We're Still Here!

...apocalypse is still around every corner and the afterculture is still being born. It's becoming so prevalent as to hardly be worth reporting. Hopefully you all notice, by now... Hopefully you're all consciously participating. (continued...)

How Writing by Hand Makes Kids Smarter

Many early indications were that the increasing prevalence of digital communications -- even those written conversations that take place via mobile devices or instant-messaging services that seem to engender a sort of abbreviated 'txt spk' -- were not apparently having any significant effect on our ability to recall more formal and socially acceptable grammatical styles when the need would arise. In a classroom setting, for instance, or when typing a business letter, it was shown that instant message users could readily 'revert' to the style that was expected of them. However, as digital communications continue to penetrate into our global monoculture, and perhaps ESPECIALLY when encountering other forms of written language that are more ideographic or pictographic than phonetic, we are seeing that these early assumptions could very well be mistaken. The phenomenon of "character amnesia" is becoming much more noticed by the media in Asian nations; where more complicated script leaves children (and tech-savvy adults alike) at a loss when trying to recall the pen-strokes that produce the written forms of language. And so, it's becoming apparent that comparisons of 'instant messaging' with 'email' or even printed documents that are type-written with machine aids is not at all equivalent to comparisons of machine-aided writing versus writing done solely by hand. Reports are now flooding-in, that confirm what should have likely been obvious from the first time humans used a calculator or a spell-checker... digital assistance for actions that were once solely mental & physical actions is leading to atrophy of our innate abilities. Just like most any other part of our body; the less we use our brains, the weaker they become. And so, while exploring this entry on how writing by hand makes kids smarter, perhaps it's worth asking yourself: When is the last time that YOU put a pen to paper? (continued...)

Quotable Sources: John Muir

"Love of pure unblemished Nature seems to overmaster and blur out of sight all other objects and considerations. I know that I could under ordinary circumstances accumulate wealth and obtain a fair position in society, and I am arrived at an age that requires that I should choose some definite course for life. But I am sure that the mind of no truant schoolboy is more free and disengaged from all the grave plans and purposes and pursuits of ordinary orthodox life than mine."

— John Muir

The Garden of Simplicity: Expressions of Voluntary Simplicity and Their Implications

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Here's an interesting essay from the author of a book titled Voluntary Simplicity -- a label that also symbolizes a steadily growing sub-culture/social movement found in many post-industrial nations around the world. In the essay he briefly discusses the history of 'simplicity' as a lifestyle choice, and then goes on to detail several forms which that choice for simplicity tends to take in the United States. Though these 'diverse expressions' of simplicity are probably best read as arguments for simplicity... compelling reasons to choose a simpler lifestyle... since the distinctions that are made seem quite unclear, at times. The possible overlap of supposedly distinct expressions of simplicity, which the author concedes may occur, is really totally inevitable. Even for the simplest folks, it's impossible to do just one thing... and any one of these 10 approaches to simplicity would undoubtedly include or impact aspects of all the other 10 approaches. I guess that what I'm saying is that the essay seems unnecessarily complicated (ironic, I know), but it's still worth reading if you have the time.

read -- The Garden of Simplicity (continued...)

Quotable Sources: Leonardo da Vinci

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Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

— Leonardo da Vinci

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