“Helicopter Story” was one of the best pieces of sci-fi I’ve read in a while. All the more galling that it was ripped apart in a culture war free-for-all.
I have a special amount of hate especially for those people who feel like they’re on the good side but have an understanding of literature that is too shallow to contain something like this. I blame MCU, games and Disney for letting these people believe that what happens there is what’s possible and allowed in fiction.
The character relations turned into a bit of a tangle so I fired up Miro and quickly charted them out. In the end it wasn’t that complicated but the worlds of Meryem and Peri are very clearly separate.
There are lots of movies where a cast of characters roams a town and occasionally intersects in a couple of dramatic moments. What comes to mind for me most immediately is Amores Perros. Of course a Netflix serial doesn’t hit the cinematic height or dramatic depth of that movie despite having more runtime to play with. What it does manage is to set a mood for the weird tangled up modern Turkey.
The most interesting and dramatic events in Bir Başkadır happen on the road (Mesude’s death under the bridge, the family dance off on the way to the village). Along with some of the commuting sequences and the continuous questions of what bus stops where and how to get somewhere in time, that is an essential part of Istanbul. The city is so vast and spread out that people are always underway, an apt metaphor for character development—interrupted or otherwise—if ever there was one.
A strong hint about the real future of virtual reality and a callback to the MUD era which I had a lot of trouble understanding. Seeing it on Tiktok makes it a lot more tangible in a bunch of ways.
I’m horrified to see this willingly traded for an opportunity to reproduce the worst parts of the existing physical art market, where “the original” is useful foremost as a rare thing- a unique thing- that, in its scarcity, is an asset.
Many would call me unrealistic and naïve for this, unwilling to make compromises in the world we are living now because of an idealistic vision of a tomorrow; and to them I would like to say that we literally invented an extra-sovereign monetary system that within 10 years has generated trillions of dollars of worth and is held up with the power consumption of a small country.
He believed that the ‘blood sacrifice’ of a few would regenerate the national consciousness and lead, by force of Irish arms, to the eventual withdrawal of Britain from Ireland.
MacSwiney took his place in history not just because of his sacrifice but because of his portentous words. ‘It is not those who can inflict the most,’ he warned, ‘but those who can suffer the most who will conquer.’
Eight months earlier, Lloyd George had likened the prospect of meeting Collins to that of meeting a murderer and had described the IRA as ‘a small body of assassins, a real murder gang, dominating the country and terrorizing it’. Now he described its commander as ‘one of the most courageous leaders ever produced by a valiant race’.
An armed struggle on its own was getting nowhere unless you had the political support of the population.
weeks. There were twenty-seven of us at the beginning. The recruiting officer was very resolute and he put the fear of God into you. He told you that if you’re joining the IRA, it was a total and absolute commitment. It required sacrifice and it required dedication and it required honour above all. He told us everything that was bad about joining: imprisonment, death, very little money in your pocket, very few friends; it was going to be a hard slog, and a long hard road ahead of us. So gradually people st
It’s a situation somewhat analogous to Israel’s West Bank. We’re part of a state which we never wanted to be part of.
The ultimate aim of the Irish nation will never emerge from the political or constitutional platform. Indeed one is now expected to be more conversant with the teaching of Chairman Mao than those of our dead patriots.
You’re all asking me to get the army in?’ And they all said yes. So I picked up the phone and rang him. I said, ‘I’m pleading with you, Jim. Send in the army.’ And I’ll never forget his reply. ‘Gerry,’ he says, ‘I can get the army in but it’s going to be a devil of a job to get it out.’
Seeing British soldiers on the street, I got this sense that there’s someone there now to protect us, to defend us against these incursions into our area.
he had never fully embraced Goulding’s policy of taking the IRA ‘into the never-never land of theoretical Marxism and parliamentary politics’.
We realized that the Dublin crowd and the Dublin leadership were nothing other than con-men. They were only using the North as a base, a springboard to help them in their left-wing political field.
Although republicans could stand in elections to the parliaments at Westminster, Stormont and Dublin, no successful candidate ever took his or her seat since to do so would be to recognize the legitimacy of these institutions. The IRA’s whole existence and self-styled legitimacy rested on its refusal to recognize these parliaments which, to republicans, had no moral or legal authority.
But the people who defended the street stood their ground. The following morning there was just sheer elation and relief that the IRA were there to deal with that situation.
The army had done exactly as the Unionists’ Security Committee had demanded four days earlier – it had got tough. The result was summed up by Gerry Adams. ‘Thousands of people who had never been republicans now gave their active support to the IRA; others, who had never had any time for physical force now accepted it as a practical necessity.’
They are terrorists and that’s the end of the story. No rank, no glamour. They are terrorists. What did we do in Kenya? We didn’t call them Colonels or Majors or Brigadiers. We called them terrorists and they were hung. Same thing in Palestine. Terrorists there were caught and they were executed. No glory. Nobody cries over a dead body too long. A couple of days and they forget all about it.
If any young men had previously held back because they felt morally uncomfortable about killing, ‘Bloody Sunday’ removed any lingering restraint.
Every day they passed the office as they passed by in a black taxi [the ‘People’s Taxis’ that provided cheap transport] up and down the Falls Road and people would say, ‘there’s the Sinn Fein office’. The incident centres gave the party a physical presence.
Scant progress was being made. The British were offering the release of more prisoners but this did not ‘begin to meet the minimum of requirements’.
But the Provisionals were not interested in public relations. They wanted to talk about the declaration of intent which, to them, was the whole point of the truce. Allan and ‘HM’ said the Government could not now give this for three reasons: the Convention ‘must be given a chance publicly’; the Government was waiting for ‘a consensus of opinion to emerge in Britain’; and there was the danger of ‘a Congo-type situation resulting’.
How they fight is a matter of tactics and conditions, but fight they must. There can be no question of that. The enemy allows us no choice. It is an armed struggle because the enemy is armed. Because he establishes and protects his vested interests by force of arms. The cabinet ministers, the politicians, the warlords, the business interests, the profit makers – the Establishment – have all agreed on their objects and the course they will follow. They are armed mercenaries. We must be armed revolutionaries. We must be Active Republicans.
The warning, it said, ‘proved totally inadequate given the disastrous consequences. We accept condemnation and criticism from only two sources: from the relatives and friends of those who were accidentally killed, and from our supporters who have rightly and severely criticized us.’
If you could, you saved a bit of margarine or butter from your breakfast that morning and took it with you when you were brought out of the cell. They took you up to a small room at the top of the wing and all the uniforms were lined up there. As soon as you got the trousers on, you ripped the bottom off them to expose your back-end. Before you went out to the visit, you rubbed a bit of the margarine or butter on your rear-end. So when you got the parcel on the visit, you had to get your hand in between your legs and pass the thing up your rear-end. That’s how most things came in. Radios came in that way. Everything came in that way. It took a wee bit of skill and sleight of hand to do it. And you had to be quick.
The hatred prison officers and prisoners felt for each other was mutual and lasting. Nothing brought it home to me more forcefully than a production of Bobby Sands’ epic ‘The Crime of Castlereagh’ which I watched in a parochial hall in West Belfast. It was staged by former prisoners and prisoners out on parole or home leave. One scene depicted a prisoner being turned upside down whilst a prison officer with rubber gloves gloatingly searched his anus. As the officer was walking off stage, a shot rang out and he fell down dead. It was a dramatic piece of theatre. The packed audience, among whom were many of the Republican Movement’s most prominent figures, including members of the leadership, broke out in spontaneous applause and cheering. It was a chilling moment.
Furthermore, by the mid-eighties, the intelligence on which such interceptions and ambushes were mounted was far more precise, with sophisticated electronic surveillance supplementing the information supplied by agents and informers within the IRA’s ranks.
Such operations were, on the whole, difficult to carry out in urban areas like Belfast and Derry because of the risk to civilians and extremely difficult in South Armagh where the locals knew every suspicious-looking hedge, barn and ditch. Under the right circumstances rural areas like Tyrone offered a perfect killing field.
The IRA took hostage the family of Patsy Gillespie, strapped him into a car loaded with a thousand pounds of explosives and told him to drive to the checkpoint. The IRA told his family he would be released when he had carried out their orders. Patsy Gillespie became a ‘human bomb’ and when he arrived at the checkpoint the IRA detonated the explosives by remote control, killing him and five soldiers.
Because I totally distrust the British Government. I’ve had too many experiences in the past to be so naive as to trust the British Government.
The final solution is union. It is going to happen anyway. The historical train – Europe – determines that. We are committed to Europe. Unionists will have to change. This island will be as one.
And from that point on she micromanaged me, and I realized that she was fear-based, both in how she thought of her bosses and in terms of how she ran her team.
The good news in all this for you, the team leader, is that what people care most about at work is within your control.
The big thing is that only on a team can we express our individuality at work and put it to highest use.
1. I am really enthusiastic about the mission of my company.
2. At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me.
3. In my team, I am surrounded by people who share my values.
4. I have the chance to use my strengths every day at work.
5. My teammates have my back.
6. I know I will be recognized for excellent work.
7. I have great confidence in my company’s future.
8. In my work, I am always challenged to grow.
The amounts of time and energy it takes to make a plan this thorough and detailed are the very things that doom it to obsolescence. The thing we call planning doesn’t tell you where to go; it just helps you understand where you are. Or rather, were. Recently. We aren’t planning for the future, we’re planning for the near-term past.
Their underlying assumption is that people are wise, and that if you can present them with accurate, real-time, reliable data about the real world in front of them, they’ll invariably make smart decisions.
Planning systems take the interpretation of the data away from those on the front lines, and hand it off to a select few, who analyze it and decipher its patterns, and then construct and communicate the plan. Intelligence systems do precisely the opposite—because the “intelligence” in an intelligence system lies not in the select few, but instead in the emergent interpretive powers of all front-line team members.
Each check-in, then, is a chance to offer a tip, or an idea that can help the team member overcome a real-world obstacle, or a suggestion for how to refine a particular skill.
And their shared insight, across the span of sixty years, is that it is far more powerful for a leader to free the most information and the most decision-making power than it is for that leader to craft the perfect plan.
Self-evaluation of goals isn’t really about evaluating your work, in other words: it’s a careful exercise in self-promotion and political positioning, in figuring out how much to reveal honestly and how much to couch carefully.
The company has asked you to evaluate yourself against a list of abstract goals that were irrelevant a couple of weeks after you wrote them down.
These leaders strive instead to bring to life for their people the meaning and purpose of their work, the missions and contributions and methods that truly matter. These leaders know that in a team infused with such meaning, each person will be smart enough and driven enough to set goals voluntarily that manifest that meaning.
A strength, on the other hand, is an “activity that makes you feel strong.”
The simplest answer is that, though we are deeply aware that each of us is unique, and that no amount of training or badgering will remove that uniqueness, it is still quite overwhelming for a busy team leader to allow himself to come face-to-face with the fact that each of his team members thinks differently, is motivated by different things, responds to relationship cues differently, and gets a kick out of different sorts of praise.
that leaders can’t be in the control business and must be in the intelligence, meaning, and empowerment business—the outcomes business.
As the author and speaker Simon Sinek said recently in his spot as guest editor for Virgin’s workplace blog, “So here’s a way you can fulfill your potential in the workplace: negative feedback . . . Negative feedback is where it’s at . . . After every project or anything that I do, I always ask somebody, ‘What sucks? What can I do better? Where is there room for improvement?’ I’m now to the point where I crave it. That’s what you want. You want to get to the point where you crave negative feedback.”
The truth, then, is that people need attention—and when you give it to us in a safe and nonjudgmental environment, we will come and stay and play and work.
People don’t need feedback. They need attention, and moreover, attention to what they do the best. And they become more engaged and therefore more productive when we give it to them.
For a team member, nothing is more believable, and thus more powerful, than your sharing what you saw from her and how it made you feel. Or what it made you think. Or what it caused you to realize. Or how and where you will now rely on her. These are your reactions, and when you share them with specificity and with detail, you aren’t judging her or rating her or fixing her. You are simply reflecting to her the unique “dent” she just made in the world, as seen through one person’s eyes—yours. And precisely because it isn’t a judgment or a rating, but is instead a simple reaction, it is authoritative and beyond question.
If you see somebody doing something that really works, stopping them and replaying it to them isn’t only a high-priority interrupt, it is arguably your highest-priority interrupt. Get into this habit and you’ll be far more likely to lead a high-performing team.
We tend to think that subjectivity in data is a bug, and that the feature we’re after is objectivity. Actually, however, when it comes to measurement, the pursuit of objectivity is the bug, and reliable subjectivity the feature.
Only certain people have “potential”; everyone has momentum. One team member’s might be more powerful than another’s, or speedier than another’s, or pointed in a different direction, but everyone has some. The question isn’t whether you inherently possess a lot of it or not. Instead, when it comes to momentum, the question is how much of it you have at this very moment, right now.
namely, that the speed and trajectory of her momentum at this very moment are a) knowable, b) changeable, and c) within her control.
And if we then institutionalize this thinking through our people-management processes and systems in the name of bringing predictability and control to our organization, we find that we have sacrificed common sense and humanity at the altar of corporate uniformity, and we shouldn’t be very surprised if our people chafe at the result.
Obviously, triage can be necessary in life, but it surely is not enough—it keeps things at bay, but it takes us away from ourselves. And in the end, balance is an unachievable goal anyway, because it asks us to aim for momentary stasis in a world that is ever changing. Supposing we ever get things just exactly in balance, we know for sure that something will come along and unbalance them and that we’ll be back to pushing our balance rock up the hill again.
You—and your organization—get them only if you create them, and you create them only through love.
Organizations are not powerless, but their power (and their name) comes from their ability to organize what is already there in plain view. Your organization, if it is careless, can crush your spirit, can diminish or ignore your daimon. But only you can animate it. Only you can bring love into your world at work.
This person didn’t find this work—she didn’t happen upon it, fully-formed and waiting for her. Instead, she made it. She took a generic job, with a generic job description, and then, within that job, she took her loves seriously, and gradually, little by little and a lot over time, she turned the best of her job into most of her job. Not the entirety of it, maybe, but certainly an awful lot of it, until it became a manifestation of who she is. She tweaked and tweaked the role until, in all the most important ways, it came to resemble her—it became an expression of her.
The same is true for you, of course. You have a unique relationship with the world, a relationship that reveals to you things that only you can see. It offers thread-weaving opportunities all the time, but the only person who knows if those threads are red is you. The world won’t do your weaving for you—it doesn’t care about your red threads. The only person who can stop and be attentive enough to identify these threads, and weave them intelligently into the fabric of your work, is you.
Ballet, as you know, is an unremittingly technical and demanding craft, but if you build technical craft on a loveless foundation, you net only burnout, because technical mastery absent love always equals burnout. Burnout isn’t the absence of balance but the absence of love.
If the people coming to work on your team could feel more like this, if you could help them take their red threads this seriously—not to make your people feel good about themselves, although that helps, but so they could share more with the world—what a beautiful and lasting contribution you and your team would make.
And yet these characteristics are curiously circumscribed: authenticity is important, right up until the point when the leader, authentically, says that he has no idea what to do, which then fractures his vision. Likewise, vulnerability is important until the moment when the leader’s comfort with her own flaws causes us to doubt her, and to question whether she is sufficiently inspirational. Apparently, we require authentic sureness and reassuring vulnerability, however contradictory those things may be.
If leading were easy, there would be more good leaders. If there were more good leaders, we might be just a little less focused on it.
The only determinant of whether anyone is leading is whether anyone else is following.
More specifically, we follow leaders who connect us to a mission we believe in, who clarify what’s expected of us, who surround us with people who define excellence the same way we do, who value us for our strengths, who show us that our teammates will always be there for us, who diligently replay our winning plays, who challenge us to keep getting better, and who give us confidence in the future.
Your ability to create the outcomes you want in your followers is tied directly to how seriously and intelligently you cultivate your own idiosyncrasy, and to what end. The deeper and more extreme your idiosyncrasy becomes, the more passionately your followers follow—and while this is frustrating to us when we happen to disagree with the ends of a particular leader, it is so nonetheless.
As a leader, you can’t be dismissive of this fear. You can’t tell your people to “embrace change” and to “get comfortable with ambiguity.”
We follow people who are really good at something that matters to us. We follow the spikes.
The truth that no two leaders do the same job in the same way.
The truth that as much as we follow the spikes, they can also antagonize us.
The truth that no leader is perfect—and that the best of them have learned how to work around their imperfections.
The truth that leaders are frustrating—they don’t have all the abilities we’d like them to have.
The truth that following is in part an act of forgiveness—it is to give our attention and efforts to someone despite what we can see of their flaws.
The truth that not everyone should be, or wants to be, a leader—the world needs followers, and great followers at that.
The truth that a person who might be a great leader for me might not be a great leader for you.
The truth that a person who might be a great leader for one team, or team of teams, or company, might not be a great leader for another.
The truth that leaders are not necessarily a force for good in the world—they are simply people with followers. They aren’t saints, and sometimes their having followers leads to hubris and arrogance, or worse.
The truth that leaders are not good or bad—they are just people who have figured out how to be their most defined selves in the world, and who do so in such a way that they inspire genuine confidence in their followers. This isn’t necessarily good or bad. It just is.
The truth that leading isn’t a set of characteristics but a series of experiences seen through the eyes of the followers.
The truth that, despite all this, we reserve a special place in our world for those who make our experience of it better and more hopeful.
And the truth that, through it all, we follow your spikes.
When we feel a fresh rush of energy after talking with someone, we need to stop and ask why. When we feel, in response to another human being, that mysterious attraction tugging on us—like a fish on a line, or like a needle twitching in a compass, an attraction that says Here, something is happening, something true and visceral and substantial, something that will change, however slightly, the arc of our future—we need to stop and ask why.
Rather, there was a clarion vision—“let freedom ring”—and then an unswerving commitment to intervene whenever and wherever progress toward that vision could be made, and to do so regardless of the personal or physical risks that any such action entailed. His approach was contingent, opportunistic, and incremental. It focused on imagined change, not on predictable execution.
Leading and following are not abstractions. They are human interactions; human relationships. And their currency is the currency of all human relationships—the currency of emotional bonds, of trust, and of love. If you, as a leader, forget these things, and yet master everything that theory world tells you matters, you will find yourself alone. But if you understand who you are, at your core, and hone that understanding into a few special abilities, each of which refracts and magnifies your intent, your essence, and your humanity, then, in the real world, we will see you.
And we will follow.
When I still did photography, I read everything I could find about how cameras work and this is the mental model I built up back then.
The lovely thing about this webpage is that it makes each of the mechanics interactive so you can play with them and see what happens.
I am immensely happy to see two friends launch Branch, a magazine about creating a sustainable internet. The way they put the magazine together mirrors the best practices of the future we should live in right now.
A lovely interview about the magic bus and the hippie period in Istanbul revolving around the Lale Pudding Shop which is still in business.