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Know Yourself prompt cards from The School of Life

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More introspective goodies from the School of Life folks, led by philosopher Alain de Botton. These prompt cards remind me of those Brian Eno Oblique Strategies (Amazon) cards that help creatives get unstuck from thinking blocks. 

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Leave the phone behind

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I have a simple rule: every time I take the dog outside for a walk I leave my phone behind. #gif #tech #addiction

I have a simple rule: every time I take the dog outside for a walk I leave my phone behind. 

I used to take the phone with me wherever I went — even the bathroom. Now when I abandon it, I can literary feel my mind rebuilding itself.

I have a similar approach for my work desk. I deliberately put the phone out of reach so I don’t have the temptation to snag it.

The resistance, of course, is never perfect. I wish I earned a penny every time my eyes get sucked into that rectangular glow.

Resisting the phone by leaving it behind is a win for my head. So grab a leash and take your thoughts for a walk. It’s impossible to connect the dots when your mind is playing the slot machines all day.

‘The test of a book is how much good stuff you can throw away’

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“The test of a book is how much good stuff you can throw away,” he said. “When I’m writing it, I’m just as proud as a goddam lion. I use the oldest words in the English language. People think I’m an ignorant bastard who doesn’t know the ten-dollar words. I know the ten-dollar words. There are older and better words which if you arrange them in the proper combination you make.”

Ernest Hemingway

Writing tip: ‘Never get up from your computer until…’

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"Never get up from your computer until you’ve made a note about what you want to write next. That way you can slide right back in.” Jane K. Cleland #quotes #tip #writingtips #blogging

“Never get up from your computer until you’ve made a note about what you want to write next. That way you can slide right back in.”

Jane K. Cleland (see books)

gif via Shameless Maya

Forest Swords – Crow

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“Every flight begins with a fall,” the crow said.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Mesmerizing cyberpunk video from British electronica producer Forest Swords. Can you imagine a world that's entirely urban? 

Humans are noticing machines

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It doesn’t take a lot of effort to become a noticing machine. But it does take practice, exercising the eyes, ears, to stretch the thinking tool that is the human brain. #gif #philosophy #life

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to become a noticing machine. But it does take practice, exercising the eyes, ears, to stretch the thinking tool that is the human brain.

Noticing is an awareness, an alertness that calls to mind what the mind shouldn’t scan over. But the observant person shall not force it.

Perception is two-way street. It is neither aloof nor entirely effortful but open to the seeing the subtleties in the streams of everydayness. Sensing is natural, interpretation is artificial.

More than any other animal, we process data before letting the amygdala have its way. Patience is skilled emotional control.

The rest of our lives we seek a dependable calm that allows us to embrace the world.

Walking is like sex

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"Basic, simple, repetitive activities…capable of great sophistication and elaboration. They can be completely banal and meaningless, and yet they can also involve great passions and adventures. Both can lead you into strange and unknown territories: a walk on the wild side.” #books #walking #writing

Step by step, walking resembles sex writes author Geoff Nicholson in his book The Art of Walking (Amazon). 

“Basic, simple, repetitive activities…capable of great sophistication and elaboration. They can be completely banal and meaningless, and yet they can also involve great passions and adventures. Both can lead you into strange and unknown territories: a walk on the wild side.”

 Geoff Nicholson

‘To experience an event, we must live through and remember it’

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“Experience is a body of memories we use (on purpose or implicitly) to guide us. But we don’t experience an event merely by living through it. To experience an event, we must live through and remember it.”

David Gelernter

Head to head ➡️ 🧠 ⬅️

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There are two people living inside our heads, one left brained and analytical and the other right brained and more free-flowing and creative. Together, they work in harmony. #gif #philosophy #life

There are two people living inside our heads, one left brained and analytical and the other right brained and more free-flowing and creative. Together, they work in harmony.

Of course, we also have a third piece of our brain that spaces out. Daydreams are moments that spark the foundation of new ideas, where the subconscious connects the dots.

The mind’s left-right dichotomy begets a full revelation, that we narrate ourselves and pluck information to shape our agenda. But the quest for certainty and meaning eventually come head to head.

art via giphy

‘The writer feeds his book’

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The writer feeds his book, he strengthens the parts of it which are weak, he protects it, but afterwards it is the book that grows, that designates its author's tomb and defends it against the world's clamour and for a while against oblivion. #quotes #proust

The writer feeds his book, he strengthens the parts of it which are weak, he protects it, but afterwards it is the book that grows, that designates its author's tomb and defends it against the world's clamour and for a while against oblivion.

Marcel Proust

Retrofuturistic art by Simon Stålenhag

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Art by Simon Stålenhag
Art by Simon Stålenhag
Art by Simon Stålenhag
Art by Simon Stålenhag
Art by Simon Stålenhag #art #artist

Art by Simon Stålenhag

If you like this particular vibe of retrofuturistic dystopian art, be sure to check out Beeple

Punching back against nihilism

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It’s not a matter of if we combat the firepower of irreality, but a matter of when. But then it might be too late to punch back. #gif

The brain is stuck on hype rather than facts and figures. It devours the external stimuli of incessant feeds and 24/7 news and predictably shuns the details.

If we want to overthrow the swathe of nihilism, then we need to create a system that supports credibility. The algorithm failed to do it. Pre-programmed maths exposed the human biases and fragility.

It’s not a matter of combatting the firepower of irreality but how well we can protect against its ailments. Keep in in mind that it might be too late to punch back.

art via giphy

The truth about algorithms

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Mathematician Cathy O'Neil explains why algorithms are programmed and curated with bias. She is the author of Weapons of Math Destruction (Amazon) and runs ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing firm.

An algorithm is an opinion embedded in math.

Cathy O’Neil

Peculiar Pyongyang

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A strange yet beautiful time-lapse tilt-shift look at Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea. Such peculiarity can also be seen in the country's late 20th century advertising

Hear me roar 🦁

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For anyone who's seen The Lion King but yet to hear a lion actually roar (me included).