Philosophy Tuesday

So much of our lives seem to revolve around zero-sum games.  Certainly, many of the actual games we play reinforce that idea, that there is a single (even if it’s a team) winner and everyone else falls short.  Or as we get caught up in the false-gravity game of money and the economy of scarcity.  Or when we were young and told to share our toys or treats with a friend or brother or classmate – that was super clear, wasn’t it?  If I gave you half my cookie, then I had less for me (and certainly no more cookie was coming).

To be sure, there are zero-sum instances and games around, both the real and the ones we play (often inadvertently) as though they were real.  But it is well worth remembering that not everything is one, and it is even more fruitful to live as though zero-sum games are the exception.

Love, happiness, generosity, wellbeing, joy, passion, satisfaction, vitality, health, performance, productivity, laughter, kindness, fulfillment, peace… there are so many areas in life where the things are not finite, are not created and destroyed in equal measures.  They are abundant, never-ending, available to be pulled from, always gushing forth to allow us to drink from the proverbial firehose.

True, we may need to get over our own barriers to do so, and those barriers may be mighty indeed, but through this world of abundance and generosity we gain oodles of support and care, buoying us as we work our way to overcome or, even better, dismantle the barriers.

In this realm we get to play whole different kind of games, ones that have us build and grow and feel big and great and happy.  And while the Buddha never really said the following, it’s a fine place to remind us of this non-zero-sum place in which to stand and live from:

Wonder Wednesday

99 Percent Invisible just did a great episode looking at the birth of phenomenon No Name Brand(R)* products, and the evolution of sorts towards the birth of the President’s Choice brand and, even more amazing, its eventual spread to create ‘gourmet’ store brand labels throughout North America (and likely beyond).  A whole branch of the modern supermarket landscape started right near my hometown of Toronto.

And that latter part is what made it all the more amazing to me; while I certainly knew about both No Name Brand and PC products**, I had no idea that it was the instigator for the myriad of high-profile store brands that proliferate today.  A cool and fascinating little piece of design and shopping history.

Give the episode a listen here***, and I heartily recommend checking out their other episodes!  They’re all great, full of design (including plenty of architecture) and curiosities and sociological reflections and history and more.  99PI is a go-to listen for me every week.

 

* Yes, No Name Brand is indeed trademarked… something that has brought me no end of amusement over the years!

** Before I moved out of the country I’d say at least half of my shopping every week was President’s Choice products…

*** You can also read the webpage, but the podcast is the much better and more in-depth format!

Wonder Wednesday

There is a new full-length documentary out on Halyx, the “space rock band” that Disney created for Tomorrowland in 1981, and it is amazing (both the band and the documentary):

If you want more, the user Bangoe has been posting on his channel recordings of the band’s performance that he himself recorded as a guest at Disneyland in 1981.

And for those of you who are not familiar with Defunctland, the Youtube channel who made this, the above is only the tip of the iceberg of the great videos they make not only about old and removed rides and attractions (the ‘defunct’ part of their name), but also deep dives into Disney and general theme park history, old children’s TV shows, an incredible multi-part series on the life and art of Jim Henson, and more.  If any of that piques your interest, I highly, highly recommend a subscribe!