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Culture Life & Philosophy

Still ignorant, not stupid

A lot of people get dumber after college. It’s not entirely their fault. A job takes up all their time. Besides spending time with family and friends and doing chores — getting on with the business of living — a lot of free time is spent on staring at lite brites for entertainment.

“We think we understand the rules when we become adults but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination.”

David Lynch, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

Experience makes us wiser but not smarter

As we age, we’re able to resolve practical matters with less effort. But therein lies a skewed perception.

We accidentally interpret how things usually go as facts rather than acknowledging that’ that’s how the world works now. Change is constant, the possibilities infinite.

An educated person should never stop learning. They should revel in their ignorance, not as an excuse to know less but as a means of staying interested in understanding more.

Categories
Tech

Everything is sampled, including our DNA

It’s in our DNA to sample, to take existing slices from each other to build something new.

The internet is the largest cut and paste machine. A producer of novelty, it begs for recombinations, a collection of stuff we can remix and make our own.

Like a Tumblr page, we decorate our personalities with originality. But everything from our interests to our blood develops from outside sources like an amalgamation of sounds.

All one has to do is scour Twitter for the latest in curated novelty. When favorite something we like or find interesting, we should feel free to mash it up in new serum, in a new format, shuffling ideas into fresh architectures.

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Books Culture Life & Philosophy

‘No, it burns, it shines’ 🌞

Ice and Fire

“Does the sun ask itself, ‘Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there enough of me?’ No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself, ‘What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about me today?’ No it burns, it shines. Does the sun ask itself, ‘Am I as big as other suns in other galaxies?’ No, it burns, it shines.”

Andrea DworkinIce and Fire 

Don’t compete. Make things.

When we compare ourselves to others, we get detached from ourselves.

Categories
Life & Philosophy

In pursuit of the right stuff

The ignorant still absorb knowledge. Their minds are just cluttered with the wrong stuff, crushed with the contentment with misinformation.

So what is the right stuff?

The right stuff is a mentality of contradictions, where one practices disagreement not as a form of disrespect but as a pursuit of knowledge.

The right stuff is…

  • a preference for negative feedback since it’s more actionable than its positive sister
  • focusing on doing good no matter what the future brings
  • an outcome democratically reached
  • consuming and throwing away culture to remain unidentifiable
  • disassociating your identity with the things you own

“Being right is the enemy of staying right because it leads you to forget the way the world works,” writes Jason Zweig. Stare at the world, not at your model, they implore.

Patterns are the work of evil and the formula for stuckness. The wrong stuff seeks to pigeonholed with no way out. Invest in what is right: mutability.

Categories
Business Culture Fashion

A pedestal type of person

The best marketers bake their advertising into their work.

Whether you’re an athlete, an author, or a baker, the product speaks for itself. Your trade either breeds trust and gets shared by others or falls at the wayside.

Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, and Albert Einstein put their money where their mouth was.

But there are of course ways to exaggerate one’s abilities.

David Beckham was a good football player, not great. Karl Lagerfeld was a good designer, but no one amazing. The difference is how these two talked about themselves during their careers and strategically elevated their game by raising their awareness platform.

Performance is only half of the story. The other half of the story is smart marketing and for consumers, a self-fulfilling truth. As Seth Godin so wisely notes in his book All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World, “We drink the can, not the beverage.”

Buyers acknowledge the artifice but also stand on pedestals they too think they deserve.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy

The flexible tattoo

gif by Stuart Wade

Beliefs are impermanent. We can put them or take them off throughout the day.

Similarly, we can pull from while simultaneously resisting the sprouts of memes and cultural gestures.

We can switch channels and opt for something more compelling whenever we want.

Change is a kind of freedom.

After all, it’s the individuals that are most exciting, not the masses.