This week, laxity.
A new week, reader, hello again.
Uncertainty plagues all meaningful pursuits; if we are to do our best work in the face of uncertainty, perhaps we must first hone perspectives that allow us to stay the creative path. So in these notes I reflect on various themes. This week, laxity. (And want for a better descriptor for the ability to hold ideas loosely).
We're used to valuing modern computers based on how much memory they can hold; engineers at Vanderbilt have developed machines that are better at their job precisely because of their ability to not hold memory. Their ActSimple algorithm is built around principles for how to forget, allowing the machines to do things like map environments more accurately.
Product developer Matthew Ogle (@flaneur) is the kind of person immersed in a technology industry that boastfully claims features like the ability to keep things forever. And Matt Novak is the editor of Paleofuture, which one might consider an ongoing catalog of technologists' boastful claims. Both echoing the sentiment here that the ability to be ephemeral is a design element often overlooked by those trying to build something meaningful.
We've heard plenty of times that forgetting is a critical part of how we move forward, and there are plenty of self-help books, motivational speeches, and tumblr-ready image mantras about how to "just let go." These too often approach the task at hand as a matter of simply thinking differently, merely not caring anymore. The real work to be done is something more like 'judiciousness,' a much more difficult task that doesn't come naturally. Perhaps unexpectedly, I've found what is actually an excellent primer here in Mark Manson's "The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck." Wisely, Mark is quick to note that "all this sounds easy. But it is not."
As part of my own practice in learning new ways of thinking about the world (and discarding old ones from recall), each Composure scarf is made and worn to reflect on the stories of people in my life with perspectives worth embodying. Scarves and stories at alwayscomposure.com.
With eternal sunshine,