Headphone privacy

“It’s not just that headphones carve privacy out of public spaces. It is also that music causes us to relax and reflect and pause. The outcome of relaxation, reflection, and pausing won’t be captured in minute-to-minute productivity metrics. In moments of extreme focus, our attention beams outward, toward the problem, rather than inward, toward the insights.”

Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

In this open office work culture, headphones are a necessity. But the right type of music can make you even more productive.  

art via floatinwoo

Fighting inertia

We take risks, do the unpredictable, anything to keep the supposed simulation of world guessing. / Fighting inertia #amwriting

Stock phrases, a detailed script, a prescription for exactitude. Imagine how boring life would be if you already knew its outcome.

It’s the routine that subverts our days into yesterday’s form, responding to emails in our head. Sameness destroys creativity.

How can we fight inertia?

We take risks, do the unpredictable, anything to keep the supposed simulation of world guessing.

En medias res, we ensure that we’re performing in the middle of becoming.

art via giphy

Pixel art paintings by Octavi Navarro

Pixel art paintings by Octavi Navarro
Pixel art paintings by Octavi Navarro
Pixel art paintings by Octavi Navarro
SCENE #12: 1979
Pixel art paintings by Octavi Navarro
Pixel art paintings by Octavi Navarro
Pixel art paintings by Octavi Navarro

In Pixels Huh, I’m mixing my own painting techniques with some of the restrictions of classic pixel art, resulting in very personal scenes that tell unique stories.

Octavi Navarro

Check out the amazing pixel art from Barcelona-based designer Octavi Navarro. 

The mind’s sense-door

There’s always a mismatch, between the fresh coffee and the taste, between the selfie and the mirror, and between the practice and the work.

Our emotions and senses often dupe our realities. We expect to be satisfied up to the point of experience. But the war between expectation and matter simmers down to ambivalence.

The grey area always challenges the concept of a specific end. Moving aside the ideal equilibrium, knowing that we might be fulfilled is enough reason to follow through in the first place.

The mind sense-door awaits the next expectation. After all, the first taste is always with our eyes.

art via giphy

Story unbridled

Make yourself not begin.

Keep postponing your creative impulses until you store up some more thinking. The forest always hides secrets.

When you keep gathering string, the variables appear endless. But the extra attending is crucial.

The unbridled story is no longer a diversion when it becomes destiny.

Once the end of the rope ceases to be a pleasurable digression, hold tight and let go.

Connecting tiny pieces of information

Connecting tiny pieces

The internet was made for aggregation. The abundance of information is impossible to swallow. So we pluck the highlights, the most useful stems.

If we gather all the data from our environment, we don’t have to do all the work. We puzzle it out ourselves.

Collecting artifacts online is a social experiment, a peer to peer network of bytes of genius. Unfortunately, knowledge can also be used to propagandize rather than do good. There are no limits to floating ideas that can become instantly contagious, like lighting a match.

But suppose cognitive bias does more to spread the plurality of ideas so we can make disparate connections, such as peanut butter and chocolate. The internet is more than just a copy-paste machine.

gif via US National Archives

No one is normal

seth godin we are all weird book cover

The environment that we live in intends to become a part of our mind. But there’s always a mismatch between who we know we are and what others expect us to be.

Human beings are intricate. No one individual is alike. Mimetic thinking makes us feel worse, not better in the long-run.

Conforming is like trying to stuff positive thinking down our throats — it just doesn’t work. Nor does medicating us out of our creative urges.

“It’s human nature to be weird, but also human to be lonely. This conflict between fitting in and standing out is at the core of who we are.” 

Seth Godin, We are all Weird (Amazon)

What does work is the freedom of expression and the celebration of uniqueness. Sure, we are binder by rules and law, but when it comes to taste, we should feel free to do whatever we want.

The internet proves that normal is boring. It is the so-called weird at the edges that are forming niches and making stuff happen.

PS. The ‘No one is normal’ tote bag comes courtesy of The School of Life gift shop. You can also snag more stuff on their Amazon page.  

Fuel for thought

Fuel for thought // #gif #truth

No one is in sole possession of the truth. We’re all just throwing darts at different concepts and opinions that with consistency, appear factual.

We pick up positive vibrations from way things go most of the time. Turn on some music or laugh out loud and thought disappears altogether.

The urge to verify is as loose as the gate to which it opens. Bulls-eye is an aggregation of guesses of which none are perfect.

via giphy

Watch the trailer for Alex Honnold’s Free Solo

I’ve posted about the remarkable solo climber Alex Honnold before, detailing how he uses visualization techniques to train his mind to become immune to fear.

The folks at National Geographic and the producer of the 2015 film Meru (Amazon) Jimmy Chin have teamed up to document Honnold’s climb of El Capitan, the vertical granite rock formation located at Yosemite National Park.

“If you don’t have any fear to begin with, there’s a lot less to control.”

Alex Honnold

Said one of Honnold’s fellow climbers: “Free soloing El Cap is like doing an Olympic gold medal sporting event, where if you don’t get the gold medal, you die.”

A super-sensation seeker, Honnold literally dances with fear. As he says in the trailer, “If you’re pushing the edge, eventually you’ll find the edge.” 

The film Free Solo is out now in select theaters. Click here for more info.