Language as a Technology

The Mission Newsletter, 7/25/18

“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Mission of The Mission

Episode 63 of The Mission Daily

Today, we finally uncover the mystery and meaning behind our company. We talk about what our Mission is and what it means to be a Mission-Driven company.

Listen to Episode 63 on Google Play and iTunes.

The Mission Daily is a podcast dedicated to accelerated learning and helping you become healthier, wealthier, and wiser. It is designed to help you learn — as fast as you possibly can.

From the Archives

How to Mediate Voluntary Evolution

This piece is a slightly expanded version of a talk Chad Grills, CEO of The Mission, delivered last year.

“The world is made of language, information, and our imagination. If you know the right words to use, you can literally alter reality (albeit in a small way). When your articulations can be better seen in the minds of others, then people can choose to band together to collaborate and build that new thing. Language isn’t a simple technology. In the fifteen thousand years or so that it’s been around in its developed form, it has taken us from living on the grasslands to conceiving of the starships we’ll one day build.​”

Read: How to Mediate Voluntary Evolution

News That Matters


Ready? Annnnnnd streeeeeeetch.

New research shows that stretching might be all in the mind. In an experiment, researchers asked athletes to complete exercises on four different days using three different types of stretches and once without any stretching. The results showed no change in performance based on whether or not the athletes stretched or what type of stretching they did. These results were surprising to the leaders of the study, who also noted that although there was no improvement in the workouts, there was no decline, either. And the athletes said they felt more prepared for their workout when it was preceded by stretching. So if you like stretching, the docs say keep doing it. But if you don’t, the data suggests that you likely won’t see a drop in your performance.


There are a lot of things millennials can regret, but one surprising area of regret is home ownership.

Recent reports show that four in 10 millennials already own homes, but a growing number of them, 68% to be exact, are beginning to think they jumped the gun in purchasing a house. The reasons include dipping into retirement funds to afford a down payment, under-estimating the ongoing costs of owning a house, and settling on something that wasn’t exactly what they wanted.


New research in the book, The Happiness Curve, suggests that people start to feel a mid-life slump in their 40s but almost always bounce out of it to report being happier as they continue to age. In a recent interview, the book’s author, Jonathan Rauch, said this:

“The science behind this is still not clear. It is a new discovery. It happens in chimps and orangutans so it is fundamental in primates. The best conjecture is that it is because of a change in our values and our brains. It seems like we start out wired for social competition, we’re ambitious, but our ambition is a trickster. It is disappointing because it never lets you feel satisfied and by midlife we feel disappointed. We accomplish so much but there’s no sense of fulfillment. Meanwhile, as we age, our values change. We get older and we get more interested in social connections instead of competition. That evolution is a way of keeping us useful, to keep us connected with children, grandchildren, the community and tribe. I should add that social connection is a much more fulfilling ambition than competition. That’s why we tend to have more fulfillment than other things but in between there is a nasty transition where you’re disappointed with how happy you are and gloomy about the future. And it seems like it will never end.”

Rauch also said that people reach the peak of their life in their 60s, and that older people are better able to regulate their emotions and stress.

Read the full interview here.

Join us at SIGNAL!

Innovative leaders have lots of ideas, but they often save up the really mind-blowing ones for an audience of industry peers. 😏

Join us at SIGNAL and learn about the next generation of communications! Go to and get your ticket for 20% off by using the promo code: MISSION20.

Tech Trends

After a couple years of data were analyzed, researchers have found that a certain pair of Nikes improved runner’s marathon times by 3 to 4%. The Nike Vaporflys retail for $250, and the company reports that the shoes are able to increase efficiency in the run by preserving energy.

“They have a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole, which stores and releases energy with each stride and is meant to act as a kind of slingshot, or catapult, to propel runners forward. Compared with typical training shoes, the Vaporflys are believed to wear out quickly: Some runners have said they lose their effectiveness after 100 miles or so.”

While it’s incredible that a pair of shoes can have such an effect, the question is whether or not those shoes are fair in terms of competition. Race officials currently have no reason to ban the high-tech shoes, but in other sports such as swimming, various forms of high-tech wearable equipment has been disqualified from use.

Marketing Trends

As Hyundai continues to work out shifting priorities in their U.S. dealerships, the company is looking to bring more brand awareness to their luxury line of vehicles, called Genesis.

Genesis, and its main entry in the luxury car market, the G70, have this year been singled out by Consumer Reports, Kelley Blue Book, and the JD Power’s Initial Quality survey as the top automotive brand, yet they still struggle with awareness. BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes have been able to create huge market shares, but Genesis is hoping that their reasonably priced G70 can break through this August and disrupt the market.

Education Trends

Recent data suggests that homeschooling is becoming a more popular choice for American families. Currently, only 3% of children are homeschooled, but 7% of parents report that they would homeschool their children, they just couldn’t for various reasons such as time restrictions or lack of confidence in their teaching abilities.

A new hybrid model available in select cities throughout the country may be the answer these parents seek. Programs such as the Regina Caeli schools and the UMSI schools offer part-time in-school options while the rest of the time kids are homeschooled. So, for example, in the Regina Caeli model, twice a week children put on a uniform and go to school, and the other three school days children get their lessons at home.

“Hybrid homeschools are particularly interesting for two reasons. First, they blur the lines around what we consider a “school.” With the proliferation of new technologies and resources, it is much easier for families to get high-quality materials and instruction for their children in a wide range of subjects. It is also easier for families to network with each other and find opportunities to collaborate.

At the same time, many families still want something resembling a traditional school experience. Hybrid homeschools leverage new innovations while satisfying parents’ desires.”

The Best of What We Are Reading

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” -Viktor E. Frankl

Read: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Writer Spotlights

Surrender: A Better Way to Build a Startup by Brandon Evans

The Mothers Of Reinvention by Christopher Lochhead

The Secret to Developing Thick Skin by Alex J. Hughes

Thanks again to our friends at Twilio for sponsoring The Mission!

Our Media

The Mission is a new kind of media company. We publish stories, videos, and podcasts to help smart people get smarter. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or learn more about us here. We’d love to connect!

Custom Podcasts

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We create custom podcast sponsorships for enterprise companies. To learn more about why companies like Salesforce trust us to produce results, connect with our team here.

Language as a Technology was originally published in The Mission on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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