seasons

Why is it so important to name our seasons?

Part of the reason why is that if we don’t, someone will name them for us.

Culture and technology name sport, shopping, and political seasons. Our life’s reflection is halted to partake in these cultural liturgies. Looking back a year reveals how hard it is to remember where our spiritual or emotional journey took us.

Let’s stop. Remember what the last four months have been. Put a name to the growth, hurt, or shifts that have occurred. If we take back this, a slew of rhythms become available to our newly liberated schedule:

Focus on a word a month and realize it’s fulness in your life.

Build core values or a purpose statement over a period by reflecting and dreaming.

Take on a 30-day challenge doing Rice ‘n Beans, Zero Waste, or a Digital Detox.

Then we can ideate visions for our future from the purpose statement. We can name a word that resonated deeply during a season. We can choose growth and a lifestyle practice to capitalize upon.

First, wake up to how hard it is to reclaim our seasons. We have been brainwashed and bamboozled by corporate greed and corruption; told what to believe when and how much importance to give now.

Then, wake up to the million good reasons to name your seasons now (and the couple bad reasons to not), and find the one that pulls you from your seat.

Name it to not just own your past seasons, but to take responsibility for your coming ones.

corollaries

Pick up a pencil and write any word atop a piece of paper.

Begin writing corollaries from your life to the word. This is how idea intersectionality is most fluidly acheived.

When you begin a practice like this, you awaken a deep need within to make connections and ideate meaningfully. You may also find this method to therapeutically unlock new parts of your brain.

Having a crosswalk of ideas bumping into each other on paper nurtures originality. The limitless amount of conjunctive concepts we are each able to create from our individual experience should not be wasted.

Begin thinking along new lines. Create from a generous place of original thinking. Write what gives you clarity and freedom.

(My own writers block was cured today by this very practice…).

core values

When we embark to name those crucibles in our lives, we set out on a multi-layered, confusing journey.

Core values are the things (3-5 words is a good boundary) most central to your life and longings. Thematically, they can be found in the past, through childhood memories and major life shifts. They can be found in the future through examining deep desires and aspirational goals. Here is the first place we experience dissonance: we have to set apart the person we want to be from the person we are at our core, just until we find an anchor.

There are lots of great people we could be, great virtues we could want to pursue, but we have each been created uniquely different, and there are parts of who we are that will be missed if we grasp only aspirationally to a new ‘us’.

I believe the best approach to finding our values lies in finding one word we know is true about our identity, that resonates deeply for us to be firmly rooted in truth. From there, we can reiteratively ensure our processing is remaining in the arena of our ‘self’, warring not against the mind, but against the heart as we transform into our called purpose.

the black box theory

The world made complex by technology will become simple again.

A core tenant of speculative fiction is technology’s eventual hiddenness behind a layer of reality. Its purpose: to reduce the cognitive load of knowledge workers and engineers, while bringing focus to work and life.

Like Ford crafting the model-T line, we’re beginning to realize civilization’s most valuable commodity. Cal Newport in his book, A World Without Email, writes that, “in Ford’s world, the workers were dispensable (supremely valuing output), while in the knowledge world, our brains are the source of all value.”

The Information Age of torrential inundation has to transform into an Age of Understanding. Understanding simplifies the data flood and leads to wisdom. To get there, we need to clear cluttered desktops.

Think about Clarke’s third law: “any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic.” The way we send emails today follows a process incomprehensible for a person plucked out of the 60’s who ran information through complicated tube systems to receive physical mail.

Black box simplification” is inevitable.

We already see it in small ways. You have no idea how the black box (literal and figurative) you’re reading this on functions, but you’re still competent to access information. And while it still has a complex interface that confounds some who were not born into an iSociety, its base functions become simpler and more efficient each year.

This learning curve leads to another pillar the field of ethical technology hoists- accessibility for those on the periphery. All this complexity and overload only serves a purpose if we perpetuate it on an equitable plane.

The Center for Humane Technology established baseline conditions for humane technology to enter society:

(Humane technology) narrows the gap between the powerful and the marginalized instead of increasing that gap.

We will simplify to this state.

One revealing point economists always reference post-crisis refers to “civilization immunity”. After a societal state of emergency (e.g. wars, famines, pandemics…), a civilization’s immune system is triggered, so that something similar cannot happen again. This can often have unintended and far-reaching consequences for good and bad.

It’s not a leap to say a year and half with the screens of our technology more prominent and under circumspection than ever will lead to societal transformations alongside COVID-19-induced evolution…

radio

The radio makes me frustrated.

On one end, we hear uninspired, inauthentic “popular music” that tries to imprint on our brains with catchiness and hearts with false messages about life and love (this is not a feat, Chainsmokers- merely an algorithm).

On the other end, classic and country radio clings to outdated beats and tones heralding the long gone “good ol’ days”. Stuck in the past, there is no newness to inspire or experimentation to witness (I concede we have to appreciate and study past work grasp out current state- I take issue with stubborn grasping that ignores the didactic value the classics provide).

Very rarely do innovative, deep pieces of beautiful music appear over the “waves” to move our hearts or minds. It has inspired and changed culture.

Maybe this is asking too much of the radio, but for decades radio has been (and in other countries, still is) a joining of culture and common folk around shared values and beauty.

More than all that, radio makes me sad.

I believe radio in America is another sign of our polarized times. Without those shared values, without an artist producing who young and old, man and woman appreciate, we lose another mode of connection as a people in a world of increasingly few bridges…


counterpoint // slaves to the algorithm