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Riding the rails.

Hello, Apexians, and welcome to Tuesday. Let’s call this one two-fer Tuesday because that’s what I have for you: two stories. But I am not kidding when I say I think both stories are fantastic.

First up is the only installment (so far) of Cate Hall’s Useful Fictions newsletter: “How to be more agentic.“. This piece is all about how to get more of what you want.

Radical agency is about finding real edges: things you are willing to do that others aren’t, often because they’re annoying or unpleasant. These don’t always surface in awareness to the point one is actually choosing — often they live in a cloud of aversion that strategically obscures the tradeoff.

It would be difficult for me to overstate how valuable I think this article is. It contains some fundamental truths about how to get the most out your life and the world around you. The story is short. I urge you to read it.

Yesterday I promised that I had an entire week of great video features. It’s true. I watched some neat stuff last week, and I’m eager to share it with you.

Today’s video feature might be my favorite. It’s an hour-long audio cassette from 1980. It chronicles the cross-country “hobo” journey of young artists James Gurney (Dinotopia) and Thomas Kinkade (like you don’t know who he is) as they “ride the rails” on freight trains.

I tell you, this thing is a delight. It’s so fun. It’s a peek into the past, a glimpse of a period when this country was undergoing some marked transitions.

I also want to encourage you to check out all of the fun stuff James Gurney does. He’s best known for his Dinotopia books, but the dude is a polymath adventurer artist. His YouTube channel is great (I like this video of him painting an airliner while waiting in the terminal), and his blog, Gurney Journey, which he’s been keeping almost daily for seventeen years is even better. (Here’s his blog post about riding the rails with Thomas Kinkade.)

I promise you there are hours of entertainment if you follow those links. As I’m at the start of my own artistic journey, I’m grateful for folks like Gurney who are so open and generous with their knowledge. I’ve never read Dinotopia before, but you can bet I’m going to buy it next time I’m in a bookstore. I want to support him. Dude is a sparkling gem.