Enjoy the silence

Silence is the loudest sound — unprovoked, it can screech worse than nails on a chalkboard.

But the pursuit of distraction is man’s attempt to escape the cacophony of a deaf monkey mind.

To break from mental prison, we conjure up an oasis of sound: social media and/or TV, dual screens, infinitely scrolling through feeds and channels without remembering a thing.

The content Ferris wheel never ends in the era of fast culture. The circus rages on, performing into other people’s thoughts but our own– clicking under the hypnosis of a ludic loop.

Perhaps the noiseless, initially our worst fear, is the pocket of sanity we needed all along. Bored into calmness, we no longer fear losing control.


The channel surfer

The mind, that jumpy thing.

Scatterbrained, we wade through the attention waves only to catch the most glaring one. Whether we can ride it out or instantly collapse depends on the current of luck and skill.

Less the undertow scare us with malicious intent, the body resurfaces to indulge in playfulness all over again. The channel surfer follows whatever grabs her.

When we have fun, the joy of the present erases both the depression of living in the past and the anxiety of living in the future. The problem is when we get stuck in all that’s available.

With a little bit of patience, we can catch the most interesting wave, perhaps the most difficult one, mentally prepare for it, and ride it out to the sand.


Without a positive doubt

Thinking is the process of juggling with active uncertainty. Thinking is hard because it requires the mind to search for clarity in a sea of indifference.

The mind impedes itself, as it’s the source of all the information we seek to find. It is nearly impossible to control; the brain elides into a blob of mercury.

Regardless of what we see, the inner monologue is what one becomes. Interpretation predetermines outlook. Imagine all the countless micro-calls people make throughout the day that rests on the pillars of perspective.

Is she more content in sunshine or shades of grey? The ability to choose one attitude over another at any moment is a matter of free will.

As a bewildering mixture of people, the antenna of attention varies. Some see beauty in the chaos and exude frustration in simplicity. Others are delighted but worried. There is even contentment amidst struggles and sadness.

Without a positive doubt, a basket of mental conditions exists, rendering a wall of worry and excitement.

Arts Life

The right problem to solve

Finding the right problem to solve — is it that appears in front of us or behind us, invisible to the naked eye? We strive to make a circulation visible from the darkness of webs.

In assessing what is known and unknown, including our blind spots, we cram into the intensification of discovery.

Never underestimate the cost of being stuck in boring equilibria. Stillness promotes the bonding of the dormant and the new. It widens our circle of discomfort — through tension emerges understanding.

Perception is a type of therapy if we can force the eyes to see. Eureka is a feel-good sensation to be jumped around in as an acknowledgment of the right direction.

We learn how to investigate, ask questions, and realize that the entire process makes sense only after we stop thinking about it.

Arts Life

Connecting tiny pieces of information

The internet was made for aggregation. The abundance of information is impossible to swallow and puzzle out ourselves.

So we, in tandem with AI machines and social media curators — pluck the highlights and the most useful stems.

Collecting artifacts online is an educational experiment, a place where peer-to-peer networks share bytes of genius. Most of the time, learning improves our reasoning and behavior.

Unfortunately, some users lean hard on data that supports their views. Such knowledge (or misinformation) can be used to propagandize and carry people beyond the parameters of good sense. After all, news organizations prioritize entertainment over quality reporting.

There are no limits to floating ideas that can become instantly sensationalized and highly contagious. “Being informed” feels like an accomplishment. It can also be dangerous, firing up our emotions to the blindness of unnecessary action.

But suppose despite the confirmation biases we kept an element of distrust at bay. Cognitive flexibility is what makes the internet more than just a plain-vanilla copy-paste machine.

When we treat information raw, as medium-neutral, the brain makes space to think differently. Frequent experimentation allows one to connect more information to that existing information, like Harry Reese combining peanut butter and chocolate.

Collisions of thought are at the heart of a remix and the birth of innovation.


Unique in your perversity

The individual may be unique in their perversity, always bucking trends and wanting to know more than what’s at face value.

The outlier refuses to live on the templates of an algorithm and let groupthink colonize parts of their mind. She prefers the rebellious hunch over the aggregation of data to maintain the essence of originality.

Interesting people always dig deeper, going above and beyond the most comprehensive snapshots of reality to break experiences into pieces. After collecting better artifacts, the anomaly needs the time and space to air out free-thinking neurons.

Deviation from the norm is not for the smugness of artistic superiority but for the sake of chasing one’s authenticity. In a world that makes little sense, there’s more certainty in being different rather than being a sheep.

So the unique person keeps evolving even if it comes at the price of loneliness.


The shared tempo of minds

If the blog is dead, then writing is dead. And if writing is dead, thinking is dead.

If thinking is dead, then ideas are dead. If ideas are dead, then there’s no experimentation nor communication. Memes fail to sprout when words die.

Yet, we are creators, unmoored from the prison of biology.

The pull to share is human, whether it’s dispersed on screen, in a notebook, or on a scroll. We make stuff and distribute it to other people with the hope of reception and reciprocation.

It’s creativity that individuates individuals. Everyone chooses their own canvass and how to participate.

A pluralistic society rests on innovation and a multitude of market outlooks, even if originality means building on top of clever hybrids.

The brain is full of code, as is culture, in a perpetual state of rewiring and networking so that our stories never become stale.  

People remain engaged at different tempos of mind, some brisker than others. The bucket of wonder drips, bleeding to those free-thinkers on tap.

Arts Life

Too unique to be a freak

A brain fogged away by alcohol, conventionality, and dopamine dependence. The head no longer wields attention to its unique advantage due to being manipulated at scale. Are we not entertained into generic beasts?

A clean glass of water wipes away the tears of indulgence. A proper sleep guts the head of neuronal waste. Any subsequent information channel that funnels standardization is mostly trash. Maybe lucid dreaming is a portal to seeing the reality of things?

Dead inside, clinging on to the necessities of good feelings. Memories help keep skin in the game, especially those trophies that celebrate the weird self. The mind curates a movie of life’s encounters. To the pessimist, luck is temporary while the optimist never gets weighed down by the nitty-gritty. How does one counter their private self with public accountability?

One experiences twoness until restitched by the alchemy of time and consciousness. Our best thoughts volley to each other, satisfying two distinct but connected appetites. Who else wants to give themselves a pat on the back for experiencing the brain’s synchronicity?

The experiment with authenticity continues, even more so as the world intrudes on our model. The interior shouting for more assimilation remains futile. Every progression made in this world emerges out of self-interest. After all, being different is attractive. When did any individual care about the science of standardization and likability anyway?

The hipsters round out the edges. The freaks are overly tilted. Both groups align toward the narrowness of culture. The true fence-sitter remains cautious and sharp, balancing the art of acceptance and the resistance to conformity. Doesn’t the economy and the precision in art depend on the free-acting creative individual?

Arts Life

Starting the process, dancing with maintenance

The room of our mind decorates itself with doubt. Anxiety is a thinking problem, a challenge to contain the inner narrative that bears the footprints of our decisions. 

Extreme self-belief and passion offer the antidotes to quitting. Immersed from the start, we dance with persistence when times get difficult. 

Evolution is an imaginative process. As we gain exposure to the world, it becomes our oyster for exploration and experimentation. 

Each creator finds their own problems and lets their identity roll. We build and sustain a system of habits to avoid wandering about in the fog. We do, however, remain changeable as we mine for secrets of the interior self. 

But it’s not just the drive to begin. Finishing matters most. The world is a better place for those that ship projects out the door. Artists need feedback. “Another flaw in human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance,” once said Kurt Vonnegut.

So which is more difficult — the start or the maintenance? Both are equally important as an emphasis of action


What spreads, rarely sticks

All problems and their subsequent solutions are social.

The good thing about solutions is that they’re typically social-proof and benefit from the network effect: What works for one person multiplies as commonality gets shared with the next, like a vaccine.

The simplest form of information exchange is language. Words are memes. And memes can be rebranded and copy-pasted, and in some cases, rendered outdated. It was Dunkin’ Donuts that made the word “doughnut” extinct.

Physical nature begs for optimization. The city, like an anthill, is one big shared experience, a marketplace for swapping ideas. Residencies, streets, bridges — all spawned from tiny cells into a collective pinnacle of innovation. Of course, the infrastructure is far from ideal. As Ellen Ullman wrote, “We build our computer (systems) the way we build our cities: over time, without a plan, on top of ruins.”

At the root of every solitary puzzle is a chance to do our best, graduate from the individual vision, and gravitate toward some collective high where the concept gets received and adopted.

The lone genius is a myth. Behind every wizard lies a team of influencers. There are no geniuses without gleaning from the wisdom of crowds. The innovator’s role is to observe trends, spot the blind spots and introduce new possibilities.

When the crazy ones propose anything novel, they beg for the neighborhood’s attention. It is the external reaction, the possibility of adoption, that excites the misunderstood maker.

Thinking, doing, and building all require a form of starting and maintenance to ensure longevity. ‘Build it, and they will come’ is, therefore, a canard. A product’s existence depends on the strength of usability, marketing, and overall spreadability.

The Lindy effect says if a book is around a decade, it’ll last for another 50 years. Ideas and products are at the mercy of banter and eyeballs. Whatever gets shared continues to stick around in the public narrative conscience.

Propaganda is the nastiest version of exposure. It creates a mind virus that becomes blind to the facets of good worth keeping. Fascism is how the kindest people can quickly become immune to evil.

Thankfully, plurality wins. In open societies, it means the best ideas usually pan out without canceling out the advantages of alternative solutions.

There will always be outliers who stand on the edge, trying to make a difference.


Everything optimized

We try to optimize time like we try to manipulate the weather—craving proficiency, we come prepared.   

But we are the tools of our tools. In this pre-metaverse world, humans can only control so much.

The clock, indeed a fabrication of man, keeps on ticking. Meanwhile, the weather remains fickle. Nature confounds the rules of predictability; chaos thrives on terra firma but stays fixed in the cosmos. 

We are the recipients and would-be benefactors of cloud-based demands. The human mental model looks for new ways to expand its portfolio for survival and consumption. 

Ingenuity cracks open a never-ending energy source. Science and technology may advance our thinking yet trap us in a condition of discontent. As with time, we’re always striving for more.  


Relaxed while working

The synchronicities tend to happen in our most relaxed moments, not when we’re stressing out about work or life.

Bothersome thoughts place a block on our ability to connect disparate ideas. So too does a tense face.

Anxiety undermines attention, and with it, additional perspective.

Our capacity to retain information expands upon the pace of the barest effort. Unmoored from the monkey mind, we grant the synapses a passport to the freedom of concentrated thought.

In a state of flow, nothing is left wanting. The pen can hardly keep up with the bicycle of impressions peddling through our heads.

When awake on our passions, we’re always running to a place where we catch onto things. The answers may be tentative and impractical, but at least they’re exciting.