Surprises


Cameron Russell Headshot

Last week, I wrote a post about an underwear model.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I wrote a post about a TEDTalk – a really interesting one, too – given by professional model Cameron Russell, who talked about perception and the inequities of what people look like versus who they are. (Here’s my original post, with a link to Cameron’s talk.)

As a bit of a social experiment, I used a thumbnail of Cameron that I thought would catch people’s attention (yes, mostly men) to promote the post. You see where this is going.

So I was surprised to see that, in the first 24 hours the post was live, there was no discernible spike in traffic to my blog. In fact, the day’s clicks rated lower than the week before, when I posted “Friends” with a classic promotional (and equally titillating) still from the show.

What that tells me is that you, my fellow reader, are not beguiled by cheap thrills. In fact, the data leads me to believe that, in a world we are told is ruled by Kardashian scandals and stories of faux sex tapes, you are coming to this space to read and learn. And that makes me happy.

So thanks to you all for checking in on a regular basis. I really appreciate all the facebook likes, retweets and shares on LinkedIn. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

PS: Thanks Cameron for not only giving a really cool talk, but for RT’ing the tweet to my original post. Shows you really believe in what you said on stage.

PPS: I wrote this post over the weekend, before the Boston Marathon Bombing. I didn’t personally know anyone involved who was injured or killed and am grateful for that. I also chose to post this, as scheduled – even as we seem to be in another cycle of terroristic attacks (just like we were in September 2001) – because that’s what we do as Americans. We don’t twist in the wind because some coward takes a cheap shot at us. We rally, we help the injured, we get up, and then we do the ass-kicking that needs to get done. America is with you Boston.

What I’ll be doing this year on 9/11


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This weekend, Americans will pause to mark the 10 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks on our nation. As we pay our respects, I think we also need to remember how we felt on that day, and never let the emotion fade from our consciousness. My feelings about that day are crystal clear.

No matter where you were on September 11, 2001, you were a target. That’s right, the terrorists were after you that day, and still are.

Why you, personally? Because if you’re reading this, you have access to the diverse range of information and ideas the Internet makes available. Ideas liberate the mind and give wings to our spirit.

And that pisses off the terrorists like you couldn’t believe.

They don’t like free thinkers. They don’t like people who challenge them. They don’t like anyone’s rules but their own. So, my friend, you (and I) are still a target.

So I propose we targets work together against our common enemy.

I’m not calling for a war. We’ve got a couple on our hands already, and I’ll leave that fight to our brave men and women in the military. (Thank you to every rock star who wears or has ever worn our flag into battle. We’re looking forward to the day you can come home because we don’t need you out there anymore.)

The United States of America is the most innovative and ambitious nation on the planet. And together with like-minded friends from other nations, we’ve eradicated disease, stood up for human rights and made space travel nearly mundane.

In the same breath, we Americans (and our like-minded friends) can be some of the laziest, dumbest and foolish people around. We can wander through our days like sheep, head down, paying no attention to the opportunities around us.

When we choose to be the former, and reject the latter, we embrace our full potential and become the people we need to be. We change lives. We make the world a better place. We lift people up, and in the process, lift up ourselves.

And we beat the terrorists.

So this weekend, as we remember those people we lost in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, let’s honor their memories by being better ourselves. Make their legacy the world we want to leave to our children.