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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.

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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 a variety of 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.

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

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Culture Life & Philosophy Social Media Tech

Our fragile, famous lives

The cafe was the original newsfeed, a meeting place to exchange ideas and to find out what the heck was going on in the world.

The cafe was a place, other than a detached home, where Arabica beans filled people’s minds with sparks of aliveness. 

Exposure to high thought influenced great art. 

But then fame happened — the instant gratification of smartphones converted authenticity into the thrill of collecting views and hearts. 

How one in today’s age wants to be naked and famous yet maintain their privacy is lunacy. Fame and confidentiality is a zero-sum game. 

The cuckoo has been tik tokked into the dizziness of freedom. Infotainment sends the chicks back to the nest, amusing themselves to death through the “wisdom” of devices.

In a wreck of people and data, the clouds beckon us to pursue self-constraint. In a world devoid of scarcity, there arises a pandemic of sore thumbs.

Quarantined in such loneliness, the uncertain future compels us to go big on the internet stage. The domesticated strive through wires while Zooming in their underwear.

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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Lost in translation

If you know a language, you can say exactly what you mean. Nothing gets lost in translation.

If you use Google or any other artificial-intelligence translation services you lose the subtleties, the cultural verbiage that makes the difference between saying you had a good day versus a great day.

The listener/reader of your words works harder to comprehend what the foreigner is trying to say. All attention goes into the beat of those retranslated lines.

Sure, spitting out something is better than nothing. The immigrant gets kudos for trying out the language in his new home country, except maybe in France.

But the most accurate exchange is the deepest exchange, where what’s being said gets communicated right into your eye sockets or ear lobes.

Of course, if the intention is to keep the conversation murky, just use SMS. Emojis, in particular, always seem to get misunderstood.

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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Let go to grow

The internet is a thing of convenience.

Now that we’re all stuck in our cubby holes, we may think it makes sense to over connect with our peers.

But sometimes we have to step away and ‘let go to grow.’

So we pick up new hobby horses. Instead of tweeting, we send a hand written note to an old high school buddy.

When we hurry slowly, the birds outside grow a little louder and appear more beautiful. Nature calms us down and resets our noticing engines.

Let go to grow

Technology compels us to hustle. And while it helps push things along, what we see is that overdrive makes us blind.

Minds are fragile to begin with. And while they be plastic, there’s a limit on the number of neurons we can grow. The web will always be more infinite and exhausting.

Life is connected to many things we can’t see and in ways we are just starting to understand.

We don’t have to strive to be always on. Instead, we bask in the incomplete.

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Culture Life & Philosophy

To be nobody’s establishment

We tiptoe backward from imagination, forward from reality.

The movement toward innovation compels one to graduate beyond specialization.

Gradually recalibrated, we avoid the trimming of self.

We are nobody’s establishment.

Such pressure to mold into particular merely hardens the mood of individuality.

The Leviathan keeps happening, as does the world stringing it all together.

The stage is set to individuate individuals from the paralysis of group thought.

What’s inside us is not just subtle, it is at the epicenter of influence of what we attract and become.

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Culture

Discoveries are meant to be shared

One of the best things about finding something first (a piece of music, a new fashion style, an important article) is the feeling that you own it.

Nobody else knows about it (at least from what you’ve seen) which means you can share it and get credit for it as the source.

The Internet is the great facilitator and destroyer of discovery

The paradox of sharing content is that it obviates exclusivity.

When stories get publicized, especially amongst your tribe, they get shared fast and find people who are genuinely interested.

You may detest this rapid absorption. Someone can easily make the content their own with a fresh tweet or blog post. Even a retweet or reblog emulates an original share.

Digital ownership is transient and a bit, socialist — the Internet owns your words.

The thin window for exclusivity in a hyper-connected, social world, can still be a fun challenge for the digger. The curious never stop discovering, always about hunting for the next interesting gem.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you find it first. You still need to convince others why they should appreciate that piece of content too.

The royal road to exploration is social. You can keep the promise of discovery all to yourself, but the world is colossal, and knowledge is meant to be shared.