Here in the USA, we like to say we have a democracy. That’s getting to be a harder and harder claim to make. But for all our technological and creative innovations, it’s damn near impossible to say with a straight face that we have a modern democracy.

We did in 1776. We don’t in 2020.

It seems no one ever wants to talk about this, I don’t know why. Sometimes I try and people look at me like I’m crazy. Pardon me for saying so, but it’s really our system that’s crazy.

Here’s what a democracy can look like in…


The data era is here. Like any new shiny thing, with it comes with acclaimed hope and slick promises.

Truth is always less glossy than the sales brochure.

No matter how you parse or present all that data, it can’t tell you where to go. All it can ever do is point, hopefully to some things you may not have thought of yet. That is its core value, showing us blind spots and revealing ignored interconnections. This information could possibly help you get where you want to go.

Is this important?

Well, it is if you say it is.

Data can show us…


With all the work from home & remote productivity articles published here in the last month, you’d think there would be more practical and tactical tips about improving your connection itself. I didn’t see those anywhere, so I wrote this.

Because if you’re trying to work online from home, there are a few things you should really know about your internet connection.

1. Wi-Fi is always the last resort


kindness this way sign

The longer the lockdowns last, the more people question it and make “exceptions” and yell at each other for violating it.

It’s an odd time for all of us.

Odds are

  • you will be exposed to the Coronavirus this year
  • it won’t kill you, no matter your age
  • it will kill people you know, probably several

What is 100% certain now is that our healthcare systems are soon to be overwhelmed. It’s already happening in places.

The lockdowns are all about lowering the odds that you & those you love will wind up needing lifesaving care when there’s not enough of it…


So you’re on lockdown. Trying not to think about it too much and end up someplace really dark.

Binging on Netflix can only get you so far.

I’m just fresh from quarantine myself. If, like me, it leaves you feeling antsy and wanting to do something distracting yet productive, maybe it’s time for a project you can fall into for a little while and come out with a better life?

Here are some things to do like that which as far as I can tell have no downside. They don’t require a ton of mental bandwidth, but can keep the…


Since my previous story about self-quarantining while looking for answers went “viral” so to speak, I’ve spent a lot of time answering calls from family & friends. They were concerned for me, but also wanted some help working through their own tough decisions around how to handle this Coronavirus thing that’s all over the news. I keep hearing things like:

  • Should I visit my parents as planned, or wait?
  • Should I cancel my party/gig/class/workshop?
  • How should my travel plans or behaviors change?
  • What can I do to ward off the Coronavirus?
  • When do I head for the hills?

Let me…


N95 mask

“Here’s your mask! I’d like you to drive. I love you.” My girlfriend handed me an N95 with her medical-gloved hands. No kiss hello tonight.

The Drive

I loaded my luggage in the trunk, put on my mask, and got behind the wheel. This was Sunday evening, March 1st, and I was returning to Utah from a few days in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was a dark and stormy night, but the scary part wouldn’t come until later.

“I love you too, and I’m fine. I’m just really tired and a bit of a headache from all the vitamins I’ve…


Image 13297922 used with permission https://depositphotos.com/license.html

Simple is marvelous place that we really can inhabit. Yes, you too can get there.

The first step is for us to chose to stop going in the direction of complexity. Running that way faster or more efficiently just puts more distance between us and our destination: Simple-land!

Oftentimes, the only thing that it really takes to get from here to there is to give up the things that complicate our lives.


When we write stuff in plaintext format, our lives are be better for it.

We can use plain ol’ text on any platform, any device, at any point in time. There is nothing to convert, and nothing to format. Nothing will ever be more portable or searchable or translatable or ultimately useful. We can copy and paste it to and from anything (social media, websites, forms, emails, code, text messages on your phone, etc.) without any extra work or workarounds or errors to fix. It just works, and anything else is ultimately more work.

Text is Distractionless

I’ve learned to love the act of creative writing in plain text. It’s ideal for creating drafts and initial planning…


Today is the last day of 2019! Wishing you a bright new year to follow.

…But what does that look like, again?

What is your vision of an amazing 2020? How do you want your new decade to kick off?

From here, we can dream big! We can talk about the goals that we have personally or professionally, and we can get outrageous about how we wish the world would change to become more of the place we want to live. Political changes, environmental improvements, social unity! Yeah, that’d be great!

Sam Rogers

Likes to do things. Lots of things. Writing is one.

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