Reimagining the Sound of the Future Electric World

The perfect world is a world quieted of human made cacophony.

Photo by Federico Beccari on Unsplash

The electric pulsations of my Apple watch alarm awaken me from a night’s sleep. Pushing the Jamocha app’s brew button generates a faint whir of the frictionless grinder quietly dropping fines into the automated tamper. Moments later the half-round door slowly opens exposing a perfectly frothed cafe-latte.

Grabbing a pair of charged wireless headphones I turn on the morning news briefs and quickly head out the door. Reserving a RoboTaxi on my phone I head downstairs in the gearless elevator. The air whooshing past each floor, the suction released as the cab slows to a stop. Stepping out from the open doors, I walk briskly outside to the waiting RoboTaxi. 

My phones geotag opens the door and I slide into cushiony seats. Waving my cellphone in front of the autopilot sensor brings the navigational touchscreen to life. Imprinting my fingerprint into the scanner opens my account along with my favorite trips. Pressing Mohonk in the Catskills, the door automatically shuts as the taxi seamlessly merges into city traffic.

Silently the taxi reaches cruising speed, the smoothness of the glass induction roadway makes the two-hour ride soothing. Reclining back in the sleeper seats, random play, Brian Eno’s Eternal Return.

Electrical impulses awaken me from my meditative slumber. Fifteen minutes until arrival. A forest of pin oaks and pitch pines line the sides of the curvy, craggy roadway. Opening the moonroof, birdsong and a gentle wind fills the taxi’s cabin. 

Driving past the stone-arched gatehouse signifies my arrival. The tire noise modified as the roadway transitions into a pulverized glass roadway. A change in inertia indicates my arrival. Exiting the taxi, I pay the cab fare. Silently the car pulls away, the slight compaction of the crushed pavement ground by the car’s weight. 

I walk into the lobby and index finger the concierge kiosk. 

Room confirmed, paid with crypto. Evening entertainment offered the classic film Wall-e. Eight crypto for the silent cinema, or shall I pay the Ambient Noise Surcharge and listen through the theater’s speaker? A quieter planet in which silence is protected and preserved.

The Dystopian of Plague and Truth

Fragility within the foundation of trust vs reality

Photo by Michael Competielle

Weightlessly I’m freefalling, hardly able to identify my surrounding, its walls ablur. My hands reaching the farthest extremity hoping to grab a stronghold to stop the fall. Heart racing, I open my eyes to recognize I’m lying in my bed. The freefall, my fears from the chillingly stark reality of this moment.

Slowly I open my blinds and peek outside. Early morning, fall, in middle-class America. The invisible haze of loathsomeness, as the plague hangs low, a fog of war. Every human, we suspect, a carrier of the pathogen. 

Firmly I verify the adhesion of the duct tape on the window, attempting an airtight seal. Do I have enough houseplants to create the required oxygen to ensure my survival? My hoard of food and paper goods rapidly decreasing. According to my charted course, I’ll likely die of starvation if the brown box man stops coming.

My avoidance of electronics, my isolation from the outside world prove difficult as I’m required to login as I work from home, do my shopping, and interact socially. The propaganda of the fake news, lies that become fact as our corrupted media redacts the truth.

Manipulated fragments of reality, strategically assembled into dissolvable morsels of newspeak. Pestering disinformation shared by our colleagues, family and friends. Abridged versions of agitprop, socially designed to instill fear and anxiety.

Orwellian conceptualizations, coming sharply into focus. We are the proles, while the machines, and the elite feverishly write our future.

Our totalitarian dictator of a leader refuses to step down. Claims of victory while questions the moral fiber of the democracy, the system he’s chosen to destroy. 

Separating our nation from the outside world, ignoring human rights and a deplorable reaction to the plague. There can’t be opposition, because he says so. The stoolpigeon and patsy for the oligarch, the indoctrination of inequality. It’s Us versus Them.

The dogs, asleep on the floor, my protectors, who alert me once the brown boxes arrive. The smaller boxes they’ll generally ignore. It’s those large brown boxes they can smell, knowing the contents. A bark as if to say, open it up. I must quarantine the package, to avoid contamination from the virus.

Opening the cabinets, I look for my meal. Canned Okra. What was I thinking? Time to order more brown boxes.

Masked zombies join in packs. Discussing trends and statistics from capitalist endeavors. While others wait patiently, locked in their homes, awaiting the brown boxes. 

Medicines arrive that dull the pain, continuing to fuel the addiction. The foundation of what we had built, slowly diminishing, like a dissonant pipe organ chord in a Bach Fugue. Our choices and beliefs shrinking away. As the plague and false truths coagulate into a syrupy tar. A poisonous bitter pill we must swallow. Our fate solidified, we must only question what will kill us first.

My Reading List for Saving our Civilization

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”

 Rachel Carson
Photo by Michael Competielle

“Civilization is much more than the survival of the fittest and the unrelenting culling of the weakest members. Civilized people share a value system that extends far beyond doing whatever it takes to survive. Mere barbarians might be devoted to a life of exploitation. In contrast, civilized people value nature and care for the most vulnerable members of their kind.”

 Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

2020 has been one hell of a year with the Coronavirus highjacking the World news headlines. It seems like a millennia ago I was tipping back a glass of bubbly thinking of new ways to expand upon my creativity and intellectual explorations. Reading more books to learn new talents topped the 2020 wishlist.

2019 had concluded with my starting to read A Year with Swollen Appendices by the polymath revolutionary Brian Eno. I’d joined The Long Now as member #10,800 to expand my knowledge of long term thinking while maximizing each precious moment.

It was in studying Eno I’d recognized his pattern of protection of time by practicing aggressive time management. The importance of protecting each precious moment and recognizing how little time we have. How he conceptualized the idea that we shouldn’t perform any tasks that didn’t provide the ability to simultaneously listen to an audiobook. How we should use every moment to our maximum advantage and automate practices to increase productivity.

Learning from brilliant thinkers such as Eno, Stewart Brand, and Malcolm Gladwell has reinforced the power of explorative thinking while mastering my own universe. Enhancing my brain plasticity by increasing the saturation of intellectual content has proven to change my mood and ability for conceptual retention.

Processing Qualitative Content

Heading back from spending the Holiday in Florida I listened to the audiobook version of The Spirit Level by Kate Pickett during my drive home. The book focuses on the analysis of inequality in unequal societies through the widening divide between the wealthy and the poor. How successful societies require greater economic equality and not greater wealth. Based on over thirty years of research the book lays out examples of gross inequality and conceptualizes ways to achieve equality.

As we are currently fighting a World Pandemic, the inequality has never been more apparent than during these struggling times. The inability of many demographics to work from home, social distance, have access to quality healthcare, and monetarily survival is apparent. Concepts of Universal Basic Income and Universal Healthcare should take precedent over opening beaches or sporting events.

I deep-sixed a shitty book The United States of Socialism written by pro-Trump supporter Dinesh D’Souza. The book wrongfully displays Social Democracies as Socialist or Communist societies. It does help to mention that the D’Souza was pardoned by Trump and therefore has a debt to pay. I didn’t finish this book nor am I recommending it.

Overcompensated professional athletes are prioritizing playing games with cardboard cutout fans while jeopardizing essential medical, emergency, and transportation workers. It’s sophomorically wreckless, childish behavior while lacking empathy or emotional intelligence. Professional sports should suck it up, and sit this one out. Collect some unemployment checks or small Federal stipend and call it a day.

As America goes deeper into the Pandemic the inequality becomes deeply apparent. According to a recent study by the Washington Center for Economic Growth these 6 principles of vulnerability in pandemic inequality. must be examined.

  • Too many people lack the basic protections that would have slowed the spread of the virus.
  • Workers lack the power to share in the gains of the economic expansion that would have given them protections and security.
  • Decades of stagnant wages and meager workplace benefits leave many families without enough savings to weather the coronavirus recession.
  • Policymakers starve public goods of investments that would have enabled better protections from the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing recession.
  • States and localities don’t have the resources to deal with a pandemic or a recession.
  • Business concentration across markets increases consumer and small business vulnerabilities just when those threats are most dire.

The Spirit Level brought to the forefront a clear understanding of why inequality happens and the difficulties of a healthy survival if the struggles aren’t addressed. The irony is within a few short months of reading this book, the failures of our society would become blatantly evidenced during this trying time begs to question, Where do we go from here?

Corona and the Quietus

Pre-Corona my suburban neighborhood was noisy. Highway and air traffic polluted the air with a consistent noise-floor. I’d attempted some early spring field recordings hoping to capture cheerful birdsong only to listen to highway rumble. One evening I stepped outside to an eerie sound…the sound of silence. Gone was the road noise and grounded were the planes. For the first time in my life, I noticed the silence.

The idea of descriptive nature writing fascinated me to the point I read The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf. This book studies the polymath Alexander von Humbolt. He explored nature, botany, geology, geography, and science. It was Humbolt’s explorations and writings that had inspired Darwin, Thoreau, and Thomas Jefferson.

Having traveled from Europe to South, Central, North America, and Russia, Humbolt was the first person to describe human-induced climate change. His first writings on the observation were in 1800. Agriculture and industrialization was the cause of climate change. Unfortunately few listened.

The completion of The Invention of Nature filled my reading list with Darwin’s Origin of Species (a text I must need and not listen too), Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, and Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

Our understanding of nature and it’s precious balance has come alive in these books. The silencing from the pandemic lockdown has globally impacted even the most casual observant. Noise and noise pollution from excessive traffic and industry temporarily gave us peace and quiet.

Patterning Your Life To Maximize Productivity

Charles Darwin’s Day to Day Pattern

Prioritizing a process toward structure is essential if you want to excel at learning. As I continued my quest for knowledge and comprehension as my focus shifted to expansive thinkers. Range by David Epstein is a book that explores the need for knowledge in a wide range of subjects and the ability to make new and unique connections. The book debunks the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hour theory by an exploration into vast thinking and developing a wide range of topics.

Polymath is a term often used to describe broad depth thinkers. A copy of The Polymath by Wacas Ahmed helped to solidify my interests in wide-ranging knowledge, autodidacts, and boredom of specialists. Every day I jam in hours of audiobooks, web-based text, and books to expand my thinking and depth of knowledge.

Thinking Long Term

I abandoned The Power of Now by Eckhardt Tolle in favor of thinking in the long term. Go Long by Dennis Carey filled the void from now to then by examining examples of long term strategists. Companies such as Amazon and Apple were examined while short term bottom-line thinking is exposed.

Ecological Intelligence by  Daniel Goleman digs even deeper into the long term effects that products have on our economy and environment. Studying the life cycle of products from the cradle to the grave and understanding the impacts from raw material acquisition to biodegradability or recyclability will push manufactures and markets to explore their impacts and work collectively to make environmental change a policy.

Wearing Bluetooth headphones while making breakfast and doing dishes I can block out external distractions. Ignoring social media accounts, the morning news, and unsubscribing to invasion emails has impacted me emotionally. I feel freedom and less triggered.

Noise by Joseph McCormack examines how we are emotionally and mentally hijacked by marketing and electronic gadgets. The book reads fast and fluently through the amount of severe noise we daily must wade through. It was the exposure to the knowledge of how were are being mentally manipulated that has rejuvenated my levels of self learning.

Black Lives Matter

It was during the Pandemic, while many people were home glued to the noise of their televisions and smartphones that our nation’s inequality and racism was again exposed. Better yet it was during this moment it was recognized. As the World is struggling to survive, America has again proven our racial divide.

I’m not going to pretend for even one second that I understand racial prejudice, or can I even use what little knowledge I possess to teach. What I’ve realized is I need to learn more.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olua stings like a swarm of bees. The belief that racial inequality and prodigious was an issue swept under the carpet of the 13th amendment is untrue and unjust. With the fact that 1 out of every 3 African American males will be incarcerated in their lifetime is a horrific statistic. The fact that African Americans currently make 30% less than the average Caucasian worker and this inequality is widening.

Brian Eno recommended Roll Jordan Roll by Eugene Genovese in his list Reading for an Apocalypse. James “Jimbo” Mathus recommends The American Slave Coast by Ned Sublette. Both of which are still in my queue.

I’m silenced by my need to continue to learn more.

Michael Competielle

Where Do We Go From Here?

I’m reading George Orwell’s 1984, we are living it, might as well have the blueprint. Fake news and unvetted stories can keep piling up. I’m not partaking. We must learn from these moments and make a change.

As one of our modern-day brilliant minds, Stewart Brand has helped to expand knowledge and futuristic thinking. From his Whole Earth Catalog to How Buildings Learn, Stewart’s expansion thinking is inspirational. From his Ted Talks to his The Long Now presentations, I’m unaware of any other writer who has changed my mind and thinking more than him.

Whole Earth Discipline by Stewart Brand is a book that can and will change the World. From explorations in population expansion and contraction, alternative energy, nuclear power, and GMOs (which he refers to as Genetic Engineering) this one man could potentially save our planet.

From requesting that NASA in the 1970’s release a photograph of the Whole Earth taken from space, to the installation of a 10,000-year clock Stewart Brand has the potential to save the Whole Earth from its largest predator, humans.

Learning How to Write

When I have the time, which is hardly the case I try to work on my writing skills. I’m reading The Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson for a novel I’m currently writing, The Peregrine by J.A.Baker to learn to be more descriptive and Wired for Story by Lisa Cron so I can use neuroscience to get you to read past the title.

If you read this far, which is doubtful, you’ll realize I’m trying not only to learn but to also articulate my thoughts into readable text. Currently, my Yoast Seo AI states this “article is shit and that you suck”. Perfect words to hear because the World is in shitty shape and we all need to learn.

An Episodic Approach to Fulfillment

They say it is the first step that costs the effort. I do not find it so. I am sure I could write unlimited ‘first chapters’. I have indeed written many.

J.R.R. Tolkien
Photo by Michael Competielle

Every Day’s a New Day

Today I’m going to concentrate on writing the entire outline and finish a draft of the novel I’ll call My Life. I’m going to determine every possible outcome and decision now… today and nothing will change those decisions and I’ll never deviate from the plan. This is my life, from being to end, done complete and uneditable.

Unrealistic and impossible you say. Preposterous!!! Okay fine, you are correct. So why do we try to do it? What I’m realizing is that I have an ever-changing series of ideas and ideals. Places I’d love to see, things I’d love to do and connections I’d love to make. A simplified outline I’ve written with a huge pencil with a gigantic eraser.

Daily my interests change as I remold and remodel myself. New ideas become new adventures and bad investments are thrown to the wayside.

We never really change. The person we were 20 years ago is who we still are today. Our needs and desires change as do our connections, but the actual fabric from which we were created has been woven starting at a very young age. What we can change is our need to evaluate our shortcomings and determine the best path to overcome the obstacles.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Dale Carnegie

What Have You Actually Done

Yesterday I met up with a friend I hadn’t had the opportunity to physically see for over 6 months. A creative person who’s work I truly admire and whose free time I cherish. Running through my memory bank of our last encounter followed by an assessment of my 6-month endeavors, I felt it was imperative we could discuss accomplishments and not ideas or ideals.

How ironic it was to find out this friend was worried that they hadn’t accomplished enough to actually keep me engaged. We discussed the idea of prioritizing time and how we both have eliminated distractions such as posting or reading Facebook or getting bogged down by junk emails.

I admitted a harrowing fact about how I like to get rid of junk mail and junk magazines and so, therefore, I’d prioritize reading the junk so I could delete it while saving the good stuff for a later date, sometimes months or years later. I wasted time oversaturating my brain with the trash while off placing meaningful information, spontaneity, and inspiration for a later date. Worse yet sometimes those magic moments never returned.

Ironically when I compiled the list of accomplishments I found out that I had actually completed a monumental amount of work since our last meeting. As we discussed how I was able to be so successful in completing tasks we realized it was purely from starting each day fresh. A new chapter in the continuum of the proverbial never-ending saga of life.

I’d recognized the need to prioritize reading the important information and filling my mind with the topics I find interesting or inspiring. It’s within those moments of inspiration and interest we need to act. We need to write or paint or photograph. We can’t hold back those moments waiting for another perfect moment. The moment is immediate and imperative. It is now!!!

Each new chapter we write is an episodic approach to creating the fulfillment we need in our lives. Positive thoughts and clarity of steps to ultimately help us obtain our goals of financial freedom or developing a passive income. Designs to help us create the connectivity to the types of people and scenarios we want in our lives.

“I’ve never been comfortable with the goals because we never come close to the goals.”

Larry Harvey

Yesterday Is Gone So Stop Looking Back

We learn from our experiences, however, we learn more by being experimental. Trying out new ideas helps to expand our level of creativity and experiences. Trying new foods or music, visiting new places, or taking a different route to ultimately get to the same place makes the experience different. Try a new path and embrace the outcome.

Run or leap, don’t contemplate. Make new connections and meet new friends. Expand don’t contract. Read new materials, visit new places, explore and immerse yourself into each new chapter. Write a new episode and make a change. Find inspiration, build, and create. Share your experiences and fashion a new fabric in which you will wear and make it your own. Want, try, and do. Stop waiting for the perfect moment for the moment is now. Take risks and make your move. Today is the new episode in The Book of You.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Steve Jobs

Writing 100 Articles In 100 Days. What Did I Learn?

Photo by Michael Competielle

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”

 — Saul Bellow

Today is day 100 of a 100-day writing challenge. The idea was to attempt to write 100 original articles with original photography and publish them. The topics and context we not of importance. In reality, honesty and self-reflection was the priority of this writing exercise. 

Never having written anything before I was presented with a challenge lacking in familiarity and comfort. What was I going to say and how was I planning to say it? 

Looking Inside Myself 

As I began to look inside myself I recognized I needed to find the voice. Being introspective of yourself and displaying your thoughts and emotions leaves you a feeling of exposure and nakedness. It was the warmth of connection and encouragement I received from my readers and writing partner that kept me on track and forthcoming.

Wild flurries of emotionalism flew out of me as I henpecked away word by word, sentence by sentence formulating subconscious thoughts into tangible content. 

When I was in my comfort zone was when I faded off into a meditative state tapping away words that came out of me like I was telling a best friend an innermost deep story. Hours later I’d reread what I’d written and often questioned who was the author, confident it clearly wasn’t me. I’d plagiarized my own words. Hacking into the databanks of my inner psyche. 

Time and Space

The best time to write was early in the morning. My dogs would be snoring, the outside world is relatively silent and I could immerse myself into this transcendent writing flow.

My photographs were my inspiration as I’d write based on the emotional impact I felt from the experiences of exploration into self-discovery. 

Researching my thoughts and looking for supporting content would leave me exploring rabbit holes of discovery as I learned more from becoming a writer than I had from being a reader. My mind an absorptive sponge ingesting and processing massive quantities of data. I forced myself to go out and find inspiration and everything I found became inspiring. 

Tapping away letter by letter I’d lose myself in the moment. Time would pass often quickly as I transported myself into another place in time. Gravity and it’s holding power diminished as I wrote and explored the outside world. I no longer walked on the ground but on a layer of air, slightly elevated above the surface of the world. Airy and light yet not quite floating. 

Time has become more precious than ever before as I respect every moment, recognizing time as our most priceless resource. My relationships with the outside world have felt a bit removed from those that don’t create or can not absorb. The nonreaders are the nonthinkers. Vessels of lifelessness missing the purpose of life and connection. 

Who Is This Crazy Guy?

My discoveries as I wrote in this meditative style yielded wildly varying articles that began to weave the fabric of my consciousness. Patterns of words and phrases were repeated from article to article with differences in meaning and relevance. Each philosophy and theory cumulatively assembling into an enlightened version of me.

As the articles were published new connections were made with friends that began to read my content. The highlight of the writing exercise was when a brilliant inspirational idol shared one of my better posts on Twiter.

As time passed by day by day, articles were published and readership increased. Topics of creativity were well received as were articles on mindfulness.

As I wrote more and more my connection to my mind and soul was enriched. Self-discovery and self-awareness were constant topics I learned the most about myself.

During the hundred days, I found not only could I effectively write but it was simple to get lost inside my conscious. In the next 100 days, you’ll a new level of exploration and discovery. My connections to myself and my mind’s eye have nurtured my world of literary exploration.

Maximizing Your Creativity By Economizing Your Day

Photo by Michael Competielle

How do you know you’ve maximized your day and economized projects to succeed? By prioritizing our day based on establishing small achievable goals while focusing on completing them we can see progress quickly. Morning seems to be a moment in my day where I can be productive and creative optimizing my limited time.

Writing has become easier when I have planned my thoughts prior to even opening my computer. Being I write based on my life experiences, I make sure I document all of them with photographs. When I’m writing about my experiences words begin to follow as I’m describing my recollection of stored details.

To obtain inspiration I love stepping outside into city life to enter into culturally diverse environments. Most cities’ density and mixed uses forsters a culmination of cultural heritage that inspires inspiration. Walking and interacting with diversity help define differences and expands our knowledge.

People watching and focusing on their details

Mornings in a city is a brilliant time to people watch. Window seats in coffeehouses is a favored spot as you can view people candidly observing their body language and movement. As we pay attention to finite details and memorizing them we build attention to details. What makes brilliant writing? Attention to detail and perspective.

When we have clarity and focus on details stored in our memory banks, writing becomes easier. We no longer have to struggle to find words and descriptors to expressive ourselves. As we optimize our writing time while getting into our flow, fully-fledged concepts become paragraphs of precise descriptive narration.

Morning writing lessens environmental influences as we haven’t yet stepped into the outside world. Our thoughts and words are yet to be tainted by the complexities of our day. Allocating morning time towards writing, the compressed availability of free time places pressure on clear and concise phrasing.

Who Wrote This Shit

When I get into my zone, words materialize a rapid pace with fluidity. Minor typos and proper punctuation matter less than getting the words out as if I’m telling a friend a story. Once I get close to what I feel is the end of the article, I’ll reread it to determine how well to flows. When I know I’m writing well the sentences read well. If I’m on track I’ll read the article and question the identity of the author.

It’s in those moments when I’m most creative and thorough that rereading the text makes me question who the author was. It’s that inner voice who comes out and tells the most engaging stories in the briefest amount of time. The economy of time and focusing on small goals have expanded the amount of content I can write about while detail in a focused moment.

A Warmth She Radiates

Photo by Michael Competielle

I love to awaken and see that she’s there

Fuel to my soul her warmth from within

We don’t need to touch or even get very close

It’s her energy I’m feeling that breeds 

I struggle to see her details as she blurs my vision

Silently we caress as she leaves her mark

For she is my power, my savior, from despair

Sadness settles over me 

When she fades off in the distance

Reflections of her cast shadows on my doubts

Her brilliance beads moisture from beneath the skin 

Life and energy we grow a bountiful bond

For she is my true love

A lifetime connection 

I long for her return 

Our bond from deep within

Practicing Mindfulness While Exercising Long-Term Thinking

Photo by Michael Competielle

Changing the world for the better begins with individuals creating inner peace within themselves.

Dalai Lama

Circadian Rhythms and Regenerative Thoughts

Every day as I writing I’m researching to find meaning and purpose in my thoughts and philosophies. When words or topics reemerge I’ll gravitate towards the concept and close the loop in my mind. My world has become connected by following the great minds that spent their time contemplating the problems of the present to share in the future.

Last year I was reading an enlightening article by Zachary Crockett The organization building a 10,000-year clock funded by Jeff Bezos. The article explains how a group of brilliant long term thinkers is working to create The Manual for Civilization Begins with a 10,000-year clock and library. The group called The Long Now Foundation established itself to develop long term thinking to solve what appears to be unsolvable problems by thinking long term and planting the seeds for balancing our modern societies’ shortsightedness.

“When I was a child, people used to talk about what would happen by the year 02000. For the next thirty years they kept talking about what would happen by the year 02000, and now no one mentions a future date at all. The future has been shrinking by one year per year for my entire life. I think it is time for us to start a long-term project that gets people thinking past the mental barrier of an ever-shortening future. I would like to propose a large (think Stonehenge) mechanical clock, powered by seasonal temperature changes. It ticks once a year, bongs once a century, and the cuckoo comes out every millennium.”

Daniel Hillis

The Long Now Foundation was developed in 01996 (the five-digit date added the extra zero to solve the deca-millennium bug that will appear in 8,000 years). An assemblage of some of the world’s greatest minds is paving the pathway to thinking and creating for 10,000 years into our future.

Imagine if society had to reset itself within this moment back to the beginning. The Long Now is preparing a library of essential books that will help bring a new civilization up to speed. With donations from many scholars, writers, and artists, it was the donation from Brian Eno, a Long Now board member and my beloved pseudo mentor, that helped me make the connection to the concept of Long Term thought.

With Eno’s philosophies of Generative Music and Art such as 77 Million Paintings we look within the mind of one of our most brilliant thinkers. Brian’s thoughts are often on works that will regenerate themselves or use mathematical analytics to develop nearly infinite possibilities of creations. More so than any artist could ever produce in a lifetime.

As I look at my most treasured inspirations I’m beginning to see the connection to the universe based on their recognition of long term thinking. From Nikola Tesla with Polyphase Electric and Regenerative Power Generation to Steve Jobs‘ Infinite Loop to Ray Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns and aforementioned Eno’s Generative Art.

An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. 

Ray Kurzweil

Long Term Thinking Within This Moment

Writing about the present with my focus on being mindful does not mean I’m avoiding the future. Staying present in a moment allows us to maximize the experience and not waste the resource of this moment. By being present we become connected and absorptive to what powers life can present us. Being present in the moment does not mean we are thinking in the short term and can clearly have the opposite effect.

Modern-day life has most of us thinking about life and situations for the short term. As we engage with each other, watch films, or view art we want to feel good at this moment as we are constantly rushing to the next great thing. The future of our experience and decisions is often overshadowed by rush we get within a moment.

It’s moments like this where the practicing of mindfulness comes into effect. How do you feel as you engage in conversation or connect with a film or works of art? As we learn to become emotionally present we often feel as though we are active in short term thinking however that is untrue.

Mindfulness For Our Future

Most decisions I make I feel are for the long term while I keep my mind in the present. The foods I eat and products I’ll consume are each given a conscience review prior to the purchase as I hold sustainability and necessity paramount in the decision process.

My thoughts and philosophy has become fine-tuned as I’m focusing far out into the distance of my goals. I’m continuously pushing the bar farther away as I continue to learn and develop. As literary and artworks are preserved and curated we need to cherish the generous thoughts of those who felt it necessary to preserve our past to learn in the present about our futures.

The Long Now Member 10800

Reducing My Ego While I’m Focusing On Self-Reflection

Photo by Michael Competielle

“The ego relies on the familiar. It is reluctant to experience the unknown, which is the very essence of life.”

Deepak Chopra

Awards, accolades, claps, and likes mean little to nothing to me. Acceptance from others is no longer a priority as I work on developing my ability to self-reflect and generate my own happiness. Hollow is the day in which I don’t learn, explore and make new connections. Looking at my phone I can immediately tell if the day has been a success based on the number of photographs I’ve taken as I photograph my experiences and inspiration for further research and connection.

I’m comforted in handing over the reins to others and see what they can produce. My only judgment of their works is understanding how they feel after having completed their goals. The correlation between creativity and emotion is mesmerizing and the topic of my own self-assessments.

My comfort zone expands with each word I read, or write and hear as I’m like a giant sea sponge absorbing and learning from the inspirations of others. I’ve begun to recognize the genius within everyone and work to help those who haven’t recognized it yet.

Learning has expanded my mind and made new pathways that hadn’t existed before. Neuroscience has become an integral part of my self-discovery and has expanded my thought process as I’m constantly stimulating my medial prefrontal cortex.

This area of our brains is strengthened as we work on self-reflection. Understanding and recognizing our strengths and weaknesses, we can determine what triggers certain emotions and work towards minimizing the impact they triggers have on us. When we self-process our interactions with others we will begin to see patterns of who or what aggravates these receptors.

As I spend my time working on introspection and how my actions interact with others I’m developing tools to continuously return myself back to my happy comfort zone.

My ability to recognize lazy and disingenuous people has enriched my life as I’m no longer focusing on how to correct other people’s insecurities. As I recognize the faults I take stock in knowing I control how I return to my euphoric state through my understanding of self and ego.

By practicing mindfulness, meditation, and self-reflection, I’ve become deeply connected to my inner self and my ego is kept away at arm’s length.

“Midlife is the time to let go of an overdominant ego and to contemplate the deeper significance of human existence.”

 Carl Gustav Jung

Finding Connection In The Age Of Connectivity

Photo by Michael Competielle

“When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket. Nikola Tesla 1926

We have never been more connected than we are in the present day. From cellphones to social media our connected world has brought us into the experiences of our friends and peers like nothing we have ever witnessed before. As we read through the Twitter feeds and Instagram photos we feel a sense of connection without having to actually be there. A pseudo world of connection and connectivity. 

We all possess feelings of connection that power us through life. I’m certain I’m not the only one that feels that the spirits of the beloved deceased are watching over us, sharing in every situation we find ourselves in. What is saddening to think is the reality that they really are no longer with us and condensed down to a feeling we have or a hope that the connection isn’t lost. 

As we look back to our connected world we feel that likes and retweets are the same as human connection though we are mostly devoid of the interaction of conversation, feelings, and emotion. Our visual bond as we look into another’s eyes and feel a connection to their mind, body, and soul is lost as we look at the pixels on a screen. Do we still have these connections or better yet do we still have actual human interaction?

The other evening I was in a health store purchasing some supplements. I needed to exchange a product I had mistakenly purchased with another similar product. The cashier understood my mistaken purchase and told me where to find the replacement and then offered to walk and show me. 

I didn’t feel I needed the assistance and walked to the rear of the store to find the correct product. I noticed the price was a few dollars more and assumed we would exchange one for one. As I stood before the cashier she looked at the price tag on each product and did the math to determine the difference of $1.80. She rang me up for the difference and hand wrote on my previous receipt the exchange. 

She explained not only the new product and its benefits but also the exchange process which left me with an understanding smile. The store didn’t have scanners or automated cash registers. It was a retail experience designed to maintain interaction with customers and products. It later dawned on me that being it’s a health food store the knowledge of the staff is essential and the connection to the consumer’s needs is their business. 

Why Are We Disconnected

All-day every day I walk around through my day interacting with people. I make it a priority to connect with people and understand how they are feeling. I manage people based on their emotions more than on the actual work. When they are stressed or anxious the work suffers. Help to remove the source of anxiety and the work becomes simple. 

When people feel happy and confident they can complete tasks easily. They become attached to the work and ultimately me as the manager on a connected level. People don’t like to let me down as they have recognized our connection is based on our connection instead of workload. 

I fight against the use of metrics and focus on accessing their emotions. If you have an angry disgruntled employee you need to find the source of the angst and fix that issue. Focusing on connecting with the issues helps to resolve the controversy. 

Finding Connection

Yesterday was a bright and vibrant day. Issues from the day before had almost corrected themselves and actually be determined they weren’t actual issues but someone else’s lack of following procedure.

Warm greetings from an artist friend lead us into a deeply connected conversation of warmth and interpersonal self-discovery as we each motived ourselves in the engagement of conversation expressing our emotions. An interesting conversation with an employee was had in which he had an empathy and understanding of why I felt it was paramount that he was proud and loved his work byproduct.

Photo by Asia Popinska Copyright 2019 Used by Permission

Later in the day, I met with my favorite photographer Asia Popinska whom I share a close metaphysical relationship with. Our connection is through understanding the science of our emotions and feelings and how we put forth ourselves in our art. Her works inspire emotion and introspection that I’ve connected with.

How To Connect

Lose yourself in the moment and forget the distractions of the outside world. Hang on to every word, statement, and thought you hear in a moment. Show your love and affection for others and remind them that they are indeed special. Be honest and exposed. When conversations are deep and well-articulated you will witness the body language of the other person change and your bond will gain strength.

Practicing mindfulness and emotional intelligence we can enhance our connections to others. Positive and honest thoughts will yield a stronger understanding of not friends and peers as well as ourselves.

I walk on a cloud of air, elevated above the angst and anger of others. I’m focused on understanding how others feel and with each passing interact my connections to the outside world have strengthened. The ambiance of a room feels warm and powerful as I find compliancy is communication and connection.