Hello, and welcome back to The Present.
This is the monthly update to an ongoing story into the nature of time. I'm your host, Scott Thrift, and this three-minute issue features:
- MSI (00:30): Update on status with assembly partner MSI.
- Moving Out = Moving In (00:30): Update on leaving 162 Saint Paul St and entering 104 Church St.
- Inspiration (05:00): Paraphrasing a poignant talk.
- All of the gear from 162 has now been delivered in three full cargo van hauls over the past month by Ssong and yours truly.
- We'll be visiting again next week and running quality control on the first editions by MSI. They will first focus on assembling The Present Year (Steel & Glass), one time at a time.
Moving Out = Moving In
The new spot is small. It's just this room. We moved all of this furniture in yesterday, and quite a bit of material is left to fill those shelves. I suspect I will use every square inch of the place.
Here's the thing.
MSI is fully capable of managing the assembly of all nine editions. By this time next year, I want to trust them to make each one, handle repairs when needed, and manage everything else.
However, I'm only willing to offload this partially onto them instead of all at once. When they consistently make The Present Year, I will introduce The Present Moon, watch how well they do that, follow it with The Present Day, and so on.
This process will require many months and a lot of patience to implement. They are going to mess up, and we will find better ways of making them as we go. In the meantime, I have a year lease on this small space to continue assembling and picking up the slack.
Most people who receive this newsletter are genuinely excited to hear from me each month. People have written to me to explain how this project has helped them become more patient. That said, a handful of people might be banging their heads on the wall where they intended to place The Present since September 2021.
I know it's not an exact delivery date, but now that I have help, I can share delivery dates and deliver in the upcoming months.
The changes in the assembly process I've introduced have, in the short-term, prolonged delivery times; that much is evident. In the long-term, though, partnering with MSI and grabbing this small space to assemble are leveling up my ability to deliver.
I'm looking forward to getting these timepieces completed and out to you, too. Looking at the enormous amount of material all in one place at MSI was overwhelming. I thought I could handle making all of those myself. Wow.
I need to make these available for the same reason I set out to create them. While I packed up space at 162 to make The Present more available, scale, grow, and deliver for you, I listened to many things, and one of them caught my ear.
I had never heard of Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing at NYU. It turns out he likes to make "Provocative Predictions" about the future of tech each year, and his 2023 edition from two months ago was the one I heard while I organized clock components.
I enjoyed the talk, and I won't get into the specifics of his predictions; besides his insight that the most successful businesses build time machines (chuckle to self), I bring it up only to point out the intensely relevant way he closed his talk.
Are You Here?
What Scott closes with is at the heart of why I decided to make a year-long timepiece in the first place. The present gets the short shrift, and Scott Galloway indirectly calls for a new way to expand how we measure its value. Good luck trying to appreciate the present with a conventional clock!
I recommend it if you want to hear it directly from him. I will link directly to the final minute of his talk at the end after my paraphrased summary for your reading pleasure.
Note of caution:
First, I know this looks like a lot of text; it is, but it's worth your time.
Second, This is heavy stuff. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard it. Galloway chokes up a bit on his delivery, so if it's too early, or too late in your day (this goes to people in 42 countries), to consider the meaning of life, feel free to save this until after lunch.
It had me walking in circles in my empty office, dictating what I was feeling in great detail to GPT-4. I'm sharing it all with you because it hits on one of the driving forces behind why I want you to have these timepieces: to help yourself, help yourself.
THIS IS IT.
The following is the end of Scott G's recent talk, paraphrased by Scott T:
"I think a lot about regrets and time and how fast it's barreling. Ask anyone in this audience over the age of 40. Time literally begins to fall off a cliff. Years become seasons. I'm fascinated with what are the biggest regrets at the end of your life. My colleague Adam has done great work on this, and he spends a lot of time with people at the end in palliative care. Their regrets basically boil down to three things:
ONE I wish I'd lived the life I wanted to live, not the life others wanted me to live.
TWO I wish I'd stayed in touch with friends.
THREE Most importantly, I wish I'd been less hard on myself. I wish I'd forgiven myself more.
I think about this a lot as I'm barreling towards the end. If you're successful, you live a lot in the past; you call on your credentials and experience to try and inform your current actions.
And if you're like me, you might spend the majority of your waking hours in the past. "God, I can't believe what an idiot I am; I can't believe I did that, I can't believe I said."
You're constantly beating yourself up; you can't get past this immutable thing called the past; you can't get past it.
You might also be living your life in the future; you're constantly trading off the short term, you're constantly planning, already in the future, planning how to be more productive, thinking about what I was going to do the next day, never really there. I was either in the future or always in the past, but never really there.
I like what Sam Harris says; "The past is the most immutable thing in the world. And the future is the most mutable thing." Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of control over it, but this, this is it.
This is it.
It's really the only thing we have: the here and the now.
And my biggest fear is that I'll be at the end, and I'll look back, and I'll go, oh my God, unbelievable blessings, staggering prosperity that I didn't expect. People I love, and that love me immensely, right?
But I was never really there for it.
Did my life happen?
So I leave us with a question.
It's something I'm asking myself all the time now. Are You Here?"
Okay, Scott Thrift, here now. So, not only do Scott and I share the name of a famous brand of toilet paper, Scott G is also experiencing what forced me to create a timepiece to honor the present moment.
Contrary to that Scott, this Scott believes we can have a sense of control over it. This Scott thinks the reason the present moment is elusive has everything to do with the way we choose to measure the present moment.
Measure the present moment one second at a time, and the present moment lasts a second.
Measure the present moment as it plays out in the scales of the natural world, and invite a whole new plurality to how you experience the present.
This is what I mean when I write "Give Yourself Time" on my website.
As soon as Scott Galloway's talk ended, I opened GPT-4 with its flawless ability to dictate my speech and let it rip; here it is un-photoshopped.
THIS IS ME
THIS IS GPT
THIS IS ME
THIS IS GPT
THIS IS SCOTT G
PROVOCATIVE PREDICTIONS Hey Scott G, here's a provocative prediction for the future of tech from me Scott T - Before 2033, we're going to have a new Beatles album.
A new Beatles record that is so indiscernible from the ingenuity of one of the originals, Paul himself gives it his blessing, and Apple Records sells it like hotcakes. Maybe they can call it The Beaitles. I wrote about the inevitability of new Beatles album here.
Thanks for being here and now, with me.