January 2010

The danger of reading

[Proust illuminates](http://www.bookofjoe.com/2007/04/reading_becomes_1.html) the first part of [my media diet](http://www.ryskamp.org/brain/?p=3692) (creation/consumption balance) better than I did: > “Reading becomes dangerous when instead of waking us to the personal life of the spirit it tends to substitute itself for it.” ([as mentioned before…](http://www.ryskamp.org/brain/?p=2630))

Dreaming first

“Imagination has brought mankind through the dark ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe…more

Work, the future, and mindfulness

Millions of years ago, our ancestors spent most of their days gathering edible plants and fruits, and trying not to be eaten themselves. Their main desires were likely just to form protective and procreative relationships. They didn’t have much language or symbols to express meaning beyond what you could immediately sense. They lived almost entirely…more

An economy divorced from pleasure

“This bountiful and lovely thought, that all creatures are pleasing to God–and potentially pleasing, therefore, to us–is unthinkable from the point of view of an economy divorced from pleasure, such as the one we have now, which completely discounts the capacity of people to be affectionate toward what they do and what they use and…more

Living, not thinking

“I can live no longer by thinking” – Orlando, from _As You Like It_

The image and the human

“The image is one thing and the human being is another. It’s very hard to live up to an image, put it that way. ” — Elvis Presley

Flavors of the human experience

At [a talk by Wade Davis last night](http://longnow.org/seminars/02010/jan/13/wayfinders-why-ancient-wisdom-matters-modern-world/), I was inspired by the variety of human experiences he showed: people who dedicate their lives to meditation; cultures that evolved to prize generosity above all; nomads and sequestered nuns. There was also a lot of discussion about the value of a spiritual life, and in learning…more

Stop acting like you have a set path

“And therein lies the best career advice I could possibly dispense: just DO things.  Chase after the things that interest you and make you happy.  Stop acting like you have a set path, because you don’t.  No one does.  You shouldn’t be trying to check off the boxes of life; they aren’t real and they…more


The interesting thing about Avatar to me was not the in-theater experience (which I thought was good but not revolutionary) but rather the fact that 12 hours later I still see Pandora whenever I close my eyes…something about the visual experience got deeper into my brain than any other movie has.

The orchid gene

“Most of us have genes that make us as hardy as dandelions: able to take root and survive almost anywhere. A few of us, however, are more like the orchid: fragile and fickle, but capable of blooming spectacularly if given greenhouse care…The genetic sensitivities to negative experience that the vulnerability hypothesis has identified, it follows,…more