avoiding jargon in your memos. How

1412
01:28:38,805 –> 01:28:42,630
many memos that just get released on

1413
01:28:42,630 –> 01:28:45,449
the regular don’t mean what they say.

1414
01:28:49,085 –> 01:28:50,865
Or you can’t tell what they mean.

1415
01:28:53,085 –> 01:28:56,685
You know? Again, to the point where, like, you just you use an awful lot

1416
01:28:56,685 –> 01:29:00,489
of words to say Very little mean like, they have very little meaning,

1417
01:29:00,489 –> 01:29:04,090
like, behind behind Not at all. Yeah. He said is

1418
01:29:04,170 –> 01:29:07,844
well and and and, you know, the the The writer Joan

1419
01:29:08,145 –> 01:29:11,665
Gideon, she she wrote in Slouching Towards Bethlehem about

1420
01:29:11,665 –> 01:29:15,400
herself that, but she’s always selling somebody

1421
01:29:15,400 –> 01:29:18,920
out. And that’s what people forget. A writer is always selling somebody out. And

1422
01:29:18,920 –> 01:29:22,280
Northam Fry makes that point here when he talks about DH

1423
01:29:22,280 –> 01:29:25,994
Lawrence. With a novelist, it’s rather the incidents in the

1424
01:29:25,994 –> 01:29:29,755
story he tells that gets fitted together. As DH Lawrence says, don’t trust

1425
01:29:29,755 –> 01:29:33,240
the novelist, trust his story. That’s why so much of a writer’s best

1426
01:29:33,240 –> 01:29:37,080
writing is, or seems to be involuntary. It’s involuntary because the

1427
01:29:37,080 –> 01:29:40,545
forms of literature itself are taking control of it. And these forms are

1428
01:29:40,545 –> 01:29:44,165
what are, what are embodied in the conventions of literature

1429
01:29:44,784 –> 01:29:48,600
conventions. We see have the same role in literature they have in life. They

1430
01:29:48,600 –> 01:29:51,660
impose certain patterns of order and stability on the writer

1431
01:29:52,360 –> 01:29:55,880
only if there’s such different conventions, it seems clear that the order of words or

1432
01:29:55,880 –> 01:29:59,295
the structure of literature is different from the social order.

1433
01:30:03,195 –> 01:30:06,680
The question here for leadership is this, What are the

1434
01:30:06,680 –> 01:30:10,360
conventions of leadership, and can you break them? Like we’re

1435
01:30:10,360 –> 01:30:13,905
breaking the conventions of leadership just by doing this podcast, because the hell puts

1436
01:30:13,905 –> 01:30:17,425
literature and leadership together. That’s breaking a convention. That’s where real

1437
01:30:17,425 –> 01:30:21,025
creativity is. I see a lack of creativity in

1438
01:30:21,025 –> 01:30:24,830
leadership because many leaders are just doing conventional things. So what are some of

1439
01:30:24,830 –> 01:30:26,050
the conventions of leadership?

1440
01:30:31,685 –> 01:30:35,205
So that’s a good question. I mean, are you are

1441
01:30:35,205 –> 01:30:38,950
you are you talking about, like, the, So are

1442
01:30:38,950 –> 01:30:42,790
you talking about, like, the the directives and, like, being

1443
01:30:42,790 –> 01:30:46,574
able to you know, you’re you’re gonna write Policy, and everything’s gonna be

1444
01:30:46,574 –> 01:30:50,255
written in an employee handbook, and all the all of your decision making processes are

1445
01:30:50,255 –> 01:30:54,050
gonna be essentially the first one. Yeah. I mean, that’s that’s a big

1446
01:30:54,050 –> 01:30:57,810
one for sure, but then there’s other conventions such as we were

1447
01:30:57,810 –> 01:31:01,650
talking about the clothes that people wear. Right? That’s a convention that’s now gotten broken.

1448
01:31:01,650 –> 01:31:05,494
Right? Or here’s another convention that got broken during COVID,

1449
01:31:05,554 –> 01:31:09,235
the convention of going heading in your car and driving 2 hours

1450
01:31:09,235 –> 01:31:12,650
across Boston to go to an office, that’s a convention. Yeah.

1451
01:31:13,110 –> 01:31:16,949
Many of the conventions of work are being broken, and the

1452
01:31:16,949 –> 01:31:19,929
conventions of interactions with people are being broken,

1453
01:31:21,085 –> 01:31:24,845
but leaders are still saying many of the same

1454
01:31:24,845 –> 01:31:28,365
things based on conventions that no

1455
01:31:28,365 –> 01:31:30,940
longer work. It

1456
01:31:32,440 –> 01:31:35,239
it’s interesting it’s interesting that you say that. Like, I I’ll give you a I’ll

1457
01:31:35,239 –> 01:31:38,920
give you an example of, like, an interaction I had with a with a a

1458
01:31:38,920 –> 01:31:42,344
salesperson that worked for me at one point. And this this might this might kinda

1459
01:31:42,344 –> 01:31:45,704
give you an idea of where I’m coming like, or what what my train of

1460
01:31:45,704 –> 01:31:49,500
thought was. So In sales, we always have these quotas.

1461
01:31:49,500 –> 01:31:52,700
Right? We always have numbers we have to hit, and That’s a by the way,

1462
01:31:52,700 –> 01:31:55,965
that’s a convention. Having a known number you have to hit, that’s a convention. Something

1463
01:31:55,965 –> 01:31:59,205
that everybody agrees upon and this is the way we do things. Right, and that’s

1464
01:31:59,205 –> 01:32:02,505
a convention that might not ever be,

1465
01:32:03,110 –> 01:32:06,950
Well, no. I think that convention because there’s a couple of companies that I can

1466
01:32:06,950 –> 01:32:10,470
think of that have broken you still have a number, but the way they view

1467
01:32:10,470 –> 01:32:14,015
the number is very different than what our Our typical sales

1468
01:32:14,015 –> 01:32:17,775
number is, which is basically driven by revenue and, either month over month

1469
01:32:17,775 –> 01:32:21,135
or year over year, whatever the the case may be. But anyway, the interaction I

1470
01:32:21,135 –> 01:32:24,719
had with them was, was was about quota, and I

1471
01:32:24,719 –> 01:32:27,840
said, I don’t care how you get there. I don’t care how long it takes

1472
01:32:27,840 –> 01:32:31,115
you. I don’t care if you work 5 hours a day, Work 20 hours a

1473
01:32:31,115 –> 01:32:34,175
day, I want you to hit your quota. And he

1474
01:32:34,475 –> 01:32:38,235
sarcastically said, so if I can hit my quota in 2 hours a day, you’re

1475
01:32:38,235 –> 01:32:41,490
not gonna make me work the other 6? And I went, what did I just

1476
01:32:41,490 –> 01:32:44,950
say? I said all I care about is your quota.

1477
01:32:45,170 –> 01:32:48,210
You hit that quota, I don’t care how many hours a day you work, I

1478
01:32:48,210 –> 01:32:51,485
don’t. So he tested it on me. So he was

1479
01:32:51,945 –> 01:32:55,724
right he was actually slightly over quota. He was probably about 102,

1480
01:32:55,864 –> 01:32:59,700
103, A 103% of quota, right? So it was well within

1481
01:32:59,700 –> 01:33:02,280
his right to take the rest of the day off.

1482
01:33:03,945 –> 01:33:07,785
And he came to me and he said, hey, I’m at 103%. I’m gonna take

1483
01:33:07,785 –> 01:33:10,665
the rest of the the rest of the month off, which was, by the way,

1484
01:33:10,665 –> 01:33:14,390
like, a day and a half. Yeah. He’s like Which I said to him, okay.

1485
01:33:15,410 –> 01:33:19,250
Anyway, wait, you were serious about that? I said, hey. I I

1486
01:33:19,250 –> 01:33:22,935
told you, all I care about is your quote. Now You can choose to take

1487
01:33:22,935 –> 01:33:26,295
the next day and a half, 2 days off, or you can choose to

1488
01:33:26,295 –> 01:33:29,975
spend and invest the next 2 days in hitting

1489
01:33:29,975 –> 01:33:33,800
your quota for next month, But that’s entirely up to you because I gave you

1490
01:33:33,800 –> 01:33:35,720
my word that if you hit your quote, I don’t care what you do with

1491
01:33:35,720 –> 01:33:39,485
your time. And he took the rest of that day off, but came in the

1492
01:33:39,565 –> 01:33:43,165
Day. It became the next day. Yeah. He spent the next day spent the next

1493
01:33:43,165 –> 01:33:46,764
day getting ready for the next month, and and but he under but he tested

1494
01:33:46,764 –> 01:33:50,470
me on it, and he he He saw that I went through with it. Like,

1495
01:33:50,470 –> 01:33:53,350
I was not lying. When I said to him, I go, oh, and by the

1496
01:33:53,350 –> 01:33:56,230
way, next month, if you hit your quota in the middle of the month and

1497
01:33:56,230 –> 01:33:59,625
you wanna take the next week off, Go right ahead. I’m not gonna give you

1498
01:33:59,625 –> 01:34:03,245
grief over it because the conventional wisdom says that

1499
01:34:04,345 –> 01:34:07,730
the quota is just there to make you do your job. You don’t get to

1500
01:34:07,730 –> 01:34:11,410
take the time off, you don’t get to do this, so I broke the

1501
01:34:11,410 –> 01:34:15,170
convention by saying work 2 hours a day, work 4 hours a day,

1502
01:34:15,170 –> 01:34:18,715
I don’t care, hit the quota and you’re good. And they and they tested me

1503
01:34:18,715 –> 01:34:22,555
on it, and they they saw the success of that test. Well, one of

1504
01:34:22,555 –> 01:34:25,295
the stupidest things about conventional wisdom is that it’s conventional.

1505
01:34:26,780 –> 01:34:30,240
Yeah. That is I mean, it it it is. Right? And

1506
01:34:31,100 –> 01:34:34,745
creativity lives in the breaking of convention, which is what Dorothy Fry is getting to

1507
01:34:34,745 –> 01:34:37,165
In his essay, he’s talking about how

1508
01:34:38,425 –> 01:34:42,265
literature allows the breaking of conventions without the breaking of

1509
01:34:42,265 –> 01:34:45,930
social order. That’s the higher thing that he’s that he’s aiming at.

1510
01:34:45,930 –> 01:34:49,770
And it is, it is fundamentally a defense. This is why I said at first

1511
01:34:49,770 –> 01:34:53,315
I was like, you know, gimme a break. But

1512
01:34:53,455 –> 01:34:57,295
yeah, since I framed it before, as he undercuts his argument,

1513
01:34:57,295 –> 01:35:01,130
he doesn’t undercut it. He, he gets to where he’s going, but

1514
01:35:01,130 –> 01:35:04,490
he goes with via the minor which I should appreciate, actually, because this is sometimes

1515
01:35:04,490 –> 01:35:08,330
how I do it. He goes via the minority report versus the majority report. Right?

1516
01:35:08,330 –> 01:35:12,105
He’s he’s going at from the weak side. If you were playing rugby, it’s

1517
01:35:12,105 –> 01:35:14,845
a weak side score versus a strong side score. Okay.

1518
01:35:16,825 –> 01:35:20,590
And for those of you who’ve never played rugby, It’s fine. I know

1519
01:35:20,590 –> 01:35:22,530
what I’m talking about. Point is

1520
01:35:25,790 –> 01:35:29,485
point is He’s, he’s, he’s addressing the

1521
01:35:29,485 –> 01:35:33,165
idea that literature is important for social

1522
01:35:33,165 –> 01:35:36,890
order. I think also literature is important for leaders. Otherwise

1523
01:35:36,890 –> 01:35:40,090
I wouldn’t be doing this podcast, but it’s important for leaders to be able to

1524
01:35:40,090 –> 01:35:43,835
understand what the social conventions are and then to be

1525
01:35:43,835 –> 01:35:47,594
able to see how to break them. And some of the social conventions in

1526
01:35:47,594 –> 01:35:49,855
leadership include, I think,

1527
01:35:52,954 –> 01:35:56,080
well, it’s beyond just clothes and norms and culture, but it’s,

1528
01:35:56,620 –> 01:36:00,460
it’s, it’s going to certain conferences, right? It’s, it’s

1529
01:36:00,460 –> 01:36:04,305
attending or even the act of attending conference. Just that act right

1530
01:36:04,305 –> 01:36:08,065
there is a convention. Like my title says blah, blah, blah, blah. My

1531
01:36:08,065 –> 01:36:11,845
title says senior VP of sales. I’m gonna go to a sales conference. Why?

1532
01:36:12,580 –> 01:36:14,739
Are you actually going to get something out of it, or are you just going

1533
01:36:14,739 –> 01:36:18,500
to have a vacation and, you know, fill yourself with, you

1534
01:36:18,500 –> 01:36:21,985
know, 20 year old Scotch? Single

1535
01:36:21,985 –> 01:36:25,605
malt. Right. Always. Always.

1536
01:36:27,025 –> 01:36:30,260
So I mean, And I I by the way, by the way,

1537
01:36:31,040 –> 01:36:34,480
and I expect to learn something when I go. So Right. Well, you’re going you’re

1538
01:36:34,480 –> 01:36:38,260
going there not to break the convention. You’re going there

1539
01:36:39,645 –> 01:36:43,405
to support the convention, but also to gain something from it. But you’re going

1540
01:36:43,405 –> 01:36:47,165
there with precision of, of understanding and action, which is what Orwell would

1541
01:36:47,165 –> 01:36:50,920
talk about, which I think fundamentally to tie it also back into DeQuincy a little

1542
01:36:50,920 –> 01:36:54,280
bit, I think that gives you power. I think that moves it beyond utility. It

1543
01:36:54,280 –> 01:36:58,054
moves into creativeness. I think you’re I think you’re a deeply creative guy, Tom, just

1544
01:36:58,054 –> 01:37:00,715
not in the conventional kind of way. Oh god.

1545
01:37:02,375 –> 01:37:06,220
That was that was a reach. Are you like that was, like, finishing minority report.

1546
01:37:06,380 –> 01:37:10,220
The minority report. Force stretch reach, like It’s the minority

1547
01:37:10,220 –> 01:37:14,000
report. It’s what I do. It’s what I do. I get it.

1548
01:37:14,815 –> 01:37:17,855
No. But I think for leaders okay. So how can leaders stay on the path?

1549
01:37:17,855 –> 01:37:21,295
Let me read Orwell, read De Quixote, read a little bit of Northrop Fry. How

1550
01:37:21,295 –> 01:37:24,470
can leaders use any of this to stay on the path? What’s our what’s our

1551
01:37:24,470 –> 01:37:28,310
final word today as we round the horn

1552
01:37:28,310 –> 01:37:31,750
here? I I I think I think one thing that that we always

1553
01:37:31,910 –> 01:37:35,415
and That we’re always told, right, but I don’t think we ever

1554
01:37:35,415 –> 01:37:39,175
really understand the the impact of

1555
01:37:39,175 –> 01:37:42,780
it is that literature in general gives us Roundedness.

1556
01:37:42,920 –> 01:37:46,760
Right? Like, when you when you read literature and you’re and you whether

1557
01:37:46,760 –> 01:37:50,040
you agree with them or disagree with them, whether whether it’s fiction or nonfiction or

1558
01:37:50,040 –> 01:37:53,805
whether it like, you’re reading somebody else’s is words from a particular

1559
01:37:53,945 –> 01:37:57,785
time period that is is not yours. Right? Mhmm. Or I mean, maybe you are

1560
01:37:57,785 –> 01:38:01,540
reading modern or contemporary literature as well, but All of us

1561
01:38:01,540 –> 01:38:05,300
grew up reading the classics and the I mean, if you went to high

1562
01:38:05,300 –> 01:38:08,795
school in America, you read half the books we’ve talked about, you know, in

1563
01:38:08,795 –> 01:38:12,635
these in these, sessions. So I I think I think

1564
01:38:12,635 –> 01:38:16,475
part of it is that it it

1565
01:38:16,475 –> 01:38:20,200
it It goes beyond just, like, what am I

1566
01:38:20,200 –> 01:38:23,560
looking at right in front of me and what if I’m looking at something right

1567
01:38:23,560 –> 01:38:27,195
in front of me, how do I pull From knowledge of other

1568
01:38:27,195 –> 01:38:30,235
areas of my life in order to make a decision based on what’s in front

1569
01:38:30,235 –> 01:38:34,075
of me, right? Like that well roundedness of being

1570
01:38:34,075 –> 01:38:36,290
a person Helps leaders

1571
01:38:37,870 –> 01:38:41,630
essentially stay close to it versus giving

1572
01:38:41,630 –> 01:38:45,135
yourselves the distance or trying to distance yourself, but

1573
01:38:45,135 –> 01:38:48,735
I that the the the the the show Undercover

1574
01:38:48,735 –> 01:38:52,570
Boss comes to mind. Right? Mhmm. If if you’ve never seen the show Undercover Boss,

1575
01:38:52,650 –> 01:38:56,250
It’s these big companies, you know, in in the United States, the trash removal

1576
01:38:56,250 –> 01:38:59,690
company Waste Management was one of the first ones on the on the show, and

1577
01:38:59,690 –> 01:39:03,355
it’s this giant Company that is 100 and 100 of

1578
01:39:03,355 –> 01:39:07,035
1,000,000 of dollars per year, and the CEO went to work on a trash truck

1579
01:39:07,035 –> 01:39:10,360
one day and nobody knew who he was So that he could get back in

1580
01:39:10,360 –> 01:39:13,800
touch with the common employee, with the with the entry level

1581
01:39:13,800 –> 01:39:17,480
employee. I think I think if we look at and not

1582
01:39:17,480 –> 01:39:21,245
just literature, but Music can do this. Right? Like, if you listen to

1583
01:39:21,245 –> 01:39:25,085
music from the fifties and sixties and just the vibe and the feeling is

1584
01:39:25,085 –> 01:39:28,620
so different, if you can understand where that music is coming from, And you can

1585
01:39:28,620 –> 01:39:32,140
understand that generation, that generation of people. You can it helps you

1586
01:39:32,140 –> 01:39:35,895
understand working with them. Right? If you’re If so

1587
01:39:35,895 –> 01:39:39,495
I I think all of it in general, not just classic literature or

1588
01:39:39,495 –> 01:39:43,195
it’s I think anything that makes you a well rounded person

1589
01:39:43,900 –> 01:39:47,660
Makes you a better leader. So I think I think that’s really where I

1590
01:39:47,900 –> 01:39:50,380
one of the reasons I love being on this podcast is because I seem to

1591
01:39:50,380 –> 01:39:54,145
always Find something or you drag something out of me that I

1592
01:39:54,145 –> 01:39:57,365
wasn’t thinking of or, and and I realize that,

1593
01:39:58,280 –> 01:40:01,320
Like, I don’t I don’t think I in in my family will tell you this.

1594
01:40:01,320 –> 01:40:05,080
If somebody were to ask me, like, what kinda leader I am, what kinda person

1595
01:40:05,080 –> 01:40:08,485
I am, whatever, Half the time I don’t know how to answer them. Right? Mhmm.

1596
01:40:08,485 –> 01:40:12,165
And but I think what I’ve heard from

1597
01:40:12,325 –> 01:40:16,140
in the past is, like, Being well rounded

1598
01:40:16,140 –> 01:40:19,200
in what your conversation topics can be can make you a good

1599
01:40:19,660 –> 01:40:23,340
x, fill in the blank. Like, it doesn’t matter, not not just leadership,

1600
01:40:23,340 –> 01:40:26,945
but It also can make you a good subordinate, to be honest. Like, if you

1601
01:40:27,185 –> 01:40:30,865
and again, I I heard something very young in life, which was be

1602
01:40:30,865 –> 01:40:33,329
nice to them on the way up because gonna see them again on your way

1603
01:40:33,329 –> 01:40:37,010
down. Right? So when you are that person that is in your late fifties

1604
01:40:37,010 –> 01:40:40,770
and you’re not looking to climb the corporate ladder anymore, you just wanna go do

1605
01:40:40,770 –> 01:40:44,245
your job and go home, It gives you being a well

1606
01:40:44,245 –> 01:40:47,465
rounded person also allows you to be a good

1607
01:40:48,085 –> 01:40:51,929
employee Because you’re you’re now understanding where these people are coming from and

1608
01:40:51,929 –> 01:40:54,090
why they’re coming at you with things and why they’re asking you to do things

1609
01:40:54,090 –> 01:40:57,770
that are outside your scope of work or whatever that is. So I I

1610
01:40:57,770 –> 01:41:01,503
think All of the things that

1611
01:41:01,503 –> 01:41:05,135
that that that you, all of the classic arts, I think going to the Museum

1612
01:41:05,135 –> 01:41:08,690
of Fine Arts and looking at Picassos and looking at Those types of things,

1613
01:41:08,690 –> 01:41:12,530
going to to theater and going to operas and going and reading classic

1614
01:41:12,530 –> 01:41:15,750
literature, I think all of that, if you can

1615
01:41:16,515 –> 01:41:20,275
If you can consume pieces of that along your lifetime, it’s

1616
01:41:20,275 –> 01:41:22,915
going to make you a better person, it’s going to make you a better leader,

1617
01:41:22,915 –> 01:41:26,719
it’s gonna make you a better husband, Better son, better father, because you’re

1618
01:41:26,719 –> 01:41:30,340
gonna you’re not gonna you’re gonna stop looking at things through isolated lenses,

1619
01:41:30,560 –> 01:41:34,265
and you’re gonna start looking at things through very broad spectrum lenses, And

1620
01:41:34,265 –> 01:41:37,945
be able to take bits and pieces of your life to make your decision and

1621
01:41:37,945 –> 01:41:41,705
your and and take your course of action versus just a simplistic view

1622
01:41:41,705 –> 01:41:44,619
of it. So I I I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but

1623
01:41:44,619 –> 01:41:48,320
I Absolutely. That is a that is a robust defense

1624
01:41:48,460 –> 01:41:51,625
of the humanities, which is

1625
01:41:51,925 –> 01:41:55,685
something that has long been in decline in our culture and

1626
01:41:55,685 –> 01:41:59,364
long been devalued in our culture, not not starting about 5 minutes ago. I

1627
01:41:59,364 –> 01:42:03,030
mean, We’ve been devaluing the humanities for at least 50

1628
01:42:03,030 –> 01:42:06,250
years, in, in the United States,

1629
01:42:07,030 –> 01:42:10,645
and we see that in higher education. And

1630
01:42:10,645 –> 01:42:14,405
we see that in the universities and in the college systems. And what has happened

1631
01:42:14,405 –> 01:42:18,105
is the value of the humanities, and the humanities includes

1632
01:42:18,440 –> 01:42:21,820
the arts. It includes, philosophy.

1633
01:42:23,480 –> 01:42:26,679
It includes theology, some of the things that

1634
01:42:26,920 –> 01:42:30,465
even even politics, and the, and literature.

1635
01:42:30,925 –> 01:42:34,125
The things that we talk about on this podcast are the writers that we talk

1636
01:42:34,125 –> 01:42:37,850
about here, particularly as we go into

1637
01:42:37,989 –> 01:42:41,449
an election year, those writers and

1638
01:42:41,590 –> 01:42:45,285
those topics in those spaces make

1639
01:42:45,745 –> 01:42:49,205
you as a listener and as a reader, a better

1640
01:42:49,985 –> 01:42:53,480
leader. And a defense of the

1641
01:42:53,480 –> 01:42:56,920
humanities is something that has to be remounted every

1642
01:42:56,920 –> 01:43:00,735
generation because every generation, particularly every generation in

1643
01:43:00,735 –> 01:43:03,635
the west, but we’re seeing now this increasingly happen globally.

1644
01:43:05,055 –> 01:43:08,550
As they become more industrialized and as they Go into a

1645
01:43:08,550 –> 01:43:12,230
post industrial posture, moves closer and

1646
01:43:12,230 –> 01:43:15,905
closer to utility. And Utility

1647
01:43:16,045 –> 01:43:19,824
is necessary. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t need a shovel to be beautiful,

1648
01:43:21,245 –> 01:43:23,505
but wouldn’t it be cool if it had a really nice handle?

1649
01:43:25,390 –> 01:43:27,870
I gotta tell you, so what’s funny that you said, like, I was I was

1650
01:43:27,870 –> 01:43:30,850
sitting here thinking as you’re talking, like, some of the most impactful

1651
01:43:33,605 –> 01:43:37,385
It those experiences in my life. Right? Like, I remember,

1652
01:43:37,764 –> 01:43:41,284
the first time I saw Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

1653
01:43:41,284 –> 01:43:44,830
Like, first time I saw that I was like, oh my good lord, how this

1654
01:43:44,830 –> 01:43:48,670
is it’s awesome. Like, it’s just awesome, right? 1st time I first

1655
01:43:48,670 –> 01:43:52,065
time I heard the Boston Symphony Orchestra. And now, mind you, I I gotta tell

1656
01:43:52,145 –> 01:43:54,325
this is a bet this is a better story. This is a better better story.

1657
01:43:54,625 –> 01:43:57,685
I was an inner city kid. I I grew up, that,

1658
01:43:58,860 –> 01:44:02,559
All the bad things you think of with inner city kids, I

1659
01:44:02,940 –> 01:44:06,219
hate to admit, but most of them, just think of those when you think of

1660
01:44:06,219 –> 01:44:09,595
what I’m telling you. Okay. I I was a young I was a young,

1661
01:44:10,475 –> 01:44:13,995
or pew, like, preteen, preteen ish, I think I was like 11 or 12 years

1662
01:44:13,995 –> 01:44:17,540
old, and I got an opportunity to meet Sijio Ozawi. Oh.

1663
01:44:17,860 –> 01:44:21,680
And For those who don’t know for those who don’t

1664
01:44:21,680 –> 01:44:24,420
know, because I know, but for those who don’t know who are listening, who is

1665
01:44:24,535 –> 01:44:28,055
Who is Sijio Azzawi? So Sijio Azzawi was the conductor of the Boston

1666
01:44:28,055 –> 01:44:31,735
Symphony Orchestra and probably one of the best that ever touched the conductor

1667
01:44:31,735 –> 01:44:35,550
wand by a lot of people’s opinions. Not mine, because he’s the only conductor

1668
01:44:35,550 –> 01:44:38,910
I know. So I’m not gonna suggest that I know a lot about symphonies and

1669
01:44:38,910 –> 01:44:42,750
orchestras and all that, but if you ask around that world, he was

1670
01:44:42,750 –> 01:44:46,495
awesome. Like just Awe inspiring and awesome from what

1671
01:44:46,495 –> 01:44:50,255
I gathered. And when I got a chance to meet him, as

1672
01:44:50,255 –> 01:44:53,860
a kid, I was like, this

1673
01:44:53,860 –> 01:44:55,320
man was

1674
01:44:57,380 –> 01:45:00,815
godlike. He was amazing, amazing to talk to.

1675
01:45:01,295 –> 01:45:04,655
And and he opened up a part of my brain that I did not know

1676
01:45:04,655 –> 01:45:08,094
existed because I thought classical music was just

1677
01:45:08,094 –> 01:45:11,790
noise. I mean, think about it. An inner city kid that grew

1678
01:45:11,790 –> 01:45:15,630
up listening to Beastie Boys and Run DMC. Yeah. Like Well, yeah. I

1679
01:45:15,630 –> 01:45:19,395
mean, Run Run DMC and and those types of that type of music

1680
01:45:19,395 –> 01:45:22,915
was, like that’s all I cared about. Like, that was, like, that was music to

1681
01:45:22,915 –> 01:45:26,570
me. Anything else was noise to me, and when he started talking

1682
01:45:26,570 –> 01:45:29,530
to to to the group of us, there was a there was a group of

1683
01:45:29,530 –> 01:45:33,205
us, and he started talking to the group of us about Where the instruments came

1684
01:45:33,205 –> 01:45:36,185
from, why they were used, what instruments

1685
01:45:36,565 –> 01:45:40,405
influenced Run DMC, by the way. He knew that, and I

1686
01:45:40,405 –> 01:45:44,130
was like, Wait, what? Like, this guy knew

1687
01:45:44,130 –> 01:45:47,810
more about music in the 20 minutes I talked to him than any single human

1688
01:45:47,810 –> 01:45:51,265
being I’ve met since. Mhmm. Like, Nobody,

1689
01:45:51,965 –> 01:45:55,585
and maybe Keith Lockhart, but whatever, well, whatever. But

1690
01:45:55,725 –> 01:45:59,530
like, Amazing. It may

1691
01:45:59,530 –> 01:46:02,890
absolutely amaze me and and completely flipped my mind

1692
01:46:02,890 –> 01:46:06,730
on what classical music should be in somebody’s

1693
01:46:06,730 –> 01:46:10,445
world. And I and I and I’ve since been to the BSO quite a

1694
01:46:10,445 –> 01:46:14,125
few times, I’ve so the Boston Symphony Orchestra also has a side shoot called the

1695
01:46:14,125 –> 01:46:17,345
Boston Pops, which I’ve also seen a handful of times.

1696
01:46:18,080 –> 01:46:21,840
Just amazing. And I I grew up thinking classical music was just noise.

1697
01:46:21,840 –> 01:46:25,460
Right? So and and, it’s just an interaction with 1 person.

1698
01:46:25,805 –> 01:46:29,345
The interaction with 1 person, and it just changed my opinion of it forever.

1699
01:46:30,365 –> 01:46:34,100
And that is the point, fundamentally of this, of this podcast. You

1700
01:46:34,100 –> 01:46:37,780
know, that’s the the point of of conversations like the kind that we had today

1701
01:46:37,780 –> 01:46:41,075
and the point of us bringing essays and ideas and insights

1702
01:46:41,315 –> 01:46:45,015
fundamentally because if you can take one thing from this

1703
01:46:45,155 –> 01:46:48,455
episode as a leader, whether it’s one thing about

1704
01:46:48,670 –> 01:46:51,650
language, whether it’s one thing about convention,

1705
01:46:52,349 –> 01:46:55,889
whether it’s one thing about the nature of

1706
01:46:56,925 –> 01:47:00,625
utility, and where we get our power from in literature.

1707
01:47:00,845 –> 01:47:04,605
You could take one thing from this episode today and apply it to your

1708
01:47:04,605 –> 01:47:08,429
real lived leadership life. I guarantee you, and I don’t

1709
01:47:08,429 –> 01:47:12,270
often make guarantees, matter of fact, I almost never make guarantees, but I’ll be

1710
01:47:12,270 –> 01:47:15,755
willing to be able to guarantee on this. I guarantee you that, To Tom’s point,

1711
01:47:16,135 –> 01:47:19,495
you will have a more

1712
01:47:19,495 –> 01:47:23,320
enriched and a more valuable life, and that will

1713
01:47:23,320 –> 01:47:27,000
make you a better and a more valuable leader to the people that you are

1714
01:47:27,000 –> 01:47:30,665
leading. So with that, I’d

1715
01:47:30,745 –> 01:47:34,425
like to thank Tom Libby for coming on the podcast today, as usual. Always a

1716
01:47:34,425 –> 01:47:38,045
pleasure. Always my pleasure. And with that,

1717
01:47:38,185 –> 01:47:38,685
well,

1718
01:47:42,941 –> 01:47:43,441
We’re

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