Just finished a holiday clean up and it’s had a noticeable effect on short-term angstiness.
So, I’m wondering, does anyone else experience a strong correlation between the mood of a room or setting and a flavour of thinking?
For example, I find it easier to think with more diversity and rigour in a clean, uncluttered space.
Getting to intimate
There were a few, but the most powerful moment in Derren Brown’s Sacrifice was
this one. Synopsis: Phil, the Average Joe construction worker with a prejudice
against immigrants, is being persuaded by Derren Brown to make a sacrifice for
the sake of a stranger. After Derren Brown reveals Phil’s genetic
heritage—itself a mish-mash from around … [Continue reading Getting to
A new kind of overclocking
Mathematicians exist on a higher plane of abstraction than us normies, and
thus seem positively odd. But in the same way that Pareto’s 80/20 principle
can be applied to itself to yield an even more bizarre distribution of
incomes, we can attempt to identify the most eccentric mathematician amongst a
field of people renowned for … [Continue reading A new kind of overclocking
To feel, to swim
When it comes to reading, I have a process. Once I’ve selected a book—always
of the dead-tree kind—I begin reading it, with pen in hand. As I go, I make
infrequent marginalia, highlight interesting parts, and fold corners (top
corner fold represents a notable passage or idea, bottom corner fold
represents an idea or author … [Continue reading To feel, to swim
Oxygen, not coffee
Sun Tzu said that “Morning energy is keen, midday energy slumps, evening
energy recedes”. In Daily Rituals, Mason Currey outlines the quirk-full and
often-mystic routines of famous creatives, scientists and thinkers—a lot of
them describe the featured individual’s primary activity as taking place
before the morning is over, and sometimes before the sun has even … [Continue
reading Oxygen, not coffee ->](https://swellandcut.com/2018/12/...
Solutions to the problem of life
I know. I have a tendency to write and think about relatively bleak subject
matter. So I want to change tack today and begin with something light and
frothy, a simple if-this-then-that statement. Here it is: If it is true that,
as the Buddha says, life is suffering, then having a child is one of …
[Continue reading Solutions to the problem of life
Proust, Before and After
I read v1 of ISOLT. Then I read an edited collection of Girard’s work and Things Hidden. Now, I’ve begun v2 of ISOLT.
Before Girard, ISOLT was novel and intriguing and oddly aesthetically pleasing. After Girard, all I see is the absurd fluctuations in desire that make up the bulk of the narrative. And it’s the first time I’ve really noticed how affected I am by framing and context.
Outer mirrors inner
In the first of the Lord of the Rings film, Lady Galadriel says to Frodo that,
“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” Similarly,
Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Now, … [Continue reading Outer mirrors inner
It’s possible to overclock the velocity of the mind’s operations (cocaine and caffeine). It’s also possible to overclock the diversity of its perceptions (LSD and other psychedelics, sensory deprivation).
Are there any other ways to overclock the mind?
Right now, I’m thinking of longevity—the modern extension of the average lifespan—as another form of overclocking. But are there more general categories?
Technology is human existence compounded.
On the origins of “Odinnic” sacrifice. https://norse-mythology.org/tales/odins-discovery-of-the-runes/
Personal offensive manoeuvres
I’ve been lucky enough to work and have many conversations with John Romkey,
someone who knows what it means to be online and who understands the risks and
advantages of such a position. Amongst the many things I have learnt from him,
there is one that, lately, I’ve been coming back to: the different types …
[Continue reading Personal offensive manoeuvres
Maybe meditation is a bit like running. It's not for everyone but if you don't like it, it doesn't mean you can just not exercise at all and expect to be fit. You don't need to buy into Buddhism, but you do need deliberate periods of contemplation, concentration, reflection, introspection, if you want to be mentally healthy.
To die or not to die?
If I consult the raw data of my existence and begin to look for patterns, a
few emerge, one of which is my consistent effort to up the ante. When I worked
in bars and restaurants, I didn’t want to work for normal bars and
restaurants. I wanted to work for the best one in … [Continue reading To die
or not to die? ->](https://swellandcut.com/2018/11/28/to-die-or-not-to-die/)
Unreliable narrator. Rhizome traveller. Wannabe timelord.
Mastodon instance for attendees of Refactor Camp, and members of various online/offline groups that have grown out of it. Related local groups with varying levels of activity exist in the Bay Area, New York, Chicago, and Austin.
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