Yes, I’ve been known to recommend a number of different productivity tools. And yes, I’ve been known to float from system to system— not so much in search of productivity nirvana, but more trying to stay true to whichever best fit my way of thinking at that point in time. I’m currently somewhere between Things and iThoughts (which is really a mind-mapping tool, but is robust enough to manage tasks, and there’s something about the ability to a) manipulate my workload via touch and b) see how it’s all connected that I find useful right now…) - and I just found an attractive new kid on the block (Gneo) that syncs via Evernote…
At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of what works best for you. Although there’s some good general advice about managing the workload, and some general principles that we should probably all pay attention to, there is no one true path to take when it comes to getting things done.
"I’m working on my PhD in English, with a focus on poetry."
“So how would you define a good poem?”
“It’s a good poem if I’m a different person when I’m finished reading it.”
It seems the default state is busy at the moment. You know the deal: too many things, too little time. Haven’t been shooting much recently, even with the iPhone (as reflected by the lack of updates through my Instagram account and ‘For Then and Ever More’), and that’s when I know I’m not being mindful or reflective enough. Even so, news this weekend that one of my VSCO images made it into the curated grid put a nice little smile on my face. There’s a wealth of beautiful imagery there, so the selection comes as a welcome reminder to take a breath and a few more pictures each day.
If you have an iPhone and don’t already know, VSCO is pretty much the Vimeo of mobile photography, where Instagram = YouTube. ‘Nuff said.
Currently in a #BARPo session led by South African guest @nomadpoet Toni Stuart. “You create the path by walking it” - truth. #vscocam
“My uncle is skinning peaches for cobbler because I stink like city, he says, like iron and exhaust…
"My uncle is skinning peaches for cobbler because I stink like city, he says, like iron and exhaust and a girl should know the taste of something with the sun still inside it, because when I leave this house and go back to my mama and she breathes me in
he wants me to smell like she used to, like dirt. The peach is spurting juice down his wrists and onto the counter. He fingers the veins in the pit, says eat one, you’ll grow a tree inside you, your mama had one once but she tore it up, killed it good, took you south.”
Skinned, by Katie Knoll - follow the link to read the poem in its entirety.
SADLY BY YOUR SIDE (by Fabrica)
Love it and the possibilities it suggests. Imagine a poetry collection rendered as an app in a similar way— how interacting with the environment through camera or mic could change your experience of of the text or audio of the poems offered to you…
It’s relatively easy to generate audio in respond to visual input, but meaningful text? Would the app be a generative application (i.e. text generated dynamically in response to input) or more simply interactive, offering pre-recorded content in response to specific conditions. Some kind of middle ground? An algorithm that could recombine segments of text in response to audio/visual stimulus, where the relationship between the bodies of text would be the dynamically produced output? Sounds exciting to me.
“Recognising that different language registers are used in different contexts is important. Enabling…”
Agreed. Awareness is key. Is banning slang the best or only way to promote an awareness of the value of different modes of language in young people? As someone who works with young people and words (mostly through poetry) I’m always pushing for the people I work with to extend their vocabulary, and to develop their sense of the most appropriate voice/language/tone for a particular task or setting. With this in mind, I appreciate the sentiment at work behind pushing those young people beyond the slang they might default to.
That said, a large part of my work in my role as educator consists of helping young people find value in their own voices, to craft and construct beautiful and/or compelling pieces of work from the things they know, to know that they, too, can have authority, that their voices have a place in the world beyond the world they call their own. Those two ideals do not exclude each other. I’d like to think that my practise is based on inclusion, rather than exclusion.
Of course, it’s always a good exercise to at least attempt to see the other side of an issue like this. While it’s not surprising that the notion of a school banning slang has met with a great deal of scorn in the (social) media, I’m reminded that there are certain editing challenges I set for some of my students that limit the use of specific vocabulary in order to push the range of their writing, and by extension how they think about the way they use language. “Try to write this piece without any adjectives… remove all abstract nouns… say whatever it is you feel needs to be said in no more than 14 lines…” and so on. Granted, the kinds of editing challenges we (teaching poets and educators) roll out key into far fewer contentious issues than a school-wide ban on a particular mode of communication, but it could be argued that there’s a common goal at work between the two different instances of enforced limitation…
- Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything: Joshua Foer: 9781594135316: Amazon.com: Books
“Everyone who dislikes your work is right. … The criticism that is useful is that which helps you do…”
via Roberto Greco (@rogre)
Worth reading in full, not least for the responses in comments.
And if you don’t already follow Roberto, and you’re interested in even half of the content I post…
“For 500 years, knowledge was contained, in a fixed format that you believed to be a reliable version…”
For 500 years, knowledge was contained, in a fixed format that you believed to be a reliable version of the truth; now, moving to the post-print era, we are returning to an age when you’re as likely to hear information, right or wrong, from people you come across. Pettitt says that the way we think now is reminiscent of a medieval peasant, based on gossip, rumour and conversation. “The new world is in some ways the old world, the world before print” he says.
Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter, has a similar idea: “If you went back to Ancient Greece, the way that news and information was passed around was, you went to the agora after lunch in the town square. This was unfiltered, multi-directional exchange of information”.
It makes me think of this line from The Cluetrain Manifesto, one of the most influential business texts of the internet age, back in 2000: “What if the real attraction of the internet is not its cutting-edge bells and whistles, its jazzy interface, or any of the advanced technology that underlies its pipes and wires? What if, instead, the attraction is an atavistic throwback to the prehistoric human fascination with telling tales?””
- The rise of the reader: journalism in the age of the open web | Katharine Viner | Comment is free | theguardian.com
SCRIPTURA VITAE † A FILM BY AEROSYN-LEX MESTROVIC † TRAILER (by Aerosyn-Lex)
Protein commission a new short-film, premiering October 22nd 2013 on Channel 4 Random Acts.
And, yes, I’m thinking about the possibilities for working with poetry in this way. Thinking hard…
- Claude Monet (via creatingaquietmind)
Those of us who are the smiley types: we’re friendly and nice and give a good impression. And really, we can con a lot of people onto thinking we’re just terrific. Like all the time, terrific. And you should feel very grateful in your life when you come across someone who just doesn’t buy it. And all of the hidden stuff you don’t like to think about is somehow suddenly very present: your superficiality, the way you don’t quite tell the truth. They cut through your hypocrisy. You’re exposed, but you’re also free.”
- This Moment is the Perfect Teacher, Pema Chödrön (via creatingaquietmind)
I’m constantly on the look out for new project management tools. BamBam ticks a number of boxes. Added to the “experiment with” list…
- Psychologists explore the creative benefits of mind-wandering (via explore-blog)
“Franklin tried a divide-and-conquer approach. He drew up a list of virtues and wrote a brief goal…”
Otherwise known as the opportunity cost?
I would just like to say thank you for the talk you gave to the Singapore Nanyang Girls’ group in ’11. I was in the group at the time and had stopped writing because of a rejection from a writers’ camp. After your encouragement to write + the encouragement from friends, I reapplied and got in last year, and since then have received much encouragement from mentors and friends. Looking back, it had a lot to do with your talk then, so thank you so much!
Congratulations on making it into the writers’ camp, and kudos for being tenacious enough to reapply. It’s a gift to hear that I was able to play some part in supporting your writing. Oh— and it sounds like you’ve got some great friends!
Write on, Anonymous. Write on.
“To the young writers, I would merely say, “Try to develop actual work habits, and even though you…”
- John Updike’s Advice to Young Writers: ‘Reserve an Hour a Day’ | Open Culture
- Hicok, Odyssey
“I’d argue that, whether you like it or not, hashtags are absolutely essential to accurately relate…”
Ah, the fluidity of language and contemporary punctuation. #grammarswoon