The first great thing is to find yourself and for that you need solitude and contemplation - at least sometimes. I can tell you deliverance will not come from the rushing noisy centers of civilization. It will come from the lonely places.
— Fridtjof Nansen

How Philosophy Lost its Way

Very interesting

"In January, ... philosophy professors at the University of North Texas argued in the New York Times that philosophy lost its way when it entered the formal university setting. Whereas philosophy was once a discipline that underpinned all schools of thought and was integrated with society, it became isolated in academia....

Briggle and Frodeman believe that philosophy adapted by mimicking the structures of the natural sciences, focusing on research, peer-reviewed articles, and complex ideas that are incomprehensible to anyone outside that particular subject."


Knit Parts for Hearts

The greatest innovation—medical or otherwise—I've heard about all year. This is a perfect case of why it is so important to consider alternative ways of thinking and doing across time and place. Design without diversity of thought does itself a disservice.

"The indigenous Aymara women have centuries of experience of knitting and weaving distinctive woollen hats, sweaters and blankets. Now, they are applying their expertise to a hi-tech medical product - which is used to seal up a 'hole in the heart' which some babies are born with. ... Most standard occluders are made on an industrial scale - but Freduenthal's version is so small and intricate that it's technically tricky to mass produce.  So he enlisted an army of Bolivia's traditional craft knitters to make them by hand.

This minimally invasive approach also helps to avoid cultural barriers to treatment: manipulating a heart is considered an act of desecration on the human soul by some indigenous communities in Bolivia. 'By not operating with an open heart' says Dr Freudenthal, 'We are also respecting the will of many patients who would not want their children to be operated otherwise.'"


Creative Minority

"Toynbee argues that civilizations rise or fall based on how they respond to challenges and the response has to come from what he called a creative minority." (Designers FTW)



Seeing exquisite images like these makes me think globalization has actually drastically and severely limited human creativity and diversity, as Western culture now dominates, and more "traditional" forms of dress (or even thought, ideas, practices) are pushed to the fringes as outdated, unrealistic, old-fashioned, provincial, unsophisticated. We're doing the world such a disservice by rejecting ideas that don't fit within our very narrow, pre-existing frameworks. Maybe a big step towards "thinking outside the box" is simply thinking beyond modern Western ideals.


"The Binge Breaker"

Really interesting article on the ethics of design and technology and manipulation of behavior.

"While some blame our collective tech addiction on personal failings, like weak willpower, Harris points a finger at the software itself. That itch to glance at our phone is a natural reaction to apps and websites engineered to get us scrolling as frequently as possible. The attention economy, which showers profits on companies that seize our focus, has kicked off what Harris calls a 'race to the bottom of the brain stem.' 'You could say that it’s my responsibility' to exert self-control when it comes to digital usage, he explains, 'but that’s not acknowledging that there’s a thousand people on the other side of the screen whose job is to break down whatever responsibility I can maintain.' In short, we’ve lost control of our relationship with technology because technology has become better at controlling us."