If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

The secret is that the shit is fun to me. Finding a new groove to make a new song, that shit is fun. When you get the beat right and then the hooks and the bridges and the lyrics and it all comes together it’s like this feeling that you get like you hit the jackpot. I can only describe it as trying to unlock the combination to a safe. Once you get inside it, boom.

Art is cognitive play. Humans and other intelligent species engage in prolonged periods of physical play as children—mock combat, feats of balance and coordination—in order to train themselves to deal with situations they will face as adults. Art, beginning with the songs of mothers and infants, trains our minds. Cognition is, first and foremost, pattern recognition, and art is concentrated pattern. But humans are also intensely social animals—the source of our evolutionary success—and the life of small human groups, as primate studies suggest (and everyday experience confirms), requires a constant effort of social cognition: eye contact, shared attention, awareness of status hierarchies, sensitivity to what others may be feeling, intending, discovering, believing. That’s where storytelling comes in.

Idler Q&A (3) | HiLobrow

Mark Kingwell and Joshua Glenn discuss their sequel to The Idler’s Glossary, The Wage Slave’s Glossary. Kingwell:

The idler/slacker distinction is a powerful lever. It makes clear that idling, unlike slacking, is not about work at all: it’s not avoiding work, or resenting work, or hiding from parents or spouses who think you should be working more. Idling offers an independent value which, in being independent, constructs an implicit (sometimes explicit) critique of the work-world’s norms. […] The idler says, don’t grow (if growth just means bigger markets). Instead, play! We are trustees of our time here, not owners of it. When it comes to selfhood and our time here, there is no property; there is only care.

I loved Mark Kingwell’s book In Pursuit of Happiness.
Idler Q&A (3) | HiLobrow

The toy is the child’s earliest initiation into art, or rather for him it is the first concrete example of art…

Charles Baudelaire, “A Philosophy of Toys” (via) cf. “[Making art is] practicing a physical activity with a certain state of mind. It’s similar to a kid who is absorbed in deep play. A kid with a toy is in a relationship with that toy. The toy is playing with him just as much as he’s playing with the toy.” – Lynda Barry (via austinkleon)

You can afford to expose yourself to uncertainties in art that you wouldn’t allow yourself in real life. You can allow yourself to get into situations where you are completely lost, and where you are disoriented. You don’t know what’s going on, and you can actually not only allow yourself to do that, you can enjoy it.

This waking dream we call the Internet also blurs the difference between my serious thoughts and my playful thoughts, or to put it more simply: I no longer can tell when I am working and when I am playing online. For some people the disintegration between these two realms marks all that is wrong with the Internet: It is the high-priced waster of time. It breeds trifles. On the contrary, I cherish a good wasting of time as a necessary precondition for creativity, but more importantly I believe the conflation of play and work, of thinking hard and thinking playfully, is one the greatest things the Internet has done.