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Life

Enjoy the silence

Silence is the loudest sound — unprovoked, it can screech worse than nails on a chalkboard.

But the pursuit of distraction is man’s attempt to escape the cacophony of a deaf monkey mind.

To break from mental prison, we conjure up an oasis of sound: social media and/or TV, dual screens, infinitely scrolling through feeds and channels without remembering a thing.

The content Ferris wheel never ends in the era of fast culture. The circus rages on, performing into other people’s thoughts but our own– clicking under the hypnosis of a ludic loop.

Perhaps the noiseless, initially our worst fear, is the pocket of sanity we needed all along. Bored into calmness, we no longer fear losing control.

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Life

The channel surfer

The mind, that jumpy thing.

Scatterbrained, we wade through the attention waves only to catch the most glaring one. Whether we can ride it out or instantly collapse depends on the current of luck and skill.

Less the undertow scare us with malicious intent, the body resurfaces to indulge in playfulness all over again. The channel surfer follows whatever grabs her.

When we have fun, the joy of the present erases both the depression of living in the past and the anxiety of living in the future. The problem is when we get stuck in all that’s available.

With a little bit of patience, we can catch the most interesting wave, perhaps the most difficult one, mentally prepare for it, and ride it out to the sand.

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Life

Without a positive doubt

Thinking is the process of juggling with active uncertainty. Thinking is hard because it requires the mind to search for clarity in a sea of indifference.

The mind impedes itself, as it’s the source of all the information we seek to find. It is nearly impossible to control; the brain elides into a blob of mercury.

Regardless of what we see, the inner monologue is what one becomes. Interpretation predetermines outlook. Imagine all the countless micro-calls people make throughout the day that rests on the pillars of perspective.

Is she more content in sunshine or shades of grey? The ability to choose one attitude over another at any moment is a matter of free will.

As a bewildering mixture of people, the antenna of attention varies. Some see beauty in the chaos and exude frustration in simplicity. Others are delighted but worried. There is even contentment amidst struggles and sadness.

Without a positive doubt, a basket of mental conditions exists, rendering a wall of worry and excitement.

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Arts Life

The right problem to solve

Finding the right problem to solve — is it that appears in front of us or behind us, invisible to the naked eye? We strive to make a circulation visible from the darkness of webs.

In assessing what is known and unknown, including our blind spots, we cram into the intensification of discovery.

Never underestimate the cost of being stuck in boring equilibria. Stillness promotes the bonding of the dormant and the new. It widens our circle of discomfort — through tension emerges understanding.

Perception is a type of therapy if we can force the eyes to see. Eureka is a feel-good sensation to be jumped around in as an acknowledgment of the right direction.

We learn how to investigate, ask questions, and realize that the entire process makes sense only after we stop thinking about it.

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Life

Unique in your perversity

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

The outlier refuses to live on the templates of an algorithm and let groupthink colonize parts of their mind. She prefers the rebellious hunch over the aggregation of data to maintain the essence of originality.

Interesting people always dig deeper, going above and beyond the most comprehensive snapshots of reality to break experiences into pieces. After collecting better artifacts, the anomaly needs the time and space to air out free-thinking neurons.

Deviation from the norm is not for the smugness of artistic superiority but for the sake of chasing one’s authenticity. In a world that makes little sense, there’s more certainty in being different rather than being a sheep.

So the unique person keeps evolving even if it comes at the price of loneliness.

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Life

The shared tempo of minds

If the blog is dead, then writing is dead. And if writing is dead, thinking is dead.

If thinking is dead, then ideas are dead. If ideas are dead, then there’s no experimentation nor communication. Memes fail to sprout when words die.

Yet, we are creators, unmoored from the prison of biology.

The pull to share is human, whether it’s dispersed on screen, in a notebook, or on a scroll. We make stuff and distribute it to other people with the hope of reception and reciprocation.

It’s creativity that individuates individuals. Everyone chooses their own canvass and how to participate.

A pluralistic society rests on innovation and a multitude of market outlooks, even if originality means building on top of clever hybrids.

The brain is full of code, as is culture, in a perpetual state of rewiring and networking so that our stories never become stale.  

People remain engaged at different tempos of mind, some brisker than others. The bucket of wonder drips, bleeding to those free-thinkers on tap.

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Arts Life

Too unique to be a freak

A brain fogged away by alcohol, conventionality, and dopamine dependence. The head no longer wields attention to its unique advantage due to being manipulated at scale. Are we not entertained into generic beasts?

A clean glass of water wipes away the tears of indulgence. A proper sleep guts the head of neuronal waste. Any subsequent information channel that funnels standardization is mostly trash. Maybe lucid dreaming is a portal to seeing the reality of things?

Dead inside, clinging on to the necessities of good feelings. Memories help keep skin in the game, especially those trophies that celebrate the weird self. The mind curates a movie of life’s encounters. To the pessimist, luck is temporary while the optimist never gets weighed down by the nitty-gritty. How does one counter their private self with public accountability?

One experiences twoness until restitched by the alchemy of time and consciousness. Our best thoughts volley to each other, satisfying two distinct but connected appetites. Who else wants to give themselves a pat on the back for experiencing the brain’s synchronicity?

The experiment with authenticity continues, even more so as the world intrudes on our model. The interior shouting for more assimilation remains futile. Every progression made in this world emerges out of self-interest. After all, being different is attractive. When did any individual care about the science of standardization and likability anyway?

The hipsters round out the edges. The freaks are overly tilted. Both groups align toward the narrowness of culture. The true fence-sitter remains cautious and sharp, balancing the art of acceptance and the resistance to conformity. Doesn’t the economy and the precision in art depend on the free-acting creative individual?

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Life

What spreads, rarely sticks

All problems and their subsequent solutions are social.

The good thing about solutions is that they’re typically social-proof and benefit from the network effect: What works for one person multiplies as commonality gets shared with the next, like a vaccine.

The simplest form of information exchange is language. Words are memes. And memes can be rebranded and copy-pasted, and in some cases, rendered outdated. It was Dunkin’ Donuts that made the word “doughnut” extinct.

Physical nature begs for optimization. The city, like an anthill, is one big shared experience, a marketplace for swapping ideas. Residencies, streets, bridges — all spawned from tiny cells into a collective pinnacle of innovation. Of course, the infrastructure is far from ideal. As Ellen Ullman wrote, “We build our computer (systems) the way we build our cities: over time, without a plan, on top of ruins.”

At the root of every solitary puzzle is a chance to do our best, graduate from the individual vision, and gravitate toward some collective high where the concept gets received and adopted.

The lone genius is a myth. Behind every wizard lies a team of influencers. There are no geniuses without gleaning from the wisdom of crowds. The innovator’s role is to observe trends, spot the blind spots and introduce new possibilities.

When the crazy ones propose anything novel, they beg for the neighborhood’s attention. It is the external reaction, the possibility of adoption, that excites the misunderstood maker.

Thinking, doing, and building all require a form of starting and maintenance to ensure longevity. ‘Build it, and they will come’ is, therefore, a canard. A product’s existence depends on the strength of usability, marketing, and overall spreadability.

The Lindy effect says if a book is around a decade, it’ll last for another 50 years. Ideas and products are at the mercy of banter and eyeballs. Whatever gets shared continues to stick around in the public narrative conscience.

Propaganda is the nastiest version of exposure. It creates a mind virus that becomes blind to the facets of good worth keeping. Fascism is how the kindest people can quickly become immune to evil.

Thankfully, plurality wins. In open societies, it means the best ideas usually pan out without canceling out the advantages of alternative solutions.

There will always be outliers who stand on the edge, trying to make a difference.

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Life

Everything optimized

We try to optimize time like we try to manipulate the weather—craving proficiency, we come prepared.   

But we are the tools of our tools. In this pre-metaverse world, humans can only control so much.

The clock, indeed a fabrication of man, keeps on ticking. Meanwhile, the weather remains fickle. Nature confounds the rules of predictability; chaos thrives on terra firma but stays fixed in the cosmos. 

We are the recipients and would-be benefactors of cloud-based demands. The human mental model looks for new ways to expand its portfolio for survival and consumption. 

Ingenuity cracks open a never-ending energy source. Science and technology may advance our thinking yet trap us in a condition of discontent. As with time, we’re always striving for more.  

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Life

A vocation of old and new

Everyone harbors an undeniable vocation that starts when we’re kids.

Playing in the NBA, winning a Grammy or an Oscar — most aspirations are pipe dreams. But the characteristics we build in pursuing those far-fetched fantasies such as confidence, persistence, result from facing all the anxieties and fears that arise from such honest confrontation.

When we feel incompetent, we channel grit elsewhere toward something that feels more intuitive and enjoyable. Like a magnet, we’re drawn to what comes naturally.

A writer who draws. A bicyclist who runs and swims. A photographer who rock climbs. The former is who we are and what the market demands, even if the latter is what we prefer. Neither trade guarantees success nor fame because all reward is in the doing.

While sometimes feeling detached, the intuitive self invites us to travel down the road of uncertainty until we find an occupation that feels just about right — where ambition and talent intersect, where passion overlaps with our skills.

There is beauty in constraint, what bounds focuses the mind.

Until we can identify our strengths, we jump from lily-pad to lily-pad like frogs. We ultimately return to the one that feels like home.

Having the courage to follow who we are rather than live up to somebody else’s expectations is a blessing, not a glitch.

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Life

Busy living with doubt

The painful past, the anxious future, the joyful present — to be alive in any mood requires that we hop over the indifference threshold. 

The more we feel negative emotions, the more we care. The caring fever remains scarce even when others don’t.  

The fool ignores their own peril and remains stuck in a state of monotonous myopia. Reality bites hard.  

The Self remains what it is — natural behavior and creative output are things we can’t change. But doubt is what keeps the identity plastic. Tightening is a response to fear.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Uncertainty compels us to live. If beliefs, like knives and forks, are tools for living, then the only reassurance we need is the faith to keep going

We acknowledge the tentacles of past pain. We fret about the uncontrollable future. We dance in the present. We are too concerned with the “business of living” to worry about what comes next. 

Take the plunge. 

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Life

Predictably unpredictable

All outcomes are predictably unpredictable.

There is no such thing as chance, with most things in life predetermined at the outset of infancy. Free will, the so-called author of our choices, presents constraints.

What happens when the amygdala, the brain’s seat of emotions, chooses for us? Instinct overrides self-control. We manufacture great urges in a state of perpetual wonder.

Thinking doesn’t wander freely. 

People live in a simulation, where even the slightest guesswork constrains the believer into a particular worldview.

Freedom is artificial. We’re rooted in what’s at stake.