➡✉FORWARD: In case of 2020, exercise militant optimism!


📏👀 TL;DR

This week we ignore the drama and wear a smile. Why shouldn’t you? Things are looking up! The poor have comforts that the titans of industry couldn’t get with all their wealth 100 years ago. When things go wrong, you can take a moment to be present — find the “Good” and strengthen your resilience. 

✊💎 The Snappening:

Congratulations on avoiding Rick Astley’s crooning. You survived! Will you pull off the repeat victory? I designed this mashup between a pie chart and classic 1990s mall map to give you the answer. If it can’t figure it out, click the blue button below.


No Whammy!

📖📈 Must Read: (5 min)

Why should you Embrace Militant Optimism? Sci-Fi visions of a techno-utopian society have been around as long as humans have had tools. The stories you tell children inspire the future they will build.

👎👍 Must Watch: (3 min)

Something bad happened? You suffered a setback recently? Good!

Retired Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink will teach you how to deal with bad news or moments of defeat.

👻💨 Must Listen: (10 min)

Tool’s Fear Inoculum is sacred to me. It empowered me to maintain the stream of calm, loving, nothings that I whispered in her ear. We sat on the floor, her head in my lap. The eternal moment. I caressed her, while the veterinarian injected the chemicals that stopped her heart.

A Progressive Rock meditation performed to liberate listeners from mass hysteria. By labeling the shared delusion, you rob it of its power. I invite you to join me in singing the chorus: “Exhale, expel; Recast my tale; Weave my allegorical elegy“.

🐒🧠 Must Try: (infinitely)

You’ve made mistakes during your life. That doesn’t mean you can’t advocate against them. This doesn’t make you a hypocrite. You’re a biological Ship of Theseus. Don’t let people invalidate your current ideas based on your past actions. You have grown and that’s awesome. Go forth and help others.

💖👨‍🔬Closing Thoughts:

Why do I write FORWARD?

After 18 months working to catalyze Buffalo’s Startup Community. My interactions with folks were feeling one-dimensional. People subconsciously labeled me as “startup guy”. I experienced this same phenomena after my Twelve Hours in a City project and my stint as a professional Photographer. FORWARD is the reassertion of the breadth of my humanity.

Americans bind their identity to their job title. My conversations with humans on other continents are much less likely to start with the phrase “What do you do?”. International small talk focuses on shared interests and activities. FORWARD encourages you to celebrate your idiosyncrasies. I want you to ask others about their interests outside of work.

Innovation often occurs by applying a known solution from one problem-domain to another. Curious people tend towards being Impactful People.

What’s your personal interest that you don’t often share with people? Hit reply and let me know!

With Kindness and Respect,


p.s. Thank you for reading FORWARD the newsletter for Curious and Impactful People.

✅Action Items:

🔲 Stop reading e-mail and call the oldest person you love.

🔲 Forward to a Friend

Did someone Forward you this e-mail?

You can subscribe here: http://www.clarkdever.com/forward

➡✉FORWARD: The Snappening

💎🤚Bad news folks!

You’re playing a game of chance using split-testing.

Half of you are about to get rickrolled and lose. The other half will survive to fight learn another day, rewarded for your curiosity. Zeno’s Dichotomy Paradox will continue weekly until a lone survivor is crowned.

If you win, you’ll have bragging rights or survivor’s guilt. You’ll be featured in a short bio in Forward (Let’s all pray that you’re as interesting as you are lucky). Last but not least, I’ll ship you an Infinity Gauntlet for your trophy case.


The only question that remains: Will you survive? *SNAP*

I Feel Lucky!

No purchase necessary, void where prohibited, must be subscribed before 9/28/2020 to participate.

🚀📅 Must Attend:

Buffalo Startup Week launched yesterday! This year’s conference hosts 30+ events featuring top talent from around the world. There are tracks on Startup 101, Game Development, Design, Legal, Finance, and Software Development. It’s a grassroots organized event, please use this click-to-tweet to help raise awareness on twitter 🐦📢.

❄💵 Must Watch:

I Was a Teenage Drug Lord Making Millions in NYC

The inspiration for Uber, DoorDash, GrubHub, and (Buffalo’s own) BraidBabes. The plot catalyst for Half-Baked (everyone’s favorite PSA about equine diabetes 🐴🍬). By the time he was 18 Coss was making 3 million a year via his revolutionary, tri-state drug delivery service. Presently, he’s building a fitness startup named CONBODY that’s raised >$250K in seed capital. I’ve been researching prison reform and entrepreneurship post-incarceration since attending TEDxAttica last year. This autobiographical oral history is worth the watch.

Reply if you’re curious about the visceral experience of being inside a maximum security facility. I’ll share what I learned from the impactful men who reside there.

🚂🎻 Must Listen:

Enjoy the raw emotion captured in this impromptu performance of Cold Beer by freighthopping Canadian🍁 crust punk Jesse Stewart. See if you can make to the end of the track without falling off the wagon 🍺.

If you enjoyed, toss him a few bucks for another Ice House 🤢 via:

Paypal: 2poor4soap@gmail.com


ETH: 0xe11742F9c07D82bc3A36d836CcA0e20045F6d085

That’s right, he has crypto addresses — bet you didn’t see that coming.

📖📈 Must Read:

1,000 True Fans

Kevin Kelly is an Optimistic Futurist. This article laid out the future business model of being a content creator in 2008. If you sell things, you should read it.

🥫🍲 Must Try:

Fall is in the air, that means canned soup for lunch! But, I hate struggling to free the gelatinous cylinder of soup. It really sours my appetite. Shake well and pat the bottom of your soup can to easily pour its well mixed contents into your bowl. I hope this makes your lunch just a little more enjoyable.

🤝Closing Thoughts:

Americans share more commonalities than differences. We should be working in solidarity to defend our democratic republic’s ideals. Politicians, the media, and algorithmic Filter Bubbles aren’t the only actors trying to polarize us. There are active psychological operations (psyops) targeting us (you and me). We lack a meaningful national dialog about influence operations, but you can help change that. Start with this video on how the KGB convinced American Media Companies to report that HIV/AIDS was an American made bioweapon targeted at our own citizens. Then get real curious and share your new found knowledge with your friends.

Commit to reaching out to your family (despite their latest Facebook post). Start a chat with your neighbors (despite their lawn signs). Building lines of communication is the first step toward deescalating extremist viewpoints. Violent extremism is driven by creating an “Us” and a “Them”. You defeat it by realigning people so they see each other as humans or part of a more inclusive version of “Us”. The best way to do that is to spend time together (shared experiences) or talking about your common ground. Humans are born without agenda. So that means Hate of another group is learned behavior. We can all learn acceptance as well.

With Kindness and Respect,


p.s. Thank you for reading FORWARD the newsletter for Curious and Impactful People.

Action Items:

If you learned something, please do one of the following:

Going to send a link from this newsletter to a friend?

Please Forward this email instead and tell them to subscribe here: https://www.clarkdever.com/forward

Reply with your favorite musical track that you think I’ve never heard before. If I use it in a future newsletter I’ll give you props!

Reply with one thing you would change going Forward