Lindsay Bell

The Three Things, Edition 42

By: Lindsay Bell | August 4, 2013 | 

The Three Things

By Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

Welcome to the 42nd edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss from  Michael Schechter (Honora, A Better Mess), Howie Goldfarb (Blue Star Strategic Marketing), and yours truly, Lindsay Bell.

For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.

This week we look at procrastination and our wired lives, we find a subversive way to fight against the resulting lack of privacy in said wired lives, and finally, we talk kindness. Simple kindness.

Working in the Shed

Michael on Procrastination. Every day we face infinite distractions provided by the devices on our desk and in our pockets. The ease at which we can be knocked off course by our always-on Internet connectivity contributes significantly to our inability to get big things done. The problem is with us and not our tools, but our often unhealthy relationship with them is a growing challenge for many.

Matt Gemmell went to some truly extreme – and geeky – measures to add friction to his ability to get online, but the results seem to be speaking for themselves. If you find yourself at odds with your Internet connection, this piece is for you.

How to Create Codes  Even the NSA Can’t Break

Howie on Surveillance. In the past two years we learned Apple has been tracking iPhone users, the US Government has been listening and reading our communication, and Facebook launched the DATR cookie to track Facebook users off the network. Cops and cities have been photographing us in public and in our cars, and saving that information. What to do? How can you fight back? Encryption my friends. Encryption.

George Saunders’s Advice to Graduates

Lindsay on Failures of Kindness. Yes, it’s the first week of August. Yes, we’re already thinking about getting the kids back to school. But still. You must read George Saunders’s convocation speech he delivered to this year’s graduating class at Syracuse University. Saunders is a New York Times bestselling American writer, so the speech is obviously beautifully penned and very funny. But beyond that, his message, though simple, is extraordinary. Speaking about ‘regrets’ – a common theme in most commencement speeches, as in, don’t have any – Saunders tells a story from his youth, one that’s stuck with him all these years. It is his single most painful regret. I found it moving and profound. And a truly powerful message for all of us living in what’s rapidly becoming a most unkind world.

Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, book, or article you think we need to see?

About Lindsay Bell

Lindsay Bell is the content director at V3 Marketing, and works in Toronto. A former TV producer, she’s a strong advocate of three minutes or less of video content. She has a cool kid, a patient husband, two annoying cats, and Hank Dawge, a Vizsla/Foxhound/moose hybrid. Ok, maybe not moose.

  • Oh boy that encryption one challenges my brain. If I were to go into the non-distracted writer’s shed, I would love to take a crack at some of the ideas in the graduation speech, especially this line: “Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.” As far as my contribution, I loved this piece from Pulse Magazine for a variety of reasons: ….. the reasons tend to gravitate toward the fact that I spend a lot of my social media time following/interacting with various “causes.” I am involved with a group ( that pairs runners with children/adults who have various disabilities/conditions that make it difficult to run. The stream on the FB page for this group is continual – and it’s a combination of energy, compassion, and stories of ways in which the human body and genetic sequence can “go wrong” (for lack of a better word). Hearing these parents’ stories (for instance, the parents of kids with Down Syndrome who are adamantly against any kind of testing that would lead to advances in medicine that would make DS go away altogether) has given me a completely different depth of information about “disabilities” … and a thousand more questions. The piece I linked to I thought had an interesting take in “disabled.”

  • @belllindsay  I.Love.this.speech.
    So, so, so much! I am a huge fan of commencement speeches in general (Brain Pickings has tons that I read or watch all the freaking time), but this one is just so fantastic and makes me love G.S even more since this is what he saw was the biggest priority to discuss.

    • LauraPetrolino Amazing speech. I want to go hang out with him! LOL

      • Me too! Let’s go stalk him and make him be friends with us! If he tries to turn us down we can just remind him that isn’t the kind thing to do! Miahahaha

        • LauraPetrolino belllindsay Count me in!  I only wish he’d written it 30 years ago!  I’ve printed the speech out for my 12 & 10 year old girls to read & discuss.  Such a powerful message!

  • Wow, that Saunders piece hit home…have a similar regret and wrote about it, too. Beautiful writing (by Saunders, I mean. Mine was ok.) Thanks!

    • Word Ninja That piece has been in my head (in a good way) ever since I read it.

      • biggreenpen Good, honest writing should do that, right? 🙂

        • Word Ninja biggreenpen Me too! It really stuck with me. And it was SO beautifully written, I agree!

  • Love the speech!