Tyro


WORD OF THE DAY
Tyro TY-ro Part of speech: nounOrigin: Latin, 17th century
1A beginner or novice.
 
Examples of Tyro in a sentence “She was a tyro podcaster when it came to production but always chose great subject matter.” “Tyro investors should ease into the market by investing small amounts of money.”

via 1440 Daily Digest


Afghanistan on the Brink

The Afghanistan government could potentially collapse as soon as six months after US and international forces complete their withdrawal, according to sources familiar with a new US intelligence assessment. The reports come ahead of a Friday meeting between President Joe Biden and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. 

Biden pledged in April that US troops—minus diplomatic security and potentially some special forces units—would be fully withdrawn by Sept. 11. To date, roughly half of the 3,500 troops and their equipment have been pulled out. Amid the winddown, numerous reports have surfaced of Afghan troops surrendering to Taliban fighters. Monday, the Taliban took control of a key district in the northern Kunduz province and are said to be on the verge of capturing the provincial capital. 

See a map of who controls which areas in the country here.

brown brick wall with water fountain

Apple Daily Closes

Hong Kong’s last remaining pro-democracy newspaper will publish its final edition today, the latest casualty in a broad crackdown on dissent by pro-Beijing officials in the city. The closure of Apple Daily comes one week after five of the paper’s top staff were arrested during morning police raids at their homes. More than $2M in funds from the paper and its parent company were also frozen. 

City officials allege the paper colluded with foreign powers to undermine the Chinese government. Reportedly at issue were a series of articles dating back to 2019 which referenced the imposition of sanctions against Beijing for its stifling of pro-democracy protests over the past two years

The paper’s closure is the biggest attempt by China to silence government criticism in the press since the passage of a controversial national security bill last year. Critics of the bill said broadly defined laws against subversion and sedition gave the government carte blanche to silence opposing views. 

 How much does a mistake cost? by Seth Godin


 How much does a mistake cost? [ https://p.feedblitz.com/r3.asp?l=179091971&f=1081591&c=7761673&u=5102652 ]
Errors are preventable.

But preventing errors requires an investment. Before committing to an error-free production environment, it’s worth calculating the cost.

A typo on this blog is relatively inexpensive. (Thanks to loyal reader Seth Barnes for graciously emailing me when one slips through).

On the other hand, a mistake in calculating the route of a high-speed rail line might cost a billion dollars… And we probably don’t want any errors on the pacemaker assembly line.

If you’ve decided that errors are too expensive for your project, then build a system that doesn’t depend on heroics to avoid errors. Sure, that costs more than just trying harder, but if trying harder was going to reduce errors, it would have worked already.

The pilot who painstakingly works through the pre-flight checklist might not be a swashbuckling Maverick type, but they are much less likely to be the victim of a careless error. The reason that planes don’t crash is because there are countless layers of redundancy and systems to be sure that they don’t.

Spend the time and spend the money and the errors can be avoided. Or accept that errors are part of wayfinding, and realize that your problem is caused by a systemic situation, not a lack of effort.

John McAfee – via PNUTs Gallery


Software Pioneer Found Dead

(VCG via Getty Images)

Controversial antivirus software magnate and fugitive, John McAfee, apparently chose suicide over extradition to the U.S., where he faced multiple charges including tax evasion. The 75-year-old was found dead Wednesday in his prison cell near Barcelona, just hours after a Spanish court approved his extradition.

McAfee was arrested in Spain in October 2020, where he’d fled after being indicted in the U.S. He faced charges of failing to file taxes from 2014 to 2018, despite earning millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary. He was indicted again in March 2021 on separate fraud and money laundering charges. McAfee argued the charges against him were politically motivated.

McAfee was born in the U.K. in 1945 and grew up in Virginia. He was 15 when his alcoholic father committed suicide. In college, McAfee began drinking and experimenting with drugs. In the late 1960s, he started work at a company where he learned the basics of early computing. From there he moved to Missouri Pacific Railroad (MPR), helping them calibrate train schedules with the use of the newly introduced IBM computer system. At MPR he began using LSD and other psychedelic drugs. In the 1970s he moved to Silicon Valley, working for various tech companies and using more drugs and alcohol. 

In the 1980s McAfee worked at NASA and Lockheed Martin. When the first computer virus hit PCs in 1986, he decided to start his own antivirus software company. He founded McAfee Associates in 1987 and achieved early success, earning millions as the creator of McAfee’s first commercial antivirus software; he ran the company until 1994. In 1996 he sold his remaining shares for about $100 million, but after the market collapse in 2008 he was left with only about $4 million. A year later he liquidated his U.S. holdings and moved to a remote island off the coast of Belize, where he started another company, and became more erratic and unhinged

McAfee was leading a paranoid, sex and drug-fuelled, jungle-dwelling lifestyle, complete with a harem of local prostitutes and gun-toting bodyguards. In 2012 he became a “person of interest” in the death of a neighbor. His mansion was raided by police who suspected him of illegal drug manufacturing and weapons possession. McAfee fled to Guatemala where he asked for political asylum, but he was deported back to the U.S. 

McAfee lived in Portland and started another company, but relocated to Montreal after claiming he narrowly escaped an attempt on his life. A March 2014 article quoted him as saying “Running a company while on the run is not easy.” In 2016 McAfee was a candidate for president on the Libertarian ticket. After his indictment in 2020 he escaped again, this time to Spain. He never believed the 2019 death of Jeffrey Epstein was suicide and told his social media followers that if he died in prison it wouldn’t be by suicide. He said “know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.” (CNN, Insider, BBC, Crime Museum, Independent)

Five Useful Phrases


  1. Raining Cats and Dogs Meaning: When it is raining heavily.
  2. Beating a Dead Horse Meaning: To bring up an issue that has already been resolved.
  3. Quick and Dirty Meaning: Things that are fixed with great speed, but as a result, it’s probably not going to work very well.
  4. Fish Out Of Water Meaning: Someone being in a situation that they are unfamiliar or unsuited for.
  5. Under Your Nose Meaning: Missing something that should be really obvious.

Wisdom- TV Comedy Characters


Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.
 Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) in “Parks and Recreation”

We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.
 Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) in “Parks and Recreation”

Rejection from society is what created the X-Men!
 Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) in “30 Rock”

When one of us shines, all of us shine. That is the meaning of ensemble.
 Moira Rose (Catherine O’Hara) in “Schitt’s Creek”

Society teaches us that having feelings and crying is bad and wrong. Well, that’s baloney, because grief isn’t wrong. There’s such a thing as good grief. Just ask Charlie Brown.
 Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) in “The Office”

I need to show that I’m a lone, fierce she-wolf.
 Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) in “Veep”

There are still some people in this world that we care about, so I say we try and help them become good people. Why not try? It’s better than not trying, right?
 Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) in “The Good Place”

My mother always used to say: “The older you get, the better you get, unless you’re a banana.”
 Rose Nylund (Betty White) in “Golden Girls”

I like the wine, and not the label.
 David Rose (Dan Levy) in “Schitt’s Creek”

I have spent a lot of time, and I have eaten a lot of crap to get to where I am today. And I am not throwing it all away now.
 Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) in “Seinfeld”

One person’s annoying is another’s inspiring and heroic.
 Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) in “Parks and Recreation”

There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?
 Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) in “The Office”

Here I am with all this talent bottled up inside of me and you’re always sitting on the cork.
 Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) in “I Love Lucy”

That’s how I felt when I came to Bel-Air, like everybody had two skates and I was trying to keep up with one. Thanks for my other skate, Uncle Phil.
– Will Smith (Will Smith) in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

I’m sort of like Costco. I’m big, I’m not fancy, and I dare you to not like me.
 Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet) in “Modern Family”

I don’t skate through life, David. I walk through life, in really nice shoes.
 Alexis Rose (Annie Murphy) in “Schitt’s Creek”

It’s like all of my life everyone has always told me, “You’re a shoe, you’re a shoe, you’re a shoe, you’re a shoe.” And then today I just stopped and I said, “What if I don’t want to be a shoe? What if I want to be a purse, you know? Or, a hat?”
 Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) in “Friends”

You said that every human is a little bit sad all the time, because you know you’re going to die. But that knowledge is what gives life meaning.
Michael (Ted Danson) in “The Good Place”

The need to find another human being to share one’s life with has always puzzled me. Maybe because I’m so interesting all by myself. With that being said, may you find as much happiness with each other as I find on my own.
 Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) in “Big Bang Theory”

Here’s an idea. What if we don’t worry about whatever comes next?
 Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) in “The Good Place”

Dilettante


WORD OF THE DAY
Dilettante dil-ə-TAHNTPart of speech: nounOrigin: Italian, mid-18th century
1A person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.
 
Examples of Dilettante in a sentence “No one could accuse the artist of being a dilettante.” “Seth had a dilettante-level knowledge of wine compared to the vintner.”

Brainpickings.org Newsletter


This is Brain Pickings midweek pick-me-up, drawn from my fifteen-year archive of ideas unblunted by time, resurfaced as timeless nourishment for heart, mind, and spirit. (If you don’t yet subscribe to the standard Sunday newsletter of new pieces published each week, you can sign up here — it’s free.) If you missed last week’s edition — an antidote to the age of anxiety: Alan Watts on happiness and how to live with presence — you can catch up right here. If my labor of love enriches your life in any way, please consider supporting it with a donation – all these years, I have spent tens of thousands of hours, made many personal sacrifices, and invested tremendous resources in Brain Pickings, which remains free and ad-free and alive thanks to reader patronage. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

FROM THE ARCHIVE | The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness

soulofanoctopus.jpg?fit=320%2C491

“Despite centuries of investigation by everyone from natural historians, psychologists, and psychiatrists, to ethicists, neuroscientists, and philosophers, there is still no universal definition of emotion or consciousness,” Laurel Braitman wrote in her terrific exploration of the mental lives of animals. Virginia Woolf defined consciousness as “a wave in the mind,” but even if we’re able to ride the wave, we hardly know the ocean out of which it arises.

During my annual visit to NPR’s Science Friday to discuss my choices for the year’s best science books, my co-guest — science writer extraordinaire Deborah Blum — mentioned a fascinating book that had slipped my readerly tentacles, one that addresses this abiding question of consciousness with unparalleled rigor and grace: The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness (public library) by naturalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker Sy Montgomery.

Montgomery begins with a seemingly simple premise. The octopus is a creature magnificently dissimilar to us — it can change shape and color, tastes with its skin, has its mouth in its armpit, and is capable of squeezing its entire body through a hole the size of an apple. And since we humans experience reality in profoundly different ways from one another, based on our individual consciousnesses, then the octopus must be inhabiting an altogether different version of what we call reality.

The constellation of complexities comprising this difference, Montgomery reveals over the course of this miraculously insightful and enchanting book, expands our understanding of consciousness and sheds light on the very notion of what we call a “soul.”CephalopodAtlas15.jpg?resize=680%2C971

Art from Cephalopod Atlas, 1909. (Available as a print and as a face mask, benefitting The Nature Conservancy.)

She writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngMore than half a billion years ago, the lineage that would lead to octopuses and the one leading to humans separated. Was it possible, I wondered, to reach another mind on the other side of that divide? Octopuses represent the great mystery of the Other.

Among the pitfalls of the human condition is our tendency to see otherness as a source of dread rather than an invitation to friendly curiosity. The octopus, as the ultimate Other, has a long history of epitomizing this inclination and sparking our primal fear of the unknown. Montgomery cites one particularly emblematic depiction from Victor Hugo’s novel Toilers of the Sea:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThe spectre lies upon you; the tiger can only devour you; the devil-fish, horrible, sucks your life-blood away… The muscles swell, the fibres of the body are contorted, the skin cracks under the loathsome oppression, the blood spurts out and mingles horribly with the lymph of the monster, which clings to the victim with innumerable hideous mouths…

Setting out to “defend the octopus against centuries of character assassination,” Montgomery notes that octopuses have highly individual personalities and can exhibit marked curiosity — faculties we tend to think of as singularly human. Even their motives for friendliness and unfriendliness, far from the baseless brutality of depictions like Hugo’s, parallel our own:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngIn one study, Seattle Aquarium biologist Roland Anderson exposed eight giant Pacific octopuses to two unfamiliar humans, dressed identically in blue aquarium uniforms. One person consistently fed a particular octopus, and another always touched it with a bristly stick. Within a week, at first sight of the people — looking up at them through the water, without even touching or tasting them — most of the octopuses moved toward the feeder and away from the irritator. Sometimes the octopus would aim its water-shooting funnel, the siphon near the side of the head with which an octopus jets through the sea, at the person who had touched it with the bristly stick.

Surely, a skeptic might argue that this is more instinct than “consciousness.” But Montgomery goes on to outline a number of strikingly specific and context-considered behaviors indicating that octopuses are animated by complex conscious experiences — things we tend to term “thoughts” and “feelings” in the human realm — that upend our delusions of exceptionalism. Lest we forget, we have a long history of bolstering those delusions by putting other species down, much like petty egotists try to make themselves feel big by making other people feel small — even Jane Goodall contended with dismissal and ridicule when she first suggested that chimpanzees have consciousness.CephalopodAtlas16.jpg?resize=680%2C996

Art from Cephalopod Atlas, 1909. (Available as a print and as a face mask, benefitting The Nature Conservancy.)

But beyond intellectual considerations of this weird and wonderful creature’s inner life, Montgomery points to the physical, bodily presence with an octopus as a transcendent experience in its own right — one that pulls into question our most basic assumptions about consciousness:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWhile stroking an octopus, it is easy to fall into reverie. To share such a moment of deep tranquility with another being, especially one as different from us as the octopus, is a humbling privilege. It’s a shared sweetness, a gentle miracle, an uplink to universal consciousness.

Indeed, the book’s greatest reward isn’t the fascinating science — although that is riveting and ablaze with rigor — but Montgomery’s bewitching prose, pouring from the soul of a literary naturalist who paints the marvels of the ocean’s depths like Thoreau did the marvels of the New England woods. Finding herself “drunk with strange splendors” as she beholds the marine world’s “parade of wonders,” Montgomery writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngA splendid toadfish hides beneath a rock. Once thought to live only in Cozumel, it’s pancake flat, with thin, wavy, horizontal blue and white stripes, Day-Glo yellow fins, and whiskery barbels. A four-foot nurse shark sleeps beneath a coral shelf, peaceful as a prayer. A trumpet fish, yellow with dark stripes, floats with its long, tubular snout down, trying to blend in with some branching coral… A school of iridescent pink and yellow fish slide by inches from our masks, then wheel in unison like birds in the sky.

I have known no natural state more like a dream than this. I feel elation cresting into ecstasy and experience bizarre sensations: my own breath resonates in my skull, faraway sounds thump in my chest, objects appear closer and larger than they really are. Like in a dream, the impossible unfolds before me, and yet I accept it unquestioningly. Beneath the water, I find myself in an altered state of consciousness, where the focus, range, and clarity of perception are dramatically changed.

laitasea2.jpg?w=680

North Pacific Giant Octopus by photographer Mark Laita from his project Sea

Suddenly acutely aware that the octopuses she has met and come to love on her expeditions experience this dizzying otherworldliness as their basic backdrop of existence, she considers the limited array of sensations and perceptions that we’ve come to accept as the whole or reality:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThe ocean, for me, is what LSD was to Timothy Leary. He claimed the hallucinogen is to reality what a microscope is to biology, affording a perception of reality that was not before accessible. Shamans and seekers eat mushrooms, drink potions, lick toads, inhale smoke, and snort snuff to transport their minds to realms they cannot normally experience.

[…]

In my scuba-induced altered state, I’m not in the grip of a drug: I am lucid in my immersion, voluntarily becoming part of what feels like the ocean’s own dream.

Out of this perspective-shifting consideration arises Montgomery’s most profound inquiry. Sitting in a Tahitian temple dedicated to the spirit of the octopus, where one of her expeditions has taken her, she wonders:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWhat is the soul? Some say it is the self, the “I” that inhabits the body; without the soul, the body is like a lightbulb with no electricity. But it is more than the engine of life, say others; it is what gives life meaning and purpose. Soul is the fingerprint of God.

Others say that soul is our innermost being, the thing that gives us our senses, our intelligence, our emotions, our desires, our will, our personality, and identity. One calls soul “the indwelling consciousness that watches the mind come and go, that watches the world pass.” Perhaps none of these definitions is true. Perhaps all of them are. But I am certain of one thing as I sit in my pew: If I have a soul — and I think I do — an octopus has a soul, too.

This, no doubt, is what Alan Watts meant when he asserted that “Life and Reality are not things you can have for yourself unless you accord them to all others.”

The Soul of an Octopus is an astoundingly beautiful read in its entirety, at once scientifically illuminating and deeply poetic, and is indeed a worthy addition to the best science books of the year.

FORWARD TO A FRIEND/READ ONLINE/
donating=lovingEach month, I spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars keeping Brain Pickings going. For a decade and a half, it has remained free and ad-free and alive thanks to patronage from readers. I have no staff, no interns, not even an assistant — a thoroughly one-woman labor of love that is also my life and my livelihood. If this labor makes your life more livable in any way, please consider aiding its sustenance with a donation. Your support makes all the difference.monthly donationYou can become a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a Brooklyn lunch. one-time donationOr you can become a Spontaneous Supporter with a one-time donation in any amount.Partial to Bitcoin? You can beam some bit-love my way: 197usDS6AsL9wDKxtGM6xaWjmR5ejgqem7

KINDRED READINGS:

hummingbird_gould0.jpg

Between Science and Magic: Sy Montgomery on How Hummingbirds Hover at the Edge of the Possible

* * *

CephalopodAtlas0.jpg

Cephalopod Atlas: Stunning, Sensual Illustrations from the World’s First Encyclopedia of Octopus and Squid Wonders from the Ocean Depths

* * *

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How to Be a Good Creature: Naturalist Sy Montgomery on What 13 Animals Taught Her About Otherness, Love, and the Heart of Our Humanity

* * *

MOving Lyrics from Beatles Songs



I found that love was more
Than just holding hands
 “If I Fell,” A Hard Day’s Night, 1964

 

I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love
 “Can’t Buy Me Love,” A Hard Day’s Night, 1964

 

Tomorrow may rain so I’ll follow the sun
 “I’ll Follow the Sun,” Beatles for Sale, 1964

 

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors
 “Help!,” Help!, 1965

 

Life is very short and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend
 “We Can Work It Out,” Rubber Soul, 1965

 

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed.
Some forever not for better.
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living.
In my life, I’ve loved them all
 “In My Life,” Rubber Soul, 1965

 

All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?
 “Eleanor Rigby,” Revolver, 1966

 

Keeping an eye on the world going by my window
Taking my time
 “I’m Only Sleeping,” Revolver, 1966

 

I get by with a little help from my friends
 “With a Little Help From My Friends,” Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967

 

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better,
A little better all the time
 “Getting Better,” Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967

 

And the time will come when you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you
 “Within You Without You,” Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967

 

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
 “All You Need Is Love,” Magical Mystery Tour, 1967

 

Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy
All you need is love
 “All You Need Is Love,” Magical Mystery Tour, 1967

 

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It’s getting hard to be someone, but it all works out
 “Strawberry Fields Forever,” Magical Mystery Tour, 1967

 

I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
 “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” The Beatles (The White Album), 1968

 

All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
 “Blackbird,” The Beatles (The White Album), 1968

 

The sun is up, the sky is blue
It’s beautiful, and so are you
– “Dear Prudence,” The Beatles (The White Album), 1968

 

Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better.
 “Hey Jude,” Hey Jude, 1968

 

Well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder
 “Hey Jude,” Hey Jude, 1968

 

Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
 “Here Comes the Sun,” Abbey Road, 1969

 

And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make
 “The End,” Abbey Road, 1969

 

One thing I can tell you is you got to be free
 “Come Together,” Abbey Road, 1969

 

You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead
 “Two of Us,” Let It Be, 1970

 

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me
Shine on ’til tomorrow, let it be.
 “Let It Be,” Let It Be, 1970

 

Limitless undying love which shines around me like a
Million suns, it calls me on and on,
Across the universe
 “Across the Universe,” Let It Be, 1970

 

The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
 “The Long and Winding Road,” Let It Be, 1970

Aristotele Quotes


COURAGE

Courage involves pain, and is justly praised; for it is harder to face what is painful than to abstain from what is pleasant.

TEMPERANCE

By abstaining from pleasures we become temperate, and it is when we have become so that we are most able to abstain from them.

LIBERALITY (GENEROSITY)

Of all those who are called virtuous the liberal are probably the best liked, because they are helpful; and their help consists in giving.

TRUTHFULNESS

Falsehood is in itself bad and reprehensible, while the truth is a fine and praiseworthy thing.

FRIENDLINESS

The best friend is he that, when he wishes a person’s good, wishes it for that person’s own sake.

JUSTICE

Justice is often regarded as the sovereign virtue, and ‘neither evening nor morning star is such a wonder.’

MAGNANIMITY

It is proper to a magnanimous person not to nurse memories, especially not of evils, but to overlook them.

RIGHTEOUSNESS

The man who gets angry at the right things and with the right people, and also in the right way and at the right time and for the right length of time, is commended; so this person will be patient… because a patient person tends to be unperturbed and not carried away by feelings.

MAGNIFICENCE

The magnificent man is like an artist; for he can see what is fitting and spend large sums tastefully.

AMBITION

We blame both the ambitious man as aiming at honour more than is right and from wrong sources, and the unambitious man as not willing to be honoured even for noble reasons.

WIT

Wit is cultured insolence.

 

Photo credit: UniversalImagesGroup/ Contributor/ Getty Images

Creativity Quotes form Artists


MAKE IT YOURS

They thought I was a surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.
– Frida Kahlo

BUILD BETTER

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
– Vincent van Gogh

LOOK CLOSER

The only way art lives is through the experience of the observer. The reality of art begins with the eyes of the beholder, through imagination, invention and confrontation.
– Keith Haring

KNOWING MIGHT NOT BE SEEING

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.
– Diane Arbus

CREATE WHAT YOU KNOW

The texture of experience is prior to everything else.
– Willem de Kooning

SEEING THE EXTRAORDINARY IN THE ORDINARY

The artist is a receptacle for emotions derived from anywhere: from the sky, from the earth, from a piece of paper, from a passing figure, from a spider’s web. This is a spider’s web. This is why one must not make a distinction between things. For them there are no aristocratic quarterings. One must take things where one finds them.
— Pablo Picasso

CREATE WITH INTENTION

I can control the flow of paint; there is no accident.
– Jackson Pollock

ART IS NEVER DONE

I tell myself that anyone who says he has finished a canvas is terribly arrogant. Finished means complete, perfect, and I toil away without making any progress, searching, fumbling around, without achieving anything much.
– Claude Monet

BE WHO YOU ARE

Originality is neither a matter of inventiveness nor method, it is the essence of personality.
– Edward Hopper

SEE BEAUTY, SHARE BEAUTY

The herculean task of a photographer is to capture a momentary frame as beautiful in reality, as it would be in a dream.
– Ansel Adams

DO THE WORK

If you refuse to study anatomy, the arts of drawing and perspective, the mathematics of aesthetics, and the science of color, let me tell you that this is more a sign of laziness than of genius.
– Salvador Dalí

LET ART GROUND YOU

Art is a guarantee of sanity.
– Louise Bourgeois

LEARN FROM ART

I think there are many open-ended questions that artists can pose and we can ask communities to feel empowered enough to reply, respond, rebel, and feel amazed by the relentless spiraling of thought and image and action that is the artist’s profession.
– Kara Walker

EVERYONE HAS A FAN

A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him.
– Man Ray

APPROXIMATION AND INTERPRETATION

The admission of approximation is necessary, for one cannot hope to be absolute in his precision. He cannot see, or even conceive of a thing from all possible points of view, simultaneously. While he perfects the front, the side, or rear may be weak; then while he strengthens the other facade he may be weakening that originally the best. There is no end to this. To finish the work he must approximate.
– Alexander Calder

PAINT YOUR STORY

I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.
– Joan Miró

MAKE IT MEMORABLE

Great art — or good art — is when you look at it, experience it and it stays in your mind. I don’t think conceptual art and traditional art are all that different. There’s boring conceptual art and there’s boring traditional art. Great art is if you can’t stop thinking about it, then it becomes a memory.
– Damien Hirst

THERE IS BEAUTY IN EVERYTHING

I’ve never met a person I couldn’t call a beauty.
– Andy Warhol

MAKE IT MEAN SOMETHING

Art without content is like sex without intimacy: technically sufficient, but emotionally empty.
– Judy Chicago

TREASURE EXPERIENCE AND INTUITION

Artists and religionists are never far apart, they go to the sources of revelation for what they choose to experience and what they report is the degree of their experiences. Intellect wishes to arrange — intuition wishes to accept.
– Georgia O’Keeffe

LIFE ALWAYS INSPIRES

I don’t think about art while I work … I try to think about life.
– Jean Michel-Basquiat

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

The progression of a painter’s work, as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity: toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer. As examples of such obstacles, I give (among others) memory, history or geometry, which are swamps of generalization from which one might pull out parodies of ideas (which are ghosts) but never an idea in itself. To achieve this clarity is, inevitably, to be understood.
– Mark Rothko

ART IS EVERYTHING

Art doesn’t transform. It just plain forms.
– Roy Lichtenstein

Today’s Inspirational Quote:


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.”

— Wilma Rudolph

Triumph over Adversity Day


Did you know…

… that today is Triumph over Adversity Day? Olympic track star Wilma Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940, at Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee. Until she was 12, she had to wear a leg brace because of polio. At age 20, she became the first American woman to receive three Olympic gold medals — by running!