Tag: Philosophy

The Power of Art and Self Expression – Example of, Anecdote

Ask a little kid to tell you about a painting they’re working on. It’s a miraculous thing. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable to aspire to that level of artistic liberation. I believe it’s still there in all of us. I wrote about this in my first book, but I think it’s worth emphasizing: During my stay in a mental hospital some sixteen years ago now, I witnessed this childlike superpower reassert itself, take hold, and transform a woman who was virtually catatonic in an art-therapy class. I think about it almost every day.

A sixty-something heroin addict who had spent the better part of the previous thirty years in and out of institutions and living on the streets – and whom I had not heard make a sound in any of the group therapy sessions, or even in the smoking room – drew a simple picture of herself. It wasn’t great. But it looked like her.

When she held it up for the class to see, I heard her voice for the very first time. She said she couldn’t remember the last time she had held a pencil. She smiled! And cried. Everyone clapped and gathered around to hold her. It was such a stark, amazing, healing thing to see someone’s eyes light up – become human again – when they realized they had the power to make something that wasn’t there.

How to Write One Song
Jeff Tweedy

Drunk as Mystical State – William James

In a recital like this there is certainly something suggestive of pathology. The next step into mystical states carries us into a realm that public opinion and ethical philosophy have long since branded as pathological, though private practice and certain lyric strains of poetry seem still to bear witness to its ideality. I refer to the consciousness produced by intoxicants and anaesthetics, especially by alcohol. The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour. Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes. It is fact the great exciter of the Yes function in man. It brings its votary from the chill periphery of things to the radiant core. It makes him for the moment one with truth. Not through mere perversity do men run after it. To the poor and the unlettered it stands in the place of symphony concerts and of literature; and it is part of the deeper mystery and tragedy of life that whiffs and gleams of something that we immediately recognize as excellent should be vouchsafed to so many of us only in the fleeting earlier phases of what in its totality is so degrading a poisoning. The drunken consciousness is one bit of the mystic consciousness, and our total opinion of it must find its place in our opinion of that larger whole.

James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience

Iain McGilchrist Interview – Hidden Brain

VEDANTAM: Iain argues that the right hemisphere of the brain is supposed to play the role of the wise master of our mental kingdom. The left hemisphere is supposed to be the emissary. Iain says we have grown infatuated with the skills of the emissary. We prize the details but scorn the big picture. He makes an analogy about the relationship between the hemispheres.

MCGILCHRIST: I want to emphasize that I resist very strongly the idea that the brain is a computer. It’s just nothing like a computer, actually. But in this one, limited sense, the left hemisphere is a little bit like a very, very smart computer. So you know what the data you’ve collected mean, but you haven’t yet been able to analyze them. You put them into a machine that is just very clever at carrying out a routine. It doesn’t understand. And then it spews out a result, which it also doesn’t understand. But you then take back into the world where the data come from and go, I see.

So that is the relationship. Your left hemisphere is busy processing things to make sure they’re consistent and unpacked, but your right hemisphere’s seeing everything. I am suggesting that we have arrived at a place, not for the first time in the West, where we have slipped into listening only to what it is that the left hemisphere can tell us and discounting what the right hemisphere could have told us.

https://www.npr.org/transcripts/690656459

The Urge to Philosophize, Futility of

Boltzmann tried out some of his ideas on Brentano, who had the grace and sometimes the courage to take his philosophical striving seriously. But Boltzmann’s fundamental skepticism was never far from the surface. “Is there any sense at all in breaking one’s head over such things?” he asked Brentano in 1905. “Shouldn’t the irresistible urge to philosophize be compared to the vomiting caused by migraines, in that something is trying to struggle out even though there’s nothing inside?”

Boltzmanns Atom: The Great Debate That Launched A Revolution In Physics
David Lindley

Throw One Away – 2 quotes

The management question, therefore, is not whether to build a pilot system and throw it away. You will do that. […] Hence plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow.
Fred Brooks
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
Wikiquote

Frears is carefully and patiently teasing out the power and subtlety in Shashi by getting him to act simply and underplay everything. You can see the performance developing take by take. After eight or nine takes Shashi is settled, a little tired and bored, more casual and relaxed. Now he is able to throw the scene away. And this is when he is at his best, though he himself prefers the first few takes when he considers himself to be really ‘acting’. Sometimes he can’t see why Frears wants to do so many retakes.
Hanif Kureishi
Sammy and Rosie Get Laid Screenwriters Diary

Anthropomorphization Example, Anthropomorphized Variables

Noun. anthropomorphization (countable and uncountable, plural anthropomorphizations) endowing with human qualities. attributing human characteristics to something that is nonhuman.

I thought of the countless hours I had spent in math classes determining how long it took those three musketeers of math pedagogy, A, B and C, rowing at different speeds, to reach a certain bend in the river. No suspense about the outcome relieved the monotony of those races, for the three rowers were as foreordained as figures in a morality play to finish in the same order. It was a matter of character. A was strong and handsome, honest and decent, patriotic and God-fearing; B was plucky but flawed, fated to catch his oar on a rock just when victory seemed possible; and C was the amiable bumbler who is every one of us, capsizing in the stream. I always hoped for an upset—for C to redeem the best dreams of life’s losers, or at least for B to redeem the best dreams of life’s runners-up. It was not to be; in algebra textbooks, life’s races were rigged.

Zinsser, William. Writing to Learn 

Selected Shower Thoughts

We laugh at dogs getting excited when they hear a bark on TV, but if TV was a nonstop stream of unintelligible noises and then someone suddenly spoke to you in your language, you’d be pretty fucking startled too.

Being able to tolerate the sound of your own voice in a video is probably the highest form of self acceptance.

If elevators hadn’t been invented, all the CEOs and important people would have their offices on the first floor as a sign of status.

We do not check the refrigerator multiple times to find new food, we check to see if our standards have dropped enough to eat what was available.

You aren’t paid according to how hard you work, you are paid according to how hard you are to replace

Most of the trash you see on the ground is unhealthy food packaging because people who don’t care about their own health don’t care about the Earth’s either.

As a kid, teenagers seemed so big and scary because in most TV shows they were actually played by adults in their 20s.

Superman’s most unappreciated power is his extraordinary fine motor skill. He has almost unlimited strength and can literally move mountains, yet is also able to shake someone’s hand without inadvertently ripping off their arm.

The kids growing up gaming on tablets are going to have all the internet addiction without any of the computer skills.

Telling kids that a cop will arrest you as a disciplinary tool, then expecting kids to tell a cop if something bad is happening to them, must be confusing as hell.

People who respond with “That’s not how the world works” when told to be nice are the reason that’s not how the world works.

If a morgue worker dies they’d still need to come in to work one more time

Technically, your alarm tone is your theme song as it starts every episode

Spider-Man almost certainly has auto-rotate turned off on his phone.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Showerthoughts/top/

A subreddit for sharing those miniature epiphanies you have that highlight the oddities within the familiar.

“Showerthought” is a loose term that applies to the types of thoughts you might have while carrying out a routine task like showering, driving, or daydreaming. At their best, showerthoughts are universally relatable and find the amusing/interesting within the mundane.