We want to reduce the stress in our lives, yet we keep piling on the number of things we need to do. We travel arms wide open into a tidal wave of responsibilities.
We want to restrict the data tech companies collect from us, yet we swipe right at consent—all terms, all conditions, in favor of the Leviathan.
We want all the benefits of social media—influence, and fame—while maintaining our privacy.
We want to think we’re a curious bunch, open to a world unknown, yet act like novices at the ways of seeing. What is new leads somewhere new, absent the spot.
We meditate to detach the mind from surfeit consciousness when merely going for a walk, doing the dishes, or shooting hoops produces the same relaxing effect. With little effort, the neuronal spike train intensifies in voltage.
We want to believe and remain certain without bravado. Little do we know that uncertainty is natural, confidence is artificial.
With the right instructions, the unfamiliar becomes manageable.
We follow the recipe with the hope that the convoluted reality seeps away into the froth. Directions become one less drain on our cognitive load.
Yet, had we followed our instincts we may not have gotten lost in the first place.
Adhering to Google Maps may lead us off the bridge, submerged into water. Writing with predictive text or auto-correct makes us prisoners of the information universe.
Knowledge is visceral, reality is learned. Shut our eyes on the open road, and we carve our own self-destruction.
Artificial intelligence is there to guide, not to provide all the solutions. One follows the prescribed path of his or her second-brain gadget, all the while gut-checking programmatic veracity. There are consequences for bequeathing all thought to the outer robot.
Awareness makes all the difference in inferring the future. Aliveness never goes full-on auto-pilot.
Keep the eyes on both the donut and the donut hole.
With both currents and counter-currents, the sea fits tightly. The chaos is why it works.
The same complex, close-meshed holes occur in just about every advanced, self-persisting object.
The brain is plastic and thereby adaptable, as is the plurality of cultures that melt away into the American identity. New York City learns to relearn every day, making perpetual change a haven of bliss.
When differences bind together, they create new entities. Friction is the original instigator.
Oceans, minds, culture, cities— the graduations of failure grow on top of each other in anti-fragile increments, using a state of regeneration to stem the tide of inertia.
The basement gets a bad rap. It’s the relegation zone. It’s a mess, with cobwebs on the door handles and mountains of dust building in the corners.
There may be mysterious sounds and unidentifiable creatures living in the cracks. But the basement also presents the biggest opportunity to turn disorder into something presentable.
When you start at the bottom, you’re working in reverse.
In cleaning out the canvass, you empty the head and suddenly envision how to fill in the blank slate with something more meaningful. You will give a new meaning to emptiness.
Anyone can emerge from the darkest places back to life if they’re willing to start from scratch. Accepting the Herculean task of debugging your messy ways can help reprogram your mind so you can breathe fresh thinking into the void.
Assumptions provide fence-sitting answers. They are just half-truths that validate how things usually go, band-aids that make us feel safer. The inquisitive mind chases uncertainty and complexity.
“We must be ignorant of what we are looking for, or we would not go looking for it.”
Rather, like a dog with a bone, we should be running off for a half-hour to return just as whelmed as when we left. The trick in any activity is to offer the right balance between intrigue and satisfaction, ensuring that it’s interesting enough to revisit it later.
The last thing we want to do is externalize the whimsical nature of life to the certitude of a photo. Life goes on beyond the screen. Memory hinges on context and keeps developing each time the story gets told.
Confidence basks in the chase of uncertainty if only to ensure that the truth remains unfixed. Less fixedly, we validate through a consistent form of experimentation.
Open to detours, fixated with the wrath of curiosity. The single-minded goal-setter scrounges for practice.
In theory, doggedness is the least path of resistance. Like sheep, we’re a magnet for jumping through hoops.
But we can’t afford to put the right brain to sleep. Quiescent until unmoored from reality, the maker begs to turn pipe dreams into miracles.
The creative compulsion knows no boundaries. It explodes in those non-cash working hours when you’re raging with inspiration and where the notion of work and play intertwine.
“The physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t have a destination that it ought to arrive at. But it is best understood by its analogy to music. Because music as an art form is essentially playful. We say you play the piano, you don’t work the piano.”