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A year of idleness and full-time entertainment consumption has put me in the ideal spot to provide my unwarranted recommendations to you, ranging from all categories across the board. Recommendations are not necessarily limited to anything published in 2020, merely something I have watched/read/listened to this year.

First off; books.

While finishing the last book of my 24-reading goal it’s quite fitting that this latest addition to the challenge is also the one I provide as recommendation. Fresh in mind fresh in heart aye? I’ve chosen this first and foremost because we all can use a travel book in these times to lose ourselves in, especially with such a friendly and erudite guide.  Patrick Leigh Fermor writes about his journey on foot from Hoek of Holland to Constantinople in a surprisingly educating and highly entertaining manner. The first of the trilogy: A Time of Gifts spansfrom the start all the way to the middle Danube. It is worthy to note that he travels in 1933/3, with what Germany was going through at that time it is incredible to hear the voices of both sides during his travels. Second, he wrote this book 30 years after he travelled so it also provides a lot of reflection as occurs in such retelling. Now it is by no means a comparison to a historical travel book such as Geert Mak’s In Europe. It is much more a story of an intelligent but compassionate 18-year-old that decides to talk a long walk and meet the most amiable characters on the way. The element that instantly will amaze any reader is the hospitality of those he meets on the way. As Patrick was at that time a student with little funds it is astonishing to see how his reliance on strangers was almost unavoidable due to the heavy insistences of the offers. If you won’t read it for the travel, do read it for Fermor’s internal rambling on art, nature, history, and politics. His 5-page spanning reflection of Brueghel the Elder’s work is a good example. Without giving away too many spoilers, if you, regretfully, have put away your wanderlust somewhere on a dusty shelf than do read this amazing travelogue to take a sip of all things absent.

...continue reading "Yearly recommendations"

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle.

But how do you know or ‘find’ your true self? Well, you got travelling the world, reading a book a week, joining a spiritual meditation retreat, or diving into neuroscience. However, for those that, like me, can’t be bothered with any of the above, the answer is closer than you think. Reach deep down, not into yourself but your pocket and just open up your Google Privacy settings. ...continue reading "Finding yourself: A Google sponsored guide"

In no particular order - except for the first, cause it's among equals.

How to do nothing
Jenny Odell: An adaptation of her book on "How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy." this 'short' medium article is a refreshing read and approach of the busy digital lives. It isnt a quasi-self-help article as the title suggests, rather it is a delightful exploration of abstract subjects and and pure curiosity of things in our immediate surroundings. [book review]

"Eric Hobsbawm, the Communist Who Explained History."
Corey Robin reviews Richard Evan's biography of Eric Hobsbawn: A life in History. It is the perfect summary of a book too long to read, about a most influential historian & communist. [philosophy]

The Distance Between Us
Micah Meadowcroft Why we act badly when we don’t speak face-to-face. The old message of the flip side of a coin called social media in a pleasing to read sleeve. [technology, philosophy] ...continue reading "April & May 2019: Interesting reads"

Image result for horizon barry lopezA Horizon to most is a flat line, that is observable, but never reachable. More grimmer interpretations are derived from the event horizon; a point of no return. While a horizon can also spell out something new and coming like the morning sun. But this Horizon, with pages full of beautiful imagery, is a coastal storm. And best described in the author's own words; "The coastal storm I’ve been waiting for finally comes, it will bring its musics, the active colors of its pummeled skies, and wind to choreograph the movements of the clouds. It will crack land and sea with its pellets of rain. It will dim the sun. If the response is awe, not analysis, that, really, is all that is needed."

After finishing the first pages I knew this book would be one that would reach the top 5 of this year's reads, and if you are of curious nature then this book will find a place in your list as well. As long as you can step into Barry Lopez' life "with an open mind and an eager heart."

To explore is to travel without a hypothesis."

...continue reading "[Book review] Horizon – Barry Lopez"

Disappearing CuriosityTechnology has become part of our being, or as Alexander Stubb said; “we are already cyborgs, phones just haven’t been officially attached to us yet.” If you would ask me to not use my phone for a month it would severely hinder my life just as much as the next one. It is great, practising my music hobby has never been easier. No waiting in front of a recorder for hours to make your own playlist by taking songs from the radio.

However, as in the example of music, all aspects of life are becoming digital. There are no mechanical parts to objects to be felt, heard, or touched. This brings many advantages, devices are more portable, durable, faster, just to name a few. But the downside is that it has become impossible to understand how things work, and this applies to all life improving appliances. Could this be a case of disappearing curiosity?
...continue reading "The case of the disappearing curiosity"