Advice before turning 70

avoiding CRAP

Dan Lewis, the Now I Know guy, suggested to his readers an article from Kevin Kelly. Kelly was pondering on what advice he wished he had heard when he was young, now that he is turning 70. I suppose this struck a chord because I SHALL BE turning 70 on my next birthday.

Most are useful. But some resonate with me more than others.

“Don’t keep making the same mistakes; try to make new mistakes.” I sure do that with a certain degree of regularity.

“Anything you say before the word ‘but’ does not count.” Almost always true.

“Courtesy costs nothing.” He has some examples, e.g. “Let the people in the elevator exit before you enter.” But I think it’s a bit more… intentional than that. When you’re paying attention, you can find all sorts of things you can do, even when, or especially when no one is around. Moving a large branch that has fallen across the sidewalk (someone could trip over it at night). Or moving whatever is blocking someone else’s path either physically or metaphorically.

“Efficiency is highly overrated; Goofing off is highly underrated… The best work ethic requires a good rest ethic.” Heck, yeah.

“The biggest lie we tell ourselves is ‘I don’t need to write this down because I will remember it.'” I’m LONG past THAT!

Ask a librarian

“Half the skill of being educated is learning what you can ignore.” One thing I heard a lot when the Internet was expanding and Google was becoming a verb is that soon we wouldn’t need librarians. All the information would be at everyone’s fingertips. What they didn’t realize is that a lot of the information out there is CRAP, and having a librarian to help discern that is useful.

“What you actually pay for something is at least twice the listed price because of the energy, time, money needed to set it up, learn, maintain, repair, and dispose of at the end. Not all prices appear on labels. Actual costs are 2x listed prices.” At LEAST twice the list price.

“Don’t believe everything you think you believe.” Often evolving.

“The chief prevention against getting old is to remain astonished.” That must mean I am about 37.

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