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Culture Life & Philosophy Postaday Psychology

From your mouth

Gif of artsy tongue and mouth

Words signify a consciousness, of which a newborn or pet can only hear. The baby goes on to learn the language of memes and communicates with itself while your dog relies on its own form of internal narrative.

There is some form of mental awareness in all creatures. A body without a brain contains zero working neurons and a dead narrative.

Words are a different animal than pictures, perhaps the most effective at harvesting attention; humans use words to propagandize, market, deceive and spread evil. Said Nikola Tesla: “If hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”

Words are sensory stimulants, carving out emotions for which both the bad and good stuff sticks. “Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words,” wrote William Faulkner in 1927.

We invent words because we don’t want to die. Yet it is their existence that poses the most threat to consciousness.

art via giphy

Categories
Daily Prompts Life & Philosophy Poetry Postaday

The froth is coming off

via giphy

With the right instructions, the unfamiliar becomes manageable.

We follow the recipe with the hope that the convoluted reality seeps away into the froth.

Yet, had we followed our instincts we may not have gotten stuck in the first place.

If we don’t take Google Maps with a grain of salt, we will find ourselves submerged under water.

Knowledge is visceral. The rest is streaming.

Categories
Postaday Psychology

Worrying is a waste of time. Greet your anxiety instead.

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It is human nature to ponder anxieties that do not exist.

The mind is a fabrication machine, developing worries before they deserve any attention. Wrote Carlos Castaneda in Journey to Ixtlan (Amazon):“To worry is to become accessible… And once you worry, you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging to.”

The only way to assuage the nerves is to focus on what’s in front of you, to do the work regardless of the way you feel. Progress happens to the relaxed.

Don’t worry before it’s time

Writes Eric Barker on his life advice blog:

You’re not your brain; you’re the CEO of your brain. You can’t control everything that goes on in “Mind, Inc.” But you can decide which projects get funded with your attention and action. So when a worry is nagging at you, step back and ask: “Is this useful?”

As a survival mechanism, anxiety pushes us to take action — the most basic fear is that we need to eat and have a place to sleep for the night. But anxiety is also a thinking problem that needs to be neutralized by greeting it at the door where it appears wearing the same costume as it did before.

Everything is going to be alright, just like it was yesterday.

gif via Jason Clarke

Categories
Culture Postaday Tech

The internet is peanuts

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Said filmmaker Orson Welles in 1956: “I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts.”

We’re at a crossroads with the internet: How can something be so good but bad for us at the same time?

Part of the problem is that we use computers and phones for everything. We depend on technology to act as our wallet, camera, work, and entertainment device. Everything converges into the smartphone, yet we use it less to talk and more to navigate our everyday lives.

The addictive trills of the rectangular glow are just beginning. Tech promises to become more pervasive. From driving cars to learning languages, we will offload all our work into the unconscious but competent machines. AI portends to obviate human labor.

So what are we to do once the robots do it all for us? The line between productivity and doing nothing will blur. Some of us will entertain ourselves into inanition; others will work with automation to keep developing the future.

Either way, we are compelled to become the Jetsons. As long as we stay interested, we can keep the wave of the future interesting.

PS. I discovered the Orson Welles quote in Tim Wu’s fascinating new book The Attention Merchants (Amazon).

art via giphy

Categories
Photo Challenge Photography Poetry Postaday

The car with a dragon tattoo

Photo by Wells Baum

The leaves grow sideways, unimpeded from the downward force of nature.

The car with a dragon tattoo also roars its way into the future.

2017 is the end of the past

Revisiting the roots, 2018 promises to bend into unusual shape.

Categories
Culture Postaday

Why food chains are non-places 🍔🌮

Burger menu.gif
gif via Poly

Chains are the least memorable places we flock to, yet we always know they are there, clustered like neighbors amongst each other. Next to an Applebees is a Target, a Burger King, and a Starbucks. In “Dear Olive Garden, Never Change,” Helen Rosner writes:

“What it means to be a non-place is the same thing it means to be a chain: A plural nothingness, a physical space without an anchor to any actual location on Earth, or in time, or in any kind of spiritual arc. In its void, it simply is.”

Chains are like cues, they remind that they are but they don’t produce a valuable experience. Their strangeness lies in their hookable consumption and their immediate forgottenness. They are just utilities that in the long-run that meet nothing but our hyper-speed desire to eat or drink something quickly.

From New York to California, “chain begets chain.” Like tweets, when there’s too many of them, they drown each other out so that none of them are worth paying attention to until they disappear, like RadioShack.