The opportunities for observation that present themselves to us during our various moments of idleness throughout the day (waiting in traffic, in line at the grocery store, for the water to boil), are often squandered by immediately turning to our devices for the latest digital updates. We are a culture averse to idleness and simply observing the world us. As soon as the world stops requiring anything of us, we immediately move from the real to the digital. By doing this, we fail to see the world as it is. Waiting in an idle state is the perfect opportunity for this. Continue reading “Thoughts in a park.”
I have not been on Facebook now since December 2015. I wrote about the reasons why I was leaving it in an earlier post. I would say there are both upsides and downsides to not having Facebook. However, the good far outweighs the bad.
Boredom has a long cultural history and an adaptive function in human life — it serves a vital creative purpose and protects us by helping us tolerate open-endedness; in childhood, it becomes the wellspring of imaginative play. And yet we live in a culture that seems obsessed with eradicating boredom, as if it were Ebola or global poverty, and replacing it with a peculiar modern form of active idleness oozing from our glowing screens.
The above quote by Maria Popova comes from a post she wrote about Kierkegaard’s writings on boredom, and gets at the crux of the matter for what seems to be one ailment of the modern condition of western civilization.
She coins a term called “active idleness” that is quite fitting to the situation. We are more disconnected from nature than ever before, and ironically, more disconnected from ourselves and one another. We stare at screens all day with the hope of connecting. Meanwhile, there are those all around us, in the flesh, that we choose not to connect with given the opportunity. Continue reading “Allowing Boredom in Our Lives”
We are our memory, we are that chimerical museum of shifting shapes, that pile of broken mirrors.
(verse from Jorge Luis Borges’s 1969 poem “Cambridge”)
It’s interesting how as time goes on, memories tend to coalesce around a specific narrative. Events come and go, and yet one’s mind eventually settles around an internally agreed truth of what “is” and “isn’t”.Continue reading “Making Sense of Memories”
It’s been a number of days now since I’ve written anything. Having completed the 30 for 30 Challenge, I’ve taken a physical (but hardly mental) break from writing to clear my head and see where I want to take things next.
In the meantime, I have been reading and listening a lot to Jeff Goins. Jeff is an entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping other people find their writing voice, and teaching what it takes to build a platform and audience. I discovered Jeff’s work in the midst of my writing challenge, and probably would have approached things differently had I encountered his advice first.
Last week, we shared ten of our favorite longreads across WordPress, and we hope you’ve taken some time to sit back and savor these longer pieces. Below, we’ve gathered some themes that work well with longform writing and offer a clean, enjoyable experience for your readers.
On Otium, Yale PhD student Sarah Constantin writes about mathematics, cognitive science, philosophy, and more. Aside from a colorful graphic header image, Sarah keeps her blog simple. You can click on the button on the left to open the menu and access her About page, but the site is minimal, which keeps the focus on her prose.
The end has come. This marks my 30th blog post in thirty days. I took up the challenge just after the Christmas holiday as a way to try and see if I could create a new habit for writing. Instead of a New Year’s resolution, I had new habit forming activities in mind – things that would take me a month to ingrain, and the whole year to follow through. There are some things I’ve learned from the experience, not only about myself, but about writing and creativity as well. Continue reading “Day 30 – What I learned from 30 days of writing”
For all of my friends in the mid-Atlantic states today, take care and take cover.
The last time we had snow like this in the region was February 2010, given the hyperbolic name of Snowmagedon by the media. I was living in Washington, D.C., at the time, and remember the endless snow, blowing winds, and brave (stupid?) drivers navigating the blanket of white where roads used to be. The city was pretty much shut down for a week which gave me a LOT of time at home to myself. No distractions from friends to go out and spend money. Just me at home, the white stuff coming down outside, as if by machines that someone forgot to turn off.
What does it mean to be fulfilled? To have a meaningful life? As sentient beings, aware of our past and future selves, how do we reconcile our sense of meaningfulness in the present? Some of us find solace in religion, and resign to its teachings of mystery and sacrifice as a way towards greater meaning. Others find meaning and purpose in how they make their livelihood, or the activities that make up their daily lives (parenting, teaching, cooking, etc.). Still others find their deepest meaning when silencing the mind, and disconnecting from their worldly relations. Continue reading “Day 28 – Thoughts on Finding Meaning”
The only thing seemingly newsworthy of the Sarah Palin endorsement of Donald Trump is the fact of her increasing inability to form sentences and coherent thoughts. I didn’t think that was possible based on past appearances, but little ceases to amaze me these days. My favorite headline of the endorsement which sums it quite nicely was from Slate titled “Hot Mess Endorses Dumpster Fire”.