Tag Archives: loneliness

pressing matters

pressing matters

Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906–December 4, 1975) examined those peculiar parallel dimensions of loneliness as a profoundly personal anguish and an indispensable currency of our political life in her intellectual debut, the incisive and astonishingly timely 1951 classic The Origins of Totalitarianism (public library).

Arendt paints loneliness as “the common ground for terror” and explores its function as both the chief weapon and the chief damage of oppressive political regimes. Exactly twenty years before her piercing treatise on lying in politics, she writes:

Just as terror, even in its pre-total, merely tyrannical form ruins all relationships between men, so the self-compulsion of ideological thinking ruins all relationships with reality. The preparation has succeeded when people have lost contact with their fellow men* as well as the reality around them; for together with these contacts, [they] lose the capacity of both experience and thought. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.

What perpetuates such tyrannical regimes, Arendt argues, is manipulation by isolation — something most effectively accomplished by the divisiveness of “us vs. them” narratives. She writes:

Terror can rule absolutely only over men who are isolated against each other… Therefore, one of the primary concerns of all tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about. Isolation may be the beginning of terror; it certainly is its most fertile ground; it always is its result. This isolation is, as it were, pretotalitarian; its hallmark is impotence insofar as power always comes from men acting together…; isolated men are powerless by definition.

Although isolation is not necessarily the same as loneliness, Arendt notes that loneliness can become both the seedbed and the perilous consequence of the isolation effected by tyrannical regimes:

In isolation, man remains in contact with the world as the human artifice; only when the most elementary form of human creativity, which is the capacity to add something of one’s own to the common world, is destroyed, isolation becomes altogether unbearable… Isolation then becomes loneliness.

[…]

While isolation concerns only the political realm of life, loneliness concerns human life as a whole. Totalitarian government, like all tyrannies, certainly could not exist without destroying the public realm of life, that is, without destroying, by isolating men, their political capacities. But totalitarian domination as a form of government is new in that it is not content with this isolation and destroys private life as well. It bases itself on loneliness, on the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man.

This is why our insistence on belonging, community, and human connection is one of the greatest acts of courage and resistance in the face of oppression….”

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/12/20/hannah-arendt-origins-of-totalitarianism-loneliness-isolation-oppression 

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Vice Joins Trend Of Killing News Comments Because Giving A Damn About Your Site’s Community Is Just Too Hard

from the i-love-you.-here’s-your-new-muzzle. dept

We’ve talked a lot about how the trend du jour in online media is to ditch the news comment section, then condescendingly pretend this is because the website just really values user relationships…. napalming your on-site community because you’re too lazy to weed the garden certainly is a slight against those users. And as we saw with NPR, these users are well aware of this fact, and are more than happy to spend their time on websites that actually value conversation and user interaction, instead of just paying empty lip service to the concept.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161227/09365436348/vice-joins-trend-killing-news-comments-because-giving-damn-about-your-sites-community-is-just-too-hard.shtml 

via

http://www.blacklistednews.com/

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music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui-cL6YOKHI

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Maternal genealogy is unknown beyond my mother except for the presence of a Scots-Irish (Presbyterian) family in Western Pennsylvania. The paternal genealogy includes DNA that is apparently (but confusedly) of Normal or Saxon origin which moved from the Iberian peninsula after the last Ice Age up into Norman or perhaps Breton turf until, apparently as mercenaries or in followership, the Norman conquest of England. My father’s mother was of Prussian heritage. Ancestral history in my family from before the crossing of the English Channel is very clouded.   

More precise records extend from the summer of 1638 when two brothers caught a ride aboard a ship out of Hull, England to cross the Atlantic to come to England in search of religious freedom. “They were men of respectability, ‘of good estate,’ and could probably have no hopes of improving their worldly condition by emigration. They were lovers of liberty, and men of distinct and well-marked religious views. They were non-conformists. They had too sturdy an independence, as well as too strong a sense of duty, to abandon what they held as truth even in the midst of the bitterest persecution. For this reason they left their homes and sought in the wilds of America a resting place from oppression, a spot where they and their children might enjoy freedom to worship God. They were men of thought and character….”  In 1639, they settled on land north of Ipswich with which to raise and breed sheep and establish the first wool clothier’s trade. The ship’s cargo included “the first printing press, later to be set up in Cambridge, the only printing press in the country until 1685”.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m9PKdUHpb1o/U5YmEJw1FdI/AAAAAAAAuiM/hFDNCeJD2Yo/s1600/Town+seal+Rowley.gif

That familial reference to the first printing press in colonial New England seems uncertain but is confirmed by other references and sources. 

“… The first printing press came to British North America two years after the founding of Harvard College. The press was brought by Reverend Joseph Glover, who, when deprived of his position in the Church of England, shipped his family, his possessions, and his printing press to the colonies. Glover also paid for the passage of the man in charge of running his press, Stephen Daye, a locksmith by profession. Daye was under financial contract to work in Glover’s home in Cambridge in order to repay the cost of passage for himself, his wife, and his household—a total of around £51. Rev. Glover, however, did not survive the passage to the New World. When Daye and the press arrived, his debt was transferred to Glover’s widow, Elizabeth, now owner of the printing press.

Daye set to work almost immediately along with his son Matthew, an apprentice printer, and perhaps more skilled than his father. Within the first year in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they printed The Freeman’s Oath, a broadside, which is generally believed to be the first tract printed in British North America. This was completed around the same time as “an almanac made for New England by Mr. William Pierce.” 1 By virtue of exploiting a loophole in colonial legislation, Daye printed the first book in the New World, The Bay Psalm Book, in 1640. This book became extremely popular and influential throughout the colony for the remainder of the 17th century.  It was only three years later that the first Bible published in the New World was also published in Cambridge.

Elizabeth Glover (born Harris), as an unmarried woman, was a rarity in colonial New England. Especially unique was that she was not only an eligible woman of property but also the owner of the only printing press in the British colonies. Her attractiveness as a mate was clear to the President of Harvard, Henry Dunster. On June 21, 1641 they were married, transferring all of her property to his home on the now-named Dunster Street. Elizabeth died in 1643, and her land and property, including the printing press, was passed on to Dunster and subsequently to Harvard College. During the same year Matthew Daye replaced his father as official operator of the press after the elder Daye was briefly jailed for fraud.

As Harvard grew in size and reputation, it became a logical center of printing in the American colonies. Cambridge was the location of not just the first printing press, but also the second when in 1659 a press was sent to the colonies from the British firm “The Company for the Propagation of the Gospel Amongst the Heathen Natives of New England and parts Adjacent in America.” Matthew Daye’s successor Samuel Green was in charge of printing at this point, but the British firm also sent over the America’s first professional printer, Marmaduke Johnson, to assist Green. The new press was set up in Harvard Yard, in a building called the Indian College, to print Reverend John Eliot’s “Indian Bible.”

Marmaduke Johnson acquired his own press in England in 1665, and planned to bring it to Boston in order to establish his own business. However, Harvard wanted a replacement for Glover’s original press, having become fragile over the years, and the Harvard leadership successfully lobbied for a state law stating that no printing could be done outside of Cambridge. Forced into staying in Cambridge, Johnson instead, without any affiliation to Harvard, opened the first independent printing press in the colonies and went on to publish 20 books between 1665 and 1674…..”

http://www.cambridgehistory.org/discover/innovation/American%20Printing.html 

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/occurrencessm.jpg

Facsimile of the first and only issue of the English-American colonies’ first newspaper, published in Boston 1690.

Early American Newspapering

by James Breig

We are here at the end of the World, and Europe may

bee turned topsy turvy ere wee can hear a word of it.

-Virginia planter William Byrd, 1690

In seventeenth-century America, colonial governments had rather do without newspapers than brook their annoyance. In 1671, Governor William Berkeley of Virginia wrote: “I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing and I hope we shall not have, these hundred years, for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both.” As the British government once told the governors of Massachusetts, “Great inconvenience may arise by the liberty of printing.”

Not until 1690 did the first English-American news sheet debut—Boston’s Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, published by Benjamin Harris. The authorities, in “high Resentment” that Harris dared to report that English military forces had allied themselves with “miserable” savages, put him out of business four days later.

By the end of the eighteenth century, however, scores of homegrown broadsheets and tabloids satisfied the information appetites of Americans hungry for intelligence of the Old World, for news about the Revolution, and for the political polemics of the infant United States. The history of newspapering in that century digests the beginnings of much of what is served on newsstands in this one.

As the century began, the fledgling colonial press tested its wings. A bolder journalism opened on the eve of the Revolution. And, as the century closed with the birth of the United States, a rancorously partisan and rambunctious press emerged.

The eras can be traced in the history of the family of Benjamin Franklin—the preeminent journalist of his time. But it best begins with another Boston newspaperman, postmaster John Campbell. In 1704, Campbell served up The Boston News-Letter, the nation’s second paper. It was a publication the powers-that-be could stomach. The News-Letter lasted seventy-two years, succeeding in an increasingly competitive industry, supported by the growth of communication and of commerce.

Campbell’s fellow postmasters often became newspaper publishers, too; they had ready access to information to put on their pages. Through their offices came letters, government documents, and newspapers from Europe. Gazettes were also started by printers, who had paper, ink, and presses at hand. Franklin was a postmaster and a printer.

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/News-Letter_detail.jpg

Eighteenth-century editors filled their columns with items lifted from other newspapers—”the exchanges,” as they are called still—and from letters, said Mitchell Stephens, a New York University journalism professor and the author of A History of News. European news, taken from newspapers that arrived in ports like New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, got good play. The November 8, 1797, issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette, for example, carried this item from New York: “Yesterday arrived here the ship Mary. . . . By this arrival we are furnished with London Papers . . . from which the most important intelligence is extracted.” David Sloan, a University of Alabama journalism professor, lists the sources of stories as “European newspapers, primarily English ones; correspondence sent in by readers; other newspapers in the colonies; and individuals who would drop by the print shop and talk.”

Julie K. Williams, a history instructor at Alabama’s Samford University, said publishers had such altruistic motives as improving communication and educating the public, but profit was their primary purpose. Maurine Beasley, a University of Maryland journalism professor, puts it plainly. The purpose of newspapers was “to make money.”

Williams said, “Newspapers brought in ad revenue and circulation revenue.” That income supplemented receipts from books, government printing jobs, merchant invoices, forms, and other ephemera.

Making money is still what keeps newspapers in business, and that is but one similarity between eighteenth-century papers and the twenty-first’s. As Sloan said, “Newspapers are still printed with ink on paper.” But more than that, newspapers then and now “still have opinions and letters. There was a sense then that newspapers should publish both sides of an issue, even during the Revolution and factional periods.”

Williams ticks off the surface differences in the newspapers of the two centuries—there were no headlines and few illustrations then, for example—as well as cosmetic similarities. “You can look at an eighteenth-century newspaper and recognize the column layout and the general news-ads look of a paper today,” she said. “It is interesting that the ‘look’ is still basically there.

“But the biggest similarity is what news is. We decided in the eighteenth century that newspapers were about ‘occurrences,’ and basically we have stuck to that. I think ‘departments’ are clearly an idea in the eighteenth century. The colonial printer had a standing format that he followed religiously that involved dividing the news by type. These sections were often labeled ‘foreign reports’ and so on.”

To Carol Humphrey, an Oklahoma Baptist University journalism professor and secretary of the American Journalism Historians Association, “The primary legacy of the eighteenth century for modern journalism is the right to comment on political events. The modern-day editorial has its beginnings in that era.”

The DNA of modern newspapers is found in the eighteenth century, Stephens said. “The look is the same,” and “the sense of what news is, is basic to human beings.”

Most colonial newspapers were weeklies, had four pages, and printed most of their advertisements in back. With little space, printers kept many stories brief, encapsulating even significant information into “one short paragraph, even a sentence,” Sloan said.

Newspapers also contained “essays, poems and humorous material, some of which they wrote themselves, like Ben Franklin,” Beasley said. “Sometimes, items that had a sensational or religious aspect appeared, such as a report of a strange creature being sighted or some unusual event occurring attributed to ‘divine providence.’”

Readers wondered about the course of wars in Europe and were curious about happenings in other towns and colonies—especially events that could affect their lives. But they were as interested as readers of today in the ordinary events of the life of their times. When they got their newspaper, subscribers perused such advertisements and news as:

Run away . . . a small yellow Negro wench named Hannah, about 35 years of age, had on when she went away a green plain petticoat and sundry other clothes, but what sort I do not know.—from a 1767 issue of Williamsburg’s Virginia Gazette

For Sale—The spars, anchors, rigging, and hull, of a brig, sixty four feet keel, twenty four and a half feet beam, and ten feet hold.—from a 1782 issue of the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser

The noted High Bred Horse Old Mark Anthony, now in high perfection, and as vigorous as ever, stands at my stable this season in order to cover mares, at £3. the leap.—also from a 1782 issue of the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser

Last Friday, the fatal and ever memorable Day of the Martyrdom of King Charles the First, a most extraordinary Misfortune befell this Place, by the Destruction of our fine Capitol. . . . The Cupola was soon burnt, the two Bells that were in it were melted, and, together with the Clock, fell down, and were destroyed.—from a 1747 issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette, but datelined Williamsburg, Feb. 5.

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/first-gazette_detail.jpg 

When, as the century began, Campbell and his colleagues set up their forms, they entered a risky business. Printers were licensed by the government, and they could be unlicensed swiftly, and imprisoned. That happened to Benjamin Franklin’s older brother James, publisher of the New-England Courant.

James Franklin inspired his sibling’s interest in printing. “In 1717,” the younger Franklin wrote, “James returned from England with a press and letters to set up his business in Boston. . . . My father was impatient to have me bound to my brother.” The boy was at length “persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yet but twelve years old.” But like the publisher of Publick Occurrences, James Franklin ran afoul of the authorities. “One of the pieces in our newspaper gave offense to the Assembly,” Benjamin Franklin said. His brother “was taken up, censur’d, and imprison’d for a month. . . . During my brother’s confinement . . . I had the management of the paper.”

When the government freed the older Franklin, it forbade him to print the Courant any longer. The brothers circumvented the order by putting Benjamin Franklin’s name on it.

John Peter Zenger, editor of the New-York Weekly Journal, was arrested in 1734 and charged with seditious libel for criticisms of Governor William Cosby. The facts were against Zenger, but a jury more sympathetic to free speech than to authority acquitted him. Franklin, who had moved to Philadelphia, where he founded Poor Richard’s Almanac and the Pennsylvania Gazette, endorsed the verdict in a couplet:

While free from Force the Press remains,

Virtue and Freedom cheer our Plains.

Typical for Franklin and his colleagues, the lines are lifted from a poem by Mathew Green, “The Spleen,” published in 1737.

As happy as editors were to see Zenger vindicated, they noticed that he had spent ten months in jail awaiting trial. His wife had carried on the Journal, but clearly a newspaperman’s livelihood and liberty depended on the forbearance of the government.

At mid-century, the press began to alter its stance and became more outspoken. In 1754, during the French and Indian War, Franklin published America’s first newspaper cartoon, a picture showing a snake cut into sections, each part representing a colony, with the caption: “Join or Die.”

Franklin became a wealthy publisher and editor. He linked print shops and post offices in a coastal chain, and spread newspapering up and down the seaboard. Newspapers founded under his aegis prospered and, as troubles with Great Britain mounted, became precisely the “great inconvenience” England feared.

Stephens said the purpose of newspapers “changed to the political and polemical after 1765—around the time of the Stamp Act-as tensions snowballed.” Sloan said, “During the Revolution, the main goal was to support the American cause.”

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/coffin_detail.gif

“Prior to the Revolution, newspapers existed primarily to inform people of what was going on in the rest of the world,” Humphrey said. “The Revolution changed the focus to events in the other colonies.”

Daily publication began in the 1780s, just as the new American republic emerged. There were about 100 newspapers by 1790, many of them were spirited, and some were great annoyances to men in high positions. It was a time of enormous press freedom, a freedom exercised frequently in behalf of the Federalist or Republican parties, which subsidized their own publications. Humphrey said, “Many newspapers in the 1790s were intended to accept a particular political party.” Two examples are the Gazette of the United States for the Hamiltonian Federalists; the National Gazette for the Jeffersonian Republicans. “Their editors believed that they should support their particular party in all that they did,” she noted, “so they wrote essays in support of their party and included editorial comments in the news pieces that either supported their party or attacked the opposition.”

This was the era of Philip Freneau, John Fenno, and James Callendar, sharp-penned scribes who used their journalistic skills to laud their friends and denigrate their enemies. This was the era when government officials and political figures—Alexander Hamilton and James Madison among them—adopted pseudonyms to promote their politics in the public prints anonymously.

Many of the founding fathers were enthusiastic about a free press. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787 that “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Samuel Adams said in 1768 that “there is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly terrible to tyrants . . . as a free press.”

But newspaper partisanship had evolved from the Revolution. “Newspapers that were used to denouncing Tories and the King,” Stephens said, “slid easily into denouncing opposition parties, even the President of the United States.”

George Washington declared a lack of interest in newspapers before he was president, writing in 1786 that “my avocations are so numerous that I very rarely find time to look into Gazettes after they come to me.” But while in office, he sometimes was incensed at what he saw in print. In notes about a 1793 cabinet meeting, Secretary of State Jefferson recorded how the president went on in such “a high tone” about the paper of “that rascal” Freneau that the cabinet officers were momentarily stunned into silence.

Benjamin Franklin’s grandson and namesake, Benjamin Franklin Bache—also known as “Lightning Rod Junior”—edited the Aurora. Bache delighted in harassing President Washington, once labeling him “the source of all the misfortunes of our country” and declaring him “utterly incapable.”

When John Adams wrote “A Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts” in 1779, he included a guarantee of liberty of the press. But as president, Adams endorsed the Alien and Sedition Acts, aimed at muzzling the opposition by jailing editors who dared criticize the chief executive.

Sloan said Bache was “a really ardent, zealous partisan. He epitomizes the intensely partisan editor.” Bache was indicted under the Alien and Sedition Acts but died before his case came to trial. Adams’s successor, Jefferson, released imprisoned journalists and allowed the law to lapse.

Stephens said that the free—and free-wheeling—press of the federal period helped to create the United States: “It is hard to imagine the United States arriving when it did without a free press. It was a wild, unruly press, but democracy was a great experiment and an aggressive press was part of it.”

Much has changed in the centuries since Benjamin Harris set up his type. Among other things, the web press, the linotype, and, eventually, offset printing came to the business. The telegraph and news services supplanted the exchanges. The First Amendment, written originally to protect the press only from the federal Congress, was interpreted to apply to the governments of the states. Illustrations and photographs became as important as words. Journalism emerged as a diplomaed, white-collar profession. And the role of the press as a “great inconvenience” to government is a hallmark of democratic government.

“How,” asks Stephens, “can you run a country without a free press?”

Jim Breig, an Albany, New York, writer and weekly newspaper editor, contributed “Out, Damn’d Proverbs: Eighteenth-Century Axioms, Maxims, and Bywords” to the winter 2002-2003 journal.

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/spring03/journalism.cfm 

 

In 1638, the first printing press arrived in Boston.

By 1700, Boston became the second largest publishing center of the English Empire. The Puritans were the first to write books for children, and to discuss the difficulties in communicating with them. At a time when other Americans were physically blazing trails through the forests, the Puritans efforts in areas of study were advancing the country intellectually.

The Bible stimulated their intellect by promoting discussions of literature. Greek classics, Cicero, Virgil, Terence and Ovid were taught, as well as some poetry and Latin verse. The Puritans also encouraged themselves to create their own poetry, always religious in content.

Anyway, three English diversions were banned in the Puritans’ New England colonies: drama, religious music and erotic poetry. The first and last of these because they led to immorality. Music in worship, instead, created a “dreamy” state which was not conducive in listening to God.

The first newspaper was issued in Boston in 1704.

http://www.timerime.com/es/evento/986843/First+printing+press+in+Boston/ 

[Ed.: Today, of course, there is a growth industry involving audio forms of meditation, the neuro-cognitive research done to examine the concept of spiritual perception, in essence a merger between neuroscience and New Age approaches.]

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In 1754, four newspapers only were printed in New England, these were all published in Boston, and, usually, on a small sheet.; They were published weekly, and the average number of copies did not exceed six hundred from each press. No paper had then been issued in Connecticut, or New Hampshire. Some years before, one was printed for a short time in Rhode Island, but had been discontinued for want of encouragement. Vermont as a state did not exist, and the country which now composes it was then a wilderness. In 1775, a period of only twenty-one years, more copies of a newspaper were issued weekly from the village press at Worcester, Massachusetts, than were printed in all New England, in 1755; and one paper now published contains as much matter as did all the four published in Boston, in the last year mentioned.

At the beginning of 1775, there were five newspapers published in Boston, one at Salem, and one at Newburyport, making seven in Massachusetts. There was, at that time, one published at Portsmouth; and no other in New Hampshire. One was printed at Newport, and one at Providence, making two in Rhode Island. At New London there was one, at New Haven one, one at Hartford and one in Norwich; in all four I Connecticut;and fourteen in New England. In the province of New York, four papers were then published; three in the city and one in Albany. In Pennsylvania there were, on the first of January, 1775, six; three in English and one in German, in Philadelphia, one in German, at Germantown; and one in English and German, at Lancaster. Before the end of January, 1775, three newspapers, in English, were added to the number from the presses I Philadelphia, making nine in Pennsylvania. In Maryland, two; one at Annapolis, and one at Baltimore. In Virginia, there were but two, and both of these at Williamsburg. One was printed at Wilmington, and one in Newbern, in North Carolina; three at Charleston, South Carolina; and one at Savannah, in Georgia. Making thirty-seen newspapers in all the British colonies, which are now comprised in the United States. To these may be added one at Halifax, in Nova Scotia; and one in Canada, at Quebec.

In 1800, there were at least one hundred and fifty publications of this kind printed in the United States of America, and since that time, the number has increased to three hundred and sixty. Those published before 1775 were weekly papers. Soon after the close of the Revolutionary war, daily papers were printed at Philadelphia, New York, &c., and there are now, 1810, more than twenty published, daily, in the United States.

It was common for printers of newspapers to subjoin to their titles ‘Containing the freshest Advices both Foreign and Domestick;’ but gazettes and journals are now chiefly filled with political essays. News do not appear to be always the first object of editors, and, of course, ‘containing the freshest advices,’ &c., is too often out of the question.

For many years after the establishment of newspapers on this continent, very few advertisements appeared in them. This was the case with those that were early printed in Europe. In the first newspapers, advertisements were not separated by lines from the news, &c., and were not even begun with a two line letter; when two line letters were introduced, it was some time before one advertisement was separated from another by a line, or rule as it is termed by printers. After it became usual to separate advertisements, some printers used lines of metal rules; others lines of flowers irregularly placed. I have seen in some New York papers, great primer flowers between advertisements. At length, it became customary to ‘set off advertisements,’ and from using types not larger than those with which the news were printed, types of the size of French canon have often been used for names, especially of those who advertised English goods.

In the troublesome times, occasioned by the stamp act in 1765, some of the more opulent and cautious printers, when the act was to take place, put their papers in mourning, and, for a few weeks, omitted to publish them; others not so timid, but doubtful of the consequence of publishing newspapers without stamps, omitted the titles, or altered them, as an evasion; for instance the Pennsylvania Gazette, and some other papers, were headed ‘Remarkable Occurrences, &c.’ -other printers, particularly those in Boston, continued their papers without any alteration in title or imprint.

From the foregoing it appears that, from the time when the first public journal was published in the country, viz. in April, 1704, to April 1775, comprising a period of seventy-one years, seventy-eight different newspapers were printed in the British American continental colonies; that during this period, thirty-nine, exactly one-half of that number, had been, occasionally, discontinued; and that thirty-nine continued to be issued by the several establishments at the commencement of the revolution. The papers published in the West Indies are not included in this computation.

In the course of thirty-five years, newspaper establishments were, as previously remarked, multiplied in a surprising degree; insomuch, that the number of those printed in the United States in June, 1810, amounted to upwards of three hundred and sixty.

A large proportion of the public papers at that date were established, and supported, by the two great contending political parties, into which the people of these states are usually divided; and whose numbers produce an equipollence; consequently, a great augmentation of vehicles for carrying on the political warfare have been found necessary.

I cannot conclude what I have written on the subject of publike journals, better than by extracting the following pertinent observations on newspapers, from the Rev. Dr. Miller’s Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century.

‘It is worthy of remark that newspapers have almost entirely changed their form and character within the period under review* (*the eighteenth century) For a long time after they were first adopted as a medium of communication to the public, they were confined, in general, to the mere statement of facts. But they have gradually assumed an office more extensive, and risen to a more important station in society. They have become vehicles of discussion, in which the principles of government, the interests of nations, the spirit and tendency of public measures, and the public and private characters of individuals, are all arraigned, tried, and decided. Instead, therefore, of being considered now, as they once were, of small moment in society, they have become immense oral and political engines, closely connected with the welfare of the state, and deeply involving both its peace and prosperity.

‘Newspapers have also become important in a literary view. There are few of them, within the last twenty years, which have not added to their political details some curious and useful information, on the various subjects of literature, science, and art. They have thus become the means of conveying, to every class in society, innumerable scraps of knowledge, which have at once increased the public intelligence, and extended the taste for perusing periodical publications. The advertisements, moreover, which they daily contain, respecting new books, projects, inventions, discoveries and improvements, are well calculated to enlarge and enlighten the public mind, and are worth of being enumerated among the many methods of awakening and maintaining the popular attention, with which more modern times, beyond all preceeding example, abound. . . . “

Index to This Section:

Would there have been an American Revolution Without Newspapers and Mail? The Role of Communications in the American Revolution 

Getting the Word Out: Franklin’s Communications Revolutions

The Dangerous Lives of Printers:

The Evolution of Freedom of the Press

Newspapers in America Before the Era of the Revolution

Newspapers in Revolutionary-Era America and the Problems of Patriot and Loyalist Printers

A Patriot Printer and His “Forge of Sedition”: 

The Story of Isaiah Thomas

The Role of Newspapers in the Revolution:

Isaiah Thomas’s The History of Printing in America

Not Just the News: 

A War of Letters, Pamphlets, Broadsides, and Sermons

http://www1.assumption.edu/ahc/1770s/pprinthisthomas.html 

 

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“But I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years, for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!” 

Governor Sir William Berkeley, 1671

 

The Germination of a Free Press: A Dissident Print Culture and the Stamp Act in Colonial Virginia

by

Roger P. Mellen

2006

42 pp.

http://web.nmsu.edu/~rpmellen/freepress.pdf

 

 

 

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“The editor objected to the use of Native auxiliaries in the invation of Canada during King William’s War after he heard reports of them torturing and killing captured French troops.”

“… The first newspaper ever printed in this country met the same fate dealt the first gesture towards press censorship and the first attempt to set up a commercial printing shop: “Publick Occurrances both Foreign and Domestick,” appeared on September 26, 1690, and was immediately forbidden from the Colonies. The Governor and council gave expression to “high resentment and disallowance” to this paper printed by Richard Pierce for Benjamin Harris of Boston, and forbade anyone “for the future to set forth anything in print without license first obtained.”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1928/11/30/harvard-college-sponsored-first-printing-press/ 

 

http://wordwenches.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c84c753ef0133f4e8ff6a970b-150wi

“… The most intriguing objects found in the Harvard Yard excavations were pieces of lead printing type dating back to the 17th century. At first glance, these lead alloy bars may not impress, but they are small pieces of an important story. Each bears the mold of a single letter. When arranged in rows, coated with thick ink, and pressed onto paper, they created the first books printed in North America. The fonts, or particular shapes, of some of these letters have been matched to surviving 17th-century products of Harvard’s early press…..”

https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/node/2014 

 

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/bf/e0/bb/bfe0bbef4ee437f2e0c0c7f7350459ad.jpg

“… Ezekiel and his followers pooled their money to organise their New England passage. They left Rowley in the summer of 1638 and travelled down into Hull where they joined the ship John of London, lying in the Old Harbour on the River Hull. After sailing out of the Humber, their ship called into London en route and there picked up the Reverend Joseph Glover, a wealthy nonconformist minister, who brought with him Stephen Daye, a printer, and also what is believed to be North America’s first printing press. Glover is thought to have first visited New England earlier in the 1630s and supported the foundation of Harvard College – which eventually became Harvard University, the oldest institute of higher education in the United States.

Unfortunately, on the long and tortuous journey across the Atlantic, the Reverend Glover died before the vessel reached Salem Bay, Massachusetts in the December of 1638. The migrants probably spent a long first winter in Salem but in spring 1639 Ezekiel Rogers and his followers moved on to land some six miles outside of Ipswich, Massachusetts. House lots and properties were laid out along the township’s brook, allowing each family access to fresh water. Here the new arrivals built many houses and, bringing spinning and weaving skills with them from the East Riding of Yorkshire, they were amongst the first to establish a clothing industry in New England. They called their little township, Rowley after their East Riding village….

Elizabeth Glover, continued with her late husband’s mission and supervised Daye in the setting up of the Press in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In January 1639, the Freeman’s Oath was the first piece printed. The following year, 1640, the press produced The Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in the English colonies. This may also have been the first book to have been written in North America and is an important part of the history of print; it seems that only five original copies still exist.

The small town of Rowley prospered and Ezekiel Rogers bequeathed his library to Harvard when he died in 1660 and other benefactions from him also eventually went to this learned institution. Early settlers in Rowley played an important part in the establishment of this new country. Elizabeth Glover married Henry Dunster, Harvard’s First President, who had taken interest in the Press. Stephen Daye died in 1668. His son Matthew became an accomplished printer and indeed may have actually done much of the printing with that first press. Printing and publishing in the United States has certainly come a long way since Stephen Daye first sailed with the Rowley settlers back in the summer of 1638.”

Robb Robinson, December 2008

http://www.hull.ac.uk/mhsc/FarHorizons/Documents/EzekielRogers.pdf 

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This past Christmas weekend has been an opportunity for long-range thinking, planning, learning, observing and more planning. Numerous things have been poking me in my ribs, tapping me on my collar-bone, and crackling synaptically inside my skull.                               

We are advised that rumination is unhealthy and should be stopped. 

We are told to return to the source of our creative fire. 

First among the various stimuli is a slowly-emerging intent to focus on writing. Winter has driven me indoors into a little gem of a house with my office, bookcases, coffee pot, pellet stove and functional iMac; in the summertime, I can sit on the deck overlooking the man-made pond and waterfall and the women-tended garden working on a MacAir.

A small bookcase filled with little gems about the art and practice of writing awaits my more complete attention. 

A desktop folder filled with writing ideas and my own stash of “prompts” is now popping fresh new green sprigs. 

Awaiting my investment of time is the half-finished two-hour lecture course on DVD on the craft of writing world-class prose by a distinguished scholar of contemporary literature; there is a similar but not yet started six-hour course in creative non-fiction

I bought myself a copy of The Trickster’s Hat. It’s a “mischievous apprenticeship in creativity”.

I just discovered a new resource when I went looking for background on the popular writer Michael Crichton whose book “Timeline” generated some thoughts; his simple method uses 3×5 cards to plot out storyline

(Note that that web site has a number of great resources for writers. See this year-ending compendium of the top posts from the past year at Writers Helping Writers.

My wife bought me a book of prompts for uncovering the gems in my life’s stories, as well as the fourth edition of “The Craft of Research”. It is “a fundamental and accessible text that explains how to build an argument that engages and persuades readers, how to effectively anticipate and respond to the reservations of readers, and how to find and evaluate sources and integrate them into an argument.” It ends with a 30-page appendix crammed with bibliographic resources in 26 topical categories, starting with a significant two-page compendium of online databases. At $15, it’s the gift of the decade. It may take me ten years to harvest it. 

Meanwhile:

Obama has signed legislation enabling criminal charges for exercising freedom of speech. 

And Social Security has been weaponized by the State as a means of punishment and intimidation for those arrested arrested while exercising their right to assemble in protest. 

Recently the Internet has become a war zone and people have begun to discuss and debate, from both technological and other perspectives, how they will maintain and exercise the right to create, express and thrive independent of political control. 

I’m re-reading a book about “timing, tactics and strategy in narrative-driven decision-making” called Tempo which surely has some value in deciding what direction I am going to take in the future. 

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Four from http://www.strike-the-root.com: 

 

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/propaganda-war-exposed-in-aleppo-about-to-die-saying-goodbye-but-available-for-interview_12232016# 

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/12/more-fake-news-photos-from-aleppo-proven-false-poorly-executed-propaganda.html 

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/12/heres-how-the-government-is-working-to-erode-constitutional-privacy-protections.html 

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2016/12/23/this-is-how-the-u-s-government-destroys-the-lives-of-patriotic-whistleblowers/ 

 

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Alexa: Who dunnit?

SAN FRANCISCO – In what may be a first, police in Arkansas asked Amazon for recordings potentially made by an Echo device in connection with a murder investigation.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/12/27/amazon-alexa-echo-murder-case-bentonville-hot-tub-james-andrew-bates/95879532/ 

 

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https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/styles/node_embed/public/media/images/photographs/2014_Burma_Harn_Lay.jpg?itok=IpRkWIFz

Obama Quietly Signs The “Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act” Into Law

December 27th, 2016 by Kevin

Via: ZeroHedge:

Long before the “fake news” meme became a daily topic of extensive conversation on such discredited mainstream portals as CNN and WaPo, H.R. 5181 would task the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response,” which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and — in true dystopic manner — ‘develop and disseminate’ “fact-based narratives” to counter effrontery propaganda.

In short, long before “fake news” became a major media topic, the US government was already planning its legally-backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label “fake news.”

Posted in Dictatorship, Perception Management |

death of conversation

death of conversation

”… It seems that the feeling of loneliness is a real epidemic of our society. But why do we feel this way while numerous ways of communication with other human beings are available to us at any minute of every day? To answer the question the title of the article asks, first of all, let’s figure out what loneliness actually is. While the dictionary suggests that it’s a state of being alone paired with the feelings of sadness and isolation, loneliness is far more complex than that.

Have you ever been in a company of people you didn’t have much in common with? Or maybe in a company of strangers/acquaintances who were good friends with each other and didn’t pay much attention to you? If you have been in similar situations, you will agree that in those times, you were feeling lonely without being alone.

This is what loneliness really is – a lack of connection and understanding, no matter if you are alone or not. In fact, this feeling may be even more intense when you are among people you don’t resonate with rather than when you are by yourself. Let me cite Robin Williams here: “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”

So isn’t it the reason why we are so lonely in an over-connected world we live in today? Popular culture and our excessive reliance on the social media have basically made us believe that human communication is about quantity, not quality.

what we lack in the modern world is a deep and meaningful connection with other people, which inevitably makes us feel lonely. We are constantly surrounded by people (if not physically, then at least virtually) and yet, we rarely feel truly close to someone mentally and emotionally.

If you think about it, it makes sense why human communication has become so superficial, since the entire mainstream culture is based on superficiality and shallowness. We are made to believe that all we need is to satisfy our physical needs and fulfil our selfish desires.

To sum up, remember that the only way to avoid loneliness is not about being and communicating with people all the time. It’s about establishing a deep connection with the right people along with being a self-sufficient individual who doesn’t need approval from others.”

http://themindunleashed.org/2016/07/feel-lonely-in-an-over-connected-world.html 

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There’s an e-mail making the rounds filled with cartoons addressing our culture’s obsession with androids called “The Death Of Conversation, captured here in a pdf.

The Death Of Conversation

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http://en.ria.ru/art_living/20160705/1042485515/persia-poet-dicaprio-movie.html 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masnavi 

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WHISPERS OF LOVE

Lover whispers to my ear,
“Better to be a prey than a hunter.
Make yourself My fool.
Stop trying to be the sun and become a speck!
Dwell at My door and be homeless.
Don’t pretend to be a candle, be a moth,
so you may taste the savor of Life
and know the power hidden in serving.”

Mathnawi V. 411-414 (translated by Kabir Helminski)
The Rumi Collection‘, Edited by Kabir Helminski

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKxDCMYWi-c

[##]

I died as a mineral and became a plant,

I died as plant and rose to animal,

I died as animal and I was Man.

Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?

Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar

With angels bless’d; but even from angelhood

I must pass on: all except God doth perish.

When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,

I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.

Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence

Proclaims in organ tones,

To Him we shall return. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi

Alignment of Purpose

The final part of an extended article entitled

Getting Beyond:

Finding Purpose and Vitality After Enduring Systemic Insult

The first three sections are here:

http://boydownthelane.com/2014/05/01/getting-beyond/ 

http://www.thesullenbell.com/2014/05/01/excerpts-deep-survival/

http://www.thesullenbell.com/2014/05/01/excerpts-surviving-survival/

 

Alignment of Purpose

 

 

What we tell ourselves,

in the quiet of our own mind,

is the key.

 

 

 

There is much yet to be said about this topic, which spreads across affirmations, self-talk, the nature of the music one listens to, and much much more. What do you feed your brain? You believe what you say to yourself for fairly obvious reasons, though a lot of people don’t “grok” the concepts very well.  First, your body/mind has been listening to your voice for a long time, and it recognizes and responds to that voice instinctively and instantaneously.  Second, the source of your voice is deeply embedded within your body; the vocal chords in your throat, the resonance of your abdominal expulsion of air, the rhythms and resonance vibrating directly through the boy jaw right into the bony stirrups of your ear and along the outside of your skull.

[For more, see  Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All In Your Head, Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., Great Ocean Publishers, Arlington, VA 1995. [The author is a nationally- recognized neuropsychologist and educator. This is a fascinating, very readable and important book on neuroscience, educational kinesiology and the brain/body connection as it affects us in learning, in performance, at work, and in society. It explains several basic BrainGym exercises, very simple techniques anyone can use to enhance their lives in innumerable ways.]

 

 

For further reflection:

“A fascinating corollary is [the] discovery that not only a lack of communication between individuals but the quality of that communication influences the cardiac system of the human being. Using state-of-the-art equipment to measure blood pressure surges during certain kinds of dialogue, Dr. Lynch has found that negative language – abusive, angry, loud, denigrating – when used repeatedly, and especially early in childhood, can have a devastating effect on the heart of the individual to whom it is directed. “Lethal talk”, Dr. Lynch posits, therefore can be just as much a factor in heart disease as exercise, diet, or cholesterol levels. Negative talk and loneliness, then, can negatively affect our health and, potentially, our lifespan as meaningful human relationships can in the opposite direction.

Although Dr. Lynch focuses on the psychological and emotional factors of loneliness and lethal talk and their relationship to cardiac health, he does not address the vibrational or resonance aspects of both physical proximity of electromagnetic fields and the sounds of conversation. Is it possible, for example, that when the energetic fields of two hearts are near one another that they actually entrain?

Rhythm entrainment, also known as sympathetic vibration, or simply resonance occurs when two wave-forms of similar frequency “lock into phase” with each other. The waves actually oscillate together at exactly the same rate. Two oscillating vibrations, if they are near enough to one another in frequency, will eventually entrain. An example of this is what happens when clocks in a clock store are wound, with their pendulums set in motion. At first the tick tock of the pendulums’ sway is just slightly off but eventually every clock falls into rhythm with the others as they become entrained.

This principle of rhythm entrainment can also occur with one wave triggering a vibration in a resting source such as when a violin string can be tuned to a certain pitch by playing another violin string set to the same pitch nearby. This is how tuning forks are used in remote control television units. The TV is remotely activated by pushing a button on the remote control unit which strikes a tone that entrains with a tone in the unit….

Have you ever felt the energy in the room shift when two or more individuals seem to be “on the same wavelength”?

http://www.collectivewisdominitiative.org/papers/levi_sentient.htm 

 

 

music video: 

I Can’t Get Started 

(Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

(“A Child’s Dance”) (Woody Shaw on trumpet) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97NGOo92Tak 

 

****

We are what we think. What we are (and what will we will become) starts from within our thoughts. With our thoughts, we create our reality. Virtually all of our behavioral patterns are generated from the unconscious naming or categorization of our prior experiences. Much of what we believe about ourselves is based upon erroneous conclusions we have drawn due to how subjectively we interpreted and experience. We prevent positive outcomes for ourselves because we imagine that we have been slighted, or judged, or doubted, or criticized, or been found to be deficient in some way. Repetitive experience of this type leaves traces upon our subconscious mind. If we tell ourselves frequently that we are worthy, or unattractive, or clumsy, or at fault, or any of a range of negative self-perceptions in a variety of forms, then we will form identifications with those characteristics.

Identifications (how we see ourselves) are etched into the subconscious.

At the core of every identification is a subjective belief.

Beliefs generate attitudes. Our experiences related to our beliefs

Attitudes generate feelings.

Feelings generate thoughts.

Thoughts generate action.

At the root of every identification is a belief. This is a statement of relative truth that generates a series of attitudes, feelings, thoughts and behaviors. The subconscious mind will hold onto pattern the programming and become locked in, seemingly inaccessible. We can and do believe something, or act a certain way , without a clue as to why. Our minds have a built in sentinel which guards the mental file cabinet where we store our identifications and beliefs. It acts as a filter so that nothing can be filed in that file cabinet that does not already conform with the identifications and beliefs there are ready there. (Psychologists call it “the critical factor”.)

You can gain access to your subconscious, to that file cabinet of core belief, when your mind’s filtering sentinel can be made to step aside through the use of effective progressive relaxation techniques. The identifications and beliefs that do not serve you can be overcome and replaced. You can choose to give yourself positive messages that will generate positive experience and reality.

See

Body Mind Mastery: Creating Success in Sport and Life, Dan Millman, New World Library, Novato, California, 1999. [Millman is a former world champion on the trampoline, a Hall of Fame gymnast, a coach and a university professor. This is a revision of his earlier book The Inner Athlete.]

The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron with Mark Bryan, Jeremy Tarcher/G. P. Putnam Books, New York, 1992. [A path for uncovering or unblocking your innate creativity.]

This all has to do with the harmony within one’s self, as well as the harmony that can be extended to others, within community, and within nature and the cosmos.

 

****

 

“People appear to think in conjunction or partnership with others and with the help of culturally provided tools and implements. Cognitions, it would seem, are not content-free tools that are brought to bear on this or that problem; rather, they emerge in a situation tackled by teams of people and tools available to them… What characterizes such daily events of thinking is that the social and artifactual surrounds, alleged to be ‘outside’ the individual’s heads, not only are sources of stimulation and guidance but are actually vehicles of thought. Moreover, the arrangements, functions, and structures of these surrounds change in the process to become genuine parts of the learning that results from the cognitive partnership with them. In other words, it is not just the ‘person- solo’ who learns, but the ‘person-plus’, the whole system of interrelated factors.”

 

“No distribution without individual cognition: a dynamic interaction of view”, G. Salomon, in Distributed Cognitions — Psychological and Educational Considerations, Cambridge University Press, 1993 G. Salomon (ed.), as noted by Mark K. Smith, Learning and Organizations, at www.infed.org/biblio/organizational-learning.htm.

 

****

 

“… learning results in the construction of nodes and relations….”

How does this apply to (or how is it applied by) the super-empowered individual?

“Three types of learning are particularly interesting from an organizational perspective: communication-based, experience-based, and expectation- based.

In communication-based learning, individuals learn about tasks, people, organizations, etc. by observing or being told. The information garnered in this way is expected to be new or novel to the learner.

Experiential learning has its basis in task repetition and feedback. There are several sources for this experience: the communication of previous results, increased familiarity, increased physical skill, prior problem-solving.

Finally, expectation-based learning occurs when individuals engage in planning, thinking ahead about the future, and then use these expectations as a basis for future reasoning.

From a network perspective, learning results in the construction of nodes and relations.”

 

“On The Evolution of Social and Organizational Networks”, Kathleen M. Carley, Carnegie Mellon University, in Steven B. Andrews and David Knoke (eds.), Vol. 16 Special Issue of Research in the Sociology of Organizations on “Networks In and Around Organizations,”, JAI Press, Inc, Stamford, CT, pp. 3-20.

(http://www.casos.cs.cmu.edu/events/summer_institute/2001/reading_list/pdf/EvolutionofNetworks.pdf).

 

 

 

From Body-Mind Psychotherapy: Principles, Techniques & Practical Applications, Susan Aposhyan, W. W. Norton & Co., 2004:

“In my book Natural Intelligence,: body-mind immigration and human development (1998), I distilled six principles which underlie body-mind integration in any context. These principles are: respect, full participation, inclusivity, dialogue, sequencing, and development. [Otherwise] we are merely using our bodies to perform mechanical functions and thereby contributing to body-mind the synchronization.” [Page 15]

“Throughout the development of human cultures, as visions of how to live grew more complex in some parts of the world, in order to manifest those visions, industrialized nations came to dominate more of the natural world–including other humans. Body-minded dualism is part and parcel of this domination. In the act of dominating, we forgot our bodily connection with the other. In the act of being dominated, we became fragmented, losing touch with the vitality of our own subjectivity. This fragmentation increases cyclically; it is far easier to dominate a fragmented creature….” [Page 24]

“The development of modern mouth, teeth and tongue allowed us to articulate in so much detail and free up our hands even further. We could now speak and do at the same time….” [page 25]

“As cellular life evolved from colonies of cells to multicellular organisms, a new form of communication evolved–vascular communication. While still relying on chemical messengers, vascular systems provided organized, fluid channels of communication that both sped up and directed the communication process within within an organism (Margulis and Sagan, 1986). Our circulatory systems are still fundamental to communication within the human organism.” [Page 36]

The amygdala

“As we have come to understand the amygdala and its role in fear and other emotional reactions, we have recognized that it can receive and react to pertinent sensory data before the prefrontal lobe has had time to completely receive and process the input. In other words before we recognize the stick in our path as not being a snake, we have already jumped out of its way.  Our lower brain functions recognized that this stick could be a snake. It is adaptive to jump first, evaluate later. Not only does the prefrontal lobe receive and respond to the sensory data more slowly — as it is further way from the sensory input with many more synaptic connections to complete, it is also has a relatively weak ability to control the amygdala response. The prefrontal lobe has fewer and slower connections into the amygdala than the amygdala has to the prefrontal lobe. This makes the effect of the amygdala on the prefrontal lobe both quicker and stronger than the effect of the prefrontal lobe on the amygdala.

Understanding this brain circuitry helps explain why our emotional intensity can easily overcome our rational perspective. The degree to which this is true seems to vary with individuals and is a fundamental aspect of temperament.

Furthermore, this mechanism can be strengthened in either direction through practice and experience. This tendency for emotional intensity to overcome the rational frontal lobe is especially salient in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosis, addictions, and adolescence. In these situations, the prefrontal lobe is already operating at a disadvantage. Thus, the emotional intensity generated by the amygdala can more easily overpowered.

Polyvagal theory

In the evolution of the motion, mammalian behavior is distinct due to the centrality of bonding and parental care. Some argue that this evolutionary legacy has placed relationality at the center of our emotional processing.   Stephen Porges (1995), director of the brain-body center at the University Illinois, has developed a poly-vagal theory of autonomic nervous system regulation that places the roots of social engagement in the brainstem, at the very foundation of our neurological regulation.

According to his theory, human autonomic regulation has 3 tiers of operations.” [They consist of immobilization; sympathetic arousal response of fight or flight; and, finally, the social engagement system. ]  “This system involves the ventral root of the vagus nerve as well as aspects of other cranial nerves. Together these nerves in their respective nuclei in the brainstem control bonding and engaging behaviors, such as facial expression, localization, listening, and sucking.

In a state of social engagement…, heart and respiratory rate vary…, [as does facial muscle tone which controls ears noses eyes and more, enabling] “the ability to respond with a variety of behaviors. This variability is essential to engagement. It could be seen as a fundamental aspect of responsivity or attunement….” [Pages 40-44]

 

 

And then, as if it were a coda, in response to a comment I’d made, Laurence Gonzales said I should check out “the polyvagal theory”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnfKmNRfLYU (2:27)

 

It turns out I’d heard of the theory before and even included it in a slice of my “Summon The Magic” material, replicated above.

And Gonzales was right again, I discovered, when I  re-examined Porges and his theory, this time in depth, and having a deeper understanding of what Porges means, what the theory is about, what it tells us about how we humans are constructed, and that it holds the key to our re-generation after trauma.

My return from West Virginia, my re-engagement with my wife and kids, my focusing on getting the “Summon The Magic” material in shape and online, and my looking for new ways to learn and get involved and engaged, are my examples. I got beyond the physical and emotional trauma of my dance with intensive care, my rehabilitative process, and found some answers to “What now?”.  I focused on restoring or keeping what health I had. WIth the kitchen empty and the wife still working 14-hour days, I focused on cooking. I bought an instructional cookbook from the Culinary Institute of America, watched cooking shows, and played in the kitchen as an artist in love. We got the kitchen re-modeled. I started to assemble some instructional tools on learning how to play the piano or electronic keyboard. I bought a new computer, got re-invested in blogging, and ended up transitioning my blog to a new host with a new approach. And I’ve put 9/11 and such things behind me, in the sense that I no longer feel obsessed, no longer have the need to chase down every detail, eliminate the doubts and variables in every piece of disinformation, or classify and categorize every one who posts on the Internet. I still watch and post about such things on the news,  obviously, but there are spaces and gaps now, places and times when I can turn away and invest my self in something else.

Each of us has to do this in his or her own way, when we are ready… again not for the sake of letting go of our awareness and activism, but in harnessing it to better ends with better tools and in learning to live a life in our own way that is contrapuntal and antithetical to “the evilarchy” that has brought us to the cliffside of brutal totalitarianism, economic collapse, and world war. 

Below the calligraphic break is a section devoted to Porges and his theory with more links for your exploration to the depth of your own interest.

 

In his article on love and our emergent autonomic nervous system

[ http://www.craniosacrale.it/pdf/dainfo/love_paper.pdf ],

Stephen Porges, Ph.D. explains our innate human neurobehavioral system and the way it promotes an alternative to the flight/fright mechanism by promoting social contact and communication.

His polyvagal theory describes the enervation of the branchiomeric muscles which control our facial expressions, listening and vocalization, our head tilts and all the  other very subtle elements that are intimately involved in the communication of affect.

These are the tools of engagement and interaction within the social environment (although these require face-to-face contact, not social media contact).

These same internal systems also communicate with our heart and with our gastro-intestinal system which are intimately connected with the brain, the heart and the body’s hormonal regulation mechanisms. This triad is inseparable and is deeply integrated with our abilities for cooperative and shared responsibilities of survival, the transmission of cultural values, and with physical safety.

Love, which is incompatible with fear, may have evolved to bypass slower, more tedious, and often unsuccessful processes of communication and social engagement.

For more, click on this pdf link: The Polyvagal Theory 

 

A Short Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGDMXvdwN5c (3:59)

 

ABC’s Sydney Lupkin calls it a “fake”, but maybe a placebo is a more correct term. 

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2014/04/09/doves-latest-ad-entails-tricking-women-to-wear-fake-beauty-patches/ 

RumblePitch tweets — inside the story — that it’s degrading for all intelligent women but then, on the other hand, intelligent women would know how to use their own minds in a manner that improves their well-being and, maybe, just maybe, some people need to be educated about how that works.

This is what I’ve been trying to do with “Summon The Magic” and, while my own direct applications have been focused on helping one individual be able to hit home runs seemingly at will, and in another case helping a post-Olympic pitcher [Danielle “Harry” Henderson] get over the simple psychological hurdle of making an error every time the ball was hit back to her [“Thanks… it worked!”, she told me a year later], it’s simply about opening up the door to the idea that the power of the brain can be focused on any issue the brain’s owner wants it to be.

Here are chunks of the old e-book “Summon The Magic”:

the Bibliography pdf,

Mind Map 2013 pdf

ActionMapping pdf

Team Chemistry pdf

Get Going

 

 

The state of loneliness can be crippling, and though majority of people don’t find themselves consumed by it, they do feel its effects as their inner worlds shrink and dry up.

According to the 65-year-old Indian-born American physician, the only real answer to loneliness is to experience your own fullness, and only then can you be sure that you will not look inside one day to find holes, gaps, unanswered fears and a sense of lack.

A few steps that enable an individual to become true to themselves have also been given, the Huffington Post reported.

Step one is to have a vision that you devote time to every day – according to happiness experts, the best way to have a happy life is to have a happy day. Chopra has modified this a little bit and said that the best way to have a happy life is to have a happy day that looks forward to tomorrow as the future is something you build toward and the place where you build is inside yourself.

Step two consists of putting yourself in a context for fulfilment – the solitary life is suitable for very few people and the vast majority prefer social connections. We all have them if yours are the kind that doesn’t fulfil you emotionally, the whole value of relationship is being missed.

Proximity isn’t the same as bonding. There is a sliding scale for bonding, from least to most intimate, which is as follows:

Relationships exist for the purpose of mutual fulfillment, but if they exist for other reasons like status, financial security, feeling wanted or meeting the social norm, it’s not the same as being true to yourself deep down and allowing intimacy to move into the region of the soul.

Lastly, view your life as a process, a never-ending journey – as long as you live between the end points of birth and death, life is like a conveyor belt heading inexorably for a black tunnel. The only time that never ages is the present moment.

Living in the moment has become a spiritual cliche, but it isn’t always a useful one. The now becomes eternal only when it is full, when your being is enough to sustain you, complete fullness is at hand and when just being here elicits bliss, you are timeless.

http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report-deepak-chopra-reveals-how-to-fight-loneliness-1781879

 

Random Acts of Kindness caught on film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeph_eX_pVw&list=PLxr6alg-YpQYPINmZkZuGl8xxN1HDOOkz (5:27)

 

music video (must be watched for its explanatory graphics)

Oh Come, Emmanuel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozVmO5LHJ2k&list=PLxr6alg-YpQYPINmZkZuGl8xxN1HDOOkz (4:36)

 

 

From “Deep Survival”

The appendix of the book starting on page 278 offers up the condensed rules”.

 

The rules of adventure:

Perceive, believe, then act. Guess well. Avoid the “four poisons of the mind”: fear, confusion, hesitation, and surprise. Hesitation. [My sports psychology reading taught me a very simple mantra which continues to remain deeply embedded and yet available: “Don’t  discriminate in the midst of action”.] Stop, think, observe, plan, and then act.

Avoid impulsive behavior; don’t hurry.

Know your stuff.

Get the information.

Commune with the dead. “If you could collect the debt around you and sit by the campfire and listen to their tails, you might find yourself in the middle of the best survival school of all.”

Be humble.

When in doubt, bail out.

 

The rules of survival:

Number One: Perceive; believe (look, see, believe).

Number Two: Stay calm (use humor, use fear to focus).

Number Three: Think/analyze/plan (get organized; set up small, manageable tasks;).

Number Four: Take correct, decisive action (be bold and cautious while carrying out tasks).

Number Five: Celebrate your successes (take joy in completing tasks).

Number Six: Count your blessings (be grateful–you’re alive).

Number Seven: Play (sing, play mind games, recite poetry,  count anything, do mathematical problems in your head).

Number Eight: See the beauty (remember: it’s a vision quest).

Number Nine: Believe that you will succeed (develop a deep conviction that you make real).

Number Ten: Surrender (let go of your fear of dying; “put away the pain”).

Number Eleven: Do whatever is necessary (be determined; have the will and the skill).

Number Twelve: Never give up (let nothing break your spirit).

 

Mark Knopfler – True Love Will Never Fade

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cDxnbDfgYA (4:28)

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[with a big tip of the cap to A. Peasant]

http://www.sott.net/article/142725-Limbic-Warfare-and-Martha-Stouts-Paranoia-Switch

http://www.c-span.org/video/?199990-1/book-discussion-paranoia-switch

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-374-22999-3

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“Life is precious and irreplaceable. Even severe incurable illness can often be temporarily fixed, moderated, or controlled…. In chess, to resign is to give up the game with pieces and options remaining.  My version of DNR is “Do Not Resign”.

Don’t give up on me if I can still think, communicate, create, and enjoy life. When taking care of me, take care of yourself as well, to make sure you don’t burn out by the time I need your optimism the most.

It’s so easy to let someone die, but it takes effort, determination, and stamina to help someone stay and feel alive.”

 

Boris Veysman, M.D. [ http://rwjms.rutgers.edu/emergency_medicine/faculty/profiles/veysmanb.html ], in the journal Health Affairs,

cited on page 207 of Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You http://www.amazon.com/Your-Medical-Mind-Decide-Right/dp/B00CVDO05U , Jerome Groopman, M.D., and Pamela Hartzband, M.D., Penguin 2012.

 

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From the Nag Hammadi library, the Book of Thomas, Christ tells us “For whoever does not know self does not know anything, but whoever knows self already has acquired knowledge about the depth of the universe”.

Compare this with a tract from the Upanishads, the Indian metaphysical treatise on self-realization:

“It is not by argument that the self is known…. Distinguish the self from the body and mind. The self, the atman, the highest refuge of all, pervades the Universe and dwells in the hearts of all. Those who are instructed in the self and who practice constant meditation attain that changeless and self-effulgent atman (spirit/self). Do Thou Likewise, for bliss eternal lies before you….”

http://www.sol.com.au/kor/8_01.htm 

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http://snippits-and-slappits.blogspot.com/2014/04/18-things-highly-creative-people-do.html

 

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“…. for god’s sake, one can’t spend untold hours chewing blogospherical cud when there is a real life to be lived out there in the real world….”

Chris Floyd

 On Data Dumps, Death States and “Respectable” Dissent

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“You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he ‘s no longer in your power–he’s free again.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn 

ATTRIBUTION DETAIL »

Read more at http://quotes.dictionary.com/source/bobynin_in_the_first_circle_1968?page=1#QogthHx4ItgqQg3o.99

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There is a tearsheet used as a bookmark in my copy of Civil Disobedience which notes an excerpt from the book The power highway: Saga of a desperate Southern gentleman, 1955-1967” (Dillard, 1997) (edited by Douglas Brinkley), and which reads, underneath the title in bold red

 “Fear and Loathing…”:

On the night of November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Hunter Thompson wrote to his friend William Kennedy from his home in Woody Creek, Colorado. The letter contains the earliest known use of his signature phrase “fear and loathing”. An excerpt follows.

….There is no human being within 500 miles to whom I can communicate anything–much less the fear and loathing that is on me after today’s burner….The killing has put me in a state of shock. The rages troubled….This is the end of reason, the dirtiest are in our time. I mean to come down from the hills and enter the fray….No more fair play. From now on it is dirty pool and judo in the clinches. The savage nuts have shattered the greatness of American decency. They can count me in – I feel ready for a dirty game….

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The Sacred Ritual of Walking: Venkat Rao explains, for the benefit of us un-spiritual types, that sacred rituals are of four types: grounding, centring, connecting, and collecting. He then provides an intriguing exercise to assess which type most appeals to you.

When the Purpose of Meeting is Not to Agree on Actions: My friend Amanda Fenton summarizes some great thoughts on the value of conversation, connection and networking that yields no action plans, decisions or “solutions”. Sometimes, sharing and listening and learning is enough; sometimes, “the dialogue is the action”.

 

“Don’t turn your face away.

Once you’ve seen, you can no longer act like you don’t know.

Open your eyes to the truth. It’s all around you.

Don’t deny what the eyes to your soul have revealed to you.

Now that you know, you cannot feign ignorance.

Now that you’re aware of the problem, you cannot pretend you don’t care.

To be concerned is to be human.

To act is to care.”

― Vashti Quiroz-Vega

http://howtosavetheworld.ca/2014/01/28/ 

 

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Accepting reality

Americans’ Mental Health is Latest Victim of Changing Climate (Op-Ed)

An excerpt:

“When you have an environmental insult, the burden of mental health disease is far greater than the physical,” said Steven Shapiro, a Baltimore psychologist who directs the program on climate change, sustainability and psychology for the nonprofit Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR). “It has a much larger effect on the psyche. Survivors can have all sorts of issues: post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and academic issues among kids.”

 

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“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” 

Rumi 

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http://metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/article-1338546439171-1366017e000005dc-116469_466x310.jpg 

In 2009, Rachel Weisz expressed her views on Botox to Harper’s Bazaar – “It should be banned for actors, as steroids are for sportsmen. Acting is all about expression; why would you want to iron out a frown?“[109]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Weisz

 

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http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3JIAsVgrwuo/UxreysiCZJI/AAAAAAAB0fY/NkO2xHQREaI/s1600/h60_n.jpg 

 

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There is no prosthetic for an amputated spirit.

Lt. Col. Frank Slade (blind from a foolish accident with a grenade)(From the movie “The Scent of a Woman”)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN0rMmUxUMI (0:08)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2zTd_YwTvo (4:30)

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“Happiness is the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.”

John F. Kennedy, citing Plato

See also page 159

Your Unfinished Life: The Classic and Timeless Guide to Finding Happiness and Success Through Kindness

by Lawrence J. Danks

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/your-unfinished-life-lawrence-j-danks/1014434870?ean=9780615242071 

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“… Only the wealthy can afford to have someone else fix their bicycle, walk and wash their dog, change the oil in their car, repair their house, etc. Practical skills enable an individual or household to lower the cost of living to the point that savings (capital accumulation) is possible. Practical skills are human capital, which is the means of production in a knowledge economy…..”

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/losing-practical-life-skills.html 

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There are two books in my bibliography for the never-quite-got-off-the-ground effort I called “Summon The Magic” that I recommend first and foremost for students and parents, students for the obvious reason that they have evidenced some desire to learn something useful and parents in the hopes that they would buy one for their kids (and read it when the kid was doing something else).

One of those books has this description in my list:

The Everyday Work of Art: How Artistic Experience Can Transform Your Life, Eric Booth, Sourcebooks, Napierville, Illinois 1997. [At the foundation of Summon The Magic, the concepts in this book should be taught to every high school student; written by an individual who has achieved unparalleled success in the fields of music, the performing arts and business.] [Having been recognized by many educators as an outstanding book, it has been re-published by Authors’ Guild Back-in-Print (iUniverse.com) (ISBN 0-595-19380-3) with the new subtitle “Awakening the Extraordinary in Your Daily Life”.]

There are many rich tidbits to be drawn from this book. He talks about developing own’s own hall of masters, the select few with whom you’d like to have a conversation, a dinner, or some form of deeper relationship. [He’s on my list.]  The second is a little meme about a spectrum of curiosity, really a spiral that describes depths of attention.

He does a lot with etymology, which endears me to him, and he is the kind of fellow I very much wish I’d had an encounter decades ago; it would have changed and improved my life. If you’re not yet convinced of the need to part with some of your hard-earned cash for this man’s book, read this commencement address of his:

http://necmusic.edu/eric-booth-2012-commencement-speech 

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Healing the Traumatized Self

CONSCIOUSNESS, NEUROSCIENCE, TREATMENT

Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology

Paul Frewen (Author), Ruth Lanius (Author)

With a Foreword by Bessel van der Kolk, With a Foreword by David Spiegel

A neurobiological explanation of self-awareness and the states of mind of severely traumatized people.

Cultivation of emotional awareness is difficult, even for those of us not afflicted by serious mental illness. This book discusses the neurobiology behind emotional states and presents exercises for developing self awareness. Topics include mood (both unipolar and bipolar), anxiety (particularly PTSD), and dissociative disorders.  Frewen and Lanius comprehensively review psychological and neurobiological research, and explain how to use this research to become aware of emotional states within both normal and psychopathological functioning. Therapists will be able to help survivors of trauma, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and dissociative disorders develop emotional awareness. The book also includes case studies, detailed instructions for clinicians, and handouts ready for use in assessment/therapy with patients/clients.

BOOK DETAILS

  1. Hardcover
  2. Forthcoming July 2014
  3. ISBN 978-0-393-70551-5
  4. 6.1 × 9.3 in / 416 pages

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Healing-the-Traumatized-Self/

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Healing Trauma

Peter Levine, author of “Waking The Tiger”, has a book/CD package called “Healing Trauma” which detail a number of exercises built on Eugene Gendlin’s “Focusing” theories of “felt sense” (Somatic Experiencing).

“Levine’s psycho-physiological trauma theory is informed by what ethologists, or biologists who specialize in studying animal behavior in the wild, call the immobility response, a survival enhancing fixed action pattern evolved in prey animals which is triggered by the perceived imminence of being killed by a predator.”

Levine talks on Track Nine of the CD about somatic collapse as a result of trauma or having been shamed; one wonders if there is a parallel to social or cultural collapse. He talks about the exercise in which the client begins to re-stack their vertebra to come back to an upright and vertical alignment. On the tenth track, he discusses immobility as the pretended death of the predator’s victim, frightened by the aggression of the predator and giving up one’s own to feign death. On the eleventh track, he talks about looking around, or re-orienting, after waking up and shaking off the energy of the feigned death, or a natural built-in neurological system that [echoing Booth] allows for interest, curiosity and exploration. “It’s also the antidote for the trauma response. The nervous system cannot both be exploratory, curious, searching, looking and be traumatized.”  The “trauma response” cannot co-exist with those activities. And the activities of exploration create an urge to contact others who are similarly searching.  “It’s a natural response because, when we are not in the traumatized lockdown, our natural response is to reach out and make contact, both with our natural environment and any individual that we have a relationship with.”

Healing Trauma – Peter A. Levine

Waking the Tiger | Professional Training For Mental Health Professionals & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | Trauma Therapy Training

Peter A. Levine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Stop pretending that you don’t want whatever it is that you want, and take action. In every case, the remedy is to take action. Get clear about exactly what it is that you need to learn and exactly which you need to do to learn it. Getting clear kills fear.

Zen and The Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design, Laurence G. Boldt, Arkana/Penguin Books, 1993. [Thick, thorough, penetrating, demanding: it will help you work through the issues of what your mission in life is, where to apply your talents, and how to accomplish the dreams and visions you have for your life in the world.]

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Imagining Healthy Work: Why We all Have to Become Monks

by JEFFREY BILBRO on MARCH 10, 2014 · 6 COMMENTS

I’m going to have to think on a small-scale, I’m going to have to think little.  If you leave here today remembering one thing, let it be this paradox: to include everything in our work, we have to work on a small, local scale. This is why we all have to become like monks.

I’m going to argue that if we want to work well, we should seek to work in a local community, for a common purpose, and at a variety of tasks.

http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2014/03/imagining-healthy-work-become-monks/ 

A Way of Working

http://www.amazon.com/Way-Working-Spiritual-Dimension-Craft/dp/0930407016 

Laborare est orare.

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One’s true capacity for moving,

or being moved, can be achieved

only when one’s commitment to others

is in fact connected to and derived from

his primary commitment to himself. 

When we find this kind of alignment of purpose,

there is a harmony of motivation

that can provide the fuel and clarity

to overcome great obstacles

in the pursuit of great challenge.

from The Inner Game of Work, by W. Timothy Gallwey

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To stay on track is hard. You have to want it really hard, and you have to get better every year. Why are you doing what you do? Is it instinct? Belief? The way in which you are different? A caring about what you do? The opportunity to be of influence, to give a gift of beauty and happiness to someone? It is a heroic endeavor to come to task with the demands of your inner gift or talent. What is the choice if you choose not to meet these demands? There are many professions and pursuits that will allow you to be average. But mediocrity is not acceptable in the many careers where you are constantly measured against the best, when the comparisons to the titans of the past are inevitable. Pursuing your life’s work is a kind of agony, and you have to be careful not to love the agony, but to use it. In the end, you have to break out by yourself.

From “Juilliard”, an American Masters production on PBS

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Angels don’t produce art. Neither do beasts….

You and I do, in response to the pain of being human—without a credential and without the approval of anybody.

http://www.stevenpressfield.com/2014/04/can-writing-be-taught/?mc_cid=fc7c5c4314&mc_eid=430d290bc7 

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▶ Cinema Paradiso – Yo-Yo Ma and Chris Botti – YouTube (8:16)

Alfredo: Living here day by day, you think it’s the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything’s changed. The thread’s broken. What you came to find isn’t there. What was yours is gone. You have to go away for a long time… many years… before you can come back and find your people. The land where you were born. But now, no. It’s not possible. Right now you’re blinder than I am.

Salvatore: Who said that? Gary Cooper? James Stewart? Henry Fonda? Eh?

Alfredo: No, Toto. Nobody said it. This time it’s all me. Life isn’t like in the movies. Life… is much harder.

 

 

▶ David Crosby featuring Mark Knopfler – What’s Broken (2014) – YouTube

▶ David Crosby – Holding On To Nothing – YouTube (3:40)

▶ David Crosby – Time I Have – YouTube (3:43)