Learn what is true in order to do what is right is the summing up of the whole duty of man.
— Thomas Henry Huxley
To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true.
— H.L. Mencken
The trouble with people is not that they don’t know, but that they know so much that ain’t so.
— Josh Billings
Nobody’s going to die for these ideas, but we are going to fight our mental reflexes as we devise, extend, and continue to implement our 2012/13 plans for the TAG and AMP. I’m going to spill my ideas right here and it’s up to you to critique them and add your own ideas to the mix.
But—and this is a really big but—we’re going to be guided by research rather than what we know (that sometimes ain’t so). Agreed?
Is not the real business of the artist to seek for man’s salvation, and by understanding his ingredients to make himself less an outlaw to himself?
— Loren Eiseley
Had Eisely been born a woman, perhaps she would have written it like this:
Is not the real business of the artist to seek for humanity’s salvation, and by understanding her ingredients to make herself less an outlaw to herself?
Either way, those words are especially thought-provoking because whether you believe it or not, each of you, without exception, is in fact an artist. Michelangelo once said: I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. When I look at you, I don’t see angels, but I do honestly see heroes inside each of you; heroes, patiently waiting to be set free.
All year long I’ve tried to give you the tools to free that hero. Become the sculptor. Begin to taste and feel and understand and most importantly, tap your true potential.
What will people say?
In these words lies the tyranny of the world,
the whole destruction of our natural disposition,
the oblique vision of our minds.
These four words hold sway everywhere.
— Berthold Auerbach
You don’t have to know anything to be brilliantly negative. Anybody who can speak can be brilliantly negative. The only sign of intelligence is to be brilliantly positive. Anyone can say that there are no solutions; that’s being brilliantly negative. To assert that there are solutions, and demonstrate them, is being brilliantly positive.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
We’re living in a transitional age; we straddle two worlds. The strategies and expectations of the Industrial Revolution still dominate our world view even as the Information Age blossoms all around us. Brick and mortar education systems, for the most part, cling to yesterday’s traditions while free online learning communities proliferate.
Part of the communication problem, as we shall see, is the strangeness of what is being found…. Very few people are synthesizing information being gathered in far-flung places.
— Marilyn Ferguson / The Aquarian Conspiracy
On Saturday, an email informed me that I’d gotten a new follower on Twitter. It doesn’t happen all that often and it’s no big deal but I always click the link (blocked at school) to see who it is (because every so often it’s a troll). The odd part is that when I checked my own Twitter account, there was no record of the guy ever following me.
Who knows? Maybe he was trolling for followers.
It turns out that the guy’s an author. Because I was between books, and because his looked somewhat interesting, I went ahead and snagged it. (I love Amazon’s Kindle app.) While gathering links for this post, I noticed that he graduated from UCSD and lives in La Jolla.
However, when those feelings of knowing tell you that you’re getting closer—when you feel the poetic meter slowly improve, or sense that the graphic design is being unconcealed—then you need to keep on struggling. Continue to pay attention until it hurts; fill your working memory with problems. Before long, that feeling of knowing will become actual knowledge.
— Jonah Lehrer / Imagine: How Creativity Works
Do you get it? Here’s another way to look at it:
Pay attention to the whispers of your soul. Trust them as you would a map, because that’s what they are.
— Andrew Heller
I’ll be sharing a tale of discovery in class today. Before getting to work, please re-read those two quotes at least one more time and think about what those words might mean in your own life.
And just in case you think these ideas just come from books I’ve read, here’s something from my own journey: