Create every day

Laura Escudé talks about the importance of creating new music every day, even if it’s only for five or ten minutes (doesn’t matter if it’s “good” or “bad”). I’ve done this for some pretty good stretches in the past; time to start up this habit again. Laura also says, “I perform half-finished songs all the time, because it helps me come up with ideas.” You’re less likely to do that if you’re overly concerned with your creations being perfectly polished jewels.… Continue reading

Solitude Deprivation

Reading Cal Newport’s excellent (and recommended) Digital Minimalism. He coins the term “Solitude Deprivation”: “A state in which you spend close to zero time alone with your own thoughts and free from input from other minds.” Our current “obsession with connection” (connection having always been marketed as a benefit) yields widespread Solitude Deprivation — especially among young people born between 1995 and 2012. Many members of the “iGeneration” “have lost the ability to process and make sense of their emotions, or to reflect on who they are and what really matters, or to build strong relationships, or even to just allow their brains time to power down their critical social circuits, which are not meant to be used constantly, and to redirect that energy to other important cognitive housekeeping tasks. We shouldn’t be surprised that these absences lead to malfunctions.”… Continue reading

More Big Ears 2019

Busy since we got back home from Big Ears Tuesday night — right back to work Wednesday and Thursday. I’m working on consolidating Big Ears music reports (including the previous two Journal posts) into one blog post. And a lot of great music there was!… Continue reading

Big Ears 2019 Thursday

Big Ears trip day one: We stayed at a delightful Air BnB in McGaheysville VA, and in the morning went around the corner to the Thunderbird Cafe — best french toast ever (big puffy donut-flavored slices). Crispy spicy home fries drenched in maple syrup. We’re in the south now, so of course Valerie had a biscuit (and strawberry jam) with her omelette. Picked up grilled cheese sandwiches at Pop’s (grilled cheese their specialty) in Roanoke for the ride to Knoxville.… Continue reading

Feature creep

From Paul Jarvis: “Lately it seems like there are very few technology features I think are good ideas. Too frequently new “features” are touted as tools we can use, when more often than not they become annoyances we allow into our lives.”… Continue reading


I know one thing for certain: silence will not present itself unbidden amid the noise of the world. If I want it, I have to make space for it, and there is always a choice to make that space. … And in our time now, every decision in favor of silence is profound, even if it involves no more than deliberately turning away other things for hours or days in a week.
Jane Brox

Detective series

I haven’t watched mainstream television (news networks, sports, sitcoms, talk shows, etc., etc., blah blah blah) for decades. But I very much like watching (mostly British) TV detective series, e.g., Luther, Intelligence, Broadchurch, Vera, George Gently, The Killing, Happy Valley, Marcella, Line of Duty, Wallander, and Shetland.… Continue reading

Chamath Palihapitiya

The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.
Former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya

Knausgaard’s Buddhism

Reading Book 6 of My Struggle. Karl Ove stumbles upon the essence of Buddhism, though he doesn’t acknowledge it as such. Like Korzybski’s “the map is not the territory.”

“A world without language was a world without categories, where every single thing, no matter how modest, stood out in its own right. It was a world without history, in which only the moment existed. A pine tree in that world was not a “pine,” nor was it a “tree,” but a nameless phenomenon, something growing up out of the ground, which moved when the wind blew.”… Continue reading