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Note #57: I have a story for you
Summer, story, salaries, stinking
The sunny summer weather is practically all gone now and we’ve started having grey skies and rainy days again. And that often reminds me of something I read from CS Lewis: he greatly enjoyed taking walks in the English countryside, and wrote somewhere about having learned to enjoy whatever the weather was. I remembered that again recently when talking to a friend who complained about taking walks in “bad weather.” I still like sunny weather, that won’t change, but Lewis’ words helped me see that all weather is just weather, and it’s worth accepting it for what it is.
In that spirit, then I quite enjoy how grey skies look in photos, like in this one I took while walking along the Ipswich waterfront.
My first story (in ages)!
I haven’t written a lot of fiction. But I want to, have always wanted to. It’s sort of scary for me, though: basic imposter syndrome. But this week a friend on one of my WhatsApp groups shared a writing prompt and encouraged us all to try our hands at it.
You are a hero, in a city that never seems to have enough of them. Suddenly, disaster strikes… “and it was such a peaceful Tuesday morning.”
I almost didn’t, and then I thought, what have I got to lose? So I did. As it turned out, I quite enjoyed the writing, even though I feel like I rushed the end a little bit. I hope you enjoy it too. Here’s the opening:
Sergeant Kalu sighed.
“How far, bro?” his partner asked, kicking a loose stone idly as he waved at the sky blue SUV that had just driven past their checkpoint. “Why you dey breathe heavy heavy?”
Kalu glanced at him, hearing the grin in his voice. He suspected John-Bosco knew he didn’t like him using that term, “bro”, and was deliberately goading him. Nor did he wish to reply the question, because he wasn’t about to talk about his feelings with a man he didn’t respect.
“Nothing, no mind me,” he said, shifting his rifle as he adjusted his back on their patrol truck.
You can read the rest of the essay here: Devils and details
There’s a quote I think about a lot, because it applies far more often than we might like to think.
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.—Upton Sinclair
Like in research, you always want to be careful about conflicts of interest.
It reminds what of Nassim Taleb says in his book, Skin in the Game, where he talks about being careful to not be too trusting of people who are likely to benefit hugely from decisions working out but unlikely to suffer as much if things go south: it’s heads they win, tails you lose and that’s not a game you want to be playing.
Stinkin’ riches (proverb)
Money smells no worse for being earned from cleaning out poop.
All honest work is not only valid, but valuable. And nothing that a person has earned should be sneered at.