I feel that one of the most important and often overlooked things is being observant. Developing the ability to see things happening or unfolding is challenging work. It’s challenging for all sorts of reasons (mostly having to do with, in my case at least, being pretty much focused on myself).
Because it’s important and because it’s hard to do, it’s good practice to identify others who are good at being observant and communicating what they observe in a useful way. Which brings me to this edition of Follow Friday.
Mike Ives, journalist
Journalists who know their craft make ideal observationalists. I had the exceptionally good fortune to meet Mike Ives early in his journalism career when he was working at the local Burlington Vermont paper SevenDays. During his time here I got to know him through our shared interests in music and cross-country skiing.
Equal parts thinker, athlete and adventurer Mike’s the kind of guy that always has an interesting story or insightful perspective. But, and this is important (especially in a world of ego-driven blogjournalism), Mike Ives isn’t a blowhard. He doesn’t embellish or cull his observations to service his agenda. To be honest, I have no clue what his agenda might be or if he has one. But I do know that his writing brings me to a closer understanding of the world that Mike Ives sees.
I recommend you follow Mike Ives for the following specific reasons:
- His journalism is global in reach, bringing valuable perspectives to specific issues.
- His journalism is general in nature; he doesn’t have a “beat” and as such he can help prevent intellectual myopia.
- Someday he’s going to win a lot of prestigious writing awards and you’ll be able to say “Yeah I been reading that guy for years.”
The best way to follow Mike Ives is through his journalism, which appears in a variety of publications. Here are a few to get you started:
- Mike Ives in Yale Environment 360
- Mike Ives in The New York Times
- Mike Ives’ blog
- And of course you can also follow him on Twitter.
Whether he’s writing about economics, politics and the Kyrgistan walnut crop or the future of pond hockey, his writing is engaging and insightful. He provides valuable observations about the world around him.