“Time feels especially shallow these days, as the wave of one horror barely crests before it’s devoured by the next, as every morning’s shocking headline is old news by the afternoon.”
In today’s fast-paced digital world, making the time to read intensively has been a constant struggle for me. I get distracted easily, my phone is a sure-fire way to get easy, fast, and cheap entertainment. I browse reddit endlessly for hours. It’s hilarious and I laugh a lot when I surf through the content. But what have I gained? How have I improved by reading this content? What I have learned? Nothing substantial. Feels great in the moment, but afterward I’m left looking behind at a gross void of wasted time.
I don’t think I’m alone in this, nor is this a new problem. One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes, “a Classic is something everyone wants to have read, but no one wants to read” hits just a little too close for home for me. Even Twain’s pre-digital age, the world was full of great literature, and few people wanted to put forth the effort to read Moby Dick or Les Miserables. I gaze longingly on this wonderful reading list and cringe with terror. How will I ever begin? How can I understand this stuff? Who will help me?
I guess the journey to a finished book begins with a single page. I need to be patient with my progress.
This musing was brought to you by a recently-published article: Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction by Mairead Small Staid. Written February 8, 2019. Continue reading “Reading “Intensively” (Vertical Reading) vs. Reading “Extensively” (Horizontal Reading)”
“The donkey brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, and the cock screamed.”
This is a continuation of my “Secular Lessons“.
This is a funny little story about teamwork and farm animals–from the Brothers Grimm, “The Traveling Musicians”. Continue reading “The Traveling Musicians | The Brothers Grimm”
From repairing a well to building a chapel window–all the basics are here.
A friend of mine recommended this documentary series on a group of folks building a medieval castle in France. I am totally hooked. I would love to join these guys for a few weeks to help them build this castle. I’d literally be working my ass off, but it would be so neat! Continue reading “How to Build a Castle”
Answer: There’s no Substitution for Practice.
Today, I was listening to a panel of well-known science communicators and towards the end during the Q&A session, someone asked “I’ve always wanted to be an astronautical engineer, but I’m horrible at math. I’ve got lots of passion. Can this dream ever be a reality, and where do I start?” Continue reading ““I’m bad at math.””
Today I broke out a harp music book in front of my kid for the first time since I started reading books to him. It’s been a while since I played from a music book, I’m not gonna lie. Since he’s been born, I’ve been busy with reading guitar and ukulele chords/tabs because they’re way easier, and also a lot of fun. (By the way, for those that aren’t in the “harp club”, harp music looks almost the same as piano music. There’s a treble clef and a bass clef with “golf club” notes on a 5-lined staff.) I’ve never been particularly gifted at reading music, because I generally prefer learning tunes by ear. Continue reading “Teaching Toddlers Music”
Every once in a while I’ll be listening to a podcast or reading an article, and someone will say something outrageous—or not even outrageous, but rather just a simple claim that I want to fact check for myself. The unfortunate thing is, I don’t have a lot of time to really run these down, but I figure I’ll list them here and maybe someday I’ll get back to them.
Continue reading “Dubious Claims”
Ok, I know this is a bit of a departure from the usual content on here. I have an almost two year old who loves to look at pictures and name things. So let’s look at pictures and name things. It makes great blogging material! If you happen to have a 2-year old, show them this post, they’ll love it. Talk about color, texture of taste of the fruits. Then go to the store an buy them!
Continue reading “The Fruits”
Be better at having discussions with people that have ideas different from your own.
I’ve made the plunge and I purchased the Atheos app. I highly recommend you do so as well if you are a lover of knowledge and would like to be better at having discussions with people that have ideas that differ from your own. While the app mostly applies to having discussions about religion, I’ve found myself using the method for navigating political/social issues too. In summary, here are the themes, or “10 commandments” of Epistemology. Continue reading “The 10 Commandments of Epistemology”
Image Source: withbeautiful
“If we were to peel away all of our layers of fear and hatred, and peel them back until we’re able to see eye-to-eye, and recognize that we’re actually all the same. We want the same things; we want to be loved, we want to belong, we want to live our lives and provide for our children. The only things that actually matter are kindness, compassion and love. If we could peel away our layers, and just get down to the one where we see eye-to-eye—then I think we’d have a very different world.” Continue reading ““…We want the same things…””