Good Reads, Winter Season Edition

Winter…Winter is beautiful – on photos. That’s what I thought when I heard that it snowed for the first time this winter in the city where my parents live. A good reason to stay in the Caribbean for sure (despite the rain here). But also a good reason to look into my archives and find a couple of pictures from the past winters I could take before my fingers froze. Together with a hot cup of coffee (or tea, Michael!) and a couple of highly recommended good reads a decent way to spend a Saturday afternoon – wherever you are in the world!

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“But, here’s the thing: as much as saying so pisses anybody off, I think the topics we’re NOT talking about whenever we disappear into Talmudic scholarship about “full-screen mode” or “minimalist desks” or whatever constitutes a “zen habit”—those shunned topics are precisely the things that I believe are most mind-blowingly critical to our real-world happiness as humans.

In fact, I believe that to such a degree that helping provide a voice for those unpopular topics that can be heard over the din is now (what passes for) my career. I really believe these deeper ideas are worth socializing on any number of levels and in many media. Even when it’s inconvenient and slightly disrespectful of someone’s business model.”

(Gotta love Merlin Mann. This article is long and twisted and it’s worth every minute you spend on reading it. Seriously, this is right to the point in a “not right to the point” kind of way. Love it.)

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Winter…

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How to be interesting: (via)
“Cultivate at least one paradox or contradiction in your life. The best example of this one that I can think of comes from my friend Mark McGuinness. As he said on Wishful Thinking, he writes sensitive poetry yet he’s a huge football fan. Sure seems like a contradiction to me [sounds of bones crunching on the television]. However, these contradictions are made of the stuff that interesting comes from. In other words, contrasting to extremely different interests makes for good conversation.”

(I always felt that I was interested in interesting thing. That’s my passion, I suppose, apart from light. What to make of it? Who knows, but I’ll publish a post with my point of view next Tuesday. Hope it will be, well, interesting.)

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Even more winter…

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Overwhelmed With Projects? Declare Task Bankruptcy: “A pile of papers to read on the side. A stack of notes for several unrelated projects. Assignments to prepare. Questions to answer by email. Inbox full of unclassified mails. Lectures to prepare. Cluttered office desktop. Cluttered computer desktop.

A few weeks ago, Friday, this was what I saw when I looked at my office desktop. And I decided it was too much to bear and filed my first Task Bankruptcy.”

(You know Ruben Berenguel from the friendly anarchistic comment section and from his recent guest post. He publishes a fun blog on maths, LaTeX (not the sex fetish kind of thing, mind you), cooking and productivity. I love it because it’s such an eclectic mix. As far as I am concerned, much more interesting than these hyper-focused money-making blogs out there. (There: Interesting! I said it again!))

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Way too cold winter…

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“Writer Robert Anton Wilson, self-described as “agnostic about everything” is fond of saying “The universe contains a maybe.” I think that’s a good motto. There is an interesting paradox: whenever you state a fact, qualifying it with a “maybe” instantly makes it more accurate.”

(David Cain on how to be right all the time. His blog Raptitude has become a favorite of mine since I discovered it a couple of weeks ago. Brilliant content, but not for quick scanning. You actually need to read what he writes. (That’s why I like it so much, probably.))

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At least I’m in the Caribbean

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DIY Marketing for the Lost but Ambitious: “Turn your focus into a laser cannon! … Don’t become the dopey Alice who gets lost in the magic kingdom. Know exactly where you want to go and what to aim for!”

(I try to ignore marketing blogs as good as I can. But Mars Dorian just writes too entertaining to be ignored for a long time. How’s that for a plaudit? :))

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The passion is in the risk: “We work through the fear that everyone feels. Fear is a very uncomfortable emotion. Most people feel fear and move away from the thing that made them feel fearful. Or they work to contain the process or action that caused the fear. Some work through the fear to feel the love. The work is the love. The process is the fear, The fear is the risk. And the risk is the thing that artists embrace. And that’s what makes the best work work. Knowing that you might fail. … There’s no way to inspiration other than to wake up and want. And to be willing to accept the risk that creates the passion. And that’s why it’s worth it not to copy anyone else but to create your own art and take your own risks. ”

(Kirk Tuck. Wow. I could actually quote the whole thing, and it’s rather long. A must-read for photographers, but also a recommendation for open-minded artists of all sort. Really good stuff, as always.)

Comments 11

  1. Ruben Berenguel November 27, 2010

    Wow, my blog is interesting and eclectic! I knew only about the eclectic part ;) I love how beautiful your post recaps look… But… you think it is already winter!? It’s only 10 degrees C here in Barcelona! It will still get a little colder!

    I’m checking on a few of your recommended articles, or more probably, will just mark them for Read It Later and do it when I’m feeling more awake (just woke up from a 1 hour nap and I’m still feeling really dizzy).

    Cheers,

    Ruben

    • Fabian November 27, 2010

      Ruben, at least it’s winter in Germany! You guys in Catalunya are way better off!
      Have fun reading… :)

  2. John (jwill764) November 27, 2010

    I’ve not really considered it before, but the most interesting people I’ve known display the contradictions you mention. The Army Green Beret who was also a championship-level dog groomer. The phlebologist who managed to get herself ranked at the state level in Muay Thai kickboxing, and so on.

    If you didn’t click the link to Thoughwrestling to read the whole story, here it is again: http://tinyurl.com/33hfguf

    Thanks, Fabian. Great post!

    • Fabian November 27, 2010

      Definitely John! As I wrote over at Thoughtwrestling, my little paradox is that I’m an idler who works quite hard at times… although your dog-grooming green beret makes a way better story! :D

  3. Jonathan Ziemba November 27, 2010

    Those are some nice shots Fabian, “Way too cold winter” indeed. The grace of winter for me has always been in it’s stillness. Your photographs have reflected this view beautifully.

    The endless road ahead is the point. For the end, the quick fix, the what is the solution, is well, the end.

    Thanks for extending the journey Fabian.

    • Fabian November 29, 2010

      Thanks Jonathan! Glad you like’em. The stillness is beautiful indeed, it’s just hard to really be still if you’re outside or you will freeze! :)

  4. Greg November 27, 2010

    Winters, and for that matter seasons, are what I miss from my three years in northern Japan. The colors seemed to match the seasons there, too. The vibrant greens of spring, the muted tones of autumn, and the silent whites of the winters. Thanks for sharing the photos and for the links, which, in their own, reflect the different seasons of the human experience and its expression.

  5. Tim November 28, 2010

    There’s some real good meat you’re linking to here. Some of it brings some thoughts of regrets and doubts as to why some of these blogs were dropped from my RSS.

    But there were distinct reasons, and some of them are definitely in need of reconsideration.

    P.S. I like your new face on the sidebar.

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