YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=HP9EVVz5BHE
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Uploaded:2017-05-05
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It's real easy, it's not about winning an argument, or getting upset or angry, it's about letting your voice be heard. http://5calls.org

I hope I was fairly coherent in this video. I'm just getting over a cold and I still feel crappy and like my mind is working at about 50% normal speed. I ended up editing this video non-linearly...meaning I didn't originally say all of these things in this order.

So it's possible I messed up some of my original points...I'm sick and tired OK!

But hopefully the point comes across...it's bullcrap to believe that money can take on the role that actual human contact and human appreciation. More and more, we are moving labor behind the scenes, where no one can see it and where it is very efficient and unobserved. Like, I used to talk to at least one person if I had to buy a USB cable, now I click buttons on Amazon and people who I will never see (or even think about) work to get my USB cable to me as invisibly as possible.

This might (/might/) be economically a good idea, but it is not good for human satisfaction and happiness, and that worries me. A lot, actually.

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Good morning John! First, it's my birthday. Happy birthday, me. Second, I wanna tell everybody that I also do not know what's in the boxes. John, you are my brother, my collaborator, my partner-in-crime. WHAT'S IN THE BOX? And third, I'm just really bummed out that the House of Representatives pushed through this health care bill that's totally unstudied, super probably unhelpful, and why? It's got ways to go yet, we'll see what the Senate has to say, but it's just discouraging.

And I'm discouraged that it looks like some people are kind of really 'fight for those underdogs!' the-uh, the internet providers, Comcast and such, so that they can control what goes through their pipes at what speeds and how much we pay for individual pieces of the internet. You know, so that their stuff can go faster or be cheaper than, you know, my stuff, so I have making some phone calls to my representatives, to other people in government. It's actually pretty easy, once you get into the swing of it. I use 5calls.org. Tells me what number to call, you can just click on it, if you are on a phone and there's a little script there that you can read.

As I have done that, I've been thinking about the life-changing magic of thumbs up, your video from last week. Because people listening to these messages, or taking these phone calls, from lot of people who are figuratively sick and tired and also, my case, literally sick and tired, I might not having the best days.

So I ask myself, like, so the thumbs up that you give to the guy that was running by you, it's this... it's a little bit of a like a breaking of the norm, in saying like, I see you and I think you are doing a positive thing. And what is this situation's casual and not-invasive, like, thumbs up? So I just started ending every phone call by saying, "Thank you for the work you do, I'm sure that it's not always super fun. I hope you have a lovely day."

And suddenly I feel so much better about the whole thing. Like, I feel less like I'm imposing an unpleasant experience on another person. John, you are aware of my appreciation deficit theory. It's this idea that I have, that, uh, by turning all transactions into something that can be quantified with money, that we have lost the ability to feel as if there is value that can be transferred that isn't measured?

Like people who take my garbage away, or make my butternut squash soup, or work of the sewage treatment plant or whatever, like they get paid! That's how they are appreciated for the hard work and skill that they provide. But I think that's crap. They aren't getting appreciated by that money. That's an transaction. They're trading their time and their skill for money. They are not being appreciated by money. They are being compensated by money. Appreciation is a whole another, much more human, much less translational, thing. And I think we kinda forgot about it, because we're like... oh, well, it's being...it's being taken care of by...economics.

So I think it's nice, whether we're appreciating people for working hard on their run and getting their first half-marathon. Congratulations, John. Or thanking them for doing a job that I assume is often thankless, and is, sometimes, unpleasant. It's nice to just break a little bit out of the societal norms of how we interact with each other, and these ways that we understand to be, actually devoid of meaning. The conversations that we have in the grocery line, and the thank you and have a nice day-s.

To break a little bit out of that, to let other people know that you actually are grateful for the things that they do, and you actually do hope that they have a nice day! It's a weird line, because after a certain point, you're like "oh, eah... that, like, why is this person?, uh, this is a weirdo! I identified a weirdo!" So you have to find the little way to do it. Just the... that double thumbs up.

It's like an opportunity to remember how much we all benefit form the existence and the hard work and the skill and the talent of other people. More I meditate on that, and every interaction is an opportunity to do that, better I feel about the world and it gives me energy to take on the things that I need to take on. And not feel completely overwhelmed by the current state of affairs.

There is non-transactional, non-economical measured value out there in the world, and there's tons of it, I want there to be more of it. Cause, yeah, we need money, but humans also need to know that their work matters and is appreciated. So, let's not forget that that value exists.

John, I'll see you on Friday.