Walking is increasingly mediated by technological gadgets worn on wrists or gripped in hands. We spend an increasing amount of time ‘screening’ the world – taking in most of life through a contracted frame that captures objects of immediate interest. To live with eyes on the screen is to be attached, stuck in the frame, taking in what is presented to us and re-presented to us again. But representation – even in fine-grained pixilation – is not experience. To experience is to perceive. When we look at a screen, we might see something, but we don’t perceive. To live life through representations is to live passively, to receive rather than to experience.
I am so grateful that I discovered the IndieWeb. Owning my content and posting my thoughts on my own site instead of a silo like Twitter gives me real freedom. I can decide how my thoughts are displayed (I like to make them available to everyone without advertising), I can edit them and they stay available for as long as I want.
It was a particular joy for me to visit the sites associated with St. Ignatius of Loyola on a recent film trip. But the most moving locale was a little church in Manresa built around the cave where the young Ignatius spent about nine months preparing himself spiritually for his life’s work. What he learned at Manresa is that our attachments to various created goods—money, power, pleasure, and honor—stand in the way of our responding to God’s will for us.
~ Bishop Barron
A really good homily that talks about the practice of “Agere Contra”, which means “To act against”. I believe that you can apply “Agere Contra” to most things in life. You don't have to be religious to practice it. For instance, I can see the practice of “Agere Contra” being very effective against social media and smartphone addiction.
Great read on the definitions of love and mercy, and how both could affect our society.
The picture of a society without mercy reminds me of something I heard about mercy defined linguistically. The Hebrew word associates the experience with pregnancy. Mercy is like being pregnant. “Bearing with” the other in mercy requires genuine selflessness.
That's a wonderful description of mercy.
“Others are out there” means that mercy requires love as defined by Iris Murdoch. She says, “Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than yourself is real.” Love initiates and invites mercy
I've come to a similar conclusion. If love is “willing the good of others” as Bishop Barron so often says, then there cannot be mercy without love. So, for our society to be merciful, we must first love each other. Only then will mercy manifest itself.
I encourage you to be conscious of the fact that the electronic/digital world is not really a natural world. It might be becoming our new norm, especially in the current pandemic. But we should always make a point to step away from these unnatural options.
Instead, take a hike, view the night sky, listen to live music, breathe the fresh air.
This was a good read. And to his point, I never even thought about that. How much time do we spend at night browsing or living on the internet? I'm guilty of this too, what with the multiple blogs and websites that I try to keep up with at night. The time we spend at nights living on the internet, means time spent not living in the natural world. Something to think about that.
As Seneca points out, “We are not given a short life, but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it.” A minute is long if you know how to use it. A week is plenty of time if you don’t waste it.
I thought this was an extremely good read. If you are a fan of Stoicism, you'll find much to like here. And even if you are not a fan, there is still so much good information here. The kind that you could use right away.
Reading this has made me interested in finding out more about Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. From the quotes I've read on Seneca, he seems to be this old guy full of common-sense wisdom that he imparts in sometimes hilarious fashion. Marcus Aurelius on the other hand, was like this serious, principled and disciplined authority figure. Figures, he was only emperor of Rome at some point in time.
As one of my college professors used to say, “Giving is not giving until it hurts.” This story is a good example of that. But more than that, I think this is also an example of God knowing what we need, way before we even realize it.
Was it purely coincidence that the scarf was where it was at that exact moment in time? Hmm maybe.
But what if it wasn't? If it wasn't, then it is like the author says. It was God showing up in a scarf to comfort him and help him deal with his loss. I think this is an amazing story if that was the case.
Lastly, some sort of realization. If it was me in the author's situation, I'm not sure that I would have been generous enough to give the scarf away. But I think that's an indication of how attached I am to personal and material things in this world. Something I need to work on then.
If you’re one of these people, opening a book might have become something to do when you haven’t got anything else going on, which is almost never. It’s as if you decided at some point, likely without conscious thought, that even though you love books, book reading is effectively the least important thing in your life – you’ll squeeze it in, if you can.
I have a feeling that a lot of it has to do with the smartphones in our pockets. At least, that's what I struggle with from time to time.
Reason #2: filtering out information takes effort.
Contrary to common sense, ignoring things is not a passive mental process.
Researchers have found that it takes energy to ignore irrelevant stimuli.
In other words, ignoring something still takes a toll on your mental stamina. Think of it this way, we wake up in the morning and our mental stamina bar is at 100% full. If you have to go through the day trying to ignore irrelevant stimuli, your mental stamina bar will probably be down to 50% by lunchtime. By the time you go home, it may be down to 10%. Then you end up just getting fast food because you can't think of anything else better to eat. And you crash down on your sofa to binge-watch Netflix, because your brain is too tired to do something else.
I have been slacking off on sharing bookmark posts lately. It's not that I haven't been reading new articles or posts. I'm still reading, almost everyday. I've just been so busy at work and at home that I run out of time to write bookmark posts. After reading a lengthy article for instance, it's usually time for me to get back to work or help with the kids. I've no time left to write down my reflections on the articles or posts I've read. So, going forward I might eschew that practice in favor of getting more bookmark posts out faster. The goal of my bookmark posts was always to bookmark and share what I think are good reads anyway. Writing down my thoughts on it are just a bonus.
This is a great read on the topic of parenting. Specifically, how to avoid over-parenting your child. I myself think that I could be considered a “helicopter dad,” so this read was a very good wake-up call for me.
Last time I shared an Emoji Unicode Reference from w3schools. I found a better one. This one is from the Unicode website itself. It's better because they have an extra column in their table called “CLDR Short Name”. To me, it's really more like a description column. That means you can do a browser search for say “book”, and it will lead you to all the emojis with that word in its description. It just makes it easier to find the emoji you are looking for.
The other benefit is that it gives you a preview of what an emoji looks like on different platforms. For instance, the open book emoji looks noticeably different between platforms. I'm using the same emoji on the title for this site. And I was wondering why it looks different on my Windows PC and on my iPhone. Well, now I know why — each platform or “vendor” can implement their own version of the emoji.