Are We Lacking Information?


Doing the Web 2.0 Dance, checking up on feeds, following links, keeping up with Twitter…. Scanning, scanning, what are we really looking for? Back in the old days – as recently as about ten years ago? – information was rather hard to find. We had to ferret it out, spend time with original sources, eitherContinue reading “Are We Lacking Information?”

Routine, Another Cost of Efficiency


The ripples keep expanding from Krishnamurti’s insight into the way knowledge, especially psychological knowledge, locks us into routine responses that, as he put it, atrophy the brain. In my penultimate post, I speculated on how this could be a way to speak directly about a significant aspect of what’s led us to where we findContinue reading “Routine, Another Cost of Efficiency”

The Trouble with Routine


Krishnamurti, So let’s come back to the realization that any activity which is repeated, which is directed in the narrow sense, any method, any routine, logical or illogical, does affect the brain. We have understood that very clearly. Knowledge at a certain level is essential, but psychological knowledge about oneself, one’s experiences, etc. becomes routine.Continue reading “The Trouble with Routine”

The Trouble with “Uncivilization”


There is a tremendous lurking flaw in any initiative that frames itself as a negative. We know that, yet we struggle with finding a framework, and a simple title for it, that denotes the activities around weening our attention from the grip of civilization without resorting to this awkward and negative term, Uncivilization. This mayContinue reading “The Trouble with “Uncivilization””

Craft’s Collision with Civilization, a starting point


Andrew Taggart recently asked me to clarify how I see the deterioration and loss of Craft resulting from its confrontation with civilization. This is a big question! Let’s begin with a few definitions. I’m beginning to see Craft as a central focal point in examining how our confrontation with civilization has led us to whereContinue reading “Craft’s Collision with Civilization, a starting point”

Crafting Awareness


Skeins of various threads spiral around me. Their common center may be craft. Craft. It’s an interesting word. It seems straightforward enough at first glance but once we start to look more closely it expands. There’s a broadness to it. It means making. It also means a vessel that transports us. It denotes a varietyContinue reading “Crafting Awareness”

Notes on the Sources of Art


This piece has grown during the writing, pushed ahead by the ambition of its title, only slightly modified by the insertion of the word “Notes…” I’m resisting the urge to break it up into my customary 1,500 words. I need to break that habit as much as we all need not to get too comfortableContinue reading “Notes on the Sources of Art”

Notes On Ritual


Some years ago, a dozen? Maybe more, I had an insight regarding ritual. I was thinking about the way Norse boatbuilders carved intricate designs on their craft. They were almost proto modern in so many other ways, creating boats that are still marvels when approached along our common notions of form following function. The NorseContinue reading “Notes On Ritual”

Innovation as Impermanence


Watching this BBC documentary about the Islamic History of Europe I came across the Islamic roots of Convivencia, a term I’ve associated with Ivan Illich, perhaps its most recent heir, himself part of an Hispanic tradition going back to Al Andaluz. This film is a refreshing look at the contributions of Islamic Culture to theContinue reading “Innovation as Impermanence”

Innovation, Creation, and Change


Sick as we are, finding further bad news of our diagnosis and prognosis at every turn; we look to innovation, creation, and change for some way to turn back the clock, or at least carve out some detour from the horrors we see in our path. This is understandable. Predictable. But is it good orContinue reading “Innovation, Creation, and Change”

On Conservatism


Humans have been profoundly conservative for most of our existence. That statement is rendered meaningless if we take conservatism to mean what is sold in its name today, or believe in what passes for the span of human existence as our self-professed conservatives would insist it to have been. Let’s pry the term away fromContinue reading “On Conservatism”

I’m not a Brand, are you?


Vague currents swirl about. I’m between things, in a weightless apogee of the summer solstice and its aftermath. I’m waiting for what’s coming to materialize, and for the ways to talk/write these changes will require. In the meantime, I’m struck by our push to turn ourselves into Brands. It’s curious that as I begin toContinue reading “I’m not a Brand, are you?”