As Per My Last Email

Coming to you from post #icestorm2020

Iced trees are heavy, American houses are insolated poorly, and I now respect and acknowledge that I can do all things through electricity which enables my wifi and heating.

Carlo Rovelli – Reality Is Not What It Seems

Not sure what to say except that I like the way he writes – it pretty. Also, I’m not mad that I’ll probably be rereading this one, because some of the quantum concepts feel bonkers. If I understood them correctly, it means everything we thought we knew to describe the universe is too simplistic and too objective?

This book left me kind of excited about how we’re starting to integrate arts and sciences more, and what that could lead to — is this what it felt like for folks when they came out of The Dark Ages TM into The Renaissance? Like, all these folks that made it through the plague, were living in structures that they didn’t have the technology or knowledge to recreate BECAUSE THE RECIPE FOR CONCRETE GOT LOST (and we only recently reverse engineered it)???

Also the book introduced me to another set of lost writings – that of Democritus. Imagine it’s 460 BC and you’ve come up with an atomic theory of the world, some folks dig it, others such as Plato are like, “Could we not just burn his books though?”

Bruno Munari – Design As Art

I’ve been taking my time strolling through this book – it feels wasteful to rush it? Some thoughtful ideas illustrated with sketches and photos. There was a really nice passage about how children’s writers always underestimate their readers – he then goes on to give a lovely example of how a complex subject like time could be explained to a child without losing any of it’s complexity.

You’re heart goes tick tock. Listen to it. Put your hand on it and feel it. Count the beats: one, two, three, four…. When you have counted sixty beats a minute will have passed.

After sixty minutes an hour will have passed. In an hour a plant grows a hundredth of an inch In twelve hours the sun rises and sets. Twenty-four hours make one whole day and one whole night. After this the clock is no good to us anymore. We must look at a calendar: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday make one week. Four weeks make a month: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December. Now twelve months have passed and your heart is still going tick tock. A whole year of seconds and minutes has passed. In a year we have spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Time never stops: the clock shows us the hours, calendars show us the days, and time goes on and on and eats up everything.

It makes even iron fall to dust and it draws the lines on old people’s faces. After a hundred years, in a second, one man dies and another is born. (Bruno Munari, Design as Art, pg. 96-97)

But again, I think this week has been book heavy because it’s easier to get lost in a technology that serves only one function. A book is a book — I can’t also call my spouse or order groceries on it, or just real quick watch a cheeky Youtube video while waiting on a text.

James Clear – Atomic Habits

That idea (one device, one function) is something I got from this SElf HeLp BoOK. It’s one of a handful that I’ve listened to several times over (at least 6 times since this summer). Honestly, this book is a shoulder rub away from being my favourite life-pep-talk.

Look, I re-listen because each time I get something out of it – even if it’s just a reminder of something I’ve since forgotten – but the most dense nugget was the idea that

  • in order to change your habits you essentially have to change your identity (ie. what behaviour is typical of a writer or an artist or a healthy centagenarian?)
  • That leads to the next big ticket (for me): there’s no goal buddy, the process IS the satisfying part… so, you might as well set up some enjoyable (or at least tolerable) processes. Coincidentally, this is something I go back to Art & Fear for every year.
  • And finally, it’s a reminder that DONE > GOOD because we’re focused on getting the reps in during the process, not the FInAl PRoDuCT

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