Explore – Success consists in being successful, not in…

Success consists in being successful, not in having the potential for success. Any wide piece of ground is the potential site of a palace, but there’s no palace until it’s built.

Fernando Pessoa in The Book of Disquiet.

via Explore – Success consists in being successful, not in….

Grandeur Lost: The Modern Ruins of Abandoned Detroit | WebUrbanist

Detroit is arguably one of the most fascinating modern cities in the world. This is thanks to the city’s unique balance between its former identity as a manufacturing mecca and its current state of sectional abandonment and iterative renewal. It is neither deserted nor wholly occupied, but exists in tension between destruction, creation and everyday living, with beautiful stories on all of these fronts. French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre saw the abandoned parts of this compelling urban landscape as no less fascinating than the ruins of ancient civilizations and set out to document it in their 2010 book The Ruins of Detroit.

via Grandeur Lost: The Modern Ruins of Abandoned Detroit | WebUrbanist.

Narcissistic, broke, and 6 other ways to describe the Millennial generation – The Week

Narcissistic, broke, and 6 other ways to describe the Millennial generation – The Week.

I can’t say that these are all true for me, but I do follow (or see my peers following) these trends.  My first response to this list is to accept what’s true, embrace what’s positive, identify what’s negative (narcissistic, broke, spendthift, and stressed) and move away from these things.

1. They’re spendthrifts…
2. …And they’re broke
3. They’re natural entrepreneurs
4. They’re socialists
5. They’re narcissistic
6. They’re politically engaged
7. They’re less religious
8. They’re stressed out

What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast | Fast Company

What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast | Fast Company.

Follow these steps, though, and you’re on your way to building morning habits that stick.

1. Track Your Time
2. Picture the Perfect Morning
3. Think Through the Logistics
4. Build the Habit
5. Tune Up as Necessary

 

 

 

Generally Knowing Nothing

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“The discovery of the alphabet will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves…You give your disciples not truth but only the semblance of truth; they will be heroes of many things, and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing.”

—Socrates, “Phaedrus”
—via The Medium is the Massage, Marshall McLuhan/Quentin Fiore

With the internet (and particularly, the search engine) I need to intentionally refrain from appearing omniscient but generally knowing nothing.  Now-a-days that’s a practice anyone with internet access can exercise proficiently.  I’m terrified to do the same but must confess I am doing exactly that.  Hold tight to specialization and independent thought.

As I often comment that I can hardly trust my memory at work anymore and rely on notes I’ve taken (or references that other people have developed), this causes makes me pause and consider whether I’m loosing some ability to think, to remember.  Could the trajectory land me in some reflective state where I no longer think for myself (a practice I hold dear) and instead only process instruction?  How can I integrate memorization in my daily life? Lean less on written word and stored memory and cultivate a deeper understanding of my environment?

 

Sunset 13

Nine years ago I entered my sophomore year of college – the year I learned that there was more to life than good grades and Physics homework.  That I had limits and couldn’t spend my life learning everything (much as I’d like) – there just wasn’t time to take it all in.

My dad’s Olympus OM-2 made the trip with me to school and I’d continue to shoot film for a number of years. I remember walking in the cold fall air the half-mile or so to Walgreens to drop off my film and returning 4-5 days later to see if it was ready to pick up.  There was an excitement of dropping off film and waiting for it to develop.  Would the colors be right (this was a drug-store processing service, after all)?  Would half of my film be exposed during processing and ruin the whole roll? Would I have enough money to pay for developing? Did I need to pick up more film/camera batteries?

In October 2001 I bought my first digital camera, justifying the expense on that small Polaroid POS from Wal-Mart because it would reduce some film development expenses. It would serve as a gateway to a more refined genealogy of equipment: the Canon A20 (with screw-on telephoto and fisheye lenses), the Sony F707 (complete with Sony branded card holder and watertight Pelican case) , the Canon 30D with a real telephoto lens and now the 5Dmk2 paired with a nice set of L series lenses.  It’s hard to remember how exciting it was to develop 240×320 (!) digital images and strange to look back at a camera with no removable memory.  I remember the strange glitch-shots it would occasionally generate and vaguely recall a video function when hooked up to my Dell laptop (I might be making that part up).

The Polaroid 320 served a nice transition from film to digital as it had no display and held only 18 images.  There was still an uncertainty in whether a good image (at 320×240, at least) was captured or whether you moved the camera that made film so exciting.  Because it was a POS digital, you also wondered whether you picked up a strange glitch image or if you were about to run out of memory.

I’m glad I have these small memories – here to remind me of when my attention was spent on the little things in life and that those things still  matter.  To remind me of where I lived, of the few friends I had, of those things which enchanted me and gave some room for shared imagination (where I generally keep my imagination private). Of walks in the woods, of snowy fall days, of learning how to drink tea, and of megalodon jaws.  The genesis of my habit to pick up Hot Wheels for my dad and my most active exercise regime of all time. Of good people now gone or out of touch.

The sunsets from my dorm window were always nice – hot chocoloate, hot tea, and an oversized mug full of 10c noodles on the windowsill.