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The Mindfulness Backlash - NYTimes.com
"She’s not the only one to question the emphasis on meditation as a path to productivity. In Salon earlier this year, Joshua Eaton argued that the new corporate embrace of mindfulness — he mentioned a panel titled “Three Steps to Build Corporate Mindfulness the Google Way” — privileged a particular kind of “individual spiritual development” over any kind of collective consciousness or social activism. “Many Buddhists,” he wrote, “now fear their religion is turning into a designer drug for the elite.”

Michael Stone sounded a similar note a few weeks later, also in Salon, when he called for Buddhists to speak out against the use of meditation by large corporations and the U.S. military. “Mindfulness is a deeply political practice,” he wrote, “designed to reduce stress and suffering both in our own hearts and in the world of which we are a part.” It shouldn’t, he argued, be used to make members of the world’s biggest military better at killing.

In a response to Mr. Stone at BigThink, Derek Beres argued that what Google and other companies are offering isn’t really mindfulness, because it’s in the service of a product that’s fundamentally anti-mindful (that is, the Internet). If your goal is to make people surf the web more, he wrote, all the meditation in the world isn’t going to bring you true enlightenment.

At the core of this debate is a question about what mindfulness should be. For some, it remains a fundamentally religious practice, one rooted in Buddhism’s ethics and understanding of social justice (Stone writes, “The first ethical principle that the Buddha taught in his description of living mindfully is ‘not Killing’”).

But in the mainstream, mindfulness is often seen simply as a tool, a way of calming and focusing oneself. As such it can be used to de-stress after a long day, to get more done at the office, or even to wage war."
mindfulness  productivity  appropriation  2014  meditation  buddhism  annanorth  stress  military  via:jeeves 
october 2014 by robertogreco
The American Scholar: The Disadvantages of an Elite Education - William Deresiewicz
"Being an intellectual begins with thinking your way outside of your assumptions and the system that enforces them. But students who get into elite schools are precisely the ones who have best learned to work within the system, so it’s almost impossible for them to see outside it, to see that it’s even there."

"What happens when busyness & sociability leave no room for solitude? The ability to engage in introspection…is the essential precondition for living an intellectual life, and the essential precondition for introspection is solitude…one of them said, with a dawning sense of self-awareness, “So are you saying that we’re all just, like, really excellent sheep?” Well, I don’t know. But I do know that the life of the mind is lived one mind at a time: one solitary, skeptical, resistant mind at a time. The best place to cultivate it is not within an educational system whose real purpose is to reproduce the class system."

Also here http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/voices-in-time/william-deresiewicz-trims-the-ivy.php?page=all in this issue: http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/magazine/ways-of-learning.php ]
williamderesiewicz  2008  via:jeeves  highered  highereducation  learning  unschooling  deschooling  liberalarts  class  perpetuation  criticalthinking  skepticism  resistance  institutions  intellectualism  introspection  solitude  cv  self-awareness  conformism  elites  power  control  racetonowhere  purpose  vision  education  colleges  universities  lapham'squarterly 
november 2011 by robertogreco
My Father’s Final Gift « Aza on Design
"“Is it bigger than a bread box?”, I stare at the package in my hands. In it is my father. The man who invented the Macintosh and misnamed what should be the “typefaces” menu the “fonts” menu. He never forgave himself for his incorrect usage of English. He groomed with exacting use of language and considered that mistake a failure of being young and reckless with semantics. The man who invented click-and-drag was now the man who could hardly keep his gaze focused on his son. The box is, of course, smaller than a bread box. It’s a question we always ask. My family smiles out of habit.

“No”, my father says. A long pause. “No”, he says again, “it is smaller than a bread box. Smaller and sharper.” He speeds the guessing game along. Time."

[Also at: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663156/the-mac-inventors-gift-before-dying-an-immortal-design-lesson-for-his-son ]
azaraskin  jefraskin  language  gifts  writing  design  history  questions  tradition  2011  via:jeeves  shaving  knives  razors  questioning  inquiry  play 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Why I quit my job: « Kai Nagata ["Until Thursday, I was CTV’s Quebec City Bureau Chief, based at the National Assembly, mostly covering politics."]
"I’m trying to think of the reporters I know who would do their job as volunteers…people who feel so strongly about importance & social value of the evening news that, were they were offered somewhere to sleep, three meals a day, & free dry-cleaning – they would do that for the rest of their days…such zeal is scarce.

Aside from feeling sexually attracted to the people on screen, the target viewer, according to consultants, is also supposed to like easy stories that reinforce beliefs they already hold…

I have serious problems w/ direction taken by Canadian policy & politics in last 5 years. But as a reporter, I feel like I’ve been holding my breath…

“I thought if I paid my dues & worked my way up through ranks, I could maybe reach a position of enough influence & credibility that I could say what I truly feel. I’ve realized there’s no time to wait…

I’m broke, & yet I know I’m rich in love. I’m unemployed & homeless, but I’ve never been more free.

Everything is possible.”
politics  media  journalism  tv  ctv  cbc  canada  policy  kainagata  2011  neo-nomads  nomadism  meaning  purpose  meaningfulness  via:jeeves  truth  viewers  junktv  news  reporting  environment  superficiality  junknews  distraction  integrity  credibility  influence  yearoff  bias  nomads 
august 2011 by robertogreco
The Great Ephemeralization | Bottom-up
"Paul Graham & Reihan Salam have been popularizing term “ephemeralization”, originally coined by Bucky Fuller, to describe process whereby special-purpose products are replaced by software running on general-purpose computing devices. As list above suggests, ephemeralization is affecting a growing fraction of the economy. & w/ technologies like self-driving cars on the horizon, its importance will only grow in the coming decades.

Ephemeralization offers an alternative explanation for the puzzling growth slowdown of the last decade. Every time the software industry displaces a special purpose device, our standard of living improves but measured GDP falls. If what you care about is government revenue, this point might not matter much—it’s hard to tax something if no one’s paying for it. But the real lesson here may not be that the US economy is stagnating, but rather that the government is bad at measuring improvements in our standard of living that come from software industry."
technology  internet  politics  history  economics  gdp  productivity  growth  2011  ephemeralization  buckminsterfuller  paulgraham  tylercowen  reihansalam  books  timothylee  taxation  taxes  govenment  metrics  measurement  via:jeeves 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Lament for the iGeneration | torontolife.com
"When I started teaching at Ryerson three years ago, I was 28—barely older than my students. Like them, I’m attached to my cellphone, laptop and Facebook account. So why is teaching in the digital age such a nightmare?"
teaching  via:jeeves  mobile  phones  laptops  facebook  attention  tcsnmy  learning  highereducation  highered  disconnect  generations  technology  online  web  internet  ubiquitouswebconnections  society  schools  education  twitter  universities  colleges 
february 2011 by robertogreco

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