Rene Girard, NASA Wonders, Douglas Adams and Airport Misadventures
The week that is
Few hours back NASA presented humanity with a groundbreaking new view of the cosmos from the James Webb Space Telescope – a view the world has never seen before. These images, including the deepest infrared view of our universe that has ever been taken, show us how Webb will help to uncover the answers to questions we don’t even yet know to ask; questions that will help us better understand our universe and humanity’s place within it.
Media is abuzz admiring the sheer beauty of this shared space in the infinite universe. Seeing the images made me go back to the grave of Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. My wonder for the universe was ignited reading his works.
He is buried near my place - in Highgate Cemetery, home to the graves of poets, philosophers, economists, activists. Marx can be found few meters away from Adams. The only difference is that Marx’s grave is the star attraction of Highgate whereas Douglas Adam’s grave is a puzzle, almost impossible to find.
If you notice carefully, you will see pens hidden behind the shrubs and pebbles and coins on top of his grave.
Reading about the universe puts things in perspective. All our troubles, our wins and losses, seem trivial when visualized as part of the larger cosmic ecosystem.
At least that’s what I am telling myself after my flight from London to Delhi got cancelled 3 hours before takeoff, putting my entire travel plan for the month out of control. I was really looking forward to seeing my parents and meeting the Network Capital Delhi community but Virgin Atlantic had other plans.
Also, I had let my house on AirBnB for the days I was gone. My guests are chilling at my place and I am writing this newsletter from a friend’s house. I am grateful to her and to NASA and Douglas Adams for giving me perspective on what has been a grueling set of days. C’est la vie, as the French say. Such is life but we fight to see another day, don’t we?
I am really looking forward to 2 cohort based courses coming up on Network Capital.
Prateek will teach us product management for hyper-growth B2B companies
2. I will teach you how to make your first 1000$ online
The course on Web 3.0 and community building with Crowd Pad is going well and our students seem excited to learn which is of course music to my ears.
Our community huddles are in full swing. After London and San Francisco, we head to New York.
Thank you all for making what I do for a living a dream job. Much like this fascinating jazz musician who sits on top of his boat that doubles up as a book shop on the canal near my home.
Now that we have explored creativity - from the breadth of the universe to jazz musicians doing their thing, let’s look at standardization. I stumbled upon this image on the internet. It talks about how all logos have started looking the same.
The creator of this thread David Perell says that software attributes it to 2 factors - software and the internet. He explains
1) Software: Designers are using the same tools, which exert the same unconscious forces on their creative process.
2) The Internet: Aesthetic diversity is bound to fall in such a hyper-connected world.
My best guess has a philosophical angle to it. Rene Girard’s mimetic theory.
“Mimetic theory suggests that we watch and learn by copying others, and the most important thing we learn from others is desire. When you see everyone chase the same person or the same job or the same vacation destination, it isn’t free will manifesting itself. It is us mimicking the desires of people we admire.”
The convergence of desire is a dangerous thing. It leads to massive mistakes in career choices, investment decisions, life plans, and it strips the world of artistic diversity.
Network Capital is the home for ambitious people. We want all of you to build your category of one. That won’t happen if we standardize routes and outcomes.
I hope your week turns out to be a good one. Join the Network Capital ecosystem. You will enjoy the learning experience and if you find yourself confused, remember you are not alone. As Douglas Adams said, “I not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”