The Daily 10

I don’t ever want to feel bored, and I think I’ve found the secret to avoiding boredom. But first let me say something really general about the activities that fill my life.

I never want to be involved in any activity where creativity is not required. Before you start feeling bad about the activities that fill your own life, it’s important to ask what activities require creativity.

I’m of the opinion that literally every activity we engage in lends itself to creativity.

So there it is. As long as I’m right, we can all be creative.

I hope you noticed that the word “creativity" above links to a definition of the word. My favorite part of the definition is where it mentions transcending traditional rules and relationships to create meaningful new ideas, methods or interpretations.

It’s thinking that leads to creation. Thinking is just processing information to create a solution to a problem. After we process, we act.

We put meat on bread to fill our stomach. That’s creative. We include vegetables and condiments to make it taste better. That’s more creative.

Addressing the boredom issue, I think we become bored when the activities we do become repetitive. We’ve all been there. It’s boring.

Creativity is the boredom killer. I like to see creativity on a scale. Ham between two pieces of bread makes a much more boring sandwich than the one below.

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Slightly absurd, not entirely practical, but a lot more entertaining to eat than plain ham and bread.

A guy I work with told me a story the other day about how he used to work in a mechanic shop. I like to remember the story going like this…

“When I started working there, my one job was to sweep the floor when they brought the cars in and out. I hated that job. But my boss told me one thing I’ll never forget. He sat me down on his knee and said, ‘Son. There is an art to everything you do. Don’t you ever forget that.’ And I never will.”

Supposedly he became an extremely artistic and creative shop-sweeper.

We have control of how creative we are, but we can’t expect the creativity to come without a fight. So here’s what I’m going to do. I call it “The Daily 10”. I stole the idea from a BYU article about 5 skills innovators practice. I aim to write 10 questions each day regarding my current activities. The questions will help stir up creativity, help me find the art in all that I do and hopefully abolish all boredom from my life.

Here’s day ones’ attempt. I only made it to question number four.

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I anticipate an improvement in the questions- both in number and quality.

MmmMm a little MMmusic

Here are two dramatically different versions of the song “A Thing For Me” by Metronomy.

Generally I don’t spend much time in the remix/mashup world, but a friend of mine put a remix of this song on a playlist he wanted me to listen through. The song really made me feel good.

After hearing the original months later, I made a formal decision that I was still in favor of the remix. Upon deeper reflection, however, I realized that I had an equal yet different craving for both songs.

You’ll be surprised at the difference in the feeling of the songs. The remix gives me some sort of warm easy-going feeling, whereas the original gives me a rush pulsed anxiety. I have very positive feelings towards both.

Here they are for your listening (and viewing) pleasure.

So well done on the remix, Breakbot, and thank you for making it all possible, Metronomy. The reality is- you’ve each successfully created a different song.

Here’s an article that would give a thumbs up to Breakbot’s re-creation. It’s called, “How to Steal Like an Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me)”. The article is an eternity if you have the time, but otherwise even a few minutes of reading and digesting will do you some good. (I came across the article by way of @kylewaynebenson.)

Context

I’m currently working as an intern for The Chickasaw Nation. A project I’ve been working on lately is writing up a biography on Tishomingo, the last full blood chief of the tribe.

Tishomingo passed away on the Trail of Tears around 1840 at 100 years of age while helping his fellow Chickasaw in their removal from Mississippi. Unfortunately, very little is known about the life of the man, because very little was written about the man.

Most of what we know about our past comes from what has been written. From times where there wasn’t writing, all we have are structures, tools or artwork. Although I do write nightly in my journal, I don’t anticipate its use in any future millennia. On a smaller scale, however, the journal is a mechanism for me to look at the context of my life as well as draw valuable conclusions from the world around me.

Context

The strange thing about the world we’re living in is that more and more so, everything we do is documented, whether we realize it or not. On Gmail, you can pull up any email or chat you’ve had on that account, ever. It’s all there. Everything we do seems to be marked down and tucked away somewhere.

Somewhere out there, we have words and pictures and statements floating around with no context or explanation. When combining all of our internet presence into one, I like to imagine a big messy barrel full of all our words and images.

Relevance

One night during finals last semester, I ran into a friend of mine on my way to the library. We began to talk and ended up having a lengthy, quality conversation. Immediately after saying goodbye I wondered how long we had talked for. Not thinking, I pulled out my phone to see how long the conversation had lasted.

I was shocked that my instinct was to look at my phone, as if it had somehow known to record the conversation length. It was then I realized how plugged into the world I had become.

It was strange for me to think that the conversation I had just had was gone- evaporated into the air. I would never be able to hear it again, or pull it up on the computer, or post the highlights in some public location for my friends to laugh at. It was gone.

I would never know if we had talked for 20 minutes or 45 minutes, worse yet, I might even forget we had spoken. For that conversation, I had been entirely disconnected. The only way I could save anything relevant from the conversation would be to go out of my way to write it down.

So many noteworthy things happen every day. Are you taking notes? Knowing our own history helps us project our own future. Unless we completely disconnect ourselves from civilization, the world we’ve connected with will continually log random snapshots and glimpses of our life whether we like it or not.

Will the context of our lives be created by the passive internet presence each of us create? Or will we  take the proactive approach to define ourselves and keep even those few valuable moments where we’re entirely disconnected?

Here’s the journal I love. Try a sentence a night if you’re having a hard time committing.

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Find Me An Information Filter

I’m of the opinion that we are living in the future. Take this picture for example.

The Future

Staying on top of all things new in this future world is an exhausting struggle. I sometimes wonder if it would be worth it for me to hire someone to gather all new information I would find relevant and present it to me in a neat package once every four weeks. Then I could dedicate, say, a Monday to absorb all this “new relevant information”, and move forward. 

Perhaps that would be one advantage of life on the moon, or at least the life I imagine on the moon. I would only be occupied with whatever I was doing up there, whether it be farming in my bio-dome, maintaining solar panels, or harvesting Helium-3 (which has more than 120 times the value per unit weight of gold). The only news that would come to me would be the relevant news. Otherwise I would be one with whatever my purpose was up there.

I guess I could live that way now if I wanted- to some degree. But the reality is- I don’t have someone to filter the most relevant information to me, and I’m not living in a simple culture existing of 7 or 8 fields of work to choose from. Surely though, life would be no simpler on the moon than it is here. 

I suppose that if it’s simplicity I want, it’s my responsibility to obtain it. Here’s an article from the New York Times that got me thinking along these terms. It’s called “The Twitter Trap”. It discusses how the growing mass of information available is changing us, and the importance of not losing our souls in the process. Setting aside a few minutes to read the article would be well worth your time.

Google Suggest can be fun.

Here’s a new fun game. If you’re sitting in your living room, say, in the company of your brother, and you’re on a laptop with internet connection, you’ve just met the minimum requirements to play.

As many of you know, Google has a search tool called “Google Suggest”. I’m sure you’ve noticed that as you type in a search on google, a list drops down from the search bar with predictions of what your search might be. It’s nice, and a time saver.

The game is, you type a portion of a question and let Google Suggest predict what you’re going to ask. A big part of Google Suggest is that it tries to predict what you are going to search based off of what it considers a popular or relevant search.

I usually just type the beginning of the question and include one noun. Something like, “Could the moon…” Here’s a screen shot of Google’s prediction.

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It’s real fun, and the best part… you can make up your own rules. So have at it.

Last night I saw the Fleet Foxes. If you ever get a chance, please go see them. There’s something fulfilling about watching a quality band put on a high quality show.

On another note, the first Native American in space, like me, is of the Chickasaw tribe.

Man Moment

Life On The Moon

I spent a lot of time making the image. It’s ultimately unfinished. I foresee an improvement in the image as my abilities to work with Adobe Illustrator improve. Better work can be created with Illustrator.

Life On The Moon is what I’ll call this blog. This is my fourth attempt at a blog, and a big part of me hopes that a big enough part of me will actually be committed this time.

You can expect to hear from me about music, public relations, life, people, and the prospect of living on the moon- which, at least at this moment in my mind, seems entirely impractical.

Really though, I have to wonder how I would come to look at the world around me if I was living on the moon. I had this thought while driving across the Kansas plains at 11:45 at night while listening to an episode of Radiolab called “What Does Technology Want?”

Be prepared, it discusses the prospect of technology one day having a mind of its own (queue The Twilight Zone music). Also, if you’re anticipating hearing about the prospect of living on the moon, you won’t find it on the radio episode.

I was driving through Kansas with my little brother on our way to an internship with The Chickasaw Nation. The internship is here in Oklahoma, and I’m working in the Chickasaw Nation’s Public Affairs department. Today was day two.