Categories
Arts Life & Philosophy Nature

Adventure by design

A step into the wilderness with no path in sight, the only certainty is the next crunch of leaves.

One can’t see the forest for the trees without first seeing a tightly sealed version of the world. Each stick of bark aggregates into a sum of parts individually wrapped and bending into each other — passing signals above the shrubby floor.

Nature holds the strongest connection.

For better or worse, humans have the elemental need to keep moving on terra firma. Unlike water running effortlessly over rocks, we force progress by messing up the Earth that feeds us.

We put our minds in the void and bleed design everywhere. Restless, the mind and energy keep going. Life is one big party. 

We build societies, unplanned, over and over again on top of ruins, sucked into history. While humans may be disorderly, at least the cosmos tells the truth. Now we have to consider the unexpected and negotiate for a vastly more dependable calm. 

For every action, there’s a reaction. Thankfully, while the left brain remains fixated on the individual trees, the right brain plants new ones. Growth by giving back also flows from brain to brain, in accord with more universal vibrations.  

As they say, “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

Categories
Life & Philosophy Nature Psychology

How the mind designs itself

We are always making predictions about our future. When we infer, we ignite consciousness.

Within the complex system of our neurocognitive wiring comes transparency we can’t explain. The external world processes through a symphony of brain loops.

Thinking is on a mission to remain consistent, predictable, while wildly variable. To err is to make strides.

The mind’s chaos is why it works, just as New York City operates a clear system amid bustling streets.

Minds are a byproduct of evolution, structurally optimized to clean themselves out of their internal wiring kinks.

“Evolution depends on the existence of high-fidelity copying but not perfect copying, since mutations (copying errors) are the ultimate source of all novelty.”

Daniel Dennett

Design is simultaneously intelligent and unintelligent, devised to keep pace with our internal weather.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Nature

What are we missing here?

We either open up possibilities for inquiry or close them.

The open-minded tend to include those around them. The shallow-minded prefer to isolate others as a means to an end. Such subjectivity halts the evolution of ideas.

“Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear.”

William James
‘Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear’
Image via Deaf Hearing and Communication Center

Attitude predetermines whether we discover facts and establish truth.

We put our minds in the world, shaped by the rhythm of nuance and complexity and weave it into a geometry of thought.

We never know for sure when the old world passes away and a new one begins.

All that’s certain are the infinitude of blind spots.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Nature

A barometer of aliveness

Consciousness — “I think therefore I exist” — is not a prerequisite for aliveness.

The non-thinking plant is still very much breathing and communicating with its brethren through an interconnectivity of roots.

Meanwhile, the overly conscious octopus contains a half a billion neurons in its arms which allow the tentacles to function independently from its nine brains.

Programmed robots, aped after humans, may develop mentally but remain devoid of physical life.

Many humans, herd-following automatons in their own right, die with the music still in them.

The barometer of aliveness depends on how dead one feels, appears, and grows.

All things were once plankton. Now, a fish out of water — some of us are lucky enough to evolve like a baby caterpillar into a restless butterfly. 

Categories
Funny Nature Video

How to survive a plunge from a waterfall

You know when you’re going over a waterfall and there’s no way to avoid it? Life throws challenges at you.

That’s why this tutorial on diving from a waterfall — a real one, not the metaphor for life’s hurdles — will come handy.

Oddly enough, the figure in the how-to image looks exactly like Harrison Ford and this epic dive from The Fugitive.

Below is the classic scene I’m referencing. PS. If you’re curious about how to treat a black eye, check out this diagram.

How to survive a plunge from a waterfall
Categories
Life & Philosophy Nature

Nature doesn’t care

Nature doesn’t care — it devours everything and moves on. The problem becomes when we try to control it.

Like the mind, the more we try to alleviate tension in the world around us, the worse it gets.

We are not directors of the environment. “It’s really the wand that chooses the wizard,” as J.K. Rowling writes in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

We can’t rule nature. The force is too strong.

Instead of seeking to dismantle our surroundings, it would behoove us to make the most of the opportunities that come our way and adapt to the circumstances accordingly.

It is never an escape from the conditions but an expansion of our comfort zone.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Nature

The world is colossal

gif via BBC Earth

The world is still colossal, a gaping map of mystery our brains fill in with imagination.

It’s delusional to think we know it.

Thankfully, any time we traverse the planet we’re awakened by our own trained incapacity, an ignorance blind to nature’s surprises.

The ever sprawling internet promises to teach us a few things, but it’s just an appetizer.

If we want to know the world, we have to drive around it. Exploration is the only way to coalesce the wonders out of the world.

Categories
Health Life & Philosophy Nature

Prescribing a walk in nature

Get yourself a prescription to nature. It’ll improve your mental and physical health. That’s according to doctors in Scotland who are recommending that people in the Shetland Islands get outside more often.

The program outlines a recommended outside activity per month. For instance, in January you can create a windsock to grasp the full power of the wind. In March, one can “borrow a dog and take it for a walk.”

Prescribing a walk in nature
via tw

We belong in the wild, unmoored from the tyranny of our seats. When we disconnect and move outside, we connect with terra firma and reconnect with ourselves. Take your body and thoughts for a walk.  

Categories
Nature Video

Penguins turn to a life of crime

Penguins can be thieves. They can also be nihilists

Categories
Nature Travel

The longest straight line you can walk without hitting the ocean

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If you were the next Forest Gump and wanted to walk Earth in a straight line without hitting the water, here’s your guide.

The path starts east in China and ends in Liberia.

Lace up those walking shoes, we’ve got a project for you. An intrepid cartographer has, with the help of Google Earth, tracked down the longest-possible straight land path on earth – and it starts in China.

Just start walking due west from Shitangzhen, a town south of Taizhou, in Zhejiang Province. Keep on moseying, and in about 589 miles you’ll hit Wuhan. You will then, eventually, pass just south of Xi’an and (sooner or later) hit Qinghai. Getting tired yet?

After a brisk hike (i.e. crossing the Himalayas) you’ll end up in Tajikistan. From there, it’s just a quick poke through Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Egypt (right through the heart of Cairo!) Libya, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast and, finally, hit Liberia.

via Amazing Maps