Music Break: The Mavericks

There Goes My Heart...

Live Austin


Excerpt of the Day: Seth Godin

Ignorance is the opiate of the masses...

Possible explanation for the shrinking middle class?
Knowledge is readily accessible, to avoid it is willful stupidity.

Many people in the United States purchase one or fewer books every year.

Many of those people have seen every single episode of American Idol. There is clearly a correlation here.

Access to knowledge, for the first time in history, is largely unimpeded for the middle class. Without effort or expense, it's possible to become informed if you choose. For less than your cable TV bill, you can buy and read an important book every week. Share the buying with six friends and it costs far less than coffee.

Or you can watch TV.

The thing is, watching TV has it's benefits. It excuses you from the responsibility of having an informed opinion about things that matter. It gives you shallow opinions or false 'facts' that you can easily parrot to others that watch what you watch. It rarely unsettles our carefully self-induced calm and isolation from the world.

[It's] clearly a deliberate act- -in our infoculture, it takes work not to expose yourself to interesting ideas, facts, news and points of view. 

[I] know this rant is nothing new. In fact, people have been complaining about willful ignorance since Brutus or Caesar or whoever invented the salad...the difference now is this: more people than ever are creators. More people than ever go to work to use their minds, not just their hands. Forgive me for suggesting [that] it might be reading blogs, books or even watching TED talks.

As for the deliberately uninformed, we can ignore them or we can reach out to them and hopefully start a pattern of people thinking for themselves...

Deliberately uninformed, relentlessly so [a rant]
Seth Godin's Blog

Geography of the Mind

Balancing Act... 

Things of nature that are constant, like mountains and the sun rising and setting every day, are the everlasting backdrop of what is constantly moving, such as human nature and the course of societal events. The natural world provides for us a reminder, should we choose to stop and look at it no matter where we live, that it endures and goes on with a certain regularity and rhythm. It changes with the seasons but the regularity of the seasons and what they will bring is certain.

Similarly human events do have a pattern to them but they toss and turn in our day to day lives since we're immersed, by our very human nature, in the course of our lives and the society we live in. The world of people is in constant flux and irregular in our vision, as we partake in what each day brings, the good and the bad as well as the mundane. In the larger tableau of life, history really does repeat itself and overall the behavior of people is pretty predictable. We lose sight of that as daily miracles, commonplace events and problems present themselves, while we're caught up in conducting our activities.

There's something disconcerting about this lack of proportion in our minds between the background of the natural world and the foreground of everyday happenings. Very few of us are wise enough, especially in this workaday hustle and bustle world, to take even brief moments of time out of the day and put things in perspective of what is constant and enduring versus what is brief and ephemeral.

This year has been, in a gut-wrenching way, a period of change and growth for me. I accept the teeth gritting upheaval part and don't resent it but don't enjoy it either but embrace it only as a necessary part of getting to where I want to go on a personal level. Where I struggle is in reminding myself to observe the example of the constant of the natural world, to keep in balance the fluidity of the social world, at a time when I most need stability to stay on the right track. Therein lies the greatest challenge, since that balance also means simultaneously learning the freedom and peace of mind I am seeking for the long term.

Urban Landscape

Rain Drain...