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Arts Culture Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Through the wire

The world grows numb to the air of distraction. We’ve left the world of 2-D consciousness in exchange for the anesthesia of the brite lite’s bits and bytes.  

Freedom to do anything is the freedom to do nothing. Technology makes us more curious and ever-more cautious. But like a video game, unfettered space uses up attention and propels excess consumption.

The inability to disconnect and steer clear of the shiny object suffocates our attention. Restraint, on the other hand, is why limits are also so magnetic. They help us protect against an addictive environment. 

As we gravitate toward constriction, we stymie the possibilities of distraction.

We do more crucial work in stillness and silence than we do fritter time away in the tangled wires of freedom.

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Culture Tech

We make great trends

Some people enjoy the process of discovery. They want access to niche communities and discrete resources, trying to “get it” before everyone else.

These people are also the incubators of trends, filtering the good from the bad before deciding what goes mainstream. Naturally, the edgy curator loses interest as soon as something becomes a commercial sensation.

But the internet flips the trendsetters on their heads. The so-called cratediggers become an uber tribe of their own. Take a walk around Brooklyn, where hipsters run rampant.

The arrogance of taste consumes the hipster, ultimately conforming to a cohort that shares similar interests and looks the same. Uniqueness becomes standardization. 

Meanwhile, the closet researcher remains individuated in digging up abstract art for themselves and for their little circle. For them, popularity is rarely a barometer of what matters

The difference between standing out and fitting in lies at the center of who we are. We are all collectors and explorers of each other’s artifacts. We are also free to throw away, remix, redefine, or tweak that which sturs us.

As influential physicist Richard Feynman reminds us, “You are under no obligation to remain the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or even a day ago. You are here to create yourself, continuously.”

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Culture Life & Philosophy Poetry

The business of living

The temptation to linger in maximum comfort — life isn’t a warm shower, you know.

One typically extends a staycation at the sight of pleasure or during a pandemic, displeasure.

People are adaptable, prepared to extend or narrow their comfort zone in various situations.

They’ll even attend to simultaneous entertainments if it means they can get on with the business of living.

Moving across the stream, pinging into and around rocks, life thrives when you stop looking for happiness and absorb all the scars—reality bites.

Where there is joy is pain and lots of courage in between.

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Culture History Tech

2020: Living in the hyper-extended present

2020 feels like living in the hyper-extended present. The year never ends, yet it continually validates the future.

Immersed in the warp speed of home deliveries, zoom meetings, and cryptocurrencies, 2020 expedites technology and cultures.

The virus flattens the world, sucking the rich of hidden powers. The freest fail the quickest, bending toward succeeding last.

Arrogance and denial compel even the brightest to commit an epic historical miscalculation. A proud ignorance fails to conquer the world once again.

All one has to do tap into the inner censor and zoom out, acknowledging that the present doesn’t last forever.

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Culture Life & Philosophy People

A celebration of difference

A tasteless mishmash, a remix so variegated it ends in shatters.

The point of the melting pot is to blend and spit out something cohesive.

The past, present, and future are all intertwined in diversification, miles away from standardization.

Bounded to each other, we celebrate our differences.

Plurality and assimilation are indispensable allies.

So we let our characters churn, breaking apart to congeal all the same. The glorious past happens all together now.

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Culture Poetry Politics & Society

Nobody strange

She was out there, in ideas and intentionality.

By high school, she had already separated from the herd. She refused to abuse herself into the maw of conformity.

College was a continuation of being different. The more she resisted, the more natural it came. Listening to herself ranged beyond self-absorption.

But then the internet came along, and she found herself a social creature once again. She joined a tribe of like-minded others on Twitter. Web 2.0 flattened the world, vitiated maps of their territories.

Just as fast as niches became mass, destroyed by the stylization of the hipster, she withdrew into rebellion once again.

She ceased shoulder-surfing and went off the grid to depart the maelstrom of information and the celebration of indifference.
She developed a type of buoyant skepticism to defend herself against the easy access of the mind and harmonized tastes.

“What if our capacity to imagine has been so badly damaged by the information climate of our times that destruction is all we can see?”

John Freeman, Dictionary of the Undoing

The illusion of immediacy burnt the truth and convinced her that no one knew anything. The constant bombardment of shocking news entertained others into inanition.

She revolted against weird and felt compelled to reinforce normalcy. She morphed into a fully formed and groomed individual.

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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Bottled and unbranded

No one cares about your personal brand. It’s not your responsibility to dedicate thumbs to impression management.

The screen begs for cracks.

Authenticity thrives in abundance — people want to appear real (re flawed) as they are in life. That’s why filters are dead, and lenses are all the rage.

You exist to shock, stand out, to make people laugh and cry with the silliest and rank of faces. Every day is Halloween, drowning in masks dead and gone.

It’s hard enough to cultivate authenticity in a world that rewards conformity. Don’t dumb it down.

Refuse to be a punchline for sameness. We’re all weird. The unique shall inherit the earth.

Caption this to your next selfie: “Don’t take it all so seriously.”

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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Warm among ice

A typical day invokes more pessimism than positivity.

Surrounded by a vortex of bad news reshapes our experience into a tiny nothingness. The elements of a meaningful future disappear into the mist.

But there’s been a revolution in consciousness. The sound of serenity and decency has regained their purchase on our imaginations.

“Do thou, too, remain warm among ice.”

Moby Dick

We all have subconscious influences. But curiosity always outruns the discipline of fools. No one goes into the arena thinking they’ll lose.

The emancipatory power of optimism and doing good creates a haven of durability. Don’t fall for darkness. Learn to work in graduations of failure.

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Culture Tech

Nothing is random

Discoverability will forever be twisted in the maw of internet algorithms.

Nothing is ever truly random. We are data’s significant other with a bullseye on our back.

Facebook has been triangulating our data for years, matching our likes with the highest bidder. Designers, copy-writers, and marketers work together to create internet ads that strangle our attention into a click-hole.

So here we are, next up surrounded by the internet of things to feed the system of ads. We invite zero ambiguity — we tell the system what we want, and it reports back.

Look around — we’re well-trained click monkeys forever melting into a spiderweb of Times Square.

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Culture Life & Philosophy

The gift of raw emotion

The visceral, like laughter, flows through the heart and blood before hitting the brain. Laughter doesn’t need thought.

We intuit emotional impulses, with no intention to describe what they are until after they occur. Feeling first, then comprehension ex post facto.

Unperturbed and under-conscious, we are ravenous eaters of life. No guessing, no prejudging. We unthink on our feet.

To float with instincts strips us of following compulsory mores, even as the grip of conformity pricks us in the background.

It is human nature to doubt but also to deliver a clear promise — that behavior is just as loose (and free) as a leaf falling from a tree.