Paul Miller: Offline

Nov 17 2012 6:45 PM

Paul’s life without the internet for a year has fascinated me ever since I heard about it. The internet is of course here to stay, but experiments such as his are vital to understanding the effects. I’ve heard whispers before of the literal effect on the brain. Paul knows it.

I don’t write offline tweets anymore, my brain just isn’t wired that way anymore. This is the tradeoff of being able to read books: slower thoughts that get stuck in a rut sometimes, less free association, more plod.

Knowing I have this power to rewire my brain is odd and exciting. The difficulty now is picking which wiring. Part of me idolizes the concept of old-timey ultra-productives. Think the blueprint-illuminating monk in Canticle for Leibowitz, or the non-fictional Alexander Pope, who spent two decades translating Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. I’d love to do one thing well for two decades, instead of a million good Tweets.

At the same time, this is not a very marketable skill. A world wired to consume things in short bursts needs creators of short bursts more than long haulers, it would seem.

A new metaphor I’ve been mulling for life, universe, everything, is the old cliché of “utilizing the whole buffalo.” You know, the idea of appreciatively and efficiently using what mother nature gives you.

Sense of absurdity

Nov 17 2012 5:26 PM

“My favorite place in the White House,” said the president, “is this way.”

We walked down the living room, passing his study—a huge, formal room with a well-used feel to it. “You know,” he’d said to me once, after I’d asked him what it was like to move into the White House, “the first night you sleep in the White House, you’re thinking, All right. I’m in the White House. And I’m sleeping here.” He laughed. “There’s a time in the middle of the night when you just kind of startle awake. There’s a little bit of a sense of absurdity. There is such an element of randomness in who gets this job. What am I here for? Why am I walking around the Lincoln Bedroom? That doesn’t last long. A week into it you’re on the job.”

From an interview with Vanity Fair

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both expressed confidence in winning the White House. Only one of them got the job and while I know it’s not truly random, but a manifestation of God’s will, I can feel the same sense of absurdity as Mr. Obama. To hear such a self-assured figure admit this makes me laugh. I think Solomon would be laughing, too.

Timbre covers Radiohead

Nov 17 2012 5:19 PM

I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before! Fantastic and majestic cover of Like Spinning Plates.

Grit

Oct 05 2012 3:35 PM

This week, Dan and Merlin begin a conversation on what researchers and educators are learning about why students of all ages do or don’t succeed. Yes, it’s about intelligence and other cognitive skills, but it’s also about tenacity, courage, self-restraint, and resolve.

I need some of dis.

Native GIMP on OS X

Oct 02 2012 8:00 PM

It finally happened! If you’re on Mountain Lion, you can finally ditch X11 when firing up GIMP. Mac style keyboard shortcuts are built in. This update makes it a worthy competitor to Pixelmator, in my humble opinion.

Ourselves changed

Sep 08 2012 9:20 PM

Change everything you are
and everything you were

Muse – Butterflies and Hurricanes

Surprisingly, this is possible on many levels. You can change your body. Be gluttonous and get fat. Or exercise and become trim and attractive. Get piercing and wear jewelry.

You can change your your own mind. Regular study, regular thinking, problem solving. Daily dogma. Daily conversations. Philosophy alone. New languages. All can change your mind.

And now I am pleased to realize there is another more important way to change. Actually, it’s not a change in the sense of mere improvement. It’s a transformation, like a frog into a prince. I have just finished reading Mere Christianity and that is the last and greatest lesson of the book—God transforms us into something we were not before. He makes us Zoe and folds the Bios into it.

It’s not complete yet. There was a great jolt when Jesus Christ did his work and another jolt each time one of us gives in. God is changing everything we are and everything we were. He is making us into sons, but we will die before it’s finished.

And yes, when you give in, God is the new reason you try to improve on what you are—to be fit, smart, more humble.

Sep 01 2012 10:07 PM

Your business icon is your cleaning lady?

She’s on her own, she cleans people’s homes, she’s incredibly nice. She brings flowers every time she cleans, and she’s just respectful and nice and awesome. Why can’t more people be like that? She’s been doing it some twenty-odd years, and that’s just an incredible success story. To me that’s far more interesting than a tech company that’s hiring a bunch of people, just got their fourth round of financing for 12 million dollars, and they’re still losing money. That’s what everyone talks about as being exciting, but I think that’s an absolutely disgusting scenario when it comes to business.

Jason Fried interviewed by Fast Company

(via OneThirtySeven)

Timbre – Little Flowers

Aug 11 2012 2:00 PM

Beautiful. Has played harp with mewithoutYou.