Saturday, December 30, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 362

Think Again

Saluting Maria Popova:

Brain Pickings celebrated its seventh birthday last week [2013]. Since day one, it has been my belief that we create by amalgamating different pieces of knowledge from various fields, with various sensibilities, and from various time periods — knowledge that may seem useless but ultimately isn’t — into new combinations that we call our own ideas; by cultivating a certain way of operating that allows for the remixing of our existing ideas; by creating a rich personal micro-culture that lends itself to such alchemy. Creativity is, in other words, combinatorial and it’s reliant upon a vast, eclectic pool of such intellectual resources. Brain Pickings has always been a sort of library for these diverse building blocks of combinatorial creativity.
Maria Popova

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 361

The Smart And The Wise

Originality often consists in linking up ideas whose connection was not previously suspected.
W. I. B. Beveridge 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 360

Smart Schpritz

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.
Steve Jobs

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 359

Carnivals of Resipiscence

Thinking, then, is the process of convergence operating in human beings to form something analogous to a new single organism of global dimensions.
"Upwater", from Owen Barfield's Worlds Apart

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 358

Rabblemaking and Troublerousing

Plagiarism is a crime only where writing is a trade; expression need never be bound by the law of copyright while it follows thought, for thought, as some great thinker has observed, is free. The words were once Shakespeare 's; if only you can feel them as he did, they are yours now no less than his. The best quotations, the best translations, the best thefts, are all equally new and original works.
Walter Raleigh

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 357

You Think These Are Random?

Everyone breathing is broken. Keep breathing light into them until the stained glass collage takes your breath away.
Ryan Lilly, Write like no one is reading


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 356

Interoperable Ideas

And I admire the way they grow right through fences, nothing
stops them, it’s called inosculation: to unite by openings, to connect
or join so as to become or make continuous, from osculare,
to provide with a mouth, from osculum, little mouth.
Sometimes when I’m alone I go outside with my big little mouth

Catherine Barnett

...and speak to the trees as if I were a birch among birches.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 355

Downslope Tropes to You-Tope

The human being is not the lord of beings, but the shepherd of Being.
Martin Heidegger

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 354

Umm! I'm Telling!

And no one can be caught up in wonder without traveling to the outermost limits of the possible. But no one will ever become the friend of the possible without remaining open to dialogue with the powers that operate in the whole of human existence. But that is the comportment of the philosopher: to listen attentively to what is already sung forth, which can still be perceived in each essential happening of world. And in such comportment the philosopher enters the core of what is truly at stake in the task he has been given to do.
Martin Heidegger


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 353

Polyphonic Bullshitification

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.
Robin Williams

Thanks to Maria Popova and Amanda Palmer for the performance of Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s Protest

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 352

Hey, What's Going On!

When the farthest corner of the globe has been conquered technologically and can be exploited economically; when any incident you like, in any place you like, at any time you like, becomes accessible as fast as you like; when you can simultaneously "experience" an assassination attempt against a king in France and a symphony concert in Tokyo; when time is nothing but speed, instantaneity, and simultaneity, and time as history has vanished from all Being of all peoples; when a boxer counts as the great man of a people; when the tallies of millions at mass meetings are a triumph; then, yes then, there still looms like a specter over all this uproar the question: what for? — where to? — and what then?
Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 351

Is Everyone In?

we clasp the hands of those who go before us, and the hands
of those who come after us;

we enter the little circle of each other’s arms,

and the larger circle of lovers whose hands are joined in a

and the larger circle of all creatures, passing in and out of
life, who move also in a dance, to a music so subtle and vast that no ear hears
it except in fragments.
Wendell Berry

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 350

On To The Next Thing

Micro-Demolition Of Old Grand Narratives

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 349

Blarney Bling must be sought in the margins of life, in the shadows of despair and at the edges of the unknown.

If those willing to enter the darkest places and face the unknown would gather whatever threads of meaning and imagination they might find and begin to follow where they lead, new paths to unity would be revealed and old oppressions could be relieved.
Michael Meade

The possible ranks higher than the actual.
Martin Heidegger

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 348


Here's to budgets, bags and wallets!
Here's to all the wandering train!
Here's our ragged brats and callets!
One and all cry out, Amen!

A fig for those by law protected,
Liberty's a glorious feast!
Courts for Cowards were erected,
Churches built to please the Priest.
Robert Burns

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Suck It Up?

The world of the Fringe Dweller is individual and different. Be yourself. Allow the world to bitch and moan. It’s their right, but they have no real power over you.The possum can’t tell the kangaroo not to hop—so hop on regardless. It’s better to hop down your own path than cling to a branch,comatose, with a possum that doesn’t know diddly-squat from shinola anyway.
Stuart Wilde

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 346

Topical Collage

Professor Newcomb, starting with parts--existing metals, existing forces--had predicted the immediate future of aeronautics, and gotten it wrong. He was fooled by an unforeseen union of gas engine, bicycle, and box kite.
Hugh Kenner, Bucky

Human speech is a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms... while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
G. Flaubert

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 345

Talking Point-illism

The second-third century Christian writer, Origen of Alexandria, had a bit of trouble with a pagan critic who did not understand this poetic point about as-structures. Celsus had criticized Origen's allegorical readings of the Bible as being fanciful and not attending enough to the literal and the historical. Origen responded that he examined each word for its plenitude of meanings, for its world of images, for its pleroma of signification. Then he read the text all of the ways. It was he, not Celsus, Origen argued, that took seriously the letterals of the words, the literal. The so-called literal, historical reading of Celsus was only one of the meanings possible, and his narrowing of the text in fact is giving a fanciful interpretation, i.e., the fundamentalist fancy of the reader. It is the literalist who violates the text by not seeing its poetry, that which it fingers, that to which is points; whereas the poetic reading is in fact the one that has regard for the plurisignification of the actual literal text
David L. Miller

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 344

Cherry-Picked From The Grapevine

Everything we care about lies somewhere in the middle, where pattern and randomness interlace.
James Gleick, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

Liberty's a glorious feast!
Robert Burns

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 343

Conversation Reimagined

The glass isn't half full or empty, in truth, it simply is a glass continually overflowing with blessings seen and unseen.
Brian D Calhoun

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 342

Stray Thoughts Party

And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind:  and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake the fire; but the Lord was not in the fire:  and after the fire a still small voice.
I Kings 19: 11-12


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 341

Under The Counter Culture

Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 340

Ennui Go

Crazed genius is exactly what we need.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 339

Renegade Rap

Humans have always lived by stories, and those with skill in telling them have been treated with respect and, often, a certain wariness. Beyond the limits of reason, reality remains mysterious, as incapable of being approached directly as a hunter’s quarry. With stories, with art, with symbols and layers of meaning, we stalk those elusive aspects of reality that go undreamed of in our philosophy. The storyteller weaves the mysterious into the fabric of life, lacing it with the comic, the tragic, the obscene, making safe paths through dangerous territory.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 338

Conversations Reimagined

This revolution is actually fun! We have the opportunity to be basically wizards, fighting the word-spells these bastards are casting on the sleeping mainstream and screaming “You shall not pass!” And we get to bring our creativity and passion to it, make memes, write blogs, make videos, share ideas, and have it actually mean something and be building toward something real and tangible. This is a revolution where you won’t wind up on the wrong end of some redcoat’s bayonet, but instead get to do fun stuff you already enjoy!
Caitlin Johnstone
How To Fight The Establishment Propaganda Machine And Win

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 337

Yes Back Talk

I would love to be a voice in this maelstrom of chaos and obsessive celebrity infatuation that says, 'Let's talk about something that matters'.
Zachary Quinto

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 336

Unexpected Paths

Creativity remains the most uncontrollable of human forces: without it, the project of civilization is inconceivable, yet no part of life remains so untamed and undomesticated. Words and images can change minds, hearts, even the course of history. Their makers shape the stories people carry through their lives, unearth old ones and breathe them back to life, add new twists, point to unexpected endings. It is time to pick up the threads and make the stories new, as they must always be made new, starting from where we are.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 335

Prophet Margins

My favorite thing is to have a big dinner with friends and talk about life.
Carla Gugino

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 334

Back Talk And Side Talk

I talk about the gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth.
Ursula K. Le Guin

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 333

Talk It Through

Propositions, sentences, sentence-tokens, statements, concepts, beliefs, thoughts, intuitions, utterances, judgments, declarations, explanations, questions.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 332

Excerptional Excepts

Many native traditions held clowns and tricksters as essential to any contact with the sacred. People could not pray until they had laughed, because laughter opens and frees from rigid preconception. Humans had to have tricksters within the most sacred ceremonies for fear that they forget the sacred comes through upset, reversal, surprise. The trickster in most native traditions is essential to creation, to birth.
Byrd Gibbens

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 331

F Your "Curriculum"

…art was perhaps this—the psychological component of the autoimmune system. It works on the artist as a healing. But it works on others too, as a medicine. Hence our great, insatiable thirst for it. However it comes out—whether a design in a carpet, a painting on a wall, the shaping of a doorway—we recognize that medicinal element because of the instant healing effect, and we call it art. It consoles and heals something in us. That’s why that aspect of things is so important, and why what we want to preserve in civilizations and societies is their art—because it’s a living medicine that we can still use. It still works. We feel it working. Prose, narratives, etcetera, can carry this healing. Poetry does it more intensely. Music, maybe, most intensely of all.
Ted Hughes, The Art of Poetry No. 71
Paris Review

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 330

Turn Your Head Around

I wonder if they didn't almost roll their thoughts round their brains and savour them like vintage port.

"Hunter" ("Professor of Historical Theology and Ethics"),
Owen Barfield's Worlds A

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 329

Open Your Trap!

Love without conversation is impossible.
Mortimer Adler

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 328

So To Speak

An experience makes its appearance only when it is being said, and unless it is said it is, so to speak, non-existent.
Hannah Arendt

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 327

Atypical Topical

Words are the only Jewels I possess
Words are the only Clothes that I wear
Words are the only food That sustains my life
Words are the only wealth I distribute among people

The universe is made of stories, not atoms.
Muriel Rukeyser

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 326

Thoughts To Entertain

To make ourselves, to shape a form from various elements – that is the task! The task of a sculptor! Of a productive human being!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 325

Talk On The Hoof

For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.                                  
Matthew 12:37

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 324


The trickster's function is to break taboos, create mischief, stir things up. In the end, the trickster gives people what they really want, some sort of freedom.
Tom Robbins

Apologies for the redundant Milgram clip. I was shocked to discover it.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 323


The great Sufi master Ibn el-Arabi described the essential method of spiritual advancement as an inner conversation with the personalities that seem to exist beyond what you regard as your own limits . . . getting those personalities to tell you what you did not know, or what you could not easily conceive of within your habitual limits. This is commonplace in some therapies, of course.
Ted Hughes, The Art of Poetry No. 71
Paris Review

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 322

Authentic Marginalia

Goethe said that even the writing of plays, dividing the imagination up among different fictional personalities, damaged what he valued—the mind’s wholeness. I wonder what he meant exactly, since he also described his mode of thinking as imagined conversations with various people.
Ted Hughes, The Art of Poetry No. 71
Paris Review

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 321

Culture Under The Counter

That’s what they have been aiming for all along, and they long for it with all their heart! And isn’t it straight ahead and then to the left or something? But as they start to move again, they momentarily realize they are drunk as a skunk and that by the time they reach the other side of the street, they will most likely have forgotten again where they are going. And so they stumble on, half heroic and half ridiculous, pursuing a long, crazy peregrination toward heart’s home, not just lost, but only intermittently aware that they are even searching.
The Drunk at the Crossroad

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 320

Salaud Salad

The difficulty with this conversation is that it's very different from most of the ones I've had of late. Which, as I explained, have mostly been with trees.
Douglas Adams

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 319

Manufacturing Dissent

Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good plays, good company, good conversation - what are they? They are the happiest people in the world.
William Lyon Phelps

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 318

to Marga

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.
Rudyard Kipling


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 317

F Your Master Narrative

Productive wandering is how projects are made.
Ann Hamilton

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 316

Wisdom Loot Bag

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
Thomas Edison

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 314

Inliers And Outstanders

“Until then I had thought each book spoke of the things, human or divine, that lie outside books. Now I realized that not infrequently books speak of books: it is as if they spoke among themselves. In the light of this reflection, the library seemed all the more disturbing to me. It was then the place of a long, centuries-old murmuring, an imperceptible dialogue between one parchment and another, a living thing, a receptacle of powers not to be ruled by a human mind, a treasure of secrets emanated by many minds, surviving the death of those who had produced them or had been their conveyors.”
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 313

Wisdom Rummage Sale, Free Box

I would rather be without a state than without a voice.
Edward Snowden

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 312

More Of The Different

Take your own vision and multiply it by itself
Anthony Weston

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Extraordinary Discourse 311

A Plurality Of Tellings

I’m not ambitious in the traditional sense. I don’t want a big house or a big bank account; I don’t give a rat’s about those things. I don’t want to be the boss of anything or manage anyone but myself. But I do take a lot of pleasure in surprising my stuffy old colleagues by publishing something they don’t know. I just love to move the ball forward, even if it’s only a millimeter, in the great human quest to figure it all out.
Geraldine Brooks, People of the Book