Categories
Life

Searching for context

  • You can skim the book, but the ending won’t make sense.
  • You can skip practice, but you’ll be unprepared for the game.
  • You can listen, but it won’t make sense until you write it down.

Context is life’s black box and compass. It records a history of time and place so you can map out successes, failures, where to go and what to do next.

There’s a story behind everything.

Faulty attention

We cultivate boredom the same way we incubate attention, that is, we latch on to things until we no longer see them. They camouflage into our awareness.

The internet user runs into the cornucopia of visuals on Instagram. Liking becomes desultory, numb to the perpetual sting of dopamine. Are we not entertained?

We are sloppy internet users

But we are also creatures of habit, where behaviors online and off are one of the same. In reality, we visit the same people, talk to the same friends, and share similar viewpoints. Yet, simplicity is often in the sophistication of an opposing view.

Challenges make us reconsider our everyday perceptions. We don’t need to keep refreshing into a ludic loop of variable results. Instead, we need to expect completely different answers. Such novelty is how we stay curious, albeit sane.

gif via Katy Wang


Categories
Arts Life

Have an exaggerated sense of curiosity

We’re all fake artists, winging it to chase our dreams while simultaneously masking our vulnerabilities.

It isn’t a thorny question of attribution. We all steal ideas from each other and recast them as our own.

But having an exaggerated sense of curiosity pays off. The cash value of policing thoughts means that we can better sew the past, present, and the future altogether.

We are one, in mind and spirit. The only drawback is fabricating the best self that meets the lofty ambitions of others.

Nothing is fake if the desire is real. All we can do is float into the canvass of our dreams.

Deceiving GPS 📍

“The map is not the territory.”

Alfred Korzybski

‘I have already lost touch with a couple of the people I used to be’

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gif by Trash Mountain

“I have already lost touch with a couple of the people I used to be.”

— [easyazon_link keywords=”Joan Didion” locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Joan Didion[/easyazon_link]

Categories
Uncategorized

Making magical machines

p0SeZO7 - Imgur

We live in the age of robots, where machines powered by AI can drive your car, deliver you breakfast in your hotel room, or reorder you diapers on Amazon.

But automata isn’t new. As craftsman François Junod points out in the video, “the oldest known automatons date back to the Egyptians.” They gained popularity as entertainment for royalty in the 18th century.

Obsessed with mechanics and automatons at a younger age, Junod felt compelled to make what he calls ‘animated sculptures’ himself. Today he works out of his studio in Switzerland and ships out all over the world.

“It’s that I’ve always liked automatons because we can create new things…There really isn’t a limit. We can continue and discover new things. We can always go further.”

Find out more about Junod’s work here.

Images courtesy François Junod


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Categories
Life

Fearing a loss of mind

There are very few moments in the day when we pause. Instead, we latch onto the sugary obsession of tech and its distractions, awaiting the next shock of dopamine.

But we can have tea with ourselves, going through what our worries and wishes are in the quest for ever-fleeting presence.

Man is more versatile than a machine. Robots are one-trick ponies unable to combine disciplines, like doing the dishes or driving to work, all the while contemplating the color blue. Yet, we too become blinded by linear thinking.

We confuse busyness with productivity. We falsely believe that money brings wisdom while in reality, it cultivates hubris. Humans are smart, agile, but fragile thinkers.

The search for meaning starts with a face-to-face conversation with ourselves to bring life back to our senses. Thinking about thinking verifies that the noise in our head is more than just alive.

Alien Hand Syndrome

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via NPR

What if you woke up one day and had a brand new second hand that moved on its own?

This is what happened to Karen after she had brain surgery to help cure her epilepsy. After her operation, her left hand immediately took on a life of its own. For starters, it immediately began to unbutton her shirt on the hospital bed while the surgeon pleaded her to stop.

After she went home the hand started to do other things like slapping her, which reminded me of the self-beating Jim Carrey famously gives himself in the movie Liar Liar.

What caused her alien hand syndrome?

Apparently, the surgery had to split her brain and removed her Corpus callosum, which ties the left and right brain hemisphere together. Basically, the operation caused the opposing sides of her brain to switch roles.

Fortunately, Karen has come to appreciate the moral authority her left hand tries to impose on her decision-making. Any time she tries to smoke, for example, her left hand puts the cigarette out and even flicks the ashes around.

Karen’s come to appreciate the magic discipline of her hand. However, she still gets in a smoke or two. “I understand you want me to quit,” she tells her hand, “but cut the crap!”

Categories
Uncategorized

The simple technique that boosts your short and long-term memory

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via giphy

Want to remember more of what you read? Give your brain a 10-15 minute rest. No phones, no distractions, just pure boredom, a quiet room and dimmed lights.

Why do we need to reduce interference?

It takes longer for new information to encode and simply consuming more or squandering time on social media will make it even hard to remember.

When we let the mind wander, the brain works backward and connects the dots, cementing those memories that were previously unlinked.

So stop chasing extra stimulation and let your brain rest in its own presence. Your memory will thank you for it.

Read An effortless way to improve your memory

 

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Worrying is a waste of time. Greet your anxiety instead.

It is human nature to ponder anxieties that do not exist.

The mind is a fabrication machine, developing worries before they deserve any attention. Wrote Carlos Castaneda in Journey to Ixtlan (Amazon):“To worry is to become accessible… And once you worry, you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging to.”

The only way to assuage the nerves is to focus on what’s in front of you, to do the work regardless of the way you feel. Progress happens to the relaxed

Don’t worry before it’s time

Writes Eric Barker on his life advice blog:

You’re not your brain; you’re the CEO of your brain. You can’t control everything that goes on in “Mind, Inc.” But you can decide which projects get funded with your attention and action. So when a worry is nagging at you, step back and ask: “Is this useful?”

As a survival mechanism, anxiety pushes us to take action — the most basic fear is that we need to eat and have a place to sleep for the night. But anxiety is also a thinking problem that needs to be neutralized by greeting it at the door where it appears wearing the same costume as it did before.

Everything is going to be alright, just like it was yesterday.

gif via Jason Clarke

Categories
Arts

A high place 🌃

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pixel art by Kirokaze

“Outside New York, a high place where with one glance you take in the houses where eight million human beings live.”

— Tomas Tranströmer, “Schubertiana

Categories
Uncategorized

Enjoying the silence of GIFs

giphy-downsized-large-1The mind fills a silent GIF with sound.

The flags flickering in the wind, the lightbulb dancing at a Mexico City bar, to the whistle of leaves swinging outside your window.

Living in the distraction era, noise is ubiquitous. Standing still, the decibels around turn up to match the horizon.

But the calmer it becomes, the more you hear.

Silence deafens the external stimuli. In nature, it rings with the the highest volume.

TuRn it up!

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