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Arts Books Creativity Culture

David Shrigley’s ‘oblique comments and strange drawings’

“I just make a series of oblique comments and strange drawings. That’s usually what my work is.”

— David Shrigley, from an interview with 52 Insights

All images courtesy David Shrigley. You can preorder his new book Fully Coherent Plan: For a New and Better Society on Amazon. 


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Categories
Books Productivity & Work Tech Writing

Prehistoric Googling by the 3 x 5 index card

prehistoric Google, index card

A History of the 3 x 5 Index Card

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Categories
Books Psychology Quotes

‘Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation’

humor self preservation

Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation. It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

As Trevor Noah puts it, “Laughter doesn’t need thought.” It is intuited.

gif via @rjblomberg

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Categories
Books Business Culture Photography

Susan Ressler’s photographs document the absurd corporate life of the 1970s

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Diver © Susan Ressler (1979)

Photographer Susan Ressler released a collection of black and white images capturing the corporate culture of Los Angeles in the 1970s. From the clunky computers to the banal office plant and male-dominated executives, she captures the industrial economy perfectly.

Ressler writes on her website:

“[easyazon_link identifier=”1942084471″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Executive Order[/easyazon_link]” depicts corporate America in the late 1970s, mostly in Los Angeles and the Mountain West. The sunbelt was exploding and so was corporate excess. Daylight Books is publishing this work in Spring 2018. Why 40 years later? Because now, in the era of Trump, we face the same dangers that ensue when corporations are deregulated and when profits “trump” people.


Her images are stark reminders of a culture that was and still is prevalent today.

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Categories
Books Life & Philosophy Writing

Freedom from the to-do list: ‘The Art of the Wasted Day’ by Patricia Hampl

The pace at which we move is extraordinary. Look out the window. Stare at the seagulls. Nobody has time for that!

Obsessed with productivity or the pursuit of distraction, we’re never not doing something. Even when we’re bored, we’re making lists or planning them out in images on a Pinterest board.

As Umberto Eco once said, “We like lists because we don’t want to die.”

But Patricia Hampl’s new book The Art of the Wasted Day wants us to reconsider time management by removing the burden of the to-do list and daydream instead. She encourages us, especially in our old age — what she calls the third stage after youth and middle age — to let go of the over-scheduled life.

The to-do list that runs most lives through middle age turns out, in this latter stage of existence, to have only one task: to waste life in order to find it. Who said that? Or something like that. Jesus? Buddha? Bob Dylan? Somebody who knew what’s what

Wonder, rather than pursue

Why keep adding to the list tasks like meditation and yoga? The urge to scratch the itch or check the boxes means more doing rather enjoying the freedom of idleness.

Patricia Hampl encourages us to be ok with making unscheduled time and doing nothing at all. She wants to remind us that it’s ok to pause and dance with pure nothingness. We can always get going again.

Loafing is not a prudent business plan, not even a life plan, not a recognizably American project. But it begins to look a little like happiness, the kind that claims you, unbidden. Stay put and let the world show up? Or get out there and be a flâneur? Which is it? Well, it’s both.

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Categories
Books People

Stephen King lists his top 10 favorite books

To celebrate the launch of Stephen King’s novel The Outsider scheduled for bookshelves May 22 (you can pre-order it on Amazon), Goodreads asked Stephen King to list out his top 10 favorite books of all time.

The voracious reader and prolific writer never felt satisfied with his final selections but he played along anyway.

“Of course, any list like this is slightly ridiculous. On another day, ten different titles might come to mind, like The Exorcist, or All the Pretty Horses in place of Blood Meridian. On another day I’d be sure to include Light in August or Scott Smith’s superb A Simple PlanThe Sea, the Sea, by Iris Murdoch. But what the hell, I stand by these. Although Anthony Powell’s novels should probably be here, especially the sublimely titled Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant and Books Do Furnish a Room. And Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet. And at least six novels by Patricia Highsmith. What about Patrick O’Brian? See how hard this is to let go?”

Stephen King’s Top 10 Favorite Books

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(h/t Open Culture)

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