The First One
This is the first of what is hopefully a continuous series of weekly emails where I’ll share one photo, one podcast, one book, whatever might have struck my fancy this week.
Since this is the first one – I’m going to share one photo and one podcast recommendation.
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Thanks for following me on this weird journey!
This was taken in the Indian Ocean off the East African coast. This was one of the most stunning places I’ve ever experienced.
This water series is one of my favorites from my recent shoot in the Seychelles. Sam Warren asked me if there were any shots that I personally really wanted to create while I was there. I was caught off guard. I realized that I had embarked on a huge mission to an amazing far flung destination without this mental list or real personal creative aspirations and I was a little ashamed of myself. Then, almost instantly, the entire catalog of one of my favorite photographers flashed through my head. I’ve been a huge fan of Morgan Maassen for a long time. His images and films are simple, evocative, often haunting, always beautiful. So I decided to try to steal his style for the day (I’m often trying to steal his style a little bit). If you haven’t seen his portfolio or his Water films on vimeo, I suggest you do yourself a favor. Thanks Morgan for the constant visual inspiration!⠀
ONE RECOMMENDATION – Intelligence Squared Podcast
My one share for the week is a delightfully rich conversation between physicist Carlo Rovelli and novelist Philip Pullman. Both men are witty, lighthearted, and a joy to listen to. You can feel both their mutual respect for each other and their shared passion for ideas, language, and the creative process.
Rovelli and Pullman are both brilliant innovators and writers (though I have to admit that I haven’t read His Dark Materials yet). The conversation touches on each of their individual works, mostly on Rovelli’s new book Helgoland (which I just picked up from the beautiful new Tattered Cover location in Denver), but it’s much more about their processes and philosophies.
There are so many gems in this conversation that I want to hold onto. I love the idea that questions are more important than answers. Rovelli makes the point that if you could magically go back in time, you wouldn’t give past scientists the answers to th e questions they’re looking for (eg. What makes the sun revolve around the earth?), you’d want to give them better questions to ask. To create new models of understanding our world we need to learn to ask better questions.
I love their focus on the relative nature of everything and how to not take yourself or even your ideas too seriously. Pullman shares a funny (likely apocryphal) anecdote that Fermi (or maybe it was a different famous physicist?) had a good luck horseshoe hanging over the door to his lab. When he was asked if he really believes that it works, he responded. “No, but I’m told that it works whether you believe in it or not.”
So many great moments and insights in this conversation – too many to list. It’s an absolute joy and it was great to revisit the conversation to share it here.
As a related bonus share: If you want to better understand what we know about the nature of time, Rovelli’s book, The Order Of Time is an indispensable and approachable book.
Thanks for following! I hope you enjoyed!