Friday, December 22, 2023

49 Things I Love. [26-50.]

26. A nice glass of really cold seltzer. So heavily carbonated that it hurts when you drink it.

27. "Gooseberries," a short story by Anton Chekhov.

28. "A Walk with Elizanne," a short story by John Updike.

29. "It Looked Like Forever," a baseball novel by Mark Harris, about a left-handed pitcher turning 40 and trying to hang on one more season so his youngest (of five) daughters can see him play in the Big Leagues.

30. My favorite short story of all, "A&P," again by Updike.

31. Having time to actually read.

32. When Dizzy Gillespie ran for president. I wish he had won.

33. When people under 80 ran for president.

34. When the subway had news-stands on the platforms and you could go out through one door, get a paper, go in through another door before the train left.

35. The Halal chicken and lamb combo from the Egyptian guy in front of the Toyota dealer on 11th Avenue across from Ogilvy. I said thank you to him once in Egyptian and we were friends for life.

36. One-liners. Like "my wife's nickname is 'the widow-maker.'"

37., where you can find just about any book you can find on amazon at about 1/10 the price.

38. Really good New York coffee shops where they bring you your order--correctly--before you even order it.

39. A good cup of coffee from an independent coffee shop--not Starbucks or the like. 

40. A good piece of apple pie. On a clean plate.

41. The theme song to "Car 54, Where Are You?" "There's a hold-up in the Bronx/ Brooklyn's broken out in fights/There's a traffic jam in Harlem that goes onto Jackson Heights/There's a scout troop's lost a child/Krushchev's due at Idlewild/Car 54, Where Are You?"

42. When Kennedy airport was still called Idlewild.

43. And cabs still had mechanical meters. That went up in 10-cent increments, not dollar by dollar.

44. A good milkshake--and the "dividend." (When you were given the extra that was left in the stainless-steel mixing cup.

45. Howard Johnson's. (The restaurant. Not the third baseman.)

46. A two-hour baseball game. And 20-game winners.

47. To that end, Warren Spahn. He won 20 games 13 times, including six seasons in a row.

48. Skee-Ball with real wooden balls and a 'trip' so you can play all-day for free.

49. Ideal Coffee Shop, an old German diner on East 86th Street in Germantown, where you could get a good knockwurst with red cabbage and sit on a stool at the counter. And enjoy  yourself.

50. The last post of 2023. An annus horribilis for much of the world and while much was good for me, including my wife, daughters and our new puppy, it is a sad time for lovers of humanity.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

49 Things I Love. [1-25.]

1. Clients who thank you for your work.

2. Clients who tell other clients about your work.

3. Clients who send you a cinnamon babka in the mail, thanking you for your work.

4. Cinnamon babka.

5. Writing a good piece of copy.

6. Taking a two-mile walk, returning to that copy and making it better.

7. The connections I have with people from the industry, all over the world. How we share, encourage and learn together. And laugh. And laugh some more.

8. Shelley's Ozymandias while thinking of trump, musk, mcconnell, ryan, jordan, greene, boebert and a thousand others who think they're gods. Including agency people.

9. Hearing a storm at sea while you're on land.

10. My new puppy Sparkle swimming for the first time.

11. The end of a long year.

12. Pressing "end call for everyone" after a Zoom meeting.

13. Raphael Soyer. I bought a signed print twenty years ago.

14. Rainy days and Mondays.

15. Friends who are glad to see you. Or at least fake it.

16. Net30 that comes in 20.

17. Stan Laurel using his thumb as a lighter. Which makes sense to me.

18. Fundamentals.

19. The best sentence in all of American literature. "Shut up," he explained, by Ring Lardner in "The Young Immigrants."

20. And maybe the second best, also by Lardner in "Golden Honeymoon." "Mother set facing the front of the train, as it makes her giddy to ride backwards. I set facing her, which does not affect me."

21. Laughter at inappropriate times. (And in advertising today--which is today so serious--laughter is always inappropriate. And never more needed.)

22. Good Roman mosaics. Which is redundant.

23. A Macoun apple from the tree. As crisp as a hug from your therapist.

24. Good lighting. It helps even me.

25. An honest, withering put-down. Like this from Mary McCarthy, writing about Lillian Hellman: "Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'" 

And this by Fred Allen: "What's on your mind? If you'll forgive the overstatement." 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

99 Things I Hate. [68-99.]

68. Hands-free driving. What's next, hands-free toilet-paper?

69. The general acceptance of laziness, like hands-free driving.

70. Any commercial that includes wireless speeds.

71. Any person who believes that any wireless system has ever delivered the wireless speed claimed by the system.

72. The batteries in Apple products. If Apple made pacemakers people would die after about three hours.

73. Corporate logos on sports uniforms and digitally imposed on the pitcher's mound and the wall behind home-plate.

74. Brands and agencies that turn viewers into victims.

75. People who don't turn off the set when they're being victimized.

76. Billionaires who want to fight each other. And who don't do it with chainsaws.

77. Shrinkflation. A pint of ice cream that's three ounces short of a pint but priced 20% more than a pint.

78. Airline commercials where people look comfortable and there are no crying babies, surly flight attendants, two-hour tarmac delays and broken equipment.

79. Commercials where two slackers have a problem: only one beer, soda or bag of chips left.

80. When a mediocre actor dies and it seems that half the world proclaims what a big part of their lives that mediocre actor was.

81. Anyone who says something is genius or brilliant. Especially if they're talking about an ad, a brief, or a social post. 

82. People who drive alone in giant pick-up trucks or SUVs, leave them idling for twenty minutes to 'warm up', and then complain about gas prices.

83. That it's good to call someone a bad-ass.

84. Stadiums named for corporations that pay no taxes. 

85. Car commercials where cars drive on traffic-less roads. ie All car commercials.

86. Self-help and housekeeping hints from what used to be 'the paper of record.'

87. Megan Kelly.

88. People who make a big deal about their feelings about the Oxford comma.

89. People who don't give a rat's ass about the Oxford semicolon.

90. Those who extol machine-learning while ignoring the greatest tool for learning, thinking, creating and inventing: the human brain.

91. Statements like the above. Tautologies masquerading as wisdom.

92. People who write things like, "tautologies masquerading as wisdom."

93. People who say they're in "talent acquisition," as if talent is something you can acquire, like rat poison.

94. Likewise, people and companies who refer to people as "human resources," or ideas as "content" or something worthwhile as an "asset."

95. Bad search.

96. ie, all search.

97. Companies that pledge to be "carbon-neutral" by some faraway date. It's like saying, "I'll be over pederasty by 2037." If it's important to do, do it now.

98. People and companies that pay giant fines and are allowed to "admit no wrong doing."

99. End-of-year articles when you're pretty-well out of ideas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

99 Things I Hate. [34-67.]

34. Net anything but Net30.

35. Massaging the copy.

36. People who want to 'borrow your brain.'

37. 68-page PowerPoint briefs rather than one-page 12-point briefs.

38. Brainstorming.

39. Ideating.

40. Work sessions.

41. Tissue sessions.

42. People who talk about mindfulness and 'the art of being present.'

43. Politicians who call the republican party 'the party of Lincoln.'

44. Billionaires who don't pay taxes.

45. ie Billionaires.

46. Meetings after 4 on Fridays.

47. Lateness.

48. When you get a new client and they only have 30-minutes for meetings, because their days are a series of twenty 30-minute meetings.

49. Expecting good work to result from clients like that.

50. Track-changes with conflicting feedback.

51. Being expected to make sense of track-changes with conflicting feedback.

52. Pantone's color of the year.

53. Discussing Pantone's color of the year.

54. Superhero movies. And the idea that there are more than twelve people on planet earth who would look good in full-body tights.

53. Connected TV. 

54. Any thing, anyone, any brand that promises 'cash back.'

55. Any thing, anyone, any brand that promises to give one to charity when you buy one.

56. Any thing, anyone, any brand that asks you to round up your purchase and the brand will donate it to charity (and get the tax deduction.)

57. Self-checkout. 

58. Big box retailers with no sales-help, low quality, undifferentiated products that have driven independent shops out of business--especially ad holding companies.

59. Commercials shot on iPhones with crappy acting, crappy scripts, crappy direction, crappy offerings, and a general level of crappiness. They're proof the client thinks their customers are also crap.

60. Announcements of senior level job changes where someone is said to be spending more time with his family.

61. People who announce they're off on their next adventure.

62. Any thing any brand calls a journey.

63. Commercials with Kevin Hart. Unless they're funny. Which means they don't feature Kevin Hart.

64. Mayonnaise commercials where it's claimed that mayonnaise has a hand in saving the world.

65. Any commercial where you don't know what's being sold for more than 20 seconds. Unless the drama is so well-conceived you actually care, and then what's being sold is actually good. 

66. Ads that let you skip them after five seconds. If your ad is that skippable, it sucks. And you're advertising in places people don't think you belong.

67. Recency. That is, people with no historical perspective who believe, essentially, a classic is defined by age, not quality.

Monday, December 18, 2023

99 Things I hate. [1-33.]

1. Those online posts where people take famous comics, like Peanuts, and put fake words into a character's mouth. It's appropriation, it's desecration and it's a lie.

2. Id est, lack of fact-checking. When people say things like, 'no one reads,' or 'Barbie changed everything,' or 'gas under Biden is $8/gallon,' or 'Blank is agency of the year' without any scrutiny or examination.

3. Verizon commercials. 

4. Verizon commercials where 'talent' blathers about 120 words in 30-seconds, about twice what used to be accepted as ok.

5. Verizon commercials that feature people Christmas caroling. I'm 66-years-old, I've never encountered a door-to-door chorus.

6. The advertising trade-press, which has become nothing more than a 'bought-and-paid-for' PR organ with no investigative function. They accept everything and criticize nothing.

7. Pharma commercials. They should be banned, like cigarette commercials were. But the ad industry would go bankrupt.

8. Political commercials. They should be banned. They are not even subject to network approval, which means they can say anything with no backup required.

9. Commercials where people dance. Even if dancing is just moving fists side to side like trump dancing.

10. Local news promos which 91% of the time are blithering on about a tenement fire, the storm of the century, or the horrific bludgeoning of an eighty-year-old.

11. The inverse ratio of awards given and the quality of what's being awarded.

12. Anything that's now 'nacho-cheesier.'

14. People who avoid the number 13 because they're superstitious.

15. Stickers placed on grocery-store apples. A desecration of nature for commerce.

16. Automobile commercials where 'talent' refers to their car as 'my Buick SUV.'

17. Automobile commercials for vehicles with convoluted names like 'the Acura SJy67n' in which the voiceover then says, 'the first-ever Acura SJy67n,' as if that is something remarkable.

18. Rye bread without caraway seeds.

19. Sports seasons that are 40% longer than they should be. [Baseball: April 15-October 2.] [Football: October 2-January 15.] 
[Basketball: November 15-March 31.]

20. Daily emails from politicians who write to me as if they know me. And always needing money.

21. Agencies that trumpet diversity and then show photos of their new leadership team who are always all-white, under 33, unshaven, wearing the same clothing, all-male, and angry.

22. Agencies that think people need a new kids' book from an agency.

23. The idea that I would eat something called a 'Whopper.'

24. Articles that purport to be serious about Anderson Cooper, who purports to be serious.

25. Anything about the royals, who aren't worth a capital r.

26. Commercials that rhyme.

27. People who announce they're 'open to work.'

28. Elon Musk.

29. Elon Musk.

30. Elon Musk.

31. Gifs. Repeating something that isn't funny doesn't make it funny.

32. Companies that announce they're updating their terms and conditions.

33. Terms and conditions that are more than 20 words long.

Friday, December 15, 2023

You Don't Have to be Jewish. And Maybe Shouldn't Be.

Some time in 2032 it happened. Late 2032. Just before the High Holidays.

Fred Zeldin, 34, a copywriter at one of the big former-Madison-Avenue, now Twelfth-Avenue agencies, was sent an invitation to a Zoom call. On the call minutes later, after he had been granted his eleven hours of severance, he was summarily fired. 

His 401K had exactly $401 in it. And since during his nine years working at the agency he had never produced anything more notable than a banner ad, Fred had no corrugated box to fill with his belongings, and no real memories either.

Fred was fired for the usual reasons.

Too old.

Oh, and he wasn't working at the speed of culture. In fact, he had written two headlines over the course of a week that didn't have the word "authentic" in them. 

No wonder Fred was shit-canned. 2032 and he has the gall, the audacity, the utter temerity to write something that doesn't sound like everything else.

What was he smoking? Salmon?
Can you imagine, proffering creative that isn't 'borderless'?

No one realized it at first but when Fred was fired, it marked something. 

The passing of something.

For Fred Zeldin was the ad industry's last Jew. There were no more Jews working in the industry. 

Shalom, Fred. 

May all your teeth fall out except one, to give you a toothache.

Of course, harkening back to the 80s, the industry had been full of Jewish people. That didn't mean meetings or shoots weren't scheduled for the Jewish holidays. It just meant a lot of Jews had to miss their Holy days.

Oh well. That's the way it is. When you're a minority.

Later, in the 20-teens and 20-twenties, when Diversity, Equity and Inclusion became a shibboleth--a bludgeon even, at the Holding Companies, savvy Semites could see the right-to-left writing on the wall. 

Though Jews made up less than .2-percent of the world's population, no agency counted them among diverse populations. 

Diverse schmiverse. 

You have to be the right kind of diverse to count as diverse otherwise, you're non-diverse, i.e. disposable, untermenschen--to bring back an old term that seems everyday, to become more vital once again.

Jews aren't diverse, Fred thought. Though as earlier Jews ascended in business, they were outcasts socially. Limited by quotas. Not in the club. Excluded from whole swaths of Amerika.

Fred remembered hearing a story about a rich Jew, Joseph Seligman, barred from a ritzy resort hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY. “No Israelites,” the hotel’s manager informed him. When his rejection led to public criticism, the hotel boss doubled down. He told the New York Times: “Should the Seligman Jew be excluded from first class hotels? I say emphatically yes.”

Fred remembered reading how certain private universities, most notably Harvard, introduced policies which placed a quota on Jews admitted to the university. Abbott Lawrence Lowell, the president of Harvard University from 1909-1933, argued that a "limit be placed on the number of them...admitted to the university." 

At Yale, the Yale Daily News praised Harvard's decision and would "institute immigration laws more prohibitive than those of the United States government." 

What's more, according to historian David Oshinsky, "Most  medical schools, CornellColumbiaPennsylvania and Yale, had rigid quotas in place... The dean at Yale had precise instructions: "Never admit more than five Jews, and take no blacks at all." 

Fred saw it happening--you could hardly miss it. As more and more more experienced ad people turned 40 or even 34 (like Fred) they were axed. Of course, a large number of those older ad people were Jews. Holdovers from earlier times when the industry had had many members of the tribe.

Soon, fewer and fewer Jews were hired--they weren't considered diverse, remember. And we're all about diversity, or, at least, our definition of diversity, which is firmly rooted in the vapor of non-definition. As the Jews, who had comprised so much of the agency world had aged out, their numbers, and no one noticed, kept falling. They were not being replenished. Not diverse.

That brings us to Fred.

Fired at 34. Fred was the ad industry's last Jew.

There were no headlines remarking on the passing of this cultural torch. There were no editorials in the gossip rags that were all that remained of the ad industry's once-vibrant trade press. The fact is, no one noticed that the industry was now Judenfrei. 

Jew Free.

And, therefore, diverse. 

And Jews, who comprise two-tenths of one-percent of the world's population, aren't considered diverse. 

And Israel, just .0001579-percent of the land on our planet--is colonialist state.

Make sense?

You don't have to be Jewish to leave the agency business.
But it helps.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company's HQ.

I'm up in Connecticut as I write this, sitting in my half-finished office, ready to conduct two-hours of client interviews for a brand I'm working for.

I suppose if I were still at an ad agency, I would have been on these calls with a coterie of half-a-dozen colleagues. I'm sure I would have had a planner or two with me, probably an art-partner, and an account person or three. Everyone would have had a reason for being there on the phone with me. Even if I were the only one speaking and listening. Some people would have to be there if only because if they weren't there they might feel like they were left out and not in the swing of things.

92 percent of people in offices go to things because it would look bad if they weren't invited. No way it takes 17 people to review a spot or a tweet.

A lot of people in an office do things or attend meetings or whatever not because they're serving a function but because they have to be there or people will realize they're not there and that would be some sort of cosmological demerit--a strike against them. I guess you could say that many people in agencies are like parsley alongside a $66 New York-cut steak. No one wants it. No one eats it. No one needs it. But the plate would feel empty without it.

Sitting in my new office I am halfway surrounded by good books. Halfway because when we drove up here four weeks ago, I could only fit four boxes in my 1966 Simca 1500. I intend to fill the empty shelves as time moves on.

My first batch of books is made up of more books that are pictorial and editorial. 

I like picture books. 

From my earliest days I've been that way. I'd spend hours looking at the artwork in Gus and the Firefly or If I Ran the Circus. I liked the pictures nearly as much as I liked the words. In fact, at one point in my life, I aspired to be an illustrator.

Here in Connecticut, I have books on Roman art and architecture. A book on how to "read" a Greek vase. Books on East German typography and the aesthetic of Austria's Wiener Werkstatte. I have a pictorial history of the computer from Babbage to Jobs. The landmark Thucydides. Various maps from World War II battlefields and more. 

I have books of cartoons, mostly from New Yorker artists. And random things like figureheads from old wooden ships, menus from the 19th Century, books of movie posters and Soviet propaganda. I also have book after book on baseball--statistics from the Mexican leagues and the Negro leagues and half a dozen books on economics.

My point in all this is really simple.

Somewhere along the way agencies stopped surrounding people with interesting things. I remember offices full of reels to look at. And artists' portfolios. And piles and piles of references available for the stealing.

Someone got a pencil and did some figuring. They calculated how much money they could save by getting rid of the stimulus and stuffing more people into less space. They did a cost-benefit analysis and paid attention only to the costs. They didn't worry about the disappearance of benefits.

Just as agencies have forcibly tried to increase productivity by eliminating downtime, they have tried to increase creativity by eliminating serendipitous and random stimulation. The people who make such decisions don't realize--they refuse to realize--that there's an inverse relationship between efficiency and creativity. They think you can be more efficient and more creative both. 

They don't and won't understand the single most effective way an agency can increase creative efficiency is to encourage inefficiency. 

More play equals more work.
Less play equals less work. And duller.
And work is better when work is better.

All the people who hit you over the head with scopes and timesheets fundamentally not only don't understand our business, they also hate our business and you. They want to live in a mathematical equation and a quid pro quo universe. They don't like the imprecision that comes from human heartbeats.

Yeah, sorry. As Walter Brennan said in Capra's "Meet John Doe," "I know the world's been shaved by a drunken barber."


Go read a book.

On company time.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

What Makes an Ad?


I have been in the advertising business a long time.

But I was never really in the advertising business until I opened up my own advertising business.

There's a simple reason for that change.

When you work for someone else, you're given work.

When you work for yourself, you have to go out and get work.

Getting work forces you to think about ads in a way you didn't have to before. It's the difference, I think, between growing tomatoes in your backyard garden and running a farm. The difference between holding a bake sale and running a bakery.

The world looks different when it's sink or swim.

Try it some time.

Surviving, no thriving, on your own.

It helps.

About five years ago, I realized my Linked In network of about 10,000 people was more than just a bunch of 'connections.' In fact, it was a media channel--or, better, I could turn it into a channel. I could write something funny, or smart, or topical, and as many people would see it as would see a small-town newspaper in the suburbs.

My connections were a property. Like a mini "People" magazine. Viewers would tune in if I gave them something to tune into.

I guess you could call that reach. Frequency is up to me.

And I am frequent. 

I've written a blog post every working day for over 6000 days. And I've probably written about 2000 GeorgeCo headlines. Sure, not all of them are winners. I'm no DiMaggio qualitatively, but I might approach Joltin' Joe-ness with my consistency.

I've written a ton of mediocre headlines, but none of them are as mediocre the Times' headline above. A headline that says nothing. A headline that has no news. A headline that has nothing new, twisted, unique or funny.

A headline, an ad, a tweet, a sneeze should tell you something you didn't know before. Or say something in a way you hadn't heard before. Or make you think in a new way. Or at the very least, or very most, make you spit your coffee out through your nose.

In short, it should be noticeable. Not annoyingable.

Damn, I see a lot of work that is flatter than a plate of piss. Not just on social sites where no one seems to care. But in what used to be print and used to be TV.

Most often I feel talked down to. Ignored because I'm old. Shouted at. Or being forced to listen to a joke for the hundredth time that wasn't funny the first time. What's more, it seems like half the ads on TV are for drugs for people with rare diseases. They're barking at me but not really for me. I'm no media person--more TBH, a Medea person, but targeted ads in a mass media don't make sense to me. Unless you enjoy pissing people off because you really don't like people or care if you irk them.


It seems like people have forgotten how at a very fundamental level. They've forgotten no one cares. And that an ad's job is to make them care. That's been true since time began. But we've seem to have wholly forgotten it. Or we're so obedient to and afraid of clients--and of being fired--that we produce crap that satisfies them and their bosses. And no one else.

I've been seeing a lot of ads for a horribly-named hotel chain called Crowne Plaza. 

First of all, only a dipshit spells crowne with an e. Second, your name is two names. Be crown or plaza, don't be both. There's no baseball team called the Metskees. Or basketball team called the Clipkers. Or a presidential candidate called a Bidump, though maybe there should be.

Forget that they repeated the anodyne and empty, "This is Crowne Plaza," in one index-card-sized ad three times. That line ain't exactly, "I am Spartacus." It's not powerful. Or in the moment. Or an affirmation. What else would it be in a Crowne Plaza ad? This is Poughkeepsie Convention Center?

Why, in other words, run an ad--a lot--or a headline, that says nothing, stops no one, contains no truth and no reason to read?

It's the sound of no hands clapping and no ass crapping.

Yet approximately 97.8-percent of everything I see is sheer emptiness. As above, flat as a plate of piss.

I don't know what's happening in the advertising business that so much time, human energy, lip-flapping and money is spent on such communications non-entities. People create these things, present these things, design these things, proofread these things, shoot these things, conference room these things. They fight for shit like this and hang tearsheets of them in their beige offices and are generally roused. They publicize their blandness in trade journals.

Having an eyebrow that says "Breaking News" followed by a headline that essentially says, "Dictator for Life declares himself Dictator for Life," is an insult to all involved.

As is "This is Crowne Plaza."

It's hard to do good ads.

But it can't be hard to write headlines better than those.

Or at least try.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

The Magic of Non-Magic.

Before you and so many others gush almost continuously about the enormous computing power now at humanity's, or sundry billionaires', disposal, I suggest you spend some time observing a child who's just learned to walk or a puppy that's just come into a new home.

The concept of Umwelt--Dave Trott wrote about it yesterday, and I wrote about it a little over a week ago, is valuable to consider here.

Umwelt is how a sentient creature takes in the world and adapts to it. It's how a living being adjusts to thrive in its environment.

Today, we regard giant computers as brilliant because they can do things instantaneously that might take us years. They can multiply 298465075638 by 4850645882003854383 in nano-seconds. Because we can't, we consider them smarter than we are.

And we consider them smarter for a whole host of reasons. 


Imagine yourself on vacation. Maybe you've had one daiquiri too many. You've not eaten for four hours, and you've been laying in the sun for a similar amount of time. For whatever reason, slightly drunk, slightly fried by the sun, slightly vertigo'd from getting up too quickly, you leap into the too-cold swimming pool and dive down to the bottom.

In an instant you've changed mediums, temperature and more.

You come up for air, shake the water off your head like Alain Delon in Purple Noon and you go on with your life.

Guess what, through all that, the computer above your shoulders never lagged. It never had to buffer. It kept on monitoring your muscles, your breathing, your heart beating, your digesting, your vision. 

Same thing with watching a kid or a puppy. Especially when they just start to walk. The feats of balance, the awareness of their surroundings, the functioning of all organs and a million things I can't even fathom. It's all, well, unfathomable. 

This is a passage I read on Saturday in Cat Bohannan's new book, "Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution." Just about thirty words out of the couple hundred thousand spread over 600 or so pages, but they're worth thinking about.

"Eyes can give you the equivalent of a million trillion gigabytes of information a second. They’ll tell you what things are, and where they are, fantastically quickly."

Reading this, seeing Sparkle my new puppy expand her world with every step, and seeing my 17-month-old grandson Jude walk about five miles at a wedding this weekend brought all this to my frontal lobes.

To put it as bluntly as I can, I think we over-hype the power of enormous machines to do things that we find impossible, and entirely forget about the thousands of impossible things we do every day. Put another way, "you don't know what you've got to it's gone."

In my newly refurbished 105-year-old seaside cottage, the contractors have finished about 73-percent of my office which I paid 109-percent of. I have only a fraction of my thousands of books in the space, but I can reach for things and look at them better here than I ever could while in New York.

An hour ago, I opened a book I bough for $2 from a street vendor. A 1979 book called "The Passport," by Saul Steinberg. I've had the book for a couple of dozen years, but never had the lighting or a table to flip through it before. Just now I had a client call and thumbed through Steinberg while I was listening.

There is more laughter, surprise, serendipity, irreverence, wisdom and magic in the couple of hundred drawings from Steinberg than there would be from a Quantum of Quantum computers.

A wise person, maybe it was me, once said, "pay attention to what you pay attention to." In other words, not the Hallmarkiness of "live in the moment," but really take in what you take in. Really revel in your thoughts and your processes and your progresses and your calculus and your noticing and your synapsing and your Umwelt. 

Before you cede your future and your actual self to silicon germanium chips, look inside your own Umwelt of splendor and excitement and magic and wonder.

And enjoy you.