The Most Important Book I’ve Ever Read + Other Strange Tales…

This post is a little different to the usual.  It is a cross-post of my most recent newsletter.

This is the only time that I’ll be putting one of these up on the blog – I just wanted to give everyone a chance to see what kind of thing I send out to the mailing list.

Let’s do this!

The Most Important Book I’ve Ever Read…

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Steven Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature – A History of Violence and Humanity’ is an absolutely incredible piece of work.

Over the course of this dense, beautifully written, and exhaustively researched tome, Pinker not only proves beyond any reasonable doubt that almost every type of violence in the world is in rapid decline, he also shows you why (the real reasons are surprising.)

This is a landmark achievement and probably the most genuinely hopeful book I have ever read about humanity and our future.

It is by no means small, nor is it a fast read, but it may actually change your view of the world for the better.

It did mine.


I Took an Internet Fast…

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As some of you know, last month I took a week and headed north to a place in the highlands nestled between the mountains and the ocean.  I rested, and I swam; I read and I wrote; I ate good food and had good times with good people.

But the best thing?  For 9 days there was zero internet.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the interwebs (after all it’s one of the biggest reasons I can make a living doing what I do.)  But as in all things, balance is key.

Living in the digital information age can feel like drinking water through a fire-hose.  Time and space are fast becoming luxury items.  Periodically unplugging, and taking a little of both for ourselves, can be vital for our general wellbeing and happiness.

“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first four sharpening my axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

[P.S.  If like the photo and want to see more shots from my time away here is my Instagram.]


Film: The Flying Scotsman

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I recently watched ‘The Flying Scotsman’, a 2006 British drama based on the life and career of Scottish amateur cyclist Graeme Obree.

Seemingly about Obree’s breaking of the one hour distance record on ‘Old Faithful’ (the bike he made himself from scrap metal and parts of an old washing machine) the film ultimately reveals itself to be a prescient and frank discussion of mental illness and it’s effects.

It was not the film I was expecting; it was much more.


The #BeKind Campaign

Last month I created my first T-Shirt (inspired by this blog).

When I got back from my trip, some of the coolest things in my in-box were pictures people had taken of themselves wearing them.

If you were one of the people who supported the campaign, bought a shirt, or sent a picture then:

Thankyou.


In Other News:

Just before I went away I published a blog titled ‘In Praise of Shadows…’ a discussion of beauty of darkness.  It is one of my favorite things I have written and you can read it here.

Since being back I have been hunkered down in the studio working hard on the upcoming E.P.

That this one has taken way longer than expected.  If you are one of the people who are waiting for it then thankyou, and know that it will be with you very soon.


Quote of the month: 

‘Discipline Equals Freedom’ – Jocko Willink


What did you think?

I’ll be sending these newsletters out a little more regularly now than I have in the past (but I wont be cross-posting any more online).  If you’d like to start receiving them, get early access to my stuff, AND get 3 free pieces of my music you can sign up here.

Hope you are well. Have a great day,

J

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