Unexpected Discoveries

A young fellow finds himself stumbling upon an ordinary flashlight that allows him to explore other places. Unexpected Discoveries reminds us to always be present. You never know what is around the corner or what is directly in front of you.

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What the self-help gurus and their critics reveal about our times.

“In a consumerist society, we are not meant to buy one pair of jeans and then be satisfied,” Cederström and Spicer write, and the same, they think, is true of self-improvement. We are being sold on the need to upgrade all parts of ourselves, all at once, including parts that we did not previously know needed upgrading. (This may explain Yoni eggs, stone vaginal inserts that purport to strengthen women’s pelvic-floor muscles and take away “negative energy.” Gwyneth Paltrow’s Web site, Goop, offers them in both jade and rose quartz.) There is a great deal of money to be made by those who diagnose and treat our fears of inadequacy; Cederström and Spicer estimate that the self-improvement industry takes in ten billion dollars a year.
Alexandra Schwartz

Almost one year later, someone pointed me to Improving Ourselves to Death. Well worth a read, my friend…

the giving portfolio

create a giving portfolio. Here in Australia, there is a platform called MyCause. You can choose from 2000 charities and make regular donations to the causes you believe in through one simple interface. You’re able to adjust the mix and the amount of your portfolio any time depending on what issues need your support most urgently. I’m sure there is a similar tool in your country. In the US, I know of one called Givolio which works similarly.

It’s one small step that everyone with a bit of disposable income can take. For me, my giving portfolio is a little hack that helps me offset some of the helplessness and anger I get from social media.

Kai Brach

Advice about Death and Love

With all of the demands of life, we can’t give (much) more time to the people we love without taking it away from other love-worthy people/things… But we can easily change is how we treat people with the time that we have. We can say “I love you” more, and more earnestly. We can tell people when we’re proud of them. That we admire them. That they are important to us. We can say the things we’re leaving unsaid because they are hard or because they make us feel weak. We can put our phones away and listen better. And when the warmth leaks out of our relationships, we can pro-actively try to get it back.

Tony Wright, Today is My Wife’s First Birthday Since She Died.

RIP Alex … and thanks Tony. Take care…

On ignorance

Intense Discontinuity

I get ignorance and incompetence. It took me years, but now to an extent I do. We are all ignorant except for a tiny slice of human knowledge that is so tiny it can’t really be quantified. Even the smallest of the scientific fields hides a huge amount of details, experience, data, insights. Science itself is just part of human knowledge. And then there’s what we don’t know.

Even in my primary job, in which – the moments when I’m not deeply and ruthlessly undermining myself – I can concede myself I know enough to play in the A league, I don’t know all I need to know.

I despise shaming ignorance. Shaming ignorance is a backhanded way to shame learning. The ignorance that leads to a question is ignorance that should be welcomed. It’s a form of awareness. Ignorance is also a way we connect to others: we ask…

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