Isolation: Philz, Disney, and Scotland

I was feeling smug. I walked over to Philz in downtown Palo Alto, which had a line that rivaled that of the one that I saw at the Apple Store today (ok, not quite that bad ;).

There used to only be one or two…

However, the line didn’t bother me. Just as the pre-order crew could walk past everyone and pick up their iPhone’s, I walked past the line up to the area that holds the pre-ordered coffees (thanks to Order Ahead). I found my name, grabbed my cup, and exited stage right.

I felt like a nobleman able to pass by the masses, but my “key” wasn’t a blood line, but a lil bit of knowledge. Order Ahead let me select exactly what I wanted (in this case: a philtered soul, black) and I never had to talk to a soul.

Then it hit me. Was it good for my soul to be in my own world? A ghost in the store? Isn’t one of the things that makes Philz great the baristas? Isn’t it nice to connect with another human in the morning? Is that 5 minutes really the make or break to my productivity? (or did it just have me on Facebook or Twitter or Bejewelled?)

I feel disconnected. I have a friend who is very outgoing, the kind of person who will talk to anyone. Over time it has started to feel that people perceive this as odd. We have lost the art of talking to strangers.

This isn’t totally new of course. I remember sitting on the Tube in London with a crowded group with their heads in their newspapers. God forbid we could have a chat. Now the newspapers have been replaced with phones, with new addictions to eat up those minutes.

In the case of the coffee grab and go, the trend is anecdotally there. When I go into Philz there is now a large number of cups compared to the old days where my order was rare.

I think I am also more sensitive to this phenominon having read “Go Wild”, and other books that highlight the importance of being connected to each other. It feels like an area where we haven’t gotten to the bottom of the true importance.

Selfie Disney Sticks

The growth of the “selfie” boggles the mind, as does the incorrect usage (a selfie isn’t just any old photo of you!). Then you see the “selfie sticks”.

Someone was talking about how many they saw at Disney, and once again the immediate thought was:

“Wait, in a place with millions of people all around you, you would rather carry around a stick than ask someone around you to just TAKE YOUR PHOTO”


It feels like we are de-evolving at times. And not in the Scottish sense, which is another item to ponder wrt isolation. What does it mean to be a country these days in the global market? What rights are you looking for, at which level? It starts to feel a lil like a re-org to me at the moment. These things all have trade offs and false choices. From my distant position it feels like both campaigns in Scotland were incredibly poorly run, selling more false choices than they could ever give. I am curious to see how this all ends up…. but I do admit that I am hopeful that we can have a united group on Britain, with the right level of local autonomy. The hard work starts now. If anything comes out of this, I hope that it has the people coming together to work on their government holistically. 90% turn out is fantastic. Don’t stop there, get involved.

I hope for more united kingdoms in our future, and for community to grow and grow, especially as science continues to tell us how important it is for us to be together.

Now I am off to find a stranger to give a hug…

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