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On Sound and Rhythm by Jack Collom | Poetry Foundation
"A way to start teaching poetry to children and young adults."



"The speech of children is songs of innocence and experience. Seven- through eleven-year-old kids (apprentice writers) have already had thousands upon thousands of hours of practice talking (and listening) that would constitute—in terms of pole-vaulting or violin-playing—world-class experience. They are fluent within their own vocabularies. Already, the rhythms of their speech resemble those of rather interesting jazz.

Children’s language seems to have a built-in musicality: listen to their talk; it’s frequently like a mountain freshet bubbling along over rocks, full of silvery arcs. This is the raw material of poetry. By contrast, we adults, though much larger in our references and vocabulary, tend to fall into verbal ruts and toneless abstractions.

And children take a special delight in odd or pretty sounds. Given the chance to write, they are very playful with the sonic side of language. Experts say their learning of new words is a process of wonder, laughter, and punning. What children may lack is a developed sense of artistic judgment, so that their poems often include startling successes in sound right next to bland or awkward passages. They tend to accept whatever comes into their heads.

So they have the potential for art right on the tips of their tongues. It is important that we recognize this “little genius” for poetry that children have—and not try to “muscle” them into adult standards of poetic discourse. Yes, they should develop mature language skills—but gradually, organically, while as much as possible maintaining (and developing and transforming) their own fresh poetic talents."

[See also:
"Jack Collom, Boulder poet and educator, remembered for 'a great run of a life'"
http://www.dailycamera.com/top-stories/ci_31113500/jack-collom-boulder-poet-and-educator-remembered-great ]
poetry  classideas  teaching  jackcollom  via:austinkleon  sound  language  writing  teachingwriting  poems  tone  imitation 
july 2017 by robertogreco
These Hand-Drawn Maps Helped Create 'Choose Your Own Adventure' Books - Atlas Obscura
"When Jay Leibold started writing Choose Your Own Adventure books in the 1980s, no one told him exactly how to create a branching story with a passel of different endings. “It was a seat-of-the-pants, use-your-intuition kind of thing,” he says.

As the story developed, dividing along different branches, Leibold would map its shape on 8 1/2-by-11-inch pages. One page, two pages, then a branching choice. “There was lots of erasing, crossing out, trying again,” he says. As the story grew and the first half became more settled, though, a standard, letter-sized piece of paper wasn’t large enough to hold the whole map of the story. Eventually, he had to tape two large pieces of paper board together in order to hold it.

After reading Atlas Obscura’s story about maps that reveal the hidden structure of Choose Your Own Adventure stories created by the publisher ChooseCo, Leibold sent us images of the original, hand-drawn maps he used to create some of his CYOA books. Here’s the final map of Sabotage, the first book Leibold contributed to the series:

[map]

Sabotage had 30 possible endings. “It was so challenging, and it really did feel pretty great to have it finished and take it in all at once, on one chart,” he says.

Leibold would eventually write 15 Choose Your Own Adventure books, and each time he developed a better feel for how to shape the story, he says. Each branch, for instance, could not divide into many choices. Some had to come to an end relatively quickly. “We had the idea that there should be a choice on nearly every page,” says Leibold. “It was never dictated but I think that’s the feeling we all had.”

[image]

Building in so many choices to the story meant enough action had to be condensed in between each branching point. One challenge was telling enough story in between each branching point that the next choice still felt meaningful; another was building enough material into each storyline so that each different ending felt satisfying. “Part of the game for me was for the reader to find the story lines that went on the longest,” he says.

One way to make story lines last longer was to allow some of them to loop back to an earlier moment in the book. The challenge, though, was making what came next consistent with both paths that led there. Leibold also experimented with stories with fewer choices. One of his books, Surf Monkeys, has the fewest endings of any book in the series. Even when a story had a certain linear progression built into it, though, say when a plot revolved around a journey, it was possible to branch off in many directions. For the book Grand Canyon Odyssey, Leibold created stories that brought in geology, dinosaurs, and Native America tribes, and he found it helpful to map both the geography of the trip through the canyon (top image) and the structure of the story (below).

[map]

Having fewer choices, he says, “put pressure on the choices to feel really meaningful. When you’re doing a choice every page or two, sometimes you just scramble—you have to come up with some kind of choice. Not that much has happened. Sometimes the choices were more mundane or seemingly trivial, even though they might lead to very different consequences.” With fewer choices, each one could be a bigger, more weighty decision.

“Maybe the best way to describe writing these books is that it’s a real juggling act,” says Leibold. “You’re juggling storylines and possibilities. The number of pages and space. The choices and branches and how do they balance out. It’s like three different dimensions of things that you’re juggling. It requires a certain flexibility of mind.” Having a map to keep the whole picture in one place helps all those pieces stay in the air, tumbling and flying into graceful, shifting stories."
maps  mapping  cyoa  interactivefiction  2017  via:austinkleon  if  classideas 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Anne Lamott: 12 truths I learned from life and writing | TED Talk | TED.com
"Number one: the first and truest thing is that all truth is a paradox. Life is both a precious, unfathomably beautiful gift, and it's impossible here, on the incarnational side of things. …

Number two: almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes — including you. …

Three: there is almost nothing outside of you that will help in any kind of lasting way, unless you're waiting for an organ. You can't buy, achieve or date serenity and peace of mind. This is the most horrible truth, and I so resent it. But it's an inside job, and we can't arrange peace or lasting improvement for the people we love most in the world. They have to find their own ways, their own answers. You can't run alongside your grown children with sunscreen and ChapStick on their hero's journey. You have to release them. It's disrespectful not to. And if it's someone else's problem, you probably don't have the answer, anyway. …

number four: everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy and scared, even the people who seem to have it most together. They are much more like you than you would believe, so try not to compare your insides to other people's outsides. It will only make you worse than you already are.

Also, you can't save, fix or rescue any of them or get anyone sober. What helped me get clean and sober 30 years ago was the catastrophe of my behavior and thinking. So I asked some sober friends for help, and I turned to a higher power. One acronym for God is the "gift of desperation," G-O-D, or as a sober friend put it, by the end I was deteriorating faster than I could lower my standards.

So God might mean, in this case, "me running out of any more good ideas.

While fixing and saving and trying to rescue is futile, radical self-care is quantum, and it radiates out from you into the atmosphere like a little fresh air. It's a huge gift to the world. When people respond by saying, "Well, isn't she full of herself," just smile obliquely like Mona Lisa and make both of you a nice cup of tea. Being full of affection for one's goofy, self-centered, cranky, annoying self is home. It's where world peace begins.

Number five: chocolate with 75 percent cacao is not actually a food. …

writing. Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair. That's the secret of life. That's probably the main difference between you and them. They just do it. They do it by prearrangement with themselves. They do it as a debt of honor. They tell stories that come through them one day at a time, little by little. When my older brother was in fourth grade, he had a term paper on birds due the next day, and he hadn't started. So my dad sat down with him with an Audubon book, paper, pencils and brads — for those of you who have gotten a little less young and remember brads — and he said to my brother, "Just take it bird by bird, buddy. Just read about pelicans and then write about pelicans in your own voice. And then find out about chickadees, and tell us about them in your own voice. And then geese."

So the two most important things about writing are: bird by bird and really god-awful first drafts. If you don't know where to start, remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours, and you get to tell it. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should've behaved better. …

Seven: publication and temporary creative successes are something you have to recover from. They kill as many people as not. They will hurt, damage and change you in ways you cannot imagine. The most degraded and evil people I've ever known are male writers who've had huge best sellers. And yet, returning to number one, that all truth is paradox, it's also a miracle to get your work published, to get your stories read and heard. Just try to bust yourself gently of the fantasy that publication will heal you, that it will fill the Swiss-cheesy holes inside of you. It can't. It won't. But writing can. So can singing in a choir or a bluegrass band. So can painting community murals or birding or fostering old dogs that no one else will.

Number eight: families. Families are hard, hard, hard, no matter how cherished and astonishing they may also be. Again, see number one. …

Nine: food. Try to do a little better. I think you know what I mean.

Number 10 — grace. Grace is spiritual WD-40, or water wings. The mystery of grace is that God loves Henry Kissinger and Vladimir Putin and me exactly as much as He or She loves your new grandchild. Go figure.

The movement of grace is what changes us, heals us and heals our world. To summon grace, say, "Help," and then buckle up. Grace finds you exactly where you are, but it doesn't leave you where it found you. And grace won't look like Casper the Friendly Ghost, regrettably. But the phone will ring or the mail will come and then against all odds, you'll get your sense of humor about yourself back. Laughter really is carbonated holiness. It helps us breathe again and again and gives us back to ourselves, and this gives us faith in life and each other. And remember — grace always bats last.

Eleven: God just means goodness. It's really not all that scary. It means the divine or a loving, animating intelligence, or, as we learned from the great "Deteriorata," "the cosmic muffin." A good name for God is: "Not me." Emerson said that the happiest person on Earth is the one who learns from nature the lessons of worship. So go outside a lot and look up. My pastor said you can trap bees on the bottom of mason jars without lids because they don't look up, so they just walk around bitterly bumping into the glass walls. Go outside. Look up. Secret of life.

And finally: death. Number 12. Wow and yikes. It's so hard to bear when the few people you cannot live without die. You'll never get over these losses, and no matter what the culture says, you're not supposed to. We Christians like to think of death as a major change of address, but in any case, the person will live again fully in your heart if you don't seal it off. Like Leonard Cohen said, "There are cracks in everything, and that's how the light gets in." And that's how we feel our people again fully alive.

Also, the people will make you laugh out loud at the most inconvenient times, and that's the great good news. But their absence will also be a lifelong nightmare of homesickness for you. Grief and friends, time and tears will heal you to some extent. Tears will bathe and baptize and hydrate and moisturize you and the ground on which you walk.

Do you know the first thing that God says to Moses? He says, "Take off your shoes." Because this is holy ground, all evidence to the contrary. It's hard to believe, but it's the truest thing I know. When you're a little bit older, like my tiny personal self, you realize that death is as sacred as birth. And don't worry — get on with your life. Almost every single death is easy and gentle with the very best people surrounding you for as long as you need. You won't be alone. They'll help you cross over to whatever awaits us. As Ram Dass said, "When all is said and done, we're really just all walking each other home."

I think that's it, but if I think of anything else, I'll let you know."
via:austinkleon  life  living  writing  grace  2017  success  creativity  families  brokenness  advice  parenting  howwewrite  publication  goodness  god  worship  nature  outdoors  ralfaldoemerson  death 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Reviewers & Critics: Laura Miller of Slate | Poets & Writers
"In an interview with the National Book Critics Circle, you said, “I’m under the impression that most literary critics are primarily interested in writing, and while I find that subject fascinating, I am probably more interested in reading.” I find this rather intriguing, and think it’s a chief reason your writing on literary culture is so distinctive. Can you elaborate on your statement here?
We live in a time when everyone wants to write and seemingly no one “has time” to read. Everyone wants to speak and increasingly few people want to listen. People sometimes scoff when I make this observation and claim that aspiring writers read more than anyone else, but that is not my experience. I’m constantly meeting people who, when they learn what I do, always want to talk about the book they plan to write despite the fact that they seem to find no books worth reading. We fetishize the idea of being a writer in a variety of ways, most of them narcissistic. So when I meet a big reader who professes no desire to write, I think of them as a beautiful, almost mythical creature, like a unicorn, to be celebrated.

I also believe that reading is a profoundly creative act, that every act of reading is a collaboration between author and reader. I don’t understand why more people aren’t interested in this alchemy. It’s such an act of grace to give someone else ten or fifteen hours out of your own irreplaceable life, and allow their voice, thoughts, and imaginings into your head. I can’t respect any writer who isn’t abjectly grateful for the faith, generosity, and trust in that. I think there’s an unspoken, maybe even unconscious contempt for reading as merely “passive” in many people who obsess about writers and writing. Discussion of writers and writing generally bores me. But I’m always interested in why people read and why they like what they like. That’s far more likely to surprise and enlighten me than someone fretting about daily word counts and agonizing over their process."
via:austinkleon  writing  reading  howwewrite  howweread  lauramiller  2017  generosity  grace  attention  whyweread 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Why I am NOT Going to Buy a Computer - Wendell Berry
"Like almost everybody else, I am hooked to the energy corporations, which I do not admire. I hope to become less hooked to them. In my work, I try to be as little hooked to them as possible. As a farmer, I do almost all of my work with horses. As a writer, I work with a pencil or a pen and a piece of paper.

My wife types my work on a Royal standard typewriter bought new in 1956 and as good now as it was then. As she types, she sees things that are wrong and marks them with small checks in the margins. She is my best critic because she is the one most familiar with my habitual errors and weaknesses. She also understands, sometimes better than I do, what ought to be said. We have, I think, a literary cottage industry that works well and pleasantly. I do not see anything wrong with it.

A number of people, by now, have told me that I could greatly improve things by buying a computer. My answer is that I am not going to do it. I have several reasons, and they are good ones.

The first is the one I mentioned at the beginning. I would hate to think that my work as a writer could not be done without a direct dependence on strip-mined coal. How could I write conscientiously against the rape of nature if I were, in the act of writing, Implicated in the rape ? For the same reason, it matters to me that my writing is done in the daytime, without electric light.

I do not admire the computer manufacturers a great deal more than I admire the energy industries. I have seen their advertisements. attempting to seduce struggling or failing farmers into the belief that they can solve their problems by buying yet another piece of expensive equipment. I am familiar with their propaganda campaigns that have put computers into public schools in need of books. That computers are expected to become as common as TV sets in "the future" does not impress me or matter to me. I do not own a TV set. I do not see that computers are bringing us one step nearer to anything that does matter to me: peace, economic justice, ecological health, political honesty, family and community stability, good work.

What would a computer cost me? More money, for one thing, than I can afford, and more than I wish to pay to people whom I do not admire. But the cost would not be just monetary. It is well understood that technological innovation always requires the discarding of the "old model"—the "old model" in this case being not just our old Royal standard. but my wife, my critic, closest reader, my fellow worker. Thus (and I think this is typical of present-day technological innovation). what would be superseded would be not only something, but somebody. In order to be technologically up-to-date as a writer, I would have to sacrifice an association that I am dependent upon and that I treasure.

My final and perhaps mv best reason for not owning a computer is that I do not wish to fool myself. I disbelieve, and therefore strongly resent, the assertion that I or anybody else could write better or more easily with a computer than with a pencil. I do not see why I should not be as scientific about this as the next fellow: when somebody has used a computer to write work that is demonstrably better than Dante's, and when this better is demonstrably attributable to the use of a computer, then I will speak of computcr with a more respectful tone of voice, though I still will not buy one.

To make myself as plain as I can, I should give my standards for technological innovation in my own work. They are as follows:-

1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.
4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
8. It should come from a small, privately owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.
9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships."
computers  ethics  politics  technology  tools  wendellberry  via:austinkleon  1987 
february 2017 by robertogreco
David Byrne | Journal | A Society in Miniature
"How does one learn to think different?

The Tate show is wonderful, even if it only covers a smattering of Bob’s prodigious output. The curator, Achim Borchardt-Hume, met my friend and I, and we began to ask about the place where Bob spent some of his formative years, Black Mountain College, in western North Carolina, near Asheville. We were curious what sort of place would nurture the innovation and free thinking of someone like Bob, as well as that of host of other writers, artists, architects, composers and choreographers who passed through that place. Ultimately one wants to know, can that spark be re-ignited, in a contemporary way?

That tiny place in Asheville North Carolina seemed to possess some magic ingredient during its relatively short life—pre- and post-WWII—that produced an incredible number of ground-breaking creators in a wide range of fields. It almost seemed as if everyone who was touched by that place, by their experience there, went on to a have a major impact in the 20th century, and beyond.

It was established in 1933, during the depths of the economic depression, and by the time the war was in full swing the faculty included an amazing group of people. Here is a partial list: Josef and Anni Albers, he a teacher and artist from the Bauhaus in Germany, she a textile artist; Walter Gropius, the innovative German modernist architect; painter Jacob Lawrence; the painters Elaine and Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell; Alfred Kazin, the writer; Buckminster Fuller the writer and architect—he made his dome there in ‘48; Paul Goodman, the playwright and social critic and poet Charles Olson. Poet William Carlos Williams and even Albert Einstein eventually joined the staff, as well.

The students were a hugely influential and innovative bunch, too. As word spread others visited there during their summer sessions to create new work—in 1952, John Cage came down and staged his first "happening" here while students Rauschenberg and Merce Cunningham assisted him with what later became known as performance art. There were painters Cy Twombly, Kenneth Noland, Dorothea Rockburne, Ben Shahn, Franz Kline, film director (Bonnie and Clyde!) Arthur Penn, writer Francine du Plessix Gray and poet Robert Creeley.

What kind of place could attract and nurture this diverse group of people?

One can’t help but wonder if there was a formula and if the kind of radical innovation that happened there and that was carried out into the world can be repeated. What was that formula? Was it the teachers? The location? The philosophy? The students—the self-selected types who opted to try that kind of experiment?

Here are the basics of the school’s philosophy. John Rice, the founder, believed that the arts are as important as academic subjects:

1. There was less segregation between disciplines than what might find at a conventional school.
2. There was also no separation between faculty and students; they ate together and mingled freely.
3. There were no grades.
4. One didn’t have to attend classes. During break sessions the faculty trusted the students, and, as a result—without the top down rules—the students worked harder than during normal class times.
5. Here’s what now seems like a really radical idea—manual labor (gardening, construction, etc) was also key. Try that at Harvard!. No one had outside jobs; they they all chipped in to build the actual school and to help serving meals or doing maintenance. The schools finances were somewhat precarious, so this was an practical economical measure as well as being philosophical. In order to allow for these daytime activities and work, classes were often scheduled at night!

A Society in Miniature—Created by its Members

It was also believed that the school community should be a kind of miniature society and to that end it should be democratic and communal. Students were on the school board and they chimed in on hiring and all the other decisions. All of these things—the work, play and learning balance, the non separation of disciplines and the self determination—were believed by the founders to be equally important. Students, Rice believed, learned better through experience than from the passing on of rote information. It was not a top down kind of education—it was non-hierarchical in that sense—and one was encouraged to discover things for oneself. Not all students are cut out for this (some kids do need discipline!), but the ones that did thrived. Needless to say, that also meant that as a result collaboration, experimentation and work across disciplines was all encouraged. The idea was less to turn out clever academics, but rather to help students find themselves and become a “complete person”. You weren’t learning a trade, but learning how to think, how to collaborate and cooperate.

The overarching theme as I see it (but maybe not explicitly expressed) is that students—with the help of the faculty—were here to create a kind of society in miniature. THIS was the deep and rich experience that they would take with them—something far more profound than specific lessons in creative writing, engineering or color theory.

I asked the curator, Achim, if these new ideas about progressive education and their implementation were what was primarily responsible for the explosion of creativity in this tiny school. He said, yes, those factors were influential, but just as much were other factors—the fact that many of the faculty were refugees (those pesky immigrants!) from the rise of nationalism and intolerance going on in Europe at the time. So you had this influx of some of the best and the brightest. The little college reached out for talent and they came to this little tolerant oasis in the Smoky Mountains. Oddly they did not end up at the big name universities—they gravitated to the mountains of North Carolina. (Though later some did end up at Yale and elsewhere.)

Rice himself asked Josef Albers to create the arts curriculum (though Philip Johnson made the recommendation), as the Bauhaus was being shuttered as Nazi influence grew across Germany. Albers was key in mixing disciplines in the arts department; there was little distinction made between fine and decorative arts (Ani Albers made nice rugs), as well none between architecture, theater, music, dance and writing. A writer in the literature deparment developed the pottery program. I personally find Albers artwork boring, but as pedagogical aids (and demonstrations of how our eyes and brains work) they are gorgeous. There’s an interactive tablet app version of his course available now—lots of fun.

Rauschenberg was very receptive to Werklehre, Albers's teaching method that incorporated design elements. In his teaching, Alber used various non-traditional art materials like paper, wire, rocks and wood to demonstrate the possibilities and limits of those various materials. He would have his students fold paper into sculptures so that they might understand the three dimensional properties of what is ordinarily seen as two dimensional. He had them solve color problems by devising situations in which colors are perceived differently in different environments. For a comparison, this was not about learning oil painting techniques

Bob hated Albers—he was too didactic for Bob’s freewheeling sensibility. But to his credit, Albers realized his limitations and brought in others who were very different in sensibility than he and his wife. He allowed for difference. Bob too adapted, he recognized the value of the discipline that Albers espoused.

Achim pointed out that these innovative artists allowed the Black Mountain students to experience the most innovative ideas that had been emerging in Europe firsthand (see learning by experience above). They were getting this stuff before many others and in a more visceral way. Intolerance was draining the sources of innovation from large parts of Europe and they would find roots in this odd corner of the New World.

The place Asheville was and still is an island of open mindedness and tolerance in a state that is fairly conservative. Other southern colleges were still quite segregated, but Black Mountain bravely bucked that tradition. They admitted Alma Stone Williams, the first black student to attend an all white educational institution in the South. I’m going to propose that the atmosphere in Asheville might have helped to allow these things to happen; in other southern towns Ms. Williams would have been hounded and possibly driven out. (That said, some of the locals thought the school as all about wild behavior and orgies.) The school wanted to bring the (NY-based black) painter Jacob Lawrence to visit, but busses, as we know, were segregated at the time, so they had a car drive him all the way down from NY. Homosexuality was tolerated there, as well, which, given that word of this tolerance might have gotten out, all of this may have encouraged young men who didn’t fit in to attend this college—a place where they wouldn’t be viewed simply as perverts and freaks. In this too I’d argue that Asheville had a tolerant hand.

Bob continued to be active post Black Mountain, and, though we might consider the idea naive, he believed in the power of art to bring people together. His series of international collaborations—ROCI—produced some wonderful work, but maybe just as important, his presence in many countries kick started a whole generation of younger artists in those places around the world.

Is This a Model for Today?

Are you kidding? Yes, in all ways—in the collaborations and the innovative work, in the tolerance and welcoming of the persecuted and unappreciated. We need to look to this place and time as a model for today—and boy do we need it now more than ever!

Why should we emulate this? Well, because it works! The ideas that flowed out of this place changed the course of 20th century innovation in a wide range of fields, and the influence is still being … [more]
2017  davidbyrne  bmc  blackmountaincollege  via:austinkleon  sfsh  education  thinking  learning  society  pocketsofutopia  utopia  roberrauschenberg  anialbers  josefalbers  achimborchardt-hume  jacoblawrence  diversity  johnrice  segregation  integration  agesegregation  hierarchy  horizontality  grades  grading  bauhaus  refugees  werklehre  asheville  almastonewilliams  alberteinstein  inclusivity  interdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  johncage  process  tcsnnmy  progressive  johndewey  work  community  democracy 
february 2017 by robertogreco
LOOK & SEE: A Portrait of Wendell Berry
"LOOK & SEE is a cinematic portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture, as seen through the mind’s eye of Wendell Berry."

[See also: http://video.thewrap.com/previews/LzwdIdOG-0HzZAVJ9
http://www.wearemovingstories.com/we-are-moving-stories-videos/2017/1/18/look-see-a-portrait-of-wendell-berry

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/216446791 ]
wendellberry  rural  documentary  agriculture  values  us  via:austinkleon 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Library Extension - See book availability from your local library | Library Extension
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extensions  chrome  firefox  libraries  books  amazon  via:austinkleon 
january 2017 by robertogreco
How America's 'Culture of Hustling' Is Dark and Empty - The Atlantic
"Q: You write about the "unnecessary," "wasteful," and "stupid" routines, obsessions, and goals that you once pursued and that most of American culture preaches as the means of accessing the good life—careers, professional ambition, the drive for prestige, etc. You have left that behind for a peaceful "retirement" in Mexico, but during your retirement, you've written five books. How do you differentiate between pointless hustling and meaningful work? You write that more people should "let the universe do its thing." How do we do that and strive for work that gives our lives a sense of purpose and source of meaning? 

A: The tipoff for me is somatic. Whenever a project comes to me, one that is right, that is genuine, I feel a kind of “shiver” in my body, and that tells me that it corresponds to something very deep in me, and that I need to pursue it. That has been my guide with literally every book I wrote. Trusting this kind of visceral reaction means that you are willing to let life “come and get you.” It means who you are is defined from the inside, not the outside. In terms of what’s really important, we don’t have much choice, and that’s as it should be. The decision is made by a larger energy or unconscious process, and when it’s right, you know it.

Most Americans have a dull sense that their lives are fundamentally “off”—because for the most part, they are. They hate their lives, but to get through the day, besides taking Prozac and consulting their cell phone every two minutes, they talk themselves into believing that they want to be doing what they are doing. This is probably the major source of illness in our culture, whether physical or mental.

In the film Definitely, Maybe, Ryan Reynolds works for an ad agency and says to himself at one point that he never imagined he’d be spending his days trying to convince people to buy Cap’n Crunch for their kids instead of Fruit Loops. As far as striving goes, Goethe wrote: “Man errs as long as he strives.” Sit still, meditate, just let the answer arise from the body. (It may take a while.)

Q: So much of American culture is results obsessed. You write in your book about appreciating pleasures as they come, whether they are sexual, intellectual, or emotional. Do you think much of happiness is about learning to appreciate pleasure in the moment and not attaching it some tangibly measurable result?

A: It took me a long time to understand that I, or, my ego, had no idea what was best for me. Some part of happiness undoubtedly derives from a Zen enjoyment of whatever is in front of you, but a big part of it is knowing who you are and being that person. This is ontological knowing, and it’s very different from intellectual knowing.

Q: Your message of detachment from materially measurable pursuits and your encouragement of leisure, creativity, and relaxed living is un-American (I mean this as a compliment). Why is American culture so addicted to speed, movement, action, and "progress"?

A: This is, in some ways, the subject of my book Why America Failed. America is essentially about hustling, and that goes back more than 400 years. It’s practically genetic, in the U.S., by now; the programming is so deep, and so much out of conscious awareness, that very few Americans can break free of it. They’re really sleepwalking through life, living out a narrative that is not of their own making, while thinking they are in the driver’s seat.

It’s also especially hard to break free of that mesmerization when everyone else is similarly hypnotized. Groupthink is enormously powerful. Even if it occurs to you to stop following the herd, it seems crazy or terrifying to attempt it. This is Sartre’s “bad faith,” the phenomenon whereby a human being adopts false values because of social pressure, and is thus living a charade, an inauthentic life. It’s also what happens to Ivan Illych in the Tolstoy story, where Ivan is dying, and reviews his life during his last three days, and concludes that it was all a waste, because he lived only for social approval."

[See also: http://tumblr.austinkleon.com/post/154822488046 ]
culture  hustling  via:austinkleon  morrisberman  work  hustle  society  productivity  ambition  careers  prestige  motivation  us  howwework  slow  retirement  2013  davidmasciotra  results  stress  pleasure  leisurearts  artleisure  knowing  creativity  life  living  consumption  materialism  authenticity  socialpressure  meaning  meaningmaking 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Want to Create Things That Matter? Be Lazy. - 99U
"The late Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman, was one the most brilliant minds of twentieth century science. To his colleagues at Cornell, however, he seemed lazy. As Feynman admitted in a 1981 interview: “I’m actively irresponsible; I tell everybody I don’t do anything; if anyone asks me to be on a committee…’no’ I tell them.”

The acclaimed post-modern science fiction author Neal Stephenson also comes across as lazy. In an essay titled “Why I am a Bad Correspondent,” Stephenson explains that he’s not that interested in spending time interacting with readers. Stephenson has no public e-mail address and asks that you don’t invite him to attend conferences or attempt to engage him in social media conversation. If you insist on trying to book him for an appearance, he warns “I almost never accept these and when I do, I charge a lot of money, I demand expensive travel arrangements, and I perform no prep work—I just show up and wing it.”

I’ve spent the past decade researching and writing about elite performers in creative fields. In this time, I’ve noticed that examples like Feynman and Stephenson are common. That is, many people who excel in producing things that matter have work habits that seem downright lazy by the standards in their field.

At first, this may just seem to be just another quirk of the high-performing set, but I argue that it’s worth diving deeper into this paradox as the underlying explanation provides useful insight for anyone looking to spend less time spinning their wheels and more time producing results the world cares about.

***

The key to explaining this lazy producer paradox is to introduce a more refined understanding of “work.” For many ambitious people, work is defined to be any activity that can potentially benefit you professionally. For most fields, of course, there are an endless number of things that satisfy this definition—from professors joining endless committees to writers maintaining exhausting social media presences. It’s due in large part to this generic notion of work that we spawned the culture of busyness that afflicts us today, where the measure of your success becomes synonymous with the measure of your exhaustion. This understanding of “work,” however, is flawed. It’s more useful to divide this activity into two distinct types of effort, deep and shallow:

1. Deep Work: Cognitively demanding tasks that require you to focus without distraction and apply hard to replicate skills.

2. Shallow Work: Logistical style tasks that do not require intense focus or the application of hard to replicate skills.

For example: solving a hard theorem is deep work, while chiming in on the latest departmental e-mail chain is shallow; writing a chapter of your novel is deep work, while tweeting about a novel you like is shallow. The shallow activities are not intrinsically bad, but they’re not skilled labor, and therefore offer (at best) a small positive contribution to your efforts to produce value.

If we rethink the laziness shown in our above examples through this lens, we realize what Feynman and Stephenson are really doing is eliminating large amounts of shallow work from their schedule to maintain a priority on deep work. By doing so, they’re taking advantage of the following crucial but overlooked reality: deep work is what produces things that matter in the world.

Richard Feynman, for example, could be lazy about many of the standard obligations of academics because he used that time to instead focus deeply on the ground-breaking ideas that made him famous. As he clarified in the interview mentioned above, “to do real good physics work, you do need absolute solid lengths of time…it needs lots of concentration.”

Neal Stephenson justifies his snubbing of his readers for similar reasons. As he explained in his Bad Correspondent essay:

“If I organize my life in such a way that I get lots of long, consecutive, uninterrupted time-chunks, I can write novels. But as those chunks get separated and fragmented, my productivity as a novelist drops spectacularly. What replaces it? Instead of a novel that will be around for a long time there is a bunch of e-mail messages that I have sent out to individual persons, and a few speeches given at various conferences.”

Both Feynman and Stephenson are making a case for prioritizing depth over shallowness. They recognize that deep work is what produces things that “will be around for a long time.” Whereas shallow work is an activity that can impede more important deep efforts and therefore cause more net harm than good. It might slightly help your writing career in the moment to be retweeted, but the long term impact of a distracting Twitter habit could be the difference between a struggling novelist and an award-winning star like Stephenson.

***

What’s the lesson to take away here? If you’re driven to produce things that matter, then you need to put deep work at the center of your professional life. To do so will probably require that you become lazier in the Feynman and Stephenson sense of the term: that is, you must treat with sluggish wariness efforts that keep you away from depth, regardless of how many small benefits they promise. Few people, of course, can completely eliminate shallow work from their professional lives, nor would they want to if they could. But shifting your general mindset toward one that embraces depth and shuns shallowness can make a big difference in the amount of value you produce.

To put it another way: become hard to reach, avoid new tech tools, be slow to answer e-mails, become blissfully ignorant of memes, turn down coffee requests, refuse to “hop on” calls, and spend whole days outside working in a single idea—these are exactly the type of lazy behaviors that can change the world."
creativity  productivity  focus  depth  2016  calnewport  via:austinkleon  richardfeynman  nealstephenson  howwework  work 
september 2016 by robertogreco
The Writer’s Almanac for August 5, 2016 | Passing Time in Skansen | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor
"Today is the birthday of Wendell Berry (books by this author), born near Port Royal, in Henry County, Kentucky (1934). His family — on both sides — have farmed tobacco in Henry County for at least five generations. His father had a law degree, and his brother was a lawyer, but Berry knew his brain didn’t work that way. He went to the University of Kentucky and then received a prestigious Wallace Stegner Fellowship to study creative writing at Stanford, mentored by Stegner himself. He missed the farm, but figured it was not in the cards for him. “My education had implied, over and again, that you couldn’t amount to anything in a place like this,” he said. “I grieved over that. I liked the work of the farms. [...] But, at Stanford, I thought I was at the commencement of some kind of an academic vagabondage that would carry me I didn’t know where.” It carried him to Italy and to New York, and then one day he was offered a teaching job at the University of Kentucky. He took it, even though all his friends thought he was crazy to leave New York."
via:austinkleon  wendellberry  place  education  rural  farms  farming  wallacestenger  2016  agriculture 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Vik Muniz Pays Attention to the Other Side of the Painting
"Because people excel at finding new ways to waste other people’s time, a small but vocal faction of conservative educators and politicians have called on our schools to start teaching cursive again. Tamara Thornton, the author of the 1996 book Handwriting in America, sees the reactionary anxiety at the center of their argument: “Learning cursive has never been just about learning how to express yourself in writing … In the early twentieth century, it’s about following models and suppressing your individuality … We get very interested in cursive when we feel that our morals are in a state of decline, all hell is breaking loose, people are doing whatever they want … And I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch that the sort of people who believe in the standard model of the family get very nervous when we depart from the standard models of the cursive script. So there have been periodic bouts of hysteria about the decline of cursive. And it’s always when we feel that as a society, we’re going down the tubes.”"

[link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/once-all-but-left-for-dead-is-cursive-handwriting-making-a-comeback/2016/07/26/24e59d34-4489-11e6-bc99-7d269f8719b1_story.html ]
cursive  handwriting  education  1996  tamarathornton  sfsh  via:austinkleon 
july 2016 by robertogreco
TRUMPTRUMP
"Donald drawn daily until this nightmare ends"
donaldtrump  tumblrs  illustration  via:austinkleon 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Song Exploder | Grimes
[via:

"“I [made] the song that would play during the trailer of this fictional movie in my mind” @Grimezsz on @SongExploder"
https://twitter.com/austinkleon/status/755047783522983936

"“Music for me is like fan fiction.” –@Grimezsz on @SongExploder"
https://twitter.com/austinkleon/status/755048032769454080

"new fave podcast! Song Exploder. (good) Candy for your ears. Episode 78: Grimes on @SongExploder"
https://twitter.com/joyfulcarla/status/754441719274278912 ]
grimes  music  interviews  fanfiction  via:austinkleon  via:carlabergman  songwriting 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Recordings for Someone | This American Life
"All the stories in this week's show center on personal recordings that one person made for just one other person."



"Act One: Buddy Picture.

Producer Jonathan Goldstein with a story about friendship, mothers and sons, and what some have called the greatest phone message in the world—it circulated at Columbia University in New York City, and had something to do with the Little Mermaid. (19 minutes)"

[Rest of episode: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/203/recordings-for-someone ]
audio  recordings  humor  answeringmachines  2002  via:austinkleon  phones  phonemessages  messages  littlemermaid 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Psychonauts on Steam
"A Psychic Odyssey Through the Minds of Misfits, Monsters, and Madmen. This classic action/adventure platformer from acclaimed developers Double Fine Productions follows the story of a young psychic named Razputin."

[See also: "Psychonauts Retrospective // The Color of the Sky in Your World Part 1"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVizZG0QL9Y

"2 Player Production's documentary work with Double Fine continues with a look back at Psychonauts, the platform action adventure game that launched the studio. This short series serves as a prelude of things to come, as Double Fine looks to the past to better understand the future." ]
games  videogames  gaming  edg  srg  toplay  via:austinkleon  doublefine  psychonauts 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The GoPro That Fell to Earth - Video - NYTimes.com
"In June 2013, members of the Grand Canyon Stratospheric Balloon Team and vedphoto.com launched a balloon with a camera into the stratosphere, where it burst. It was found by a hiker two years later."
via:austinkleon  gopro  cameras  space  earth  satelliteimagery  aerialimagery  2013  2015 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Chimpanzees who attacked drone with a STICK took 'deliberate action' | Daily Mail Online
"• Drone was filming at Royal Burgers Zoo chimp enclosure for a TV show
• Chimpanzees spotted the drone - and one grabbed a branch
• On its second attempt, it knocked the drone out of the sky "

[via: https://twitter.com/austinkleon/status/640267042264780800 ]

[See also: “ Burgers' Zoo's Tushi the chimp planned drone attack, researchers say”
http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/burgers-zoos-tushi-the-chimp-planned-drone-attack-researchers-say-20150904-gjfqd0.html

[Previously: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:5d068552c87d ]
chimpanzees  cameras  multispecies  dones  gopro  cameraencounters  animals  zoos  2015  via:austinkleon  quadcopters  primates 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Cas Holman; Identity in Play - YouTube
"Cas Holman talks about the inspiration behind her work designing for play, education, creativity and childhood. She explains the link between play and identity and the importance of imagination in both. Cas is a Professor of Industrial Design at RISD. Video by Jason Greene."

[See also: http://casholman.com/About-Cas-1
https://www.fastcodesign.com/3048508/the-case-for-letting-kids-design-their-own-play ]

[via: http://tumblr.austinkleon.com/post/124594623136 ]
casholman  toys  play  gender  identity  education  childhood  children  via:austinkleon  design 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Books Matter: Design Observer
"I recently gave a talk to a library group about why the printed book still matters. I had been asked to address the subject of “Books in a Digital World,” but I chose to focus much more closely on the characteristics of printed objects that are not effectively represented in facsimile. That is: what cannot be captured in a scan.

I’ve been carrying this list in my head for years, adding to it one reason at a time. In my profession, as a librarian and a curator, this list (of which what follows is only a portion) functions as an apologia pro vita mia—rational defenses for the continued existence of the printed codex—and my involvement with them.

Ten Good Reasons the Book is Important

1. It is a piece of technology that lasts.
The codex is one of the longest-lived of all technologies. It has been improved-upon—but changed only slightly—over the centuries. Movable type printing has been around since the 1450s; the codex form has been in use for as long as 2000 years. These are extremely durable tools and forms.

2. It needs very little, if any, extra technology to be accessed.
(Ignoring, of course, that terrifying Twilight Zone episode, “Time Enough to Last,” in which the last man alive on Earth breaks his eyeglasses… .) Other media demand devices to be deciphered. Yes, printed information is coded, via language and graphic systems of representation. But in general, these are codes that are managed by human eyes, hands, and brains—tools we carry with us.

3. The book retains evidence.
These forms of evidence include: notes; names of owners; annotations. These all help us understand how books functioned as possessions and learning tools, and how they traveled from one owner or reader to another. As a librarian, I don’t advocate writing in books, but I am excited when I find an eighteenth-century American schoolbook that contains handwriting exercises on its pages.

4. Books are true to form.
Books are meant to be seen and read in specific ways. Many early books had sections that were intended to be viewed as two-page spreads—not isolated from each other, as often happens in online viewers. The same observation can be made about scrolls; their presentation was key to how they were interpreted. We can’t forget that reading can have a ceremonial function.

5. Each copy of a book is potentially unique …
… at least up through the second industrial age. Changes to texts often show up in different copies of books that are assumed to be identical. Printing involved mainly manual processes until the end of the nineteenth century—sometimes necessitating stop-press corrections. These kinds of changes can teach us about the genealogy of printed works. Many digital scanning projects are necessarily limited to the selection of the “best” copy of a book, which, once scanned, stands in for every other copy.

6. Printed items are consumable goods …
… in passive and active ways. Some classes of books and printed objects are meant to live only a short while—to provide information and then be discarded. Lucky for us, when copies of such ephemeral items have managed to survive, we have data that record phenomena that can be extremely difficult to document otherwise. Such is the case with flyers, brochures, tickets, posters, and other single-sheet printed items.

7. A book is an object fixed in time.
A book can tell us about its status in history. If we look through first editions of Moby Dick or Leaves of Grass, we find that they give away information not only about when they were created, but also about the worlds in which they were created, by way of advertisements, bindings, the quality of their paper, and watermarks on that paper. Such components are often not captured by scanning or are flattened out to make them of negligible use. In Nicholson Baker’s Double Fold—his saga about how libraries microfilmed runs of newspapers in the 1950s and 1960s and then discarded them—one of his chief complaints was that the filmers skipped advertising supplements and cartoons: things that had been deemed unimportant.

8. A book can be an object of beauty and human craftsmanship.
Those qualities alone are of significant value.

9. When you are reading a book in a public place, other people can see what you are reading.
Reading is generally a private activity, but it also has social functions. Even when we hold a book up in front of our faces, we are telling the world what we’re reading—or in the very least—that we are reading a book (rather than tweeting about the books we wish we were reading … ).

10. The Internet will never contain every book.
The growth of information is exponential—with vast universes of new data being created online every day. Many swaths of old information—in the forms of books, magazines, and pamphlets—will never make it online. There are projects and grants for scanning specific topics—English eighteenth-century provincial newspapers, Latin American imprints—but significant bodies of work of minor stature will never make the cut."

[See also Matt Thomas's notes: http://submittedforyourperusal.com/2015/03/04/ten-good-reasons-the-book-is-important/ ]
books  design  technology  ebooks  print  digital  2015  timothyyoung  craftsmanship  display  object  atemporality  text  evidence  marginalia  annotation  durability  via:austinkleon 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Busy Hands, Busy Brains | American Craft Council
"Research shows that the most accomplished scientists are likely to be craftspeople."



"The results, published in 2013, revealed that these high-achieving individuals were far more likely to have extensive art and craft skills than the average American is. What’s more, the subjects themselves saw the connection: Art and craft, they said, stimulated their ability to innovate. The most productive innovators, it appeared, were those who kept up art and craft activity from childhood on.

So what does all this empirical evidence mean for public policy, private enterprise, and our daily lives? By cutting arts and shop classes from schools, are we failing to inspire the next Steve Jobs? Are our hobbies more important to our productivity and well-being than we know?"
science  craft  correlation  2015  creativitu  art  via:austinkleon  glvo  openstudioproject  lcproject  making 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Ready for Rain — Medium
"It’s raining in Seattle today and tomorrow. This should come as no surprise to those who know the reputation of this part of the world. But in fact, this rain is special. It’s the first storm of the year; a harbinger for a change of season that strikes at the core of how it feels to live in the Pacific Northwest.

You see, this time of year, I want it to rain for days. I want an atmospheric river to roll off the Pacific and slam Seattle with precipitation. I want to look at the weather map and see greens, yellows and oranges. Thankfully, I live in a place that makes the timely arrival of rain an absolute certainty.

It’s not simply the arrival or rain, but the transition to a different environment and way of life. The drear has a certain dark beauty; a low-contrast softness. There’s no need to squint or close the blinds. Even the sound of the rain on our house is music to my ears, a lullaby.

In this feeling, I am not alone:"



"The long, dark Seattle winters do something to me. They make me forget what it’s like when the days are long and warm. The bare trees make it hard to imagine the lush Seattle spring.

And then, just as it becomes too dark for too long, the promise of a sun-kissed rendezvous returns and the great maximization begins again — along with the pressure. It’s a cycle I’ve come to love.

I do look forward to the sun, but it ends just in time, because in my heart, I also love the rain."
seattle  washingtonstate  rain  leelefever  via:austinkleon  summer  winter  fall  sun 
september 2014 by robertogreco
I Didn't Go to Church Today by Ogden Nash | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor
"I didn't go to church today,
I trust the Lord to understand.
The surf was swirling blue and white,
The children swirling on the sand.
He knows, He knows how brief my stay,
How brief this spell of summer weather,
He knows when I am said and done
We'll have plenty of time together."
poems  poetry  2007  via:austinkleon  church  religion  gob  belief  ogdennash 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Students | Marian Bantjes
"Dear Students,

Over the past few years I have talked about you a lot to my fellow designy-friends. We encourage you, and we are proud as hell when you choose us as a subject for a project. But most of us can't take the questions. These range from the common, to the irrelevant (general questions on design practices that are broadcast to a wide array of designers), to the personal and/or interesting but which require a lot of time and thought to answer. Some questions ask our opinions on issues in design, and some, the very worst, smack of asking us to do your homework for you (you ask us questions, we fill them out, and there's your "report"). But the honest truth for all of the above is that we just don't have time to answer them, even when we want to.

So please take this suggestion. Pretend we're dead. Look at our work, read our books, read the articles and interviews we've all done, and watch the videos. Make notes and then form your own opinions on whatever it is you're thinking about us. You may find us feminine, feminist, egocentric, innovative, influential, systematic, iconoclastic or part of an overall movement ... whatever it is, formulate an idea about our work, annotate your sources to support your premises, collect the images that support your ideas (and for student projects you are welcome to use anything on this site), give credit where credit is due, and write your report.

What is my opinion on feminism in design / on the future of design / on the impact of technology / of plagiarism vs. homage? It doesn't matter. What is your opinion? This is what original thinking and research is about. Learn to form your own opinions and find the evidence to support them. You may come to a conclusion that we, the not-really-dead, find unusual, surprising or "wrong", but if you've got the evidence to support it (i.e. "I believe Bantjes' work is this, because of what she said here, here and here, and here's the image evidence to support it" rather than "I hate this; I like that."), I'm sure we'll find it interesting and it may even help us see ourselves as others see us.

And if your instructor gave you an assignment specifically to interview a designer, could you point them to this note, please?

Good luck on your projects, and I'd love to see what you come up with once it's finished.

Warm regards,
Marian Bantjes

And, as always: read The Questions commonly asked of me; answered."
marianbantjes  design  interviews  opinions  criticalthinking  classideas  via:austinkleon  research 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Will Sheff >< Music Listening’s Rule of Three - The Talkhouse
"Recording software like Pro Tools was supposed to eliminate all the restrictions of recording on tape; it instead allowed musicians and producers to put off creative decision-making indefinitely because performances and mixes could always be “fixed” later. File-sharing and streaming services promised a vast free library of all existing human music, but mostly they ended up putting present-day working musicians out of their jobs. We were told that MP3 players and smartphones would bring us closer to our favorite music, but they sheared it of its physical form and made it feel like it didn’t exist. We were sold a lot of these changes with the promise that they’d give us more power, more choice, but the people who made these changes to music weren’t musicians and didn’t consult musicians. They were entrepreneurs, mostly, and even though they might have posed as visionaries they were really out to make a buck, or to make a name for themselves. They dismantled a structure that happened to be working and left no structure to replace it. They sold us the ideal of our tools becoming so simple that they would just disappear, but the truth is that tools create discipline and form, and that limitations create engagement. Too much choice and too much freedom mostly just overwhelm people and cause inertia.

The real freedom in listening happens when you take away some measure of choice and control — when you put a record on and then walk away from the player, letting it spin, your hand unable to skip anything. Even better if it’s an entire album — a collection of songs, put together with deliberate care, a product of a certain time and place. When you lift Astral Weeks from its sleeve and put it on a record player, for instance, you’re hearing what happened between five musicians in Century Sound Studios in the fall of 1968 in New York City: the literal soundwaves, physically carved into vinyl. When “Sweet Thing” comes on as track three, it’s sweeter because of the path you took to get there, which happened in real time; the title track and “Beside You” feel like landmarks on a road trip, and then the road opens up and you suddenly get this breathtaking view. The needle is moving forward down the groove at the same velocity as you are moving forward through life. You don’t have every option in the world at your fingertips, but you have a deeper relationship with the option you’ve taken.

So that’s where I started, with my memories of putting on a record (or, later, a cassette) as a kid and then sitting back on my bed and listening to the whole thing — and then playing it again, and again, until I had integrated it into who I was. I decided the first step in creating a system that replicated this effect on an iPod (because I didn’t have a place to live at the time, my iPod was my only way of listening to music) would be to listen to whole albums, in order to immerse myself in a musical world and not lose concentration. Secondly, I noticed that my relationship to an album changed with repeated listens; sometimes an album I thought I hated on listen one became a new musical obsession by listen three, while at other times an album that impressed the hell out of me on listen one gradually revealed itself, after repetition, to be trite or cloying, dazzling me with easy tricks but lacking in actual substance. I started creating playlists — each containing three albums plus miscellaneous songs I’d picked up here and there — and listening to them three times in a row. These playlists were all I’d allow myself to listen to unless I was with other people, and I treated them like homework; usually the albums would be related to music I was working on at the time. I would take care always to work in a mixture of music by new bands and older music that was new to me, and I would actively seek out genres of music with which I previously hadn’t been familiar.

Almost immediately after adopting this system my love of music returned and actually became stronger than it had ever been, even as a kid."
willsheff  music  listening  slow  via:austinkleon  choice  longplay  tools  2014 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Poetry X » Poetry Archives » T. S. Eliot » "Ash Wednesday"
"Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice"



"Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still."



"If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word."
poems  poetry  tseliot  via:austinkleon  stillness  care  caring  time  place  temporality 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Sheep in the Winter Night by Tom Hennen | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor
"There are books in which the footnotes or comments scrawled by some reader's hand in the margin are more interesting than the text. The world is one of these books." —George Santayana
via:austinkleon  internetasliterature  marginalia  life  living  footnotes  books  via:lukeneff  georgesantayana  internetasfavoritebook 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Long Rant Time: Questo’s Official Unofficial Review of Everyone Else’s #WTT Reviews -or- Just a 40-Year Old Vergin’ Washin The Throne « Okayplayer
"Of course there are some laws I’ve applied to my life in this lane I’ve decided to travel. 1st and foremost is the only mofos in my circle are people that I CAN LEARN FROM."
questo  questlove  via:austinkleon  learning  life  wisdom  2011  people  cv  environment  education  unschooling  deschooling  music 
august 2011 by robertogreco

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