Discover more from The Mettā View
Your tabs, your story 🗞️
+ ethical hygiene, the glory of brand storytelling, spiritual selfies and more
If you’re new here, welcome to The Digest, a bimonthly selection of articles, podcasts, books or other that I have found compelling, clever or even entertaining. The Digest starts with an intro which today is short-ish.
YOUR TABS TELL YOUR STORY
A couple of days ago, my very new MacBook Pro pinged me to tell me the device was running out of memory. Moments before, the machine had started to make a weird if very subtle buzzing sound. A quick glance at the number of apps open confirmed I was overwhelming the operating system. I closed whatever I ‘could’ (I enjoy having multiple apps open and use my slick keyboard shortcuts to move around them).
Not enough, it seemed. By the time I looked at all the tabs I’d minimised in a corner of my left screen (I’m a double screen kind of woman), I felt bad.
Poor computer. What am I doing to you?
Many windows had been waiting to get a look at (or look into) for a week or more. If you were to peer at the open tabs on my main browser (Firefox), I’d tell you to also look at my secondary browser (Safari) or have fun with the crazy number of tabs open on my phone (private search on Safari).
Once you’d had a thorough tour, you’d have a pretty clear portrait of who I am and even who I’d like to be.
In reading an article aptly titled Stop, Before You Close This Tab (or Any Others) …(with the sub-head, ‘Think of your browser like an ongoing autobiography. Why would you ever delete it?’), I pondered upon why it’s so hard for me to close any of these virtual windows.
Each feels like an ongoing chapter, I realised. No wonder I find it so difficult to even turn my computer off, choosing instead to put it to ‘sleep’ with all the tabs alive, available, if dormant.
Once every few days, I like to go around the tabs on my laptop browser and see if I actually need to have them up, distracting me, when I occasionally peak up from where I’m supposed to focus my attention. Closing them feels like a purge, a fresh start.
How much of our browser habits reflect the contents of our brains, I came to wonder?
When I think about it, I guess Mettā View’s Digest was born from a desire to share what populated my browser (and by that extent, my brain). You know, those articles you mean to read, podcasts you don’t have time to listen to, news stories that capture your heart and shopping carts you’re unsure about, that all feel like they are truly worth your time and consideration.
This newsletter’s Digest section serves as a justification for indulging in reading and watching and listening to them all (the good tabs). I no longer need to make time for this later, because I am committed to telling you about it, so these open windows no longer stay neglected. At least not for long.
To help you complete whatever impression you may have of me, Anne V, who writes here weekly, I’ve decided to share with you a snapshot of the activity on some of my four Apple products - a glimpse into my soul. Also, it’s a one-time invitation to judge me… have fun!
A lemon orzo recipe, a new gallery for jewellery lovers, a neuroscientist researching mettā practice, strength coaching assessment, an online retreat with Jack Kornfield and Trudie Goodman, Varley loungewear, Acne Studios sweatpants (there’s a theme here), Julie Granger’s platform The Studio Paris (a tab I never close), Suzanne Garrett’s Recallers (same), the house I’d like to buy in Tuscany (same), my next YTT (same, need to sign up), Choose Love, Soda bread (for this weekend), Ottolenghi zucchini soup (tonight’s starter), saving a tree, Section 4 course on positioning and the complete manager, a TED talk, new glassware?, fine champagne research, another online course, JazzNoJazz programm, Genuine community, Mission Magazine, Gennaro Avalone art, the Artisan Collab, my latest podcast episode, Acast podcast monetising marketplace, the London Writer’s Salon community page, plus LinkedIn, and Substack.
Now I’ve shown you mine, I’d love to know about yours! What is one tab you never close? Go on, tell me!
As always, thank you for reading me, I appreciate it. Have a good one!
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It’s impossible to please everyone. The question is whether you’re disappointing the right people.– Adam Grant
If you’re worried about toxic personalities, truth shading and the sociopaths among us, Arthur Brooks paints a portrait of the ‘dark triads’, and puts forward thoughts for a better world — ethical hygiene.
Another article, this time in HBR, frames how to deal with manipulators at work. I’d love to say it’s not a problem but I wish I’d read both of these about 10 years ago. Enjoy!
When you read the word “consultant”, what image comes to mind? Well, I’m thinking about changing my company name (AVM Consulting) after watching the latest instalment of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, on giant consulting firm McKinsey. Funny (because he’s always funny) and frightening at the same time.
Despite appearances, it’s not all bad news in the world. Completely unrelated to anything I normally write about, here’s some positive developments for a new (and cheap) malaria vaccine. Hurrah!
New sustainable Swiss timepiece maker ID Genève has found an investor in Leo DiCaprio. I’ve been watching their development for a year or so, and yes, their motto is appealing: conviction on your wrist. As it stands, this blue number with the pink dial would look good on my wrist.
New report called ‘Sustainable Future for Travel’ by Intrepid, the world’s largest B-Corp-certified travel company, in partnership with trend-forecasting agency The Future Laboratory, predicts the extinction of travel due to climate change, unless action is taken now. Let’s say you enjoy your far away holidays — are you ready to act now so you (or your children) can enjoy them in the future?
Artifact, the news aggregator platform launched in January by Mike Krueger and Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom have added a new feature letting users now share posts (not just links) into the platform, a move that positions it against Threads and Twitter-X. It’s early days, but I like it.
How much would you pay to avoid ads on social media? Yes, that’s right, Instagram and TikTok are basically the new Netflix. So how much is too much? Welcome to the era of paid social.
If you'd like to better understand brand storytelling and worldbuilding, look no further than the Sociology of Business newsletter. As I was just writing last week, we connect through stories.
Don’t think the story isn’t the selling point. It sets context, and context frames your understanding of a company, a person, a product — even creating emotional attachment.
As the writer says: ‘Modern brand stories are vibrations that become strong enough for the culture to hear.’
Please don't think badly of me, but I tend to watch my face on Zoom. I like to know my hair’s not all over the place (sometimes it is), that there isn’t a big piece of parsley in my teeth (it happens too often). And while I feel bad about it (vanity isn’t attractive) I realise that it serves a purpose: reassurance.
An excellent article in Dazed in Confused posits that ‘we were never supposed to see our faces that much,’ making the point that ‘the more we alter our appearances digitally, the more dissonance it creates when we look in the mirror.’ It tracks with my experience, but then again I am a middle-aged woman, my face tells many stories in the mirror every day, not all of which I’m happy about.
The article adds that ‘Social media has shifted focus to prioritise our visual qualities above all else (the algorithm prefers selfies, after all).’
As my friend, yoga teacher extraordinaire Diana Rilov, suggested to me not long ago, we should all look inwards and try to work on our ‘spiritual selfie’ instead.
On balanced partnerships, considered designs and Feldspar’s commitment to heritage crafts
I’ve got a new episode of Out of the Clouds to share, this time interviewing Cath and Jeremy Brown, the couple behind the beloved UK design brand Feldspar Studio. If you haven’t heard, the studio is known for its useful (though they like to call them ‘wonky’) everyday objects, made properly by the careful hands of master craftspeople in their two workshops in England.
With the goal of continuing to make things by hand, the Feldspar duo offer a fresh approach to old materials, creating designs to outlive the owner — true objects for life. I supported them early on as a consultant while they built up the brand, and it was a treat to connect with them again.
In our interview, the couple tells me about their early careers (which were in very different fields), how they met (a very romantic story) and explain that they left London for Devon on a whim not long after Cath got pregnant with their first son. Soon after that relocation they got their hand into ceramics by chance and, not much after, they decided to turn their creative experiment into a bona fide company.
As business and marriage partners, the pair also reveals how they balance their skill sets — splitting the work between themselves but ultimately making all their decisions together. Jeremy and Cath also talk about the importance of regularly reevaluating their lifestyle as the company grows, so that they stay true to their priorities, which include spending time with each other and with their kids, writing (for Cath) and making new things (Jeremy).
Check out this joyful and insightful conversation with an inspiring entrepreneurial duo. Happy listening!