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How to remember you’re alive.

Nerd alert! Nerd alert! Today’s edition of Apex Money contains a lot of nerdy stuff. And it’s not all about money. But I promise you: It’s all interesting. (To me, at least.) Let’s start by looking at the nature of time.

Being in time. [The New Yorker] — “Thoughts of the future are often associated with anxiety and dread, and thoughts of the past can be colored by regret, embarrassment, and shame. Still, mental time travel is essential…ast, present, future; history, this year, the decades to come. How should we balance them in our minds?” [Related: The mathematics of mind-time. Oh yeah, and this: Past, present, and future time perspectives.]

How to remember you’re alive. [Raptitude] — “The state of Being Alive also comes with a rich and distinct sense of possibility. You can make any number of interesting things happen by sheer will. You can scrawl sentences on a scrap of paper that will trigger certain thoughts later, for you or someone else. You can touch a few buttons on your phone and be speaking to any of a hundred people you know, and whatever is said would change each other’s day, or life, in some way.”

U.S. consumer prices surge in June by the most since 2008. [Associated Press] – “Consumer prices in June rose 0.9% from May and 5.4% over the past year — the sharpest 12-month inflation spike since August 2008.” More newsworthy — and not in the headline — is the fact that prices for big-ticket items have surged tremendously. Hotel stays are up 15.1% in the past year. Airline fares are up 25%. Used cars are up 10.5% in one month. Furniture is up 8.6% for the year. And although it’s not listed in this article, home prices are up 13.2%.

Here in Portland, inflation is obvious — especially with food. Grocery prices are outrageous. Restaurant prices even more so. During the pandemic, some of this made sense. You could make the argument that we’re not yet out of the pandemic, of course, but I’m skeptical that prices are going to drop (or hold steady) any time soon. I think we’re in for a year or two of high inflation…and it’s going to suck.

But hey. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ll be very happy if that’s the case!

Lastly, let’s dive into plant intelligence. Yes, that’s right: I said plant intelligence. Hardcore J.D. fans know I’m deeply interested in animal intelligence. A closely-related subject is the intelligence of plants. Do they have any? Turns out: maybe. Quit possibly. Here’s a short (two-minute) video about how trees talk to each other.

And on a related note, here’s an article about the hidden memories of plants. Crazy stuff, eh? Maybe Tolkien was onto something when he created Ents.

Okay, that’s PLENTY for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more great stuff. See you then.