Perpetual Change

The Far Middle episode 69 celebrates the 69-win NBA season by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, a record for victories in a season that would stand until the 72 wins by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team.

The Lakers’ star-studded lineup (including Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Pat Riley, and Jerry West) not only won the NBA championship that year but also 33 straight games—a record that stands today.

Staying in the late 60s and early 70s era, Nick discusses the final years of Pablo Picasso’s life, a colorful and expressive point in the artist’s perpetual changing career when he was massively prolific. Also at that time, in 1969, French writer Henri Charrière published Papillon, which Nick highly recommends. The book would be made into a movie starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman the year after the Lakers’ 69-win championship season. And just as critics panned Picasso’s works at the end of his career, they similarly panned Papillon’s screen adaptation. Nick says to be your own expert when it comes to film and literature.

Nick then transitions into an overview of the CNX Foundation Mentorship Academy, which is nearing the start of its second year. Nick describes the Academy’s mission, its first year, and an exciting summer that most recently included a cookout with prospective second-year students. Follow Academy updates at and at

Staying on education, Nick next discusses students, parents, and taxpayers finally starting to hold colleges accountable for the quality of education delivered during the pandemic.

Nick closes with a one-of-a-kind, multi-part Far Middle connection going back to the early 1970s and linking Papillon, Pablo Picasso, and “winging-it.”