I’m Chase Reeves. I collect and develop thoughts on how to make and live matterfully. Mostly for men. Make sense? Hmmm... lots of ‘m’s.

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“There’s a fine line between on something and on to something.”

John Roderick

What If You Made Up Your Own Holiday Traditions?

So, a friend asked this a couple days ago: we don’t have any Christmas traditions and I want to make some up for my son and I. What do you guys do, what do you like about it, what do you wish you did?

I got really excited about it. I have a 6 year old son, a gorgeous and smart wife and we live pretty far from both our families. I would love for Aiden (my son) to have a sense of holiday tradition that feels like us — thoughtful, goofy, inclusive, inebriatory, lots of moments where I cry in parts of kids movies, etc.

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Do you have to hate yourself to make something good?

Of course the writer and creative and “man on hunt to be celebrated posthumously” part of me immediately shouts: Hey fucker — you do that and we’re not going to make any really great stuff anymore! This is where our power comes from, not feeling like you’re enough is the explosion at the heart of the star keeping the lights on.

That guy sounds desperate. Also, sounds like another one for the “stupid shit I find myself believing” category:

“I have to feel unloved to make good things.”

Chase Reeves

“[Benjamin] Franklin wrote his mother to say that he hoped the more likely tribute paid him after his death would be ‘He lived usefully, than, He died rich.’”

The Atlantic

“The oldest of the Upanishads – another part of Hindu scriptures – date from around 500 BC. These texts encouraged an exploratory learning process where teachers and students were co-travellers in a search for truth. The teaching methods used reasoning and questioning. Nothing was labeled as the final answer.”

Wiki’s History of Education

Tim O’Reilly on Value Capture

“More than one internet billionaire has told me, ‘I started with an O’Reilly book,’ and I told them, ‘yea, and we got $30.’”

Tim O’Reilly

An example of his motto: “Create more value than you capture.”

What I Learned From Working With Ira Glass

“What I learned [from working with Ira Glass] is that a lot of it is just about the effort you put in and not about — I mean you have to have a creative brain, and part of it is that, being born with it, partly. But watching Ira work — a lot of times he just keeps thinking about it longer than other people think about it, and eventually he comes up with an idea that’s good. It made me realize: that’s how people get good ideas, by going through a lot of bad ideas first. ”

Alex Blumberg

“There’s an incredible connection possible when you align your financial motivations with the service of your users. It’s an entirely different category of work than if you’re simply trying to capture eyeballs and sell their attention, privacy, and dignity in bulk to the highest bidder.”

David Handsy Hanson

Confucius on Ages of Learning

“At fifteen I set my heart on learning; at thirty I took my stand; at forty I came to be free from doubts; at fifty I understood the decree of heaven; at sixty my ear was attuned; at seventy I followed my heart’s desire without overstepping the line.”


“Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.”

J. Paul Getty

Aristotle on Learning by Doing

“It was not by seeing frequently or hearing frequently that we acquired the senses of seeing or hearing; on the contrary, it was because we possessed the senses that we made use of them, not by making use of them that we obtained them. But the virtues we acquire by first exercising them, as is the case with all the arts, for it is by doing what we ought to do when we have learnt the arts that we learn the arts themselves; we become builders by building and harpists by playing the harp.”


Stephen Colbert on Emotion vs Information

“[When I came up with the character] I was thinking of the idea of passion and emotion and certainty over information. […] Passion and emotion, what you feel in your gut, that’s more important to the public at large than information. If you can make information have passion and emotion as well that’s great, but it’s no important. Information is not important at all. You’ve really got to appeal to people. ”

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert on the Moment Comedy Chose Him

“[describes a comedian bombing] If failure of this scale can cause this much joy in anyone then this is the healthiest thing I could do with the rest of my life and I will do nothing else. And I’ve never looked back from that moment.”

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert on Grief

“I was left alone a lot after Dad and the boys died…. And it was just me and Mom for a long time,” he said. “And by her example am I not bitter. By her example. She was not. Broken, yes. Bitter, no.” Maybe, he said, she had to be that for him. He has said this before—that even in those days of unremitting grief, she drew on her faith that the only way to not be swallowed by sorrow, to in fact recognize that our sorrow is inseparable from our joy, is to always understand our suffering, ourselves, in the light of eternity. What is this in the light of eternity? Imagine being a parent so filled with your own pain, and yet still being able to pass that on to your son.

“It was a very healthy reciprocal acceptance of suffering,” he said. “Which does not mean being defeated by suffering. Acceptance is not defeat. Acceptance is just awareness.” He smiled in anticipation of the callback: “ ‘You gotta learn to love the bomb,’ ” he said. “Boy, did I have a bomb when I was 10. That was quite an explosion. And I learned to love it. So that’s why. Maybe, I don’t know. That might be why you don’t see me as someone angry and working out my demons onstage. It’s that I love the thing that I most wish had not happened.”

I love the thing that I most wish had not happened.

I asked him if he could help me understand that better, and he described a letter from Tolkien in response to a priest who had questioned whether Tolkien’s mythos was sufficiently doctrinaire, since it treated death not as a punishment for the sin of the fall but as a gift. “Tolkien says, in a letter back: ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ ” Colbert knocked his knuckles on the table. “ ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ ” he said again. His eyes were filled with tears. “So it would be ungrateful not to take everything with gratitude. It doesn’t mean you want it. I can hold both of those ideas in my head.”

He was 35, he said, before he could really feel the truth of that. He was walking down the street, and it “stopped me dead. I went, ‘Oh, I’m grateful. Oh, I feel terrible.’ I felt so guilty to be grateful. But I knew it was true.

“It’s not the same thing as wanting it to have happened,” he said. “But you can’t change everything about the world. You certainly can’t change things that have already happened.”

From this excellent interview with Stephen Colbert. Here’s some of my other favorite quotes from this article.