“Go ahead then; study, study and meditate well what you study. Life is a very serious thing and only those with intelligence and heart go through it worthily. To live is to be among men and to be among men is to struggle. But this struggle is not a brutal and material struggle with men alone; it is a struggle with them, with one’s self, with their passions and one’s own, with errors and preoccupations. It is an eternal struggle with a smile on the lips and tears in the heart. On this battlefield man has no better weapon than his intelligence, no other force but his heart.” — José Rizal, in a letter written to Alfredo Hidalgo
One of the best sandwich analogies we’ve ever seen…
Croatian painter Lonac is currently at home where he recently completed this new mural somewhere on the streets of Zagreb, Croatia.
from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
My new essay for the WBEZ tumblr, on how technology changes our face-to-face interactions with each other.
(Photo by Moritz Petersen)
“Where Are You?”
by Britt Julious
It is the weight that kills me. The wait too. The cell phone, regardless of how technologically-advanced it becomes, remains a reminder of things not done: phone calls, messages. There is a missing awareness of space and need. Simple requests become tests of patience. The cell phone – with its rectangular shape, its heft – is a black mirror of time.
In his latest essay for the New York Times, Jonathan Safran Foer examined the ways in which technology has incubated intimacy while reinforcing aloneness. “I worry that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the further it gets from our hearts,” he wrote. “It’s not an either/or — being “anti-technology” is perhaps the only thing more foolish than being unquestioningly “pro-technology” — but a question of balance that our lives hang upon.”
I crave aloneness more than most. A friend asked how I had the time to write while working all day (and seemingly playing all night). The reality is that I am more with just myself than anyone else. Aloneness breeds ideas and curiosity. It is also a time of decompression. The mind breaks down the confusions of the everyday when uncluttered with the presence of others.
But aloneness is not everything. It can not be. There is a reason why we find ways – even online – to connect in person. Eye contact is underrated.
I am thinking about my desire to see those I love and admire in person and how technology impedes that desire. There is something quietly devastating in waiting. We have not lost patience. We have lost our ability to speak directly, to address things concretely and with speed. Speaking makes us vulnerable. It requires us to be open and honest, more honest than the written word, a practice in control.
I would rather know if a friend is busy or tired or not interested in spending time together as soon as possible. Foer wrote, “The problem with accepting — with preferring — diminished substitutes is that over time, we, too, become diminished substitutes. People who become used to saying little become used to feeling little.”
Without the face-to-face or voice-to-voice, we can ignore human interactions that might be anything other than pleasant. The easiest way to avoid pain is to text. The easiest way to feel pain is by text. A text message is short and pointed. The words must mean more for one to say so little.
But I too have lost a sense of self in the fray. A text is easier than a call. It is quick. Feelings can be stifled. A tone of voice says, “This is how I feel.” Words are up for interpretation.
“How do you really feel … about this? About us?”
I cannot remember the last time when I was so blunt. “These inventions were not created to be improvements upon face-to-face communication, but a declension of acceptable, if diminished, substitutes for it.” But the longer one uses them, the easier it is to fall into new habits of disconnectedness from the world around us. I try to pull away from my inability to be human, but is that even possible anymore, for someone so ingrained in my little black box of information?
The reality of friendship in your twenties is that what you once knew is no longer as secure as it might have seemed. I knew these things would slip away, but in the moment it was a pain I never grasped.
My mother asked, “Why don’t you share how you feel?”
“I don’t know if I should,” I said. “I don’t know if I can.”
London Collections: Men, the spring 2014 menswear component of London fashion week, kicked off today. And just as he was last season, model David Gandy is man about town as one of the event’s ambassadors.
A Pair & A Spare will always be my favourite DIYer. Her projects are trend-driven but never tacky, are easy to create but not slap-dash. Each time I check her blog I’m always like - she’s done it again! Well she’s done it… again… with this very cute lace romper. Don’t stress about patterns, this tutorial uses a pair of shorts you already have to cut the legs and some ribbon to cinch in the waist (or you could use a belt). This would be a great beach cover up!
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