We think a lot about defaults. What should they be? How do they elicit particular responses? What form should they take (pull-downs, checkboxes, opt-ins and outs)? But taken away from screens, what do we assume about defaults? And more, how might we be more mindful of our own default behavior?
I thought of this recently while in a traffic jam: the sort where a two-hour drive took more than six hours. These unavoidable moments are a complete standstill of hope and forward emotion. And for those who choose not to ride the shoulder, wander the median, make friends with fellow maroonees, we are bored. We daydream. By default, our minds wander.
If these moments are unavoidable, then how can we use them? How can we turn what by default is a wandering daydream into productivity?
[B]oredom and its synonyms can also become a crucial tool of creativity. “Boredom is your window,” the poet declared. “Once this window opens, don’t try to shut it; on the contrary, throw it wide open.”
When people are immersed in monotony, they automatically lapse into a very special form of brain activity: mind-wandering. In a culture obsessed with efficiency, mind-wandering is often derided as a lazy habit, the kind of thinking we rely on when we don’t really want to think.
[M]ind wandering is ubiquitous — we spend nearly half our waking life in a daydream — but it’s also a talent we need to develop. …. Instead of completely zoning out, we should work on staying a little more self-aware, ensuring there’s still some activity in the executive areas of the brain. Ennui is a cognitive gift, but it must be properly unlocked. We can get better at being bored.
“We’re susceptible to self-serving bias, which means that we want to attribute our successes to internal or personal factors, even when external factors, like family support, economics, and privilege actually play a major role in those successes. In other words, most people tend to think of themselves as folks who’ve “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps” and obtained everything they have through grit and determination – when, in reality, very few people fit that narrow profile.”—Don’t EVEN Get Me Started, Mythical Bootstraps College Student | Persephone Magazine
“When being given correction, many dancers get defensive because they are approaching their craft subjectively and are unwilling to engage in an empirical assessment of their line, form, execution etc. Also, there are very few teachers that they will come across who have the knowledgebase to provide such detailed instruction. They’re used to classes with no instruction, just copying choreography. However this must never deter a knowledgeable teacher from providing dancers with cohesive critiques.”—
"A candidate is sort of the old way of doing things," she said. "We’re looking for a new way of doing things that is more participatory and more meaningful. What that looks like we’re still figuring out." - Katie Davison
"In making a demand, you’re essentially recognising the authority of the people who are going to carry it out," - David Graeber
"Our message is that the system that we have is broken. It doesn’t work. People aren’t even discussing the real problems Americans face." - David Graeber
“If political reporters did their job, they would make an effo to determine the validity of the regulation-killing-jobs story and expose the politicians making the claim as either ignorant or dishonest, just as if a politician was going around claiming that September 11 was an inside job. However, today’s reporters are either too lazy or incompetent to do their homework.”—Are regulations killing US jobs? - Opinion - Al Jazeera English
“If start-up activity is the true engine of job creation in America, one thing is clear: our current educational system is acting as the brakes. Simply put, from kindergarten through undergraduate and grad school, you learn very few skills or attitudes that would ever help you start a business.”—Will Drops Save America? (via wesgarnett)
“Progress and evolution are not necessarily the same… Evolution responds to context.”—Artist, designer and researcher Daisy Ginsberg at PopTech 2011, whose work in synthetic biology pushes the boundaries of what design is (via curiositycounts)
“My friend Taylor Davidson encouraged me to “celebrate endings the way we celebrate beginnings” and with that I can assure you that this year will to be the best TribeCon yet. It will truly be a celebration and you don’t want to miss it.”—
Yesterday, I posted a story about a woman who was receiving conservative support for refusing to do her job. She refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because she felt that it violated her religion.
As I thought about the issue more and more, I realized that this woman truly feels…
“[T]here never have been and never will be free markets. All markets are man-made, constructed, regulated and administered by often-complex mechanisms that necessarily distribute wealth — that inevitably distribute wealth — in large and small ways.”—Occupy Wall Street’s ‘Political Disobedience’ - NYTimes.com
“Civil disobedience accepted the legitimacy of political institutions, but resisted the moral authority of resulting laws. Political disobedience, by contrast, resists the very way in which we are governed: it resists the structure of partisan politics, the demand for policy reforms, the call for party identification, and the very ideologies that dominated the post-War period.”—Occupy Wall Street’s ‘Political Disobedience’ - NYTimes.com
“But, you may object, what’s wrong with self-interest? Aren’t all parties to political debate moved by some sort of self-interest? In fact, isn’t the point of our political process to make a decision that somehow balances these conflicting interests? Actually, no. Many participants in policy debates hold strong convictions, independent or even opposed to their self-interest. Liberals support higher taxes for themselves, conservatives reject government programs that would assist them, those advantaged by racial and gender discrimination vote to end it. Our democracy depends on our willingness to support decisions we see as right even if they work to our disadvantage.”—Corporations, People and Truth - NYTimes.com
“on designers: “we’ve been brought up to think that we’re in the artifact business. but we’re not really any more if we want the world to be what it is. we have to be in the consequence business. – allan chochinov”—(via networkedculture)
“design is more than appearance, design is about interaction, about strategy and about services. Designers change social behavior. So shouldn’t designers understand the fundamental principles of human and social interaction, of how to assess the validity of a claim?”—Design Education: Brilliance Without Substance - Core77
“The problem with praising kids for their innate intelligence — the “smart” compliment — is that it misrepresents the psychological reality of education. It encourages kids to avoid the most useful kind of learning activities, which is when we learn from our mistakes. Because unless we experience the unpleasant symptoms of being wrong — that surge of Pe activity a few hundred milliseconds after the error, directing our attention to the very thing we’d like to ignore — the mind will never revise its models. We’ll keep on making the same mistakes, forsaking self-improvement for the sake of self-confidence. Samuel Beckett had the right attitude: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”—Why Do Some People Learn Faster? | Wired Science | Wired.com