Friday, May 29, 2020
Years after his initial work on the Dymaxion Vehicle, Fuller would theorize that the core of the problem obstructing progress on such a vehicle was a condition he had faced many times during his career and which he perceived as a continuing impediment to humanity's advancement. That single issue is the bureaucratic drive for power and control that pervades any organization, especially governments. Both the Dymaxion House and the Dymaxion Vehicle were conceived to function autonomously. Once built and installed, they would require no roads, airports, electrical power lines, plumbing and sewage connections, or any of the other links through which corporations and governments control individual human beings' lives.
Bucky eventually realized that if such autonomous innovations were publicly available, independent-thinking humans would quickly discover that the bureaucracies dominating their lives were no longer necessary or useful. . . .
Because of the formidable opposition he received from power structures, Fuller also realized that the officials who dominate other individuals through bureaucracies and who prosper from their power would resort to extremes in blocking any innovation which would provide individuals with more autonomy and freedom. Still, he envisioned a new era in which responsibility for maintaining basis human needs would shift from governments and other institutions to individuals themselves . . .
-Lloyd Steven Sieden, Buckminster Fuller's Univers: His Life and Work
photo (and more info) via
Thursday, May 28, 2020
...................................................well, you might consider doing so:
News is not truth. In the time of the tweet, news isn’t even first in delivering “news or information,” as journalism professor Jeff Jarvis recently noted. News bait for ads sold by a hard-nosed business: rather than inform citizens or protect the underdog, the , the , CNN, Fox News, , and are trying desperately to make money. That fact explains many of the strange distortions of news content.
-as cut-and pasted from here
The collapse of trust in our leading institutions has exiled the 21 century to the Siberia of . I want to be clear about what this means. Reality has not changed. It’s still unyielding. Facts today are partial and contradictory—but that’s always been the case. Post-truth, as I define it, signifies a moment of sharply divergent perspectives on every subject or event, without a trusted authority in the room to settle the matter. A telling symptom is that we no longer care to persuade. We aim to impose facts and annihilate a process closer to intellectual holy war than to critical thinking.
-Martin Gurri, as culled from here.
"No one knows enough to be a pessimist."
"Never listen to those who try to influence you with their pessimism."
"Aim high, refuse to choose small thinking and low expectations, and above all, do not be seduced by the absurd idea that there is danger in having too much hope."
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
To a great extent fatigue in such cases is due to worry, and worry could be prevented by a better philosophy of life and little more mental discipline. Most men and women are very deficient in control over their thoughts. I mean by this that they cannot cease to think about worrying topics at times when no action can be taken in regard to them. . . . It is amazing how much both happiness and efficiency can be increased by the cultivation of an orderly mind, which thinks about a matter adequately at the right time rather than inadequately at all times. When a difficult or worrying decision has to be reached, as soon as all the data are available, give the matter your best thought and make your decision; having made the decision, do not revise it unless some new fact comes to your knowledge. Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing so futile.
-Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness
Anyone totally committed to a single purpose almost inevitably becomes the propagandist of his own effort. As a nation of specialists, we have become a nation obsessed with self-justification. When we don't have it, we make it. And we are by now familiar enough with the make-work of manufacturers who need products, scholars who need projects, politicians who need issues, generals who need armies. We speak the language of a people bent on justifying everything we do or want to do, whether it is justifiable or not.
This preoccupation, with its consequent language of self-praise, is epidemic. It is chronic at the highest levels of government. Much of the blame for the erosion of our idealism must be laid to the government, because the language of ideals has been so grossly misused by the propagandists. The liars of policy and public relations are addicted to the rhetoric of high principle. Our political ideals fill their mouths as unctuously, and will as little involvement of conscience or intelligence, as so many pieces of fat meat.
-Wendell Berry, excerpted from his 1969 collection of essays, The Long-Legged House
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Necessity is not the mother of invention. Ambition is.
-Matt Ridely, from this blog post on the serendipity of innovation
Choose any competitive situation that you're in right now. Who is you opponent? Is it your teacher or coach, your boss, an unruly client? No matter how they're treating you there is one way to not only earn their respect, but turn the tables. Excellence.
-David Goggins, Can't Hurt Me
The science of anything may be taught or acquired by study; the art of it comes by practice or inspiration. The art of seeing things is not something that may be conveyed in rules and precepts; it is a matter vital in the eye and ear, yea, in the mind and soul, of which these are the organs. I have as little hope of being able to tell the reader how to see things as I would have in trying to tell him how to fall in love or to enjoy his dinner. Either he does or he does not, and that is about all there is to it. Some people seem born with eyes in their heads, and other with buttons or painted marbles, and no amount of science can make the one equal to the other in the art of seeing things. The great mass of mankind are, in this respect, like the rank and file of any army; they fire vaguely in the direction of the enemy, and if they hit, it is more a matter of chance than of accurate aim. But here and there is the keen-eyed observer; he is the sharpshooter; his eye selects and discriminates; his purpose goes to the mark.
-John Burroughs, from his essay The Art of Seeing Things
I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
-Walt Whitman, as he starts Song of Myself, 32
Monday, May 25, 2020
Habits do not restrict freedom. They create it. In fact, the people who don't have their habits handled are often the ones with the least amount of freedom. Without good financial habits, you will always be struggling for the next dollar. Without good health habits, you will always seem to be short on energy. Without good learning habits, you will always feel like you are behind the curve. If you're always being forced to make decisions about simple tasks—when should I work out, where do I go to write, when do I pay the bills—then you have less time for freedom. It's only by making the fundamentals of life easier that you can create the mental space needed for free thinking and creativity. . . . Building habits in the present allows you to do more of what you want in the future.
-James Clear, Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results
Very few people know how the bottom feels, but I do. It's like quicksand. It grabs you, sucks you under, and won't let go. When life is like that it's easy to drift and continue to make the same comfortable choices that are killing you, over and over again.
But the truth is we all make habitual, self-limiting choices. It's as natural as a sunset and as fundamental as gravity. It's how our brains are wired, which is why motivation is crap.
Even the best pep talk or self-help hack is nothing but a temporary fix. It won't rewire your brain. It won't amplify your voice or uplift your life. Motivation changes exactly nothing. The bad hand that was my life was mine, and mine alone to fix.
-David Goggins, Can't Hurt Me
A choice confronts us. Shall we, as we feel our foundations shaking, withdraw in anxiety and panic? Frightened by the loss of our familiar mooring places, shall we become paralyzed and cover our inaction with apathy? If we do those things, we will have surrendered our chance to participate in the forming of the future. We will have forfeited the distinctive characteristic of human beings—namely, to influence our evolution through our own awareness.
-Rollo May, The Courage To Create
Sunday, May 24, 2020
First, all grapes need trellises if they are to bear much fruit, and there are may ways to build a trellis, depending on the variety of grape and the growing conditions. After all, not all grapes are alike; they need different kinds of support. Creating a rule of life is like that: what liberates one person may constrict another.
Likewise, what serves me well at this stage of my life would have been quite wrong, even damaging, for me as a twenty-year old. From my viticulture book I also learned that growers of grapes know that the vine must not be tied too tightly to the trellis, but just snugly enough so that it is supported and free to flourish. Like the vines, we too need to be supported but not constricted, held up but not rendered immobile.
-Margaret Guenther, At Home in the World: A Rule of Life for the Rest of Us
Do not underestimate the irritation level of people who are subjected to listening to another person talk on a cell phone.
-Michael Wade, All I Said Was: What Every Supervisor, Employee, and Team Should Know to Avoid Insults, Lawsuits, and the Six O'Clock News
We soak up the qualities and practices of those around us. . . . Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. You'll rise together.
-James Clear, Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results
The human body is like a stock car. We may look different on the outside, but under the hood we all have huge reservoirs of potential and a governor impeding us from reaching our maximum velocity. In a car, the governor limits the flow of fuel and air so it doesn't burn too hot, which places a ceiling on performance. It's a hardware issue; the governor can easily be removed, and if you disable yours, watch your car rocket beyond 130 mph.
It's a subtler process in the human animal.
Our governor is buried deep in our minds, intertwined with our very identity. It knows what and who we love and hate; it's read our whole life story and forms the way we see ourselves and how we'd like to be seen. It's the software that delivers personalized feedback—in the form of pain and exhaustion, but also fear and insecurity, and it uses all of that to encourage us to stop before we risk it all. But here's the thing, it doesn't have absolute control. Unlike the governor in an engine, ours can't stop us unless we buy into its bullshit and agree to quit.
Sadly, most of us give up when we've only given around 40% of our maximum effort. Even when we feel like we've reached our absolute limit, we still have 60% more to give! That's the governor in action! Once you know that to be true, it's simply a matter of stretching your pain tolerance, letting go of your identity and your self-limiting stories, so you can get up to 60%, then 80% and beyond without giving up. I call this The 40% Rule, and the reason it's so powerful is that if you follow it, it will unlock your mind to new levels of performance and excellence in sports and in life, and your rewards will run far deeper than material success.
-David Goggins, Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy The Odds