What I am Watching This Evening… YouTube.

YouTube can be a great educational tool. Here’s what I’ve stumbled upon this evening.

Nerdwriter1 talks about internet art and how machines perceive differently than we do.

Vox teaches us how the Oscar’s voting process ends up awarding bland movies. Incidentally, they use the film The King’s Speech as an example. A film I found to be extremely dull and devoid of any creative joy. It was one sterile set-up after another. It was not a bad movie, it was the perfect bland movie, carefully tailored to follow all the rules and not offend anyone (especially from a visual stand point). Watching it probably felt like reading one of those books written by a machine in George Orwell’s 1984. I stopped considering the Oscars a good gauge for quality a long time ago, the Vox video made sense.

Continue reading What I am Watching This Evening… YouTube.

Zen in the Art of Archery

Selected quotes from Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel.

The story goes something like this: Eugen Herrigel, a German teaching and living in Japan, set out to understand the meaning of Zen. Realizing it cannot be studied but only experienced, he decided to learn about it through the practice of one of the arts “touched” by Zen, Kyudo (Japanese archery). Out of his experiences came the book Zen in the Art of Archery.

This was one of the first book I read on the subject. Given the choices made by Herrigel later in life, it is unclear what he took away from these experiences.

As I understand it, talking about Zen has a tendency to confuse things. What makes this a worthwhile read is not the author’s interpretation of what Zen actually is (or is not) but rather the fact that it is one of the earliest books to expose the Western public to Zen. It spawned a century of speculation and countless books on the subject.

Continue reading Zen in the Art of Archery

General Relativity Turns 100!

Widely regarded as one of humanity’s greatest intellectual achievements, Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity turns 100 this November! Since it was first published on November 25th 1915 the scientific world has never been the same.

It is my opinion that our “Newtonian oriented minds” have yet to fully comprehend the philosophical implications involved with the discovery of this theory. I hope one day I’ll have more to say about that but for now here is an interesting infographic from space.com explaining the theory itself.

Continue reading General Relativity Turns 100!

Nietzsche’s Super-Human Explained

After reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra years ago,  I felt that Nietzsche had been greatly misunderstood by some . In a few cases, the concept of the Übermensch or Super-human (Overhuman, Superman etc.) has been misappropriated to justify wickedness.

Recently I stumbled upon a video that provides a very simple interpretation of this idea.

Continue reading Nietzsche’s Super-Human Explained

Clear Skies: A Short Story

Sooner or later everyone misses the rain. It just happens. You wake up one day alone in a strange town you’ve been living in for the past twenty years and are certain you don’t belong. The problem with the sun is that it makes it difficult to hide from others and yourself. I checked to see if the bag was still under the bed. It was. It wasn’t a dream. I pulled it out and stared at all that cash. It represented the dreams and aspirations of decent people I no longer cared for.

Clear skies. Waiting for darkness was not an option. I threw a few things on top of the money and headed out of town. Once the parking meters were no longer lining the sidewalk I knew I’d be in the clear, at least for a few hours. Rural America came up on me quick. I felt remorse for the smiles I had shared with the good people of the Clarkson Farmers Savings & Loans. It was only a matter of time before they would discover their colleague was a crook.

Continue reading Clear Skies: A Short Story

Amazon Storywriter: Free Cloud-based Screenplay Writing “Software”

I took my first steps in the world of screenwriting back in 2001 using Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000. Later I switched to Final Draft and remained a happy camper until 2013…

Enter the amazing Google Chromebook!

It didn’t take me long after getting my Chromebook from Amazon for around $300 to fall in love with it.  In many ways, it felt like it represented the future of computing. A world where everything is in the clouds and hardware is only used to interpret information.

Continue reading Amazon Storywriter: Free Cloud-based Screenplay Writing “Software”

The Zen ‘everyday mind’

The Zen ‘everyday mind’ described as ‘sleeping when tired, eating when hungry’, or, in other words, knowing what one’s real needs are. Like a bamboo leaf, it bends lower and lower under the weight of the snow. Suddenly the snow slips to the ground without the leaf having stirred. The distinction between action and result disappears. The hands and feet are the brushes and the whole universe is the canvas on which the Zen mind depicts his life. The constant present moment.

(Extrapolated and rearranged from the works of Eugen Herrigel, Michael J. Gelb and Ryōkan Taigu.)

Purchase the book Zen in the Art of Archery by clicking here.

Purchase the book Body Learning by clicking here.

by Matias Masucci