I know that I stopped thinking about extreme grief as the sole vehicle for great art when the grief started to take people with it. And I get it. The tortured artist is the artist that gets remembered for all time, particularly if they if they either perish or overcome. But the truth is that so many of us are stuck in the middle. So many of us begin tortured and end tortured, with only brief bursts of light in between, and I'd rather have average art and survival than miracles that come at the cost of someone's life.Hanif Abdurraqib, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us
What you love to think about, dream about, speak about, learn about and create about is your genius. Don’t water down your natural style or contort yourself into some idealized version of who you think you should be. The impulses that come from deep within are your guide track to greatness. We want you as is.Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
All human activity is prompted by desire. There is a wholly fallacious theory advanced by some earnest moralists to the effect that it is possible to resist desire in the interests of duty and moral principle. I say this is fallacious, not because no man ever acts from a sense of duty, but because duty has no hold on him unless he desires to be dutiful. If you wish to know what men will do, you must know not only, or principally, their material circumstances, but rather the whole system of their desires with their relative strengths.Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness
I'm looking forward to reading Cal Newport's new book Digital Minimalism before my face falls off from the screen glare.
A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time in a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
Artwork by Abstract Sunday
Banksy reversed the Warhol quote so it fits today's weather.
“In the future, everyone will want to be anonymous for fifteen minutes.”Banksy
“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”Andy Warhol
Needless to say, social media changed things. Going off the grid will be the new luxury.
Time is simply blocks or slices of reality, added on top of one another. Writes C. D. Broad’s in his theory of time in 1923:
[…] such a theory as this accepts the reality of the present and the past, but holds that the future is simply nothing at all. Nothing has happened to the present by becoming past except that fresh slices of existence have been added to the total history of the world […] The sum total of existence is always increasing, and it is this which gives the time-series a sense [direction] as well as an order.C. D. Broad, Scientific Thought: A Philosophical Analysis of some of its fundamental concepts
Fascinating drawings by illustrator James Firnhaber.
No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach (Amazon) was Bourdain's sixth book. In it, he offered this sage advice to ambitious world travelers.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves mark on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”Anthony Bourdain
Capture breathtaking images
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National Geographic photographer and producer of some my most favorite adventure documentary films including Meru (Amazon) and most recently Free Solo (Amazon), Jimmy Chin, is teaching a adventure photography course on MasterClass.
Push the limits of photography
If you follow the world-renowned photographer Jimmy Chin on Instagram, you'll know he's a daredevil climber and mountaineer with a keen eye for landscape shots. In this course, he'll teach you all the techniques you need to know for capturing stunning photos. He also details his approach for more commercial and editorial shoot as well, including the daily gear he uses to work his magic.
Things aren't that interesting to me unless the stakes are very high.Jimmy Chin
If you've never taken a MasterClass before, it's a great opportunity to take a peek into the mind and explore the process of some of the world's leading experts in photography, writing, music production, filmmaking, and even cooking. You may be aware of Margaret Atwood's creative writing course, Tom Morello's electric guitar course, or Serena Williams teaches tennis course.
If you're looking for a great Christmas gift, considering gifting the Jimmy Chin course to a loved one or friend. Even better, gift someone the All-Access Pass so they can take all the courses they want.
The host of NPR's Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me! wrote about the delights of running in our overconnected age and it looks fantastic.
“If I don’t leave my headphones behind when I run, I wouldn’t spend a single minute of my waking life free from input.
I have a friend who wears headphones on long solo runs because, he says, “I can’t spend that much time alone in my head.” I disagree. He can, and he should. Spending that much time inside one’s head, along with the voices and the bats hanging from the various dendrites and neurons, is one of the best things about running, or at least one of the most therapeutic. Your brain is like a duvet cover: Every once in a while, it needs to be aired out.”Peter Sagal, The Incomplete Book of Running
Erling Kagge is the first person to trek the Three Poles Challenge: the North Pole, the South Pole, and the summit of Mount Everest. In his book Silence: In the Age of Noise (Amazon), he dissects the of the art of silence.
“Humans or homo sapiens didn’t invent walking. But walking invented human beings. So, of course, now we go into a time where we walk less and lessErling Kagge
“It’s what publishers tell authors: don’t worry that you don’t know the conclusion or exactly what you’re going to write because you may find some new answers and some other questions. I was surprised to see, for instance, how radical it has become to actually choose to walk. To move slowly from one place to another has become a privilege, and many people can’t afford it because they need to get from A to B
ina fast pace.”
“The test of a book is how much good stuff you can throw away,” he said. “When I’m writing it, I’m just as proud as a goddam lion. I use the oldest words in the English language. People think I’m an ignorant bastard who doesn’t know the ten-dollar words. I know the ten-dollar words. There are older and better words which if you arrange them in the proper combination you make.”Ernest Hemingway