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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech Travel

Numb to the pleasure of patience

You can’t coax a train out of a tunnel. You have to be patient and wait it out behind the yellow line.

Perhaps the only thing we don’t have to wait for is the next alert or push message. Writes author Michael Harris on how mobile connectivity intercepts our sense of time:

Our sense of time has always been warped by our technologies. Church bells segmented the day into intervals. Factory whistles ushered workers. But the current barrage of alerts and pings leaves us more warped than ever. I’ve been trained not just to expect disruption, but to demand it. Back in 1890, William James wrote in The Principles of Psychology that “our sense of time seems subject to the law of contrast.” No kidding.

He goes on to explain how technology resolves our impatience by numbing us “to the pleasure of patience.” We quell our anxiety with the rectangular glow so the late train no longer puts us on edge.

In chasing any goal, it behooves people to keep the patience. Things always take longer than we think but appear shorter in the telescope of perspective.

The train will eventually come and we’ll hop on, prompting the nerves to jumpstart in anticipation of the next destination. As we grow nervous and impatient, the rectangular glow acts like a pacifier to allay our fears.

When we’re moving along plugged-in at warp speed, we are no longer tracking time. Like a carrot, the clock dangles in front of our eyes, waiting for us to notice its blessings.

gif by @rafaeldearaujo

Categories
Tech Travel

Underground bicycle parking systems in Japan

The robotic system, called the Eco Cycle, stores bikes 36 feet underground. It can store 204 bikes at a time.

To use it, you need to attach a chip to the front wheel of your bike that links to your Eco Cycle parking account. When you pull up to the Eco Cycle, it will recognize you’re a paying customer. Simply press the button and your will be taken underground.

Bikes are so ubiquitous in Japan that construction company Giken had to build an underground system to store them.

Read more

 

Categories
Cool Products Travel

Not all those who wander are lost  ✈️ 🗺️

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Scratch (off) the world

 

Categories
Quotes Travel

‘Human beings can aquire a certain solitude, even in the middle of New York City’

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Every thing in the world, every event, is like a dewdrop on a multidimentional spider’s web, and every dewdrop contains the reflection of all the other dewdrops. But you see, the hermit finds this out through his solitide, and so also human beings can aquire a certain solitude, even in the middle of New York City. It’s rather easier, as a matter of fact, to find solitude in New York City than it is in Des Moines, Iowa.

Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety

Categories
Travel Video

Golden Gate City: San Francisco (1939)

Image taken during the San Francisco World’s Fair 1939

A few weeks ago, I blogged about a trip through New York City in 1911. This week’s archival videos goes back in time to San Francisco, 1939.

Some observations:

  • The cable cars ran on cables because the city’s hills were so steep. They also required ‘turntables’ (first time I’ve heard the term not in reference to hip-hop) to flip them around the other way. Both the cable car and trolleys (slightly different) are both staples of SF to this day.
  • The SF Mint factory not only produced US coins but also those for the Philippines. As they said about the California Gold Rush in 1849, “If you want to make money in a gold rush, sell shovels.”
  • I wonder if those golf courses looking over the Golden Gate still exist?
  • The seals of SF still lounge like royalty and sure run the show

Heed the motto: “San Francisco by the Golden Gate. City upon memories and visions of progress for tomorrow.”

Categories
Travel

New York: Where dreams are made up

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Photo by Wells Baum

There’s the dream. And then there’s the reality.

The dream is that you can survive the concrete jungles of New York. The reality is that you’re another part of the rat pack, rushing from Brooklyn and New Jersey to midtown.

The rat race never ends.

Even those who start as far away as New Haven begin a jam into different species. Everyone is a stranger.

The quiet car contains opposites. It goads the loudest minds.

Stepping off into Grand Central Terminal is the great equalizer. You have no choice but to join the frenzy.

Strolling faster than anyone else, you’d think you’re getting ahead. But only for a spare moment. Someone else has clipped your wings.  Who do you think you are, anyway?

Spare some change, sink at the moment. Time alludes you. The day is one big drop, a flash drive of memories.

Into the City and back out again, only to do it all over tomorrow.

Categories
Nature Travel Video

What Spring looks like around the world

Categories
Travel Video

Colombia’s rainbow river 🌈 is the most beautiful in the world

Labeled the most beautiful river in the world, the Caño Cristales or Cano Crystals gets its blend of colors (orange, red, blue, green, and yellow) from the way light and move over the macarenia clavigera plant.

Tourists were told to stay away from the river in the early 2000s because it was a guerilla haven.  It appears to be open today.

Categories
Arts Creativity Travel

Artist converts beach rock into a great white shark

Artist converts beach rock into a great white shark #art #nature #creativity

When mixed media artist Jimmy Swift traveled to India in March 2015, he saw a jagged rock on the beach. He immediately knew what to do with it.

“When I first saw this rock it looked like a perfect place for a great white. It’s truly amazing how mother nature can carve out such a perfect shape.”

But creating a three-dimensional lifelike shark wasn’t easy. He braved an ocean of buffeting waves to get the first draft done. “This was the hardest thing I’ve ever painted. I was literally beat up by the waves and rising tide and forced to stop before it was finished.”

He returned two years later to repaint it for Instagram-obsessed beachgoers.

Read more about the work on My Modern Met and follow Jimmy on Instagram.

Categories
Psychology Social Media Tech Travel

Remember to frame that vacation photo

Photo by Wells Baum

If you want to remember a vacation, you’re almost better off framing a picture rather than just posting it on your Instagram feed.

According to recent research, owning a physical photo is more likely to encourage someone to share their experience with others. It turns out that digital images are terrible cues.

“Back in the old days, we’d wait until we finished a roll of film and then bring it to the store to get printed. So waiting for the pictures kept the experience top of mind. Then, we’d take the pictures around to our friends one by one (or group by group) and get to share our experience over and over again. Now, we simply post it on social media once and we’re done.”

However, it’s not all digital media’s fault. It’s also our dwindling attention spans driven by the urge to consume what’s next. To echo Om Malik in a recent New Yorker piece: “We have come to a point in society where we are all taking too many photos and spending very little time looking at them.”

Apps like Timehop and Facebook’s “One year ago today” feature attempt to revitalize old posts to conjure up past memories. I personally recommend reviewing “On this Day” in Day One journal, not just for vacation recall but also to gain perspective on all life’s milestones, ups, and downs.

Whether it’s in the form of a framed photo, a souvenir, or relived Facebook post, you can extend any fond memory with subtle reminders.