Hello, and welcome back to The Present.
This is the lunar letter chronicling an independent inquiry into the nature of time.
I'm your host, Scott Thrift, and this issue features:
I Hope You Are (01:30)
Building Cognitive Reserve
The Ultimate Hidden Truth (02:30)
New Expedited Shipping Option (01:00)
Find out how to get your pledge ASAP
Daylight Saving What? (01:00)
Go Mexico Go!
I hope you are,
Getting Fresh Air
Caring for Your Self
Making Time for Friends
Following Your Curiosity
You've just been introduced to Harvard Medical School's six recommendations for building up your Cognitive Reserve.
What is Cognitive Reserve?
Let's ask the foremost scholar on the subject, this guy:
Cognitive Reserve is the fascinating capacity of our brain to continuously evolve and adapt. It's like having a rich garden in your mind with room to grow your ability to perceive, think, and approach challenges in novel ways. Expanding our reserve is how we remain sharp and keep our wits far into the future. That's the essence of Cognitive Reserve: continuously enriching how we think and experience the world around us.
I bring it up because I believe living with The Present helps with at least two of the six steps to a more robust Cognitive Reserve. Learning how to see and experience time in a new way expands your horizons, and the holistic point of view they offer helps you put the often misplaced urgency of time into perspective.
Before you run out of your Cognitive Reserve while reading this lunar letter, please put your philosophy blazers on, get seated snugly in your armchairs, and allow me to reveal:
The Ultimate Hidden Truth
The ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make, and could just as easily make differently.*
In other words, reality is not just something we passively exist in; it is a creation, a reflection of our collective and individual actions and decisions.
This insight is particularly relevant when we consider the concept of time.
In the context of "The Present," this quote takes on a deeply resonant meaning. Our conventional understanding of time is linear, tied to work hours, schedules, and deadlines that dictate our lives. We may find ourselves entangled in a monotonous track, same as it ever was, perceiving time as a one-way street — a constantly depleting resource.
The Present challenges this one-dimensional perspective.
It invites us to recognize that we can redefine our relationship with time. It isn't just about the hours clocked in at work or the minutes ticking away; it's about understanding that time can also be a space for reflection, growth, and joy.
Just as the quote implies that the world is malleable, and shaped by our actions, The Present suggests that our experience of time is something we can sculpt.
We can choose to infuse time with meaning, layering it with the quality of presence, the depth of our relationships, and the richness of our experiences.
Embracing a more dynamic perception of time is both our responsibility and our adventure. It encourages us to be architects of our lives, constructing them not just around the hours we work but around the time when we truly feel alive.
The Present is more than a timepiece; it's a manifesto for this philosophy. It is a daily reminder that we have the agency to create and recreate our world, starting with how we experience the here and now.
Here and Now
Developed over many emails and phone conversations with backers, it is my pleasure to introduce a new:
Expedited Shipping Option
If you are interested, reply to this email, and I will create a personal discount code for you, to subtract your entire pledge from the total price of The Present.
Personal Discount Code
This personal code lets you discount your entire pledge amount from the full price of The Present at our shop https://thepresent.is Reply to this email or send an email directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many backers who have expressed a desire to help me get the project over the finish line have requested this option, and I finally have the capacity to make the offer.
For Clarity's Sake:
If you pledged $300 for one timepiece in 2020, you will be sent a code to discount that $300 pledge from the total $720 price, leaving $420 to be paid. Timepieces ordered in this way will be made by me in my new space. Depending on the response, I expect to be able to handle any incoming orders within a month of sending you the code.
Until I can wholly lean on my assembly partner MSI for help, this is currently the only option (beyond purchasing one outright) I can offer at this time. When MSI is producing reliably and consistently, I will offer a lower-cost option, allowing any backer to cover the assembly costs and have their pledge prioritized.
However, I do not have delivery estimates I am able to commit to at this time, and I must continue to ask for your patience to prevent being overwhelmed.
We've been visiting MSI every Friday since our last update.
They made six for my review on Friday, the 27th. Of the six they assembled, only two met my expectations for quality. That said, I spent an hour walking through each element with them, and we collaboratively came up with ways to reduce the errors in the future. On Friday, November 3rd, they will have the previous four fixed and six new ones for inspection/approval. I'm impressed with their progress and look forward to building inventory.
Have any Cognitive Reserve left?
I want to close by revisiting the idea that the world is what we make it. Let's take Daylight Saving Time, for example. Today, the UK and Europe return to Standard Time. Next Sunday, North America shifts its clocks back to standard time. However, our brothers and sisters in Mexico abolished the nonsense of Daylight Saving Time on October 30th, 2022. “This new law seeks to guarantee the human right to health and increase safety in the mornings, procure the well-being and productivity of the population, and contribute to saving electric energy.” When Mexico set their clocks back last fall, it was the last moment they will ever participate in this absurd exercise in belittling the sanctity of time: you know, beyond forcing its grandeur and grace into the confines of short-term seconds, minutes, and hours in the first place.
Daylight Saving Time adds insult to injury. [slowly and self-consciously gets off soapbox]
Way to go Mexico!
I appreciate your patience, thank you. In time, Scott Thrift
*David Graeber (1961-2020) was an American anthropologist, anarchist, and author known for his influential works in economic anthropology and political activism.