Categories
Culture Poetry Politics & Society

Nobody strange

She was out there, in ideas and intentionality.

By high school, she had already separated from the herd. She refused to abuse herself into the maw of conformity.

College was a continuation of being different. The more she resisted, the more natural it came. Listening to herself ranged beyond self-absorption.

But then the internet came along, and she found herself a social creature once again. She joined a tribe of like-minded others on Twitter. Web 2.0 flattened the world, vitiated maps of their territories.

Just as fast as niches became mass, destroyed by the stylization of the hipster, she withdrew into rebellion once again.

She ceased shoulder-surfing and went off the grid to depart the maelstrom of information and the celebration of indifference.
She developed a type of buoyant skepticism to defend herself against the easy access of the mind and harmonized tastes.

“What if our capacity to imagine has been so badly damaged by the information climate of our times that destruction is all we can see?”

John Freeman, Dictionary of the Undoing

The illusion of immediacy burnt the truth and convinced her that no one knew anything. The constant bombardment of shocking news entertained others into inanition.

She revolted against weird and felt compelled to reinforce normalcy. She morphed into a fully formed and groomed individual.

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy

Thinker types: Contrarian versus the individual

Shall one play the contrarian or the individual thinker?

It’s not that interesting to be the rejectionist of the status quo just for the sake of it.

What’s more interesting is forming one’s unique style or opinion and projecting that with confidence — minus the bombast, of course.

What individuates individuals is their desire to make a difference because they believe in something.

‘Think different’ is a call for variation and abstraction. We need more of these poets, those who stray to the side to peruse the neglected fragments.

We need less antagonists, those who say the opposite of what everyone else is saying. Thinking outside the box is not a vocation, nor some deliberate existential thrill.

The self-appointed individual pokes at the mainstream without pretentiousness and criticism. She strives to make blind spots visible.

Once we get over the societal pressures of what we like and dislike, we get to focus on the heart work: what matters instead.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy

The gift of raw emotion

The visceral, like laughter, flows through the heart and blood before hitting the brain. Laughter doesn’t need thought.

We intuit emotional impulses, with no intention to describe what they are until after they occur. Feeling first, then comprehension ex post facto.

Unperturbed and under-conscious, we are ravenous eaters of life. No guessing, no prejudging. We unthink on our feet.

To float with instincts strips us of following compulsory mores, even as the grip of conformity pricks us in the background.

It is human nature to doubt but also to deliver a clear promise — that behavior is just as loose (and free) as a leaf falling from a tree.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Lost in translation

If you know a language, you can say exactly what you mean. Nothing gets lost in translation.

If you use Google or any other artificial-intelligence translation services you lose the subtleties, the cultural verbiage that makes the difference between saying you had a good day versus a great day.

The listener/reader of your words works harder to comprehend what the foreigner is trying to say. All attention goes into the beat of those retranslated lines.

Sure, spitting out something is better than nothing. The immigrant gets kudos for trying out the language in his new home country, except maybe in France.

But the most accurate exchange is the deepest exchange, where what’s being said gets communicated right into your eye sockets or ear lobes.

Of course, if the intention is to keep the conversation murky, just use SMS. Emojis, in particular, always seem to get misunderstood.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Let go to grow

The internet is a thing of convenience.

Now that we’re all stuck in our cubby holes, we may think it makes sense to over connect with our peers.

But sometimes we have to step away and ‘let go to grow.’

So we pick up new hobby horses. Instead of tweeting, we send a hand written note to an old high school buddy.

When we hurry slowly, the birds outside grow a little louder and appear more beautiful. Nature calms us down and resets our noticing engines.

Let go to grow

Technology compels us to hustle. And while it helps push things along, what we see is that overdrive makes us blind.

Minds are fragile to begin with. And while they be plastic, there’s a limit on the number of neurons we can grow. The web will always be more infinite and exhausting.

Life is connected to many things we can’t see and in ways we are just starting to understand.

We don’t have to strive to be always on. Instead, we bask in the incomplete.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy

To be nobody’s establishment

We tiptoe backward from imagination, forward from reality.

The movement toward innovation compels one to graduate beyond specialization.

Gradually recalibrated, we avoid the trimming of self.

We are nobody’s establishment.

Such pressure to mold into particular merely hardens the mood of individuality.

The Leviathan keeps happening, as does the world stringing it all together.

The stage is set to individuate individuals from the paralysis of group thought.

What’s inside us is not just subtle, it is at the epicenter of influence of what we attract and become.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Postaday Psychology

From your mouth

Words signify a consciousness, of which a newborn or pet can only hear. The baby goes on to break a word up into its individual sounds, eventually coalescing into a communicative language of memes 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 tokens, pictures drawn with letters

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 on the potency of language: “If hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”

Words are sensory stimulants, made of information to which you supply order. They carve out emotions for which both the bad and good stuff sticks. The more you use a word, the more you’ll be charged for it. “Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words,” wrote William Faulkner in his 1927 novel, Mosquitos.

We invent words, best exemplified in lists, because we don’t want to die. Words cue action, form, and follow-through. Yet they also slip the leash — it is their existence that also poses the most threat to our everyday consciousness.

To make meaning and deeper complexity, we need better mental processors.

Categories
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.

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.