If you can show up, take heart, it might be enough.

Young men playing basketball.
Young men playing basketball.
Photo by Pavel Kononenko on Unsplash

I swear.

Sometimes it seems as if your subconscious, your sensory memory, and your monkey mind had a meeting.

They decided to vet you. To ask if you are serious about your mission. Meanwhile, you are fresh out of concern.

You are going to play the guitar, and that’s all.

You decide to sing out as well, play the chord you know, and not rue the one you don’t know. If you are found wanting, so be it. At least you were found.

Days pass. Weeks follow.

Then the parts of you that met, the parts that define you, reach…


They could seek FDA permission to use it as early as this month

A purple pipette drops liquid into many small test tubes in what seems like a vaccine laboratory.
A purple pipette drops liquid into many small test tubes in what seems like a vaccine laboratory.
Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Action films are where you tend to find breakneck timing like this.

The same week that the United States COVID case count is shooting through the roof, a hero comes to save the day. Except neither Will Smith nor Tom Cruise star in this show.

The dynamic duo that may be our salvation is the partnership between US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech.

They teamed up on a COVID shot that was 90% effective on in the first 94 test subjects. …


Stellar work can be exhilarating to behold

An astronaut gazes at Earth from a window of the International Space Station.
An astronaut gazes at Earth from a window of the International Space Station.
Wikilimages from Pixabay

A scene from the 1987 Steve Martin film “Roxanne” is a perfect model of life right now.

Martin’s character inserts a quarter into a newspaper box, scans the headlines, then screams in horror. He produces another quarter, shoves the paper back into the box, and walks away.

Current events can be overwhelming. It is easy to forget we live in an age of wonder. This week, three stories remind us how excellent this time we all share can be.

NASA sent a spaceship to an asteroid

On Tuesday, the Osiris-Rex landed on an asteroid called Bennu for about six seconds. Osiris-Rex stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource…


Jessica,

First, the ideas hit hard, as they did today -- especially around never asking for help. Absolutely. Second, I enjoy what I'd call your beats? It's just so, but the just so isn't all predictable. I appreciate the work.

Thanks,

Michael


Small numbers tend to get larger

Working from home with a MacBook Pro laptop, the screen reads You Are Here.
Working from home with a MacBook Pro laptop, the screen reads You Are Here.
Photo by Aleks Marinkovic on Unsplash

COVID has set records for infection all over the country. It took only ten days for the nation’s total number of cases to go from 9 million to ten million.

Every time we break a record, news outlets compare the new total with the previous one. They highlight the challenge that awaits President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

No one explains how Europe and the United States can be surprised by COVID rates of infection.

No one explains how big numbers grow so fast. There may be a better way to think about this data.

1.) The virus moves in predictable ways

In Abundance: Why…


Practice speaking your feeling with honesty and brevity

A girl wearing a brown hat shakes hands with a dog somewhere in Europe.
A girl wearing a brown hat shakes hands with a dog somewhere in Europe.
ZigmarsBerzins

I write them a note.

My favorite takeout restaurant gets a few good words each time I order.

Maybe it’s a love letter to their skill with smoky flavors of all sorts. Perhaps I sing the praises of the care they take with the quotidian.

That is how I use the space reserved for special instructions.

On my last order, I wrote that I was the Boss of All Grammar, which gave me the authority to decide if the phrase The Food is capitalized. It is.

I told them that, sometimes, the chicken bone broth is the reason that all…


From neural networks to a theory of mind, Walter Pitts and Warren McCulloch were pioneers

The glowing text of computer code lights up a blackboard with ominous glyphs.
The glowing text of computer code lights up a blackboard with ominous glyphs.
pixabay

You don’t want to use it too often.

For a friend who spoke another language before English, I will sometimes email or text in their first language. It’s so good as a surprise.

No having to think English into Croatian.

If you use Google Translate, you should thank deep learning for how naturally well it works.

Deep learning is both a new term and an idea that has been around more than seven decades old.

It all began with neural nets. These two terms are used interchangeably even though they do not mean the same thing. There is a difference.


Vulnerability is where strength usually hides

A neon art piece of a handshake between two hands.
A neon art piece of a handshake between two hands.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Once you get a glimpse of how much men need connection, you see the toxic variety pull from a mile away.

I went to the kitchen to get water, and volatile housemate number one began a freestyle about the bad vacuum cleaner, which was mine, and the good one.

That was his, and it was brand new.

If you starve for human touch, either physical or emotional, you do not notice how odd it is to schedule a random lecture on vacuum cleaner aesthetics for around 2 PM on a Saturday.

As if being around someone by accident was the…


He should remember he’s going to feel worse before he feels better

A man in silhouette on a stage plays the guitar. He is outlined by the lights behind him. It is very dramatic.
A man in silhouette on a stage plays the guitar. He is outlined by the lights behind him. It is very dramatic.
Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash

Josh Klinghoffer has already had his worst week ever. Today is only Tuesday.

He played guitar for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He was the youngest person ever admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was only 32 at the band’s 2012 induction. That was on Saturday.

The Chili Peppers fired him on Sunday. His replacement? John Frusciante. The man Klinghoffer replaced ten years ago.

He confirmed the news to fans, one of whom tweeted, “Josh is happy for them,” meaning the Chili Peppers. Marbelle, or, at least, that was their Twitter handle, added, “I’m sure he’s…

Michael B. Wharton

Editor of Bold, Abundance and Stealing Fire. Has written for xlr8r and Role Reboot. Formerly NIH, Aol and Revolution Health. michael.wharton.writer@gmail.com

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