Friday, November 28, 2008

An Illusion of Continuity

From It’s Up to You: The Practice of Self-Reflection on the Buddhist Path by Dzigar Kongtrül:

It's Ups to You: The Practice of Self-Reflection on the Buddhist Path When we’re watching a movie in the theater, we can relax and enjoy the show because we know it’s an illusion. This magical display that we’re watching is the result of a projector, film, light, screen, and our perceptions coming together. In separate momentary flashes of color, shapes, and sound, they create an illusion of continuity, which we perceive as characters, scenery, movement, and language. What we call “reality” works much the same way. Our ability to know, our sense perceptions, the seed of our past karma (the residue of our past actions), and the phenomenal world all come together to create our life’s “show.” All of these elements have a dynamic relationship, which keeps things moving and interesting. This is known as interdependence.

When we look around us, we can see that nothing exists in isolation, which is another way of saying that everything is interdependent. Everything depends upon an infinite number of causes and conditions to come into being, arise, and fall away moment by moment. Because they are are interdependent, things don’t possess a true existence of their own. For instance, how could we separate a flower from the many causes and conditions that produce it—water, soil, sun, air, seed, and so forth? Can we find a flower that exists independently from these causes and conditions? Everything is so intricately connected it is hard to point to where one thing starts and another ends. This is what is meant by the illusory or empty nature of phenomenon.

The outer world in all its variety and our inner world of thoughts and emotions are not as they seem. All phenomenon appear to exist objectively, but their true mode of existence is like a dream: apparent yet insubstantial. The experience of emptiness is not found outside the world of ordinary experience, as many people mistakenly assume. In truth, we experience emptiness when the mind is free of grasping at appearance.

Seeing the emptiness of the phenomenal world relieves us of the heavy notion of things being solid or intrinsic. When we understand that nothing exists independently, everything that does arise seems more dreamlike and less threatening. This brings a deep sense of relaxation, and we feel less need to control our mind and circumstances. Because the nature of everything is emptiness, it is possible to view our life the way we would view a movie. We can relax and enjoy the show.

[Thanks Sue!]

Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

Wednesday, November 26, 2008



What We Watch and How We Watch It
The New York Times Sunday Magazine

“The Screens Issue”

A Day Comes

By Jane Hirshfield, from After: poems

After: poems A day comes
when the mouth grows tired
of saying “I.”

Yet it is occupied
still by a self which must speak.
Which still desires,
is curious.
Which believes it has also a right.

What to do?
The tongue consults with the teeth
it knows will survive
both mouth and self,

which grin—it is their natural pose—
and say nothing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hints of a Hunger

Mary Gordon “Writing and prayer both involve a lot of waiting, and I think that's a very important discipline. The experience of prayer and the experience of creation are very similar, and there is this kind of, again, attentiveness mixed with an openness that is necessary for both the creation of art and for prayer.”

“This desire for beauty and the desire for meaning are very mysterious, and for me they're hints of something. They're hints of a hunger for something that is not reachable except through something transcendent, some transcendent person. Why do we want meaning? It is ridiculous. Children suffer. Bad people do very well. There shouldn't be a desire for meaning. Life should have told us that there is no meaning, and we keep searching for it, and we keep being angry when we don't have it. So what is that hunger? What is that appetite? I don't know. It's very mysterious to me. But it seems to me an important way of understanding, or at least framing the question, what is it to be human?”

~ Mary Gordon, from “Profile: Mary Gordon,” Religion and Ethics  Newsweekly (10.26.07)

From Mary Gordon’s prayers for the un-prayed for
For those whose work is invisible; for those who paint the undersides of boats; makers of ornamental drains on roofs too high to be seen; for cobblers who labor over inner soles; for seamstresses who stitch the wrong sides of lining; for scholars whose research leads to no obvious discovery. Grant them perseverance for the sake of your love, which is humble, invisible, and heedless of reward.

The Ability to Accept the Mess

Jhumpa Lahiri from "Jhumpa Lahiri's Struggle To Feel American," Morning Edition, NPR (11.25.08):

Jhumpa Lahiri I think that what has happened over the years that I've been writing is that with each new story or book, I do feel that I'm able to confront the truth of my life with a little more honesty.

I think that a lot of my upbringing was a lot about denying and hiding and evading and fretting and wanting to make everything fit and make everything easy and wanting to pretend that I wasn't this person or that person or wishing that I were otherwise. Wishing that I looked another way, that I had a different name, and wishing my parents weren't torn between two parts of the globe. And all of that stuff, all of that mess of life, of my life, of my upbringing that I for so long just wanted to put into a box and make it still and make it not what it was. To deny my life in some fundamental way. To pretend that it was something else.

I think that in the years that I've been writing, it has helped me to look the truth in the eye a little bit better each time. And I think that has helped me as a person, the ability to accept the mess, to accept and to understand that I will never be able to fit it into a box. That it will never sit still. That my parents will always be tied to two different parts of the earth and that that is a difficult experience. That is a painful experience. It can be a very enriching experience as well. I think it has been liberating and brought me some peace to just confront that truth, if not to be able to solve it or answer it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Biggest Screen of All

David Lynch photographed by Justin Stephens for The New York Times"So many things these days are made to look at later. Why not just have the experience and remember it?...Some things we forget. But many things we remember on the mental screen, which is the biggest screen of all."

~ David Lynch, from "The Visionary," interview by Deborah Solomon, The New York Times (11.23.08)

How to Subsume Yourself

From “Singing: The Key To A Long Life,” by Briano Eno, This I Believe (11.23.08):

I believe that singing is the key to long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness and a better sense of humor. A recent long-term study conducted in Scandinavia sought to discover which activities related to a healthy and happy later life. Three stood out: camping, dancing and singing.

Well, there are physiological benefits, obviously: You use your lungs in a way that you probably don't for the rest of your day, breathing deeply and openly. And there are psychological benefits, too: Singing aloud leaves you with a sense of levity and contentedness. And then there are what I would call "civilizational benefits." When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That's one of the great feelings — to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue.

Spontaneous a capella version of Bon Hiver's "For Emma" in a Paris hallway before the house show. From the album "For Emma, Forever Ago."

La Blogothèque Take-Away Shows

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Only Idea Worth the Fuss

“Despite its slippery way with time and space and narrative and Mr. Kaufman’s controlled grasp of the medium, Synecdoche, New York is as much a cry from the heart as it is an assertion of creative consciousness. It’s extravagantly conceptual but also tethered to the here and now, which is why, for all its flights of fancy, worlds within worlds and agonies upon agonies, it comes down hard for living in the world with real, breathing, embracing bodies pressed against other bodies. To be here now, alive in the world as it is rather than as we imagine it to be, seems a terribly simple idea, yet it’s also the only idea worth the fuss, the anxiety of influence and all the messy rest, a lesson hard won for Caden [Cotard]. Life is a dream, but only for sleepers.”

~ Manohla Dargis, “Dreamer, Live in the Here and Now,” New York Times (10.24.08)


A Deer in the Target

By Robert Fanning

I only got a ten-second shot,
grainy footage of the huge deer
caught in the crosshairs
of a ceiling security camera, a scene
of utter chaos in a strip mall store,
shown on the late local news.
The beautiful beast clearly scared
to death in this fluorescent forest,
its once graceful legs giving out
on mopped floors, think Bambi
as a faun its first time standing.
Seeing the scattering shoppers,
you'd think a demon had barged
into this temple of commerce,
as they sacrificed their merchandise,
stranded full carts and dove for cover.
And when the aisles were emptied
of these bargain hunters, who was left
but an army of brave red-shirted
team members, mobilized by
the store manager over the intercom
to drive this wild animal out.
I wager there's nothing on this
in the How to Approach
an Unsatisfied Shopper

section in the Target employee handbook,
but there they were: the cashiers
and stockers, the Floor Supervisor,
the Assistant Floor Supervisor,
the Store Manager,
the Assistant Store Manager,
the District Associate Manager,
the District Supervisor,
the District Assistant Supervisor
and visiting members from
the Regional Corporate Office,
running after it, it running after
them, bull's eye logos on their red golf shirts,
everyone frenzied and panting: razor hooves
clattering on the mirror-white floor tiles,
nostrils heaving, its rack clearing
off-season clothes from clearance racks.
All of them, in Target,
chasing the almighty buck.

[Thanks Garrison Keillor!
More by Robert Fanning.]

Our Most Basic Imperative

After Our Daughter’s Wedding by Ellen Bass, from Mules of Love

Mules of Love While the remnants of cake and half-empty champagne glasses lay on the lawn like sunbathers lingering in the slanting light, we left the house guests and drove to Antonelli's pond. On a log by the bank I sat in my flowered dress and cried. A lone fisherman drifted by, casting his ribbon of light. "Do you feel like you've given her away?" you asked. But no, it was that she made it to here, that she didn't drown in a well or die of pneumonia or take the pills. She wasn't crushed under the mammoth wheels of a semi on highway 17, wasn't found lying in the alley that night after rehearsal when I got the time wrong. It's animal. The egg not eaten by a weasel. Turtles crossing the beach, exposed in the moonlight. And we have so few to start with. And that long gestation— like carrying your soul out in front of you. All those years of feeding and watching. The vulnerable hollow at the back of the neck. Never knowing what could pick them off—a seagull swooping down for a clam. Our most basic imperative: for them to survive. And there's never been a moment we could count on it.

[Thanks Garrison Keillor! More by Ellen Bass.]

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Life Unfolds in the Present

Psychology TodayFrom “The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment,” by Jay Dixit, Psychology Today (Nov-Dec 2008):

We live in the age of distraction. Yet one of life's sharpest paradoxes is that your brightest future hinges on your ability to pay attention to the present…Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized, and squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what's past.

  1. To improve your performance, stop thinking about it (unselfconsciousness).
  2. To avoid worrying about the future, focus on the present (savoring).
  3. If you want a future with your significant other, inhabit the present (breathe).
  4. To make the most of time, lose track of it (flow).
  5. If something is bothering you, move toward it rather than away from it (acceptance).
  6. Know that you don't know (engagement).

[Thanks Janine!]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Then Something Moves Me

"We write so much of our songs in, how do you say, improvising sort of thing. Well, if you call it improvising. I think its more just when you get into a flow with somebody. We always go into a studio…And he starts playing. We hit record straight away. And then I just sort of sit around doing nothing and then something happens that moves me. And I kind of react to that and it's something very beautiful that happens. Because sometimes, you know, one wants to go up and the other one wants to go down and so it's a clash and you have to stop and go back, and you know, write the song. And sometimes both are just completely there and it's like, when that happens, it's like some kind of tunnel vision happens. And you almost feel like you don't have a body at all. There's this panoramic view of things happening and it's kind of explaining that -- what you're seeing. It's a beautiful feeling. You get really addicted to it."

~ Emiliana Torrini, discussing her writing the songs on her latest album, Me and Armini, with David Dye on the World Café (11.18.08)

Happy 80th Birthday, Mickey!

Steamboat Willie first appeared on November 18, 1928 at New York’s Colony Theater.

“The cartoon featured a soundtrack synchronized to follow the visual animation of the story, which was new at the time….Within a decade, Mickey had appeared in more than 100 cartoons, and during these 10 years, he underwent some changes. White oval eyes with little black pupils replaced solid black ones, and his face became less angular and more rounded, to make him look friendlier. His personality became less cunning and more winsome. He was a commercial hit right away, and even during the Great Depression, Mickey merchandise sold well…Mickey Mouse has also become a standard write-in name on U.S. election ballots as a protest vote. Mickey has been a contender in nearly all the American presidential elections since his birth.”

~ From The Writer’s Almanac (11.18.08)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2 x 4 Landscape

"Without preaching, I'm interested in getting people to visualize what is below the surface. We tend not to pay attention to that which is invisible."

~ Maya Lin

Maya Lin, 2 X 4 Landscape, 2006. Wood. 36’ x 53’ x 10’ Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photo by Colleen Chartier.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Oh, My God!

By Billy Collins, from Ballistics

Ballistics Not only in church
and nightly by their bedsides
do young girls pray these days.

Wherever they go,
prayer is woven into their talk
like a bright thread of awe.

Even at the pedestrian mall
outbursts of praise
spring unbidden from their glossy lips.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Poetry in Motion

Animated interpretations of poems written and read by Billy Collins:

The Country


The Best Cigarette





Redefining Success

A Little More About Me

From A Little More About Me, by Pam Houston:

“I am walking along Muir Beach, twenty miles north of San Francisco, with my friend the poet Jane Hirshfield. It is a windy day, sunny and cold, the sea full of memory of a storm that blew through last night.

My friendship with Jane is two years and a few dozen beach walks, horseback rides, and mud baths old. The relationship is deeply successful, like, she would say, the relationship between these huge dark rocks and the silver waves that crash all around them. I bring Jane my wild tales of failed love and adventure, my passion and spontaneity, my questions about how to live my life. She meets these with hard-won wisdom as rich and as peaceful as the pear trees in her garden, a wisdom gained from years of sitting on a small pillow in a huge Buddhist monastery, a calm I can only covet while my life tosses itself from storm to storm.

When I moved to San Francisco, I was running, in the same moment both toward and away. Away from a life that had become stale and repetitive, away from a place where when I said ‘creative writing’ everyone thought I meant calligraphy, away from a desert landscape that I loved more deeply than any I had loved before. What I ran toward was less certain: a big city, a new love, an imagined community of artists, the Pacific Ocean, organic vegetables, and exotic food.

But the love went bad and the ocean was frigid, and in less than a year in the land of milk and honey I was stalked, sued, threatened, abandoned, and mugged, twice. For the first time in my life I was afraid to go home at night, and I found myself alone as I had never been, in the way we never are until we are alone in the midst of five million people. it was from that city-solitude I began the tough work of reinventing my life, and now each talk with Jane clears a little more fog away.

Today we are talking about redefining success. I am telling her about my first notion of success, which came from my parents and involved country clubs, clothing, and cars. As I became and adult I replaced that list with a list of my own, no less arbitrary: a Ph.D., a book of short stories, a place on a best-seller list, a film.

But now I am coming to the understanding that success has less to do with the accumulation of things and more to do with the accumulation of moments, and that creating a successful life might be as simple as determining which moments are the most valuable, and seeing how many of those I can string together in a line."

[Found on Jonathan Carroll’s blog]

Flying Paper Lanterns

Matt and I got to launch paper lanterns during Loy Krathong when we visited Thailand in 2004. It was just like this. We were in a small village up north called Pai. There were just a few lanterns filling the sky like constellations. 

The crowds for this festival are much larger in the bigger cities such as Chiang Mai.


Bouquet de Soleils

"Gardening was something I learned in my youth when I was unhappy. I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."

~ Claude Monet

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The League of Minor Characters

By Kathleen Flenniken from Famous

Famous The main character sits on his childhood bed
naming everything that's gone—ex-job, ex-wife,
ex-best friend-and finally apprehends

the breakdown we've felt coming since chapter five.
When his doctor calls with test results, most of us decide to remain minor characters

like the quixotic neighbor growing
bonsai sequoias, or the waitress with thick
glasses and a passion for chess,

because the main character, in the thrall
of a relentless plot, can't help hurtling toward
the crumbling cliff edge. And who needs that?

Some inherit genes from generations
of minor players, some must learn to guard
those sunny Sundays with the paper

full of heroes in distant gunfire. And some of us
who've gotten smug over the years turn another page,
turn on the football game, until one day

the doorbell rings. We close our books,
adjust our eyes, and the protagonist
sweeps in insisting himself into our lives

with his entourage of lust and language,
sorrow, brio. Hero, anti-hero, it hardly matters
with the lights this bright. The music crests

and it's time to speak.

[Thank you Garrison Keillor!]

Music, Language, and Memory

From Studio 360 (10.31.08):

“A recent study of stroke victims with damaged language abilities found that those who listened to music recovered better than those who listened only to audio books. Music plus words trumped words alone. Studio 360’s Gideon D’Arcangelo has witnessed this phenomenon first hand–with his mother Sylvia.”


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cultivating Mindfulness

Beginning or Deepening a Personal Meditation Practice
by Jon Kabat-Zinn

  1. The real meditation is how you live your life.
  2. In order to live life fully, you have to be present for it.
  3. To be present, it helps to purposefully bring awareness to your moments – otherwise you may miss many of them.
  4. You do that by paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to whatever is arising inwardly and outwardly.
  5. This requires a great deal of kindness toward yourself, which you deserve.
  6. It helps to keep in mind that good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, the present moment is the only time any of us are alive. Therefore, it's the only time to learn, grow, see what is really going on, find some degree of balance, feel and express emotions such as love and appreciation, and do what we need to do to take care of ourselves – in other words, embody our intrinsic strength and beauty and wisdom – even in the face of pain and suffering.
  7. So a gentle love affair with the present moment is important.
  8. We do that through learning to rest in awareness of what is happening inwardly and outwardly moment by moment by moment – it is more a “being” than a “doing.”
  9. Formal and informal meditation practices are specific ways in which you can ground, deepen, and accelerate this process, so it is useful to carve out some time for formal practice on a regular daily basis – maybe waking up fifteen or twenty minutes earlier than you ordinarily would to catch some time for ourselves.
  10. We bring awareness to our moments only as best we can.
  11. We are not trying to create a special feeling or experience – simply to realize that this moment is already very special – because you are alive and awake in it.
  12. This is hard, but well worth it
  13. It takes a lot of practice.
  14. Lots of practice.
  15. But you have a lot of moments – and we can treat each one as a new beginning.
  16. So there are always new moments to open up to if we miss some.
  17. We do all this with a huge amount of self-compassion.
  18. And remember, you are not your thoughts or opinions, your likes or dislikes. They are more like weather patterns in your mind that you can be aware of – like clouds moving across the sky, – and so don’t have to be imprisoned by.
  19. Befriending yourself in this way is the adventure of a lifetime, and hugely empowering.
  20. Try it for a few weeks – it grows on you.


[Thanks John!]

From One Thing to the Next

"People can't multitask very well, and when people say they can, they're deluding themselves. The brain is very good at deluding itself. What we can do is shift our focus from one thing to the next with astonishing speed. Switching from task to task, you think you're actually paying attention to everything around you at the same time. But you're actually not. You're not paying attention to one or two things simultaneously, but switching between them very rapidly. [There are several reasons the brain has to switch among tasks. One is that similar tasks compete to use the same part of the brain.] Think about writing an e-mail and talking on the phone at the same time. Those things are nearly impossible to do at the same time. You cannot focus on one while doing the other. That's because of what's called interference between the two tasks. They both involve communicating via speech or the written word, and so there's a lot of conflict between the two of them."

~ Earl Miller, a Picower Institute Professor of Neuroscience at MIT, quoted in “Think You’re Multitasking? Think Again,” by Jon Hamilton, Morning Edition (10.2.08)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Days are Long, The Years are Short

The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin

The Order of Myths

His Own Words

From “Writers Welcome a Literary President-Elect,” Hillel Italie, Associated Press (11.06.08):

For Toni Morrison and others, the election of Obama matters not because he will be the first black president or because the vast majority of writers usually vote for Democrats. Writers welcome Obama as a peer, a thinker, a man of words — his own words.

"When I was watching Obama's acceptance speech, I was convinced that he had written it himself, and therefore that he was saying things that he actually believed and had considered," says Jane Smiley, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "A Thousand Acres" and other fiction."I find that more convincing in a politician than the usual thing of speaking the words of a raft of hack speechwriters. If he were to lie to us, he would really be betraying his deepest self."


by Tony Hoagland, from Donkey Gospel

Donkey Gospel If you are lucky in this life,
you will get to help your enemy
the way I got to help my mother
when she was weakened past the point of saying no.

Into the big enamel tub
half-filled with water
which I had made just right,
I lowered the childish skeleton
she had become.

Her eyelids fluttered as I soaped and rinsed
her belly and her chest,
the sorry ruin of her flanks
and the frayed gray cloud
between her legs.

Some nights, sitting by her bed
book open in my lap
while I listened to the air
move thickly in and out of her dark lungs,
my mind filled up with praise
as lush as music,

amazed at the symmetry and luck
that would offer me the chance to pay
my heavy debt of punishment and love
with love and punishment.

And once I held her dripping wet
in the uncomfortable air
between the wheelchair and the tub,
and she begged me like a child

to stop,
an act of cruelty which we both understood
was the ancient irresistible rejoicing
of power over weakness.

If you are lucky in this life,
you will get to raise the spoon
of pristine, frosty ice cream
to the trusting creature mouth
of your old enemy

because the tastebuds at least are not broken
because there is a bond between you
and sweet is sweet in any language.

[Thank you Garrison Keillor!]

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Spectrum of Opinion

Michael Crichton“We are all assumed, these days, to reside at one extreme of the opinion spectrum, or another. We are pro-abortion or anti-abortion. We are free traders or protectionist. We are pro-private sector or pro-big government. We are feminists or chauvinists. But in the real world, few of us holds these extreme views. There is instead a spectrum of opinion.
The extreme positions of the Crossfire Syndrome require extreme simplification - framing the debate in terms which ignore the real issues.”

~ Michael Crichton, “Mediasaurus: The Decline of Conventional Media,” National Press Club, Washington D.C., April 7, 1993

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Breakdown Not Cured by Money Alone

DCARead "I reject a politics that is based solely on racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or victimhood generally. I think much of what ails the inner city involves a breakdown in culture that will not be cured by money alone, and that our values and spiritual life matter at least as much as our GDP."

~ Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

Monday, November 03, 2008

Making a Gate

A writing exercise by Lynda Barry from What It Is:

“If you made a list of all the dogs you have ever known, how many dogs would be on your list? If you look at your list you may find dogs, not forgotten, but not remembered either until you called them with your pen.

Where were they waiting? Why have they stayed, willing to be unthought, unpictured until now? Some of them have been gone a very long time.

Some of them we have made ourselves forget to recall because losing them had been unbearable and being without them, worse. And so they seem gone from our thoughts as a kind of favor to us -- a kind of mercy. They do not cross our minds until we can stand it again. But they are inside of us in that image-place. They happened to us and we happened to them. This cannot be undone by forgetting or re-made by remembering. We cannot bring them back and we cannot lose them. We know this because we have tried.

During the unbearable time and the empty Samantha        time which followed and the unremembered time that is not forgetting, but a kind of fencing off; an image-space; active, though unthought -- in the way dreams are un-thought, are something other than thought. If you made a list of all the dogs you have ever known, alive or dead, yours or someone else's, you will be making a gate for a fence you may not know about. Will you open it?”

Not the Center of the Universe

From "The Cosmos and You," Education Life, New York Times (10.30.08):

Yorke Brown designed the primary mirror support servos on the ARC and SDSS telescopes at Apache Point Observatory. For his lecture course at Dartmouth last summer, “Astronomy 3: Exploring the Universe,” Prof. Yorke Brown gave a quiz at week’s end. “Any questions?” he asked, just before one on the life cycle of stars. Just one. Johanna Evans, an English major, wanted to know: “How do you keep from despairing at the immensity of space and the smallness of us?” Professor Brown acknowledged that it was “a beautiful and important question,” but, he wondered, could it wait until after the quiz? Here are excerpts from the follow-up e-mail exchange. Subject line: Despair.

MS. EVANS: I guess the hugeness of what we are studying finally caught up with me once we broke out of the basic principles of physics. It was like opening up an unused compartment in my brain, as though one part were used to think about things that concerned my earthly sphere, and this other newly discovered part was meant to — but not ready to — grapple with HUGE realities. I felt as though the impact of my existence is small, compared to something like the impact of a supernova.

DR. BROWN: Johanna, you are most certainly an infinitesimal in the cold vastness of the cosmos, and yes, you are only one of billions of humans and other creatures who have come before and will come after, and your life is barely a mathematical instant in the span of time. But you are also, just as certainly, a miracle: you are a creature capable of thought, of wonder, of awe. You are a creature capable of recognizing that you are not the center of the Universe. And it is because of that very capacity that you can see in other people the same intrinsic value that you see in yourself. You are capable of love, and so need not despair of insignificance. See you Monday.

[Thanks Matt!]

Sunday, November 02, 2008

An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube

By Michael Wesch. Presented at the Library of Congress on June 23, 2008.

Digital Ethnography @ Kansas State

[Thanks Connie!]