A merry experience

We run after happiness like the plague. If we could just have that one thing, then we could be fulfilled. But the problem with happiness is that it doesn’t stop bleeding. We want it again and again.

The thing about happiness is that it’s attainable, just not when it’s attached to material goods. A pair of new Jordan’s or a new iPhone may make us happy but the feeling is ephemeral. Two weeks later we’re on the search for a new drip.

But what does increase happiness and stick around for a bit are experiences. Memories unite us and make us human. Shared moments run deeper than a new pair of AirPods.

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‘I’d rather have average art and survival’

"The tortured artist is the artist that gets remembered for all time, particularly if they if they either perish or overcome. But the truth is that so many of us are stuck in the middle. So many of us begin tortured and end tortured, with only brief bursts of light in between, and I'd rather have average art and survival than miracles that come at the cost of someone's life." #life #art #books

I know that I stopped thinking about extreme grief as the sole vehicle for great art when the grief started to take people with it. And I get it. The tortured artist is the artist that gets remembered for all time, particularly if they if they either perish or overcome. But the truth is that so many of us are stuck in the middle. So many of us begin tortured and end tortured, with only brief bursts of light in between, and I'd rather have average art and survival than miracles that come at the cost of someone's life.

Hanif Abdurraqib, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us 

Unique in your perversity

You may be unique in your perversity, always bucking trends and wanting to know more than what’s at face value. #gif

You may be unique in your perversity, always bucking trends and wanting to know more than what’s at face value.

The outlier refuses to live on the whims of an algorithm. Interesting people always dig deeper.

Making a plethora of connections, the anomaly also finds the time and space to air out the neurons.

To think different produces a mark for decades. So you keep evolving, breaking experiences into pieces.

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. #gif

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 problem today is that most of what we see is on screen. Our mind encodes both reality and irreality, often generating exaggerations such as the dream for human wings.

The greatest secret of a powerful memory is to bring information to life with your endless imagination.

Kevin Horsley, Unlimited Memory

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 head.

The growing block theory of time

Time is simply blocks or slices of reality, added on top of one another. Writes C. D. Broad’s in his theory of time in 1923. #books #amreading

Time is simply blocks or slices of reality, added on top of one another. Writes C. D. Broad’s in his theory of time in 1923: 

[…] such a theory as this accepts the reality of the present and the past, but holds that the future is simply nothing at all. Nothing has happened to the present by becoming past except that fresh slices of existence have been added to the total history of the world […] The sum total of existence is always increasing, and it is this which gives the time-series a sense [direction] as well as an order.

C. D. Broad, Scientific Thought: A Philosophical Analysis of some of its fundamental concepts

The revolt of you

Fight predictability and slothfulness. Chase life all the way to the the edge.

Uncertainty is where all the good stuff happens. #gif #creativity

In constant revolt, we take on new challenges that others can’t see or are too preoccupied to try.

The mother of invention is necessity, with the brave and curious making that tiny start.

The endeavor to do is to learn, not just about ourselves but how we can influence other people.

Fight predictability and slothfulness. Chase life all the way to the the edge.

Uncertainty is where all the good stuff happens.

Intensely watched, intensely remembered

Intensely watched, intensely remembered. It’s not the trouble-free we ought to pursue. It’s the challenge of a good idea. #gif

Intensely watched, intensely remembered.

It’s not the trouble-free we ought to pursue. It’s the challenge of a good idea.

Instead of pushing through the messy middle, we dash to the nearest exit: answering another useless email. It’s the distractions that make us dumber.

Like a blob of mercury, we are mentally stoned. The immediate response is to do more. The optimal response is to do nothing.

Less is more until we realize that none of the hard and interesting work got done. And that’s when we stick a sticky note on our computer screens that says: “Don’t fucking quit.”

Humans are noticing machines

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

"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

Celebrate the story you tell yourself

Conformity will always be the safest choice. But honesty is a passport to freedom. As long as you’re living your best self, you’ve got nothing to worry about. #gif #amwriting

You either fit in or strive to stand out. There’s promises in both approaches.

You’re more likely to feel more secure in the first route as society rewards mimetic behavior. Every obedient dog gets a treat.

Success is harder on the fringes. Whether you’re an iconoclast, a contrarian, a ‘weirdo’, or innovator, you can expect to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

Walking through the labyrinth requires an acceptance of uncertainty. Thinking different from the norm will always require more courage than jumping through hoops.

“It’s as though people expect you to blow one note all the time, and I guess a lot of people can only blow one note. But there are people who can blow two or three notes, and I guess I’m one of them.”

Frank Gehry
FRANK GEHRY TEACHES DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE
In 17 lessons, Frank teaches his unconventional philosophy on architecture, design, and art. LEARN MORE

Yet, rarely is one unique individual every truly alone — the internet swims in collaborative niches. Different is attractive.

Conformity will always be the safest choice. But honesty is a passport to freedom. As long as you’re living your best self, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Inconvenient truths

We live in a world where self-checkout is more painful than regular checkout, where Instagrammers risk their lives for the perfect pic, and where people hide behind their avatars to become trolls.

Sure, a quick google yields all the answers. But the price for the latest convention is reduced comprehension.

As soon as we hide, reduce contact, and take shortcuts on our pocket computers, we forget what it’s like to push through the experience.

The individual’s playground is convenient but more often insensitive, ignorant, and messy.

‘We do not grow absolutely, chronologically’

"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations." Anais Nin #quotes #amreading #books

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.

Anais Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin (Amazon)

image via The Anais Nin Foundation

The art of delay

You can’t make Bitcoin go up just as you can’t coax a train out of a tunnel.

If you never get tired of waiting and keep the patience — even relax your tight face a bit — things tend to pan out.

Try your best to delay gratification. If you have to move, do something else to occupy your time instead. Procrastinate on purpose.

It’s a beautiful endeavor to hold back and observe, think and unthink, but almost no one can do it.

You wield the paintbrush

The easiest way to get the failure out of your system is to bomb a few times so there’s less emotional baggage in the next endeavor. #gif

The easiest way to get the failure out of your system is to bomb a few times so there’s less emotional baggage in the next endeavor.

If your struggles persists and you can’t successfully mock the channels of other people, make your own. There’s a long-tail out there for everybody.

Keep in mind that you wield the paintbrush. Building your own path is the antidote to fixedness of conformity.

“He drills his soul, as it were, in right principles, that when the time comes, it may be guided by them. To wait until the emergency is to be too late.” Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Amazon)