Act so as always increase the number of choices
If you’re a basketball fan you cannot ignore that Spike Lee is one of the more striking fan of the New York Knickerbockers. Last year something happened in New York City. A new basketball team landed in the Big Apple: the Brooklyn Nets. If you are a movies addicted you cannot ignore that Spike Lee devoted his entire career to tell about Brooklyn. In this video Spike weighs is love for Brooklyn and his loyalty to the Knicks. If we disable our overconfidence we could look into various possibilities and take the best choice between, for instance, love and loyalty.
Posted by Paolo Antonini
Finally someone gives us some evidences that differences are good and above all explain
us why. This research enlights the evidence that some human slangs cannot be translated. You can not change the name of an emotion, the one of a point of view, or the one of an experience. You can only try to understand them dialoguing with their creators. Differences are at the base of our learning process. So please leave us the possibility of misunderstanding.
Posted by Paolo Antonini
Horror vacui is the trademark of our culture. We fill our cities with buildings, our houses with objects, our time with activities. The more we fill our agendas with tasks and meetings, the more we feel productive – the less we find room for our questions. When you spend your life filling up
all empty spaces, suddenly one day you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack…
Disable full to enable opportunities.
It is like educating a kid. You can’t get along for all his life telling him what to do, he has to learn his own existential know how. To help him achieve this ultimate goal you have to let him go: self-organization does not come from external instructions.
On the road it is the same story, as Wired pointed out in 2004 and The City Fix claimed again in 2010.
“The counter-intuitive finding is that streets without traffic signals mean that cars drive more slowly and carefully because the rules of the road are ambiguous—there’s no red, green or yellow to tell drivers precisely what to do.”
And it’s not different within business-driven companies, where instruction allow people to anesthetize their willpower – as Seth Godin summarizes: “If you go to work and do what you’re told, the lack of initiative you demonstrate costs us all”.
Disable instructions to enable self, attention and willpower.
There is no reason why I should be looking at my two kids (Orlando and Lorenzo, today 13 and 10) as potential candidate for some prestigious university. Universities’ nothingness has been evident for many since many years; now it seems less unpopular to display meaningful data in order to spread the argument. This is a recent hit from Harvard Business School (!):
“The cost of a college or university degree is out of control. Despite their questionable performance, tuition at four-year universities has tripled in constant dollars over the past 30 years — a faster rate of increase than much-maligned healthcare — and total U.S. student debt now stands at more than US$1 trillion. Worse still, one out of two recent college graduates is unemployed or working in a job that does not require a degree.”
(Rest of the feature is here)
May I repeat it? One out of two recent college graduates is unemployed or working in a job that does not require a degree.
Disable university to enable knowledge building and sharing – our kids deserve more than academics.
Prisoner sleeping quarters, photograph by Zoriah.
Theodor W. Adorno’s popular “No poetry after Auschwitz” fortunately made its time. We not only kept poetry on our side but we also did it (and we’ll keep on doing it) with all the rest of cultural expressions – which is Adorno’s meaning for “poetry”. In front of Auschwitz, where literally the entire world stood terrorized 68 years ago, one may think culture is totally useless, but it is not. Culture is the only tool we can use to face the unintelligible sides of human beings, in spite of hideous culture’s ability to endlessly rebuild Auschwitz pre-requisites. Humans can generate evil; but humans can also understand evil in order to prevent it. We don’t belong to evil, as far as we can decide to defuse it.
It’s our duty not to skip this task: disable revisionism to enable culture.
(One of Saul Steinberg’s calendars)
We no more need the smart ones. Always high, always on, always ready, they can pick up the right choice without any hesitation. And they’ve been providing the wrong answer for years.
There is a beautiful italian word that smart guys ignore (you have to ignore almost anything to be always ready): lungimiranza. This word comes from two latin words, puts together the distance (longe) and the look (mirare) and highlights the relevance of a deep sight. Lungimiranza is linked with planning but provides more than plans. Lungimiranza keeps us closer to questions, forces us to wait, invites us to take our time, to shape the right time for the right move. In the meanwhile, probably, some smart people will have offered several immediate solutions, with a cool wink and an even cooler MBA-like statement. But real meanings and appropriate choices always come from lungimiranza.
Disable reactivity to enable sustainability.
This is why it’s worth following John Horgan’s blog:
“In my last post, I defended mega-pundit Jared Diamond against his critics, especially social scientists who imply that a book may be scholarly or a bestseller but not both. Bullshit. Envy more than genuine scholarly disagreement seems to underpin much of the resentment toward Diamond. Anthropologists and other investigators of human behavior should applaud Diamond, not denigrate him, for showing that popular appeal and scholarly rigor are compatible.”
(rest of the feature is here)