Saturday, February 24, 2018

№ 353. Meaning versus Happiness

"Some researchers have taken to doing that by looking at what they call “eudaimonic happiness,” or the happiness that comes from meaningful pursuits, and “hedonic happiness”—the happiness that comes from pleasure or goal fulfillment."

Saturday, February 3, 2018

№ 352. Words v. Images

In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1). The eagle-eyed Evangelist knew that logos wielded power over reality.

Centuries later, another John,  a Gutenburg, ushered the modern era of human history with his movable type printing press in 1439. His machine democratized learning and helped catalyze Renaissance, Reformation, scientific revolution and sparked many, many wars. The death of old ideas, ancient regimes and powers gave way to new players and new world orders. The Vatican and the British Monarchy are the very rare relics that have survived the chaos of the last four or so centuries.

Another era has begun.

This era is fast shaping our thinking, our way of life and our politics. Today, in a world wrapped in Instagram images, GIFs and viral memes, the written word is losing much of its temporal relevance and political space.

Time Magazine is dead. Long live the emoticons. And the midnight tweets and fake news. Falsehoods, half-, quarter- truths or semblances thereof are slowly creeping as acceptable norms. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

№ 351. Social Media = Drug

Social Media

“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators – me, Mark [Zuckerberg], Kevin Systrom on Instagram, all of these people – understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”

Sunday, January 14, 2018

№ 349. Siargao Through Square Lenses 2

№ 348. Siargao Through Square Lenses 1

Two-hour long flight from Manila and one-hour van ride from the airport later: Cloud Nine! Instagram and heavenly bodies!

A cancelled room booking? No problemo. Here's to sand on the heels, breezy, beach side happy hours at 4 PM on a Friday!

Cold showers and creaking bathroom doors? Throw in that crusty, flaky croissant. And that steaming espresso, too!

Heavy rains en route to the mangrove forest reserve? Crabs buffet for five, quick. And an extended three-hour paddle board-swim in the emerald lagoon.

No dessert? No serving spoon? No wifi? Nothing that a quickie surf lesson before departure and lechon Cebu during the lay-over won't fix.

More lemons please!

Monday, January 8, 2018

№ 347. Chasing Summers in the Depths of Winter

From one of the Daily Globe clippings:

At the former St. Thomas More chapel of Ateneo de Manila on Padre Faura, the celebrant was a Jesuit priest who had just finished his doctorate at Harvard University.

Christmas is when we celebrate the unexpected; it is the festival of surprise, Horacio de la Costa said in a seven-minute homily that has been quoted time and again.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

№ 346. January: A New Hope

(A perennial favorite homily among Fr. James Donelan, S.J.'s faithful--a good read & inspiring thoughts on New Year)

IF you were to enter a home in ancient Rome, you would find in the doorway a dog with two heads. A statue, of course. It is Janus, the Roman god of the doorway. One head looked to the past, the other to the future. Since the first month of the year has this two-fold function, it acts as a bridge between past and future, the Romans called it January. It is a demanding month, a frightening month, perhaps more frightening than a birthday. It requires more than remembering to put the right year on our letters and our checks. It is a threshold, a passage, and every threshold makes us pause. Every passage leaves us different from the way we were.