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Arts Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Artists are scavengers and tweakers

Artists are scavengers, modern-day hunters of information. And they pluck inspiration from everywhere: people, places, and things. 

They even gather resources through error. Mishearings, misspellings, and mistakes are idea producers. 

The creative process is two-fold. Ideas bloom, and then they require execution and management. The producer thinks about them, reads about them, talks about them, and ultimately acts on them. What emerges is something fresh and original.

Artists are continually developing novel techniques, ways of seeing, thinking, being, and diligently applying those efforts from various tools onto the canvass. 

The painter studies the way light falls on an object; the sculptor manipulates a hunk of marble to carve a figure; the poet converts a banal phrase into a haiku; the photographer reveals an obscure item plain eyes miss; the musician observes how a note lingers and uses it to create a melody that fits the song’s mood.

No matter what medium is involved, the creative process is the same. It starts with experimentation, struggles with tweaks, and ends with precision.  

The best artists study, learn, practice, and perfect the skills they need to imagine and design. Creativity is impossible without attention and effort.   

The never-ending search to consume and build something unpredictable keeps life interesting. Like nature, art is not static and remains subject to change. 

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Life & Philosophy

Memories reconstructed

Memory is reconstruction. We capture an image in our mind’s eye and recreate it with the code in our brain when it needs recalling.

The complexity today is that most of what we see is on screen. Our mind encodes both reality and irreality as one simultaneous existence. When humans want wings, the non-fungible tokens deliver.

As Kevin Horsley writes in Unlimited Memory, “The greatest secret of a powerful memory is to bring information to life with your endless imagination.”

The symbiosis between physical and digital bytes fuse a mirage of mind-movies. In the search for meaning, we rely on reproducing imaginary blocks in our heads.

We can always fetch for what’s in our brains, even if it’s not actually there. We can even grab thoughts out of thin air and let them permeate time and culture.

Memory is not storage. The process of recall is like a 3D model with missing pieces. We fill in the gaps with the most august imagination.

Intangible, elastic, ignored, and discarded, we barely feel memories, yet they are all we are. Our physical bodies are little more than an amalgam of flesh and blood, and our digital bodies are an array of ones and zeros.

But both are really just a patchwork of bits. The memories we hold are the most real thing about us. They are the foundation of our self-awareness.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy

Uniqueness is the happiness connection

Connection is the goal. Few today buy products for sheer vanity. People rather consume the story than signal their absorption into the status quo.

More and more people are embracing the weird and rejecting the standardization of tastes. Weird makes people feel happy.

Independence and beauty are what keeps happiness alive.

The flame of content runs locally. The industrialization mindset bursts from the cities, ricocheting off the siren song of bland mores.

Niches emerged as a result of intelligence — the ambition to stand out and make better. Thank the internet’s long-tail.

Prices also confuse human psychology. The suck of Amazon and Walmart are reduced prices. Pay a little extra elsewhere, and you get something different. And different is attractive.

Unique is an experience, and it lives top of mind, neither done nor dusted. No one remembers the same.

Off-the-beaten-path, the stuff that sticks changes perception. Interesting promises more variable batches.

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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Upstaged by avatars

No artifice, no spin. Never let the online you be better than the real you. 

So many people are an inconsistent version of their digital selves. All the internet’s a stage, with each social media post performance art. 

You’d think that some people were crypto billionaires or New York Times bestsellers based on their Instagram stories. After all, they control the narrative — strategically dropping each piece of content to garner more attention. 

They say that if you want to be a successful business person, dress like one. There is nothing wrong with acting like whom you aspire to be. 

But if you expect one to embrace your online avatar in real life without having the face-to-face consistency to back it up, good luck getting where you want to go. 

Big egos are insecure. Aspirations mean nothing without doing the work. 

Business is more than just ties, spreadsheets, and numbers. Writing is more than just visual speech. Your identity expands beyond your Tik Tok profile, where fifteen minutes of fame seems to go on for an eternity. You, celeb, you. 

There is no second life. There is one life. The eyes never age, just as they never lie. No one likes to be persuaded and then duped. 

To derive the most authenticity from life, engineer a digital persona that aligns with your natural desires, wants, and needs. This way, there is no inner conflict between who you are and who you wish to be. 

Categories
Life & Philosophy Politics & Society

Beyond logic, beyond greed

Beyond logic, stuck on wishful thinking, bias, and irrationality — it’s no wonder the world divides into tribes.

The internet allows us to handpick the information we want and spit it back out to like-minded folks who amplify it.

The curator — the finder and organizer of information — shares as much power as the creator or influential leader.

Still, it’s usually the few who predetermine fate for the rest of society.

But we need the non-expert, outsider, the fans to dissect what’s fundamentally sound and flawed. Does the product fit the spirit of the times or is it chasing the pennies? Greed has its limits.

Playing with feelings of passion and anger offers richer routes to the truth. The plebeians present a muscular calm to the trying circumstances of big-league shallowness.

The commoner wants everything to feel authentic because it’s all they know. They are happy with their nonupgraded experience, as it is they who also decide which pieces of work and art have lasting value.

Fail to act on knowledge, and the moment dissipates. By forging ahead, the symptoms remain under control.

Categories
Life & Philosophy

Identity unknown

To get in line with who we are, not who we wish to be—frazzled but unfazed, going toward a calling that meets our attention with true honesty.

Age crystallizes identity as if each living day leads us down the path to greater self-awareness.

Being awake does it for us, and as we do, we proceed and ask for forgiveness afterward. Humans are imperfect judges of the present, but learning produces mistakes. And the correct answer is a mere accumulation of errors.

We maintain voluntary attention and keep going–now. Self-control is everything.

The cure for restlessness is aliveness, and along with being open-minded and curious, pinches luck our way.

We need no label, just a pulse, to avoid being pigeonholed and balkanized by society’s conformist ambitions. With clenched fists, we punch through categories and wander toward our dreams.

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Life & Philosophy

Humans contain attitude

Humans contain attitude. We can turn a positive or negative attitude off and on like a faucet. But more often than not, we get stuck on one outlook more than the other.

And both postures backfire.

Tell someone to think positive, and the ‘try’ yields a negative outcome. In fact, the harder we try to inculcate a system of upbeat attitudes based on motivational hardiness, the more it becomes a vapid motivational platitude.

Tell someone to think negatively, and they’re more likely to concoct a more darkly artful perception.

The tension between the two opposing life forces is at the heart of who we are.

The hyper-aware neurotic struggles with the think positive-negative dialectic as a first-alarm system; the genius accepts the role paradoxes play in the broader lookout of personal and world complexity. Instead of letting the mind tug the awareness, they put one foot in front of the other and get on with it.

The focus on external reality keeps the philosopher grounded. Humans need more than theory to wander freely; they need instruments to cope with the real and serious possibility of a failed imagination.

Life never happens how we wish to see it. That would be too easy. If the daily experience weren’t such a mess, we’d get lulled into the abyss of complacency. And nothing exciting nor challenging would ever happen.

A type of neutrality is needed to insulate both the positive and negative thinker from the ravages of anxiety.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry Psychology

The reeducation of emotion

At peace with the thinking, not always with the thought. The lizard brain generates emotions that are not immediately subject to reason.

Emotion-action often leads to undesirable behavior, independently of our control and without our understanding.

Therefore, it’s of the highest importance to recognize the issue at hand.

Intelligence restrains the worst of our emotions and potential wrong actions. We aim for a reserved response.

Stoic in our appeal, we successfully pause. We even set aside time or reflection. Listening closely with an intense examination, we stem the tide of self-destruction.

Quick on our feet, even quicker in perspective. Don’t meet rudeness with rudeness — there are many failed attempts along the way.

Emotional intelligence is a skill that fortifies holistic thinking and tames collisions of thought.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Brain on fire

Like putty, we can reshape the brain. The mind is elastic, not stagnant. We can birth new neurons until the day we die. 

Yet, we live on with the assumption of slow decay, where aging is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

While most of what happens in the world is a consequence of natural, universal laws, there’s no stopping the expectation for improvement. We have to demand progress in all realms of life (biological, personal, relational, etc.) even if it means we have to fake it.

There is, of course, no reason to brainwash ourselves with motivational quotes and self-help books that try to shut our eyes to reality.  

Lest we dump problems on tomorrow, we can change today. Experience teaches us to move on with new knowledge. 

Positive psychology demands a different mode of experience. Happiness shall not be forced, but knowing it’s up to us to foster satisfaction compels us to act with just a bit more hope.

Categories
Arts Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Tighter the brief, the deeper the craft

Once we commit to a creative project, we make choices within it. We narrow down everything into a tight brief so we can build something conclusive.

The frames in place help guide our unconscious decisions. There’s no blur between what we’re making and what we want to make. 

Slowly but surely, we commit to a process despite all the doubt. We gather a proper stream of blood flow and breathing, focusing free-flowing talent into a concentrated effort.  

Distracting opportunities have to die for the most important craft to live. 

We don’t need more of anything; instead, we play with what we already have. We hunker down on the front lines and figure out how to shape our materials. Boredom is welcome, as it provides the opportunity we need to have the next big idea. 

And once the art is out there, it’s out there. We try not to take feedback personally — not to repress or ignore negativity — but to acknowledge we shipped! 

How we perceive our work is more important than how others look at it. Society is either too polite or doesn’t care. Passion, care, sticktuitiveness — these traits are leverage.