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Marginalia - 2/26/2023

Rolexes in garbage dumps, fully remote isn't fun, your real résume.

Paul Craig
Paul Craig
4 min read
Marginalia - 2/26/2023

Marginalia is a weekly synthesis of the flotsam, jetsam, and whatnot of the news cycle with a few dry, sarcastic one-liners here and there.


Yeah... about that... I've been ill and overloaded for the past couple of weekends when I normally publish. Two separate viral/bacterial sinus cruds left me flat on my back and lacking brain cycles.

So... let's get back at it.

Neil Postman

… statistics, like any other technology, has a tendency to run out of control, to occupy more of our mental space than it warrants, to involve realms of discourse where it an only wreak havoc. When it is out of control, statistics buries in a heap of trivia what is necessary to know.
– Neil Postman, Technopoly

The late singer/songwriter John Kilzer once remarked to me that writing a great lyric was like "trying to find a Rolex in a garbage dump."

The same can be said of trying to find vital knowledge in a garbage heap of trivia.

As one ages, one's number of heroes dwindles... if one stops reading, learning and thinking. If one continues those three acts essential to mental and psychological survival, then one will discover new heroes during life's journey.

Neil Postman left this world almost twenty years ago.

George Orwell worried about totalitarians overtaking the world with an iron fist. Aldous Huxley feared totalitarians would create a world in which its citizens were so entertained and distracted that they didn't care about the actions of their benevolent rulers. Postman leaned toward Huxley's vision but I'm confident he would concede there's a tinge of Orwell's vision today. Especially when one ponders the capabilities of the "viewscreen" in Orwell's novel 1984.

Today's texts sounding the alarms about the detrimental effects of technology run rampant find their genesis in Neil Postman's books.

Cal Newport, Franklin Foer, Nicholas Carr and a host of others are all applying Postman's knowledge and insights to today's host of technological problems... from distraction to the warping of public opinion.

Like Eric Hoffer, Postman is mostly forgotten. I'm certain the Technopolists would like the situational amnesia to continue.

Like Eric Hoffer, Neil Postman became one of my intellectual heroes later in life.

It's not too late for him to become one of yours.


Sure, running a fully virtual company can save money and apparently it’s what people want. But it can also be very, very dysfunctional.
– Gene Marks, The Guardian
My company has been virtual for 18 years. Remote working is tough
The office expenses I’ve saved on since 2005 have come at the expense of my company’s culture
My company has been virtual for 18 years. Remote working is tough - Gene Marks

Gene Marks writes about the challenges of running a fully remote company.

His overhead went down... until it went back up. Cloud service subscriptions, tax compliance, travel reimbursements, home office reimbursements have eaten away those once perceived cost efficiencies.

There is also the probability that no one working there is any happier because of the blurred lines between work and home lives.

And what about those attempting to deliver value while working for a large corporation whose business processes aren't scaled and optimized for remote work?

The result is a dystopian bureaucracy that even the illegitimate love child of Orwell and Huxley couldn't imagine.

Your real résumé is just a catalog of your suffering.  If I ask you to describe your real life to yourself, and you look back from your deathbed at the interesting things you've done, it's going to be around the sacrifices you made, the hard things you did.
– Naval Ravikant, as found at A Layman's Blog
Your real résumé is just a catalog of your suffering. If I ask you to describe your real life to yourself, and you look back from your d…

Moving in a pandemic was hard.

Giving up a life I'd created over a decade was hard.

Shouldering the load to allow my wife's career to grow, evolve and skyrocket was (and still is) hard.

Being able to raise our daughter in a safe place with a great school system... worth the sacrifice.

The realest of real résumes.


Paul Craig Twitter

Father. Husband. Practicing Stoic. 30+ years Printing and Substrate Technology. One step at a time.

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