Wednesday, August 15, 2012

№ 85.Habits of the Mind (2)

Anxious. Here's a balm: "Making Paper Boats with Papa".

Monday, August 13, 2012

№ 84. Habits of the Mind

It's the climate change on a planetary scale, for starters. Then there are the rabid monsoons. Did we mention the floods thick with our sewage and rich with our possessions? How about the waste segregation floating on our dead rivers?

It's all the irresponsibility and ineptness in this vast urban sinkhole.

"Anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease
about something with an uncertain outcome."---David Mansaray

And talk about another habit of the mind---anxiety. Anxiety because of and amidst all of these.

Thankfully, it's one that can be cured by a simple smack or noogie. Thankfully, the cure is mainly mental not planetary. But if you wish, it could also be physical, a break from an unproductive helplessness that's fast becoming a pattern, or worse, a cycle. It's this loopy possibility that can be self-defeating.

Daniel Smith says, "Anxious thoughts — the what-if’s, the should-have-been’s, the never-will-be’s — are dramatic thoughts. They are compelling thoughts. They are thoughts that have no compunction about seizing you by your lapels and shouting, “Listen to me! Believe me!” So we listen, and believe, without realizing that by doing so we are stepping onto a closed loop, a set of mental tracks that circle endlessly and get us nowhere. This makes the anxious habit very hard to break. Over time those mental tracks deepen and become hardened ruts. Our thoughts slip into grooves of illogic, hypervigilance and catastrophe."

So here's a smack! Figurative, for now.


"One day last year, I called my brother Scott in a state of agitation, self-hatred and incipient despair. Scott was at work and short on time. I got straight to the point. 'I’m in a state of agitation, self-hatred and incipient despair!' I cried.

'Tell me more,' Scott said. 'What is it?'

'I'm anxious — again! I’m anxious day and night. I wake up anxious and I go to bed anxious. I’m a total wreck. And I’m not doing anything to help myself! I know what helps and I’m not doing it! What’s wrong with me? Why am I not doing the things I know full well will make me feel better?'

Vice Grips and Some Such

'Oh,' Scott said. 'That’s an easy one. It’s because you’re an idiot.' Then he said he’d call me after work. (NYT Opinionator)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

№ 83. 18th Century Social Network

Ideas travel. But there should be a feedback mechanism and a network to link the ideas, their creators and other creators.

Social networks, in all their primitive forms, proved to be the tides that brought foam and freedom, novelty, variety and dissent to distant lands.

It's interesting to actually see, not with our mind's eye, how the light that burned in the minds of these great thinkers spread across physical spaces.

Thanks Stanford.