I was looking through some old journal entries and remembered seeing an exhibit of Erika Larsen’s photography. This series really stuck with me.
The Argus 300 Model III slide projector would be perfect for viewing the boxes of slides she’d inherited from her grandmother, she thought. She didn’t notice the original owner’s slides until later.
What a cool find. I hope they can learn more.
Teju Cole on the sameness of travel photography:
The visitor to a place like the Roman Forum does not only take a photograph of the Forum; he also takes a photograph for the Forum. His photograph partly serves the narrative chosen by the Forum’s custodians. The visitor is inadvertently mesmerized not only by the site but also by the municipal or museological organization of the experience of the site.
Everything you’ve ever wanted and then obtained, except maybe for the very latest thing, is probably not providing any great satisfaction at this moment.
The farther your plan deviates from established “best practices” (i.e. how the people who actually achieve your goal tend to do it), the more likely it is that you don’t actually intend to do it.
One key reason why we struggle to see progress in the world today is that we do not know how very bad the past was.
To read old books is to get an education in possibility for next to nothing.
Self-improvement imperatives always offer the seductive notion of untapped potential: it’s a bummer to feel like you have to change, but a thrill, sometimes, to imagine that you can. The trouble is that there is no feasible end to this process.
And this, too:
Today, young female professionals have an unprecedented amount of economic and social capital; at the same time, our adulthood has been defined by constant visual self-surveillance, a market-friendly feminism that favors any female acquisitive behavior, and an overwhelming redirection of anxiety into the “wellness” space.
I loved this essay on layovers. Airports are usually incredibly relaxing for me:
All sorts of big questions wait on the other side of the gate. Will Bill still love you when you get home? Will you make it out there at college? Will Morocco be everything you’ve always dreamed of?
But you don’t have to answer questions like that during a layover. You can’t: The whole point is that they have to wait. You have been granted a reprieve — a chance to consider life as it was before it goes away, or as it might be when it arrives.
See also: Let’s fly.
How are the sidewalks? […] What kind of pollution?
Everything has its own list of classic amateur blunders. […] Just one of these blunders, made consistently, can undermine almost everything you’re doing right.
When the day’s list is done, do not go back to the master list. The rewards of productivity must not be a bottomless well of work.
Ask yourself what are the relevant topics you have yet to read good pieces on, and then try to find them and read them. Over time, your broader opinions will then evolve in better directions than if you focus on having an immediate emotional reaction to the events right before your eyes. The more tempted you are to judge, the higher the return from trying to read something factual and substantive instead.
Tyler Cowen on finding saner, more productive ways to relate to the news (if you must).
To explore someone else’s interiority is not just to flash, at this moment, to what you think the other person might be thinking or feeling. It’s a layered, almost literary thing, to imagine the history of their experiences (known and unknown, actual and possible) and to think through those experiences, thoughts, and feelings all the way through to the end.
If the film has a point, it is that “discerning a point” is harder than ever in a world where mediated experiences of “beauty” are more ubiquitous, accessible and customizable than ever, but less and less tied to rubrics of meaning.
I really liked this essay by Brett McCracken.