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Hello. I’m Jacob Sam-La Rose, and here’s what you need to know: I’m a published poet; I devise and facilitate projects for schools and other institutions, emerging poets, teachers, literature professionals and other creatives; I’m a geek for web technology and productivity; and I’m pretty handy with a camera. I exist in a few different places online – this particular site serves as my lifestream, an overview of what I’ve been doing on the interwebs. The content you see here is aggregated from:

If any of the above sparks your interest, don’t be shy in saying hello (mail at jacobsamlarose dot com).

Apr 13

“The thing about life in the real world is, all your hopes and dreams and desires and feelings are…”

“The thing about life in the real world is, all your hopes and dreams and desires and feelings are trapped inside you. Reality doesn’t care — it’s stiffly, primly indifferent to your inner life. But in a fantasy world, all those feelings can come out. When you cast a spell, you use your desires and emotions to change reality. You reshape the outer world to look more like your inner world. You have demons in your subconscious? In a fantasy world those demons can get out, where you can grapple with them face to face. The story I was telling was impossible, and I believed in it more than I believed in the 10,000 entirely reasonable, plausible things I’d written before. Fantasy is sometimes dismissed as childish, or escapist, but I take what I am doing very, very seriously. For me fantasy isn’t about escaping from reality, it’s about re-encountering the challenges of the real world, but externalized and transformed. It’s an emotionally raw genre — it forces you to lay yourself open on the page. It doesn’t traffic in ironies and caveats. When you cast a spell you can’t be kidding, you have to mean it.”

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Finding My Voice in Fantasy - NYTimes.com

Mmmm. Throwing fuel on the spark of a desire to experiment with sic-fi poetry and/or short fiction…

Aug 21

“so far, it has raised over 10 million dollars… and counting. my mom has spent every single day of…”

so far, it has raised over 10 million dollars… and counting. my mom has spent every single day of her life for the past three decades trying to get this kind of attention and funds for this disease.

i don’t care if it’s a stupid gimmick. i don’t care if people are just doing this because it’s trendy or because they want pats on the back. i don’t care if it’s the new harlem shake. i don’t care if for the rest of my life, when i talk about ALS, i have to say “you know, the ice bucket disease.”

please, everybody, please keep pouring buckets of ice over your heads. please keep donating money. please keep talking about this.



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amy phillips: on the ice bucket challenge

I’ve seen a number of posts on the internet speaking out against the ice-bucket thing, and how the challenge has little to do with the disease. And then: this. Go read the whole post for the full story.

Attention is currency.

Aug 21

(via A Softer World: 1137)



(via A Softer World: 1137)

Aug 20

“Freed of my compulsive student ticks, I actually read the poem.”

“Freed of my compulsive student ticks, I actually read the poem.”

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THE POEM: Jack Kerouac’s 11th Chorus of Desolation Blues | B O D Y

And: “…there’s value to playing around and seeing what I can do when I’m not trying to please. And there’s value to knowing that I’m utterly free, free as empty space, and I don’t have to be cautious, don’t have to be serious, don’t ever, ever have to be anybody else’s idea of poetry.”

Aug 19

Sarah Lewis, from The Rise (via View From the Ledge)



Sarah Lewis, from The Rise (via View From the Ledge)

Aug 18

“Despite hand-wringing at each technological turn — radio, the Internet — the future will be much…”

“Despite hand-wringing at each technological turn — radio, the Internet — the future will be much like the past. Artists will sell some things but also give some things away. Change may be troubling for those who crave less ambiguity, but the life of an artist has never been filled with certainty.”

- Jonathan Lethem, "The Ecstasy of Influence" (via monicawendel)
Aug 15

The REAL to-do list. While I was travelling…



The REAL to-do list.

While I was travelling (Philadelphia—>NY—>Toronto), I fell into the habit of making diagrammatic journal entries on the iPad, through Paper. I’m currently using a cheap (but much loved) micro-fibre tipped stylus/pen, but if this continues, I might have to spring for one of those bluetooth enabled precision-tip things…

Aug 14

I’ve been reminded of Robert Montgomery’s work today….



I’ve been reminded of Robert Montgomery's work today. (Thanks, Kathleenjoy). Gotta love the way work like this resurfaces through the internet feedback loop; tides of discovery that echo and rebound across the web. You discover something, file it away on your Tumblr blog or in your Pinboard account, and every now and again, someone in your network discovers it, independently, and summons it up again. I’m sure there’s an algorithm or theory that determines the proper amount of distance between nodes that codes for the best manifestation of this principle of echoed discovery. An alternative form of spaced repetition, perhaps?

I’d be really interested in doing something like this. Making poetry tangible; playing with installations, light, photography. Add to the someday/maybe file…

Having attended Nine Worlds this weekend, I should also start experimenting with sci-fi shorts. Do we still call it sci-fi, or is it all just speculative fiction now? Hm. I feel a map of should-dos coming on…

Aug 13

“When people say they want to “get fit”, what they mean is that they want to adapt their bodies to a…”

“When people say they want to “get fit”, what they mean is that they want to adapt their bodies to a different environment or set of demands. But from this perspective, you can’t “get fit” in order to change the way you live — you have to change the way you live if you are adapt to something else. The psychological dimension between the brain and the body is a huge factor here: add an extra twenty pounds and your body reacts by infusing you with a lethargic attitude that prompts you to wallow in Candyland. But get accustomed to an exercise-induced endorphin rush and you’ll feel miserable if you don’t get your daily dose! You can never eliminate the reciprocal patterns of thinking that influence your behaviour — but you can significantly influence them. More precisely: you can only shape who you are by shaping the variables that you must adapt to. Therefore, “getting fit” is simply forcing your body to create new feedback loops of adaptation.”

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Adaptive You | James Shelley

This. “The big question is: what are you adapting to?” All of those other changes in your life/career/output (etc) you want to manifest? What variables do you need to shape in order to adapt accordingly?

Aug 12

Thoughts on poetic computation and assistive technology. Taken…



Thoughts on poetic computation and assistive technology. Taken out of context (see more thoughts on assistive technology here) but… mmmm.

(via School for poetic computation (SFPC) - Call for the Fall 2014 term (@sfpc_school) / by @tchoi8)

Aug 11

“The linear nature of film means there’s little…



"The linear nature of film means there’s little compromise, it is what it is, everyone gets the same experience (visually at least). However Google Creative Lab in Sydney have been exploring different ways of approaching the medium. Their new interactive cube lets the audience decide how a movie will unfold. By twisting and turning a handheld cork cube, viewers decide when and how to move from story to story, a different one being on each face of the cube. In a sense, they become the editors of a three-dimensional story, creating their own path and deciding their own narrative structure. (via The Cube | Google want you to become the editor of a three-dimensional story)”

And what about the future of the poetry anthology/collection? Imagine the cube as a way of interacting with a number of audio-visual poems…

Aug 10

“First and foremost, you do not have to live up to or emulate the lives of any of your predecessors….”

“First and foremost, you do not have to live up to or emulate the lives of any of your predecessors. But at the very least, you should know about them. You will have your own life, interests, and ideas of what you want or do not want in life. Do what you enjoy doing. Be honest with yourself and others. Don’t think of satisfying anyone: your elders, peers, government, religion, or children who will come after you. Develop meaningful ideals, and become conscious of others, their existence, and their lives.”

- Yuri Kochiyama - Consciousness Is Power
Aug 9

“We tend to repeat as teachers what we’ve learned as students. We also tend to perform in the…”

“We tend to repeat as teachers what we’ve learned as students. We also tend to perform in the classroom the practices that make us feel effective in the short term—after all, we’re evaluated after just 15 weeks, whereas what we’re hoping to produce is a classroom full of lifetime writers. How do we know that our practices were effective when our students are done with their training and we send them out in the world to be working writers?”

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Feedback Helps Performance But Not Learning | d a v e m a d d e n

Pause for thought. So much of the time we have in workshops is short term, near field. There’s often a sense that there must be something demonstrable by the end of the workshop. There must be a poem. There must be some quantifiable deliverable. These are expectations that are either manifested through us (as facilitators meeting the brief/objectives defined by whoever it is that commissioned us to lead the workshop/lesson), or that we’ve internalised. After all, how else do we know that the idea or concept we were trying to encourage our students/participants to approach through whatever challenge we set them has been taken on? Nothing wrong with a bit of rigour— the challenge to turn in an initial draft in a relatively short period, particularly if it comes within a programme designed to support the development of a writing discipline. That said, different writers have differing levels of discipline— some of my recent experiments in facilitation have been around creating experiences that challenge emerging writers to do more, while at the same time trying to respect different writing practises. As Madden channels Martone in the post quoted above, the ultimate goal is that each of the writers I work with will continue to write, regardless, a long time into the future…

Aug 8

“There is no secret to creativity besides possessing a habitual work ethic. But damn. Sometimes, it’s…”

“There is no secret to creativity besides possessing a habitual work ethic. But damn. Sometimes, it’s just hard as hell. Here we are, fortunate enough to possess hands that can harness magic to turn nothing in to something.”

- From 'Pseudo-Structures' by Frank Chimero
Aug 7

My new sounds:



My new sounds:

Jul 29

“Eliezer Yudkowsky was once attacked by a Moebius strip. He beat it to death with the other side,…”

Eliezer Yudkowsky was once attacked by a Moebius strip. He beat it to death with the other side, non-violently. Inside Eliezer Yudkowsky’s pineal gland is not an immortal soul, but another brain. Eliezer Yudkowsky’s favorite food is printouts of Rice’s theorem. Eliezer Yudkowsky’s favorite fighting technique is a roundhouse dustspeck to the face.



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Eliezer Yudkowsky Facts - Less Wrong

Swoon. The list continues…

(Score 1 point for divergent reading)

Jul 26

explore-blog: You see what you want to see. You might think…



explore-blog:

You see what you want to see. You might think it’s speaking to you, but it’s just your imagination.

Codex Seraphinianus – history’s most bizarre and beautiful encyclopedia of imaginary things

Jul 25

“The point I wish to emphasize is not an economic one, but a human one: if you try to say too many…”

“The point I wish to emphasize is not an economic one, but a human one: if you try to say too many things, you don’t say anything at all.”

- George McKeown, via Memorable Meetings | Steps & Leaps
Jul 24

“I’m a writer, and don’t get me wrong: To publish a plain ol’ book that people actually want to read…”

“I’m a writer, and don’t get me wrong: To publish a plain ol’ book that people actually want to read is still a solid achievement. But I think Markus Persson and his studio have staked out a new kind of achievement, a deeper kind: To make the system that calls forth the book, which is not just a story but a real magick manual that grants its reader (who consumes it avidly, endlessly, all day, at school, at night, under the covers, studying, studying) new and exciting powers in a vivid, malleable world.”

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The secret of Minecraft — The Message — Medium

Consider: as author, your creative endeavour as “generative, networked system” from whence the “book” is derived…

Jul 23

“None of the bones here remember what bodies they belong to. It is a hard thing to realize that each…”

“None of the bones here remember what bodies they belong to. It is a hard thing to realize that each of the bones once loved as we do, and harder even to say it.”

- From ‘Prayer’ by Richard Jackson, via So Much Joy It Hurts
Jul 22