What is large is small, what is long is short

The World is Small and Life is Long. In other words: our world, now, is a big world that acts small. Be nice to people. Seemingly disparate worlds are increasingly connected.

The days are long, but the years are short. In other words: today seems like a chore, but this is the ephemeral stuff of life itself.

Is this the effect of aging, or technology advancing? Both lessons from these couldn’t-be-shelved-further-apart-from-each-other blogs (Venkatesh Rao’s Ribbon Farm and Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project) point to similar ideas: that the apparent minutiae of the everyday is much more important than we realize. Bus rides are to be savored, online interactions are best done thoughtfully. In both cases—and here, I’m simplifying for the sake of clarity—the chores done right now seem to stand in the way of the greater future, but they’re what build the future.

In The World is Small, Rao talks about the dangers of burning bridges and picking fights. It’s hard to catch up with people because we are increasingly always connected. I’d disagree: I’m not “caught up” on the lives of all of my Facebook friends, even though we’re digitally connected. People are free to reinvent themselves, even though one’s digital footprint makes that an increasingly hefty chore.

Socially, the world seems big, but during the day we’re likely to interact with many people who know each other-even if we’re not aware of that connection. That’s just a side effect of living in the same place for a while, working in the same industry for a while, and the effects of homophily in general. All strangers may turn out to be consequential.

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