Tag Archives: technology

A brief plug for a brief book:

Pico Iyer is one of my favorite essayists on travel and so I was delighted to see him release ‘The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere’.

Despite what the title might lead you to believe, it’s not an anti-travel tract as much as a pitch for how inner-travel can restore value and balance to your life.

Tell me if this description of modern life rings a bell for you, too:

With machines coming to seem part of our nervous systems, while increasing their speed every season, we’ve lost our Sundays, our weekends, our nights off—our holy days, as some would have it; our bosses, junk mailers, our parents can find us wherever we are, at any time of day or night. More and more of us feel like emergency-room physicians, permanently on call, required to heal ourselves but unable to find the prescription for all the clutter on our desk

Iyer later goes on to to explain his inverted reframing of that modern dilemma:

In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.

It is fitting that ‘The Art of Stillness’ is more about the reader taking a journey with Iyer rather than his attempt to reach any particular ideological destination.

I enjoyed the trip and think you might as well.

The one thing technology doesn’t provide us with is a sense of how to make the best use of technology.
Pico Iyer
The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

A Three Part Series with Tim Ferriss

Kevin Kelly is a man after my own heart: A lover of technology who spent years traveling around Asia as a photographer, Kevin was one of the founding members of WIRED magazine and still spends a good deal of time trying to visualize what the future wants from all of us.

But part of why I really enjoyed Kevin’s three-part interview with Tim Ferriss is that it wasn’t strictly conceptual: Tim let Kelly talk, but did a good job of steering things back around to some very practical questions about how he got his start. Not to get all Upworthy about it, but the answers may surprise you.

Part One should be all queued up for you and ready to go in the player above… Give it a listen if you’re interested in hearing the personal history of one of our best-known futurists.

An Excerpt:


Is it true that you dropped out of college after one year?


Yeah… I’m a college dropout. And actually, my one regret in life is that one year I gave.


Oh… no kidding?


Yeah… I wish I had even skipped that. But I do understand how college can be useful to people and my own children have gone through. But for me, it was just not the right thing and I went to Asia instead. I like to tell myself that I gave my own self a PhD in East Asian Studies by traveling around and photographing very remote parts of Asia at a time when it was in transition from the ancient world to the modern world. I did many other things as well and, for me, it was a very formative time because I did enough things that when I finally got my first real job at age 35…


[LAUGHS] Wow! Which job was that?


I worked for a non-profit at $10/hour which was the Whole Earth Catalog, which had been kind of a life-long dream… I said if I’m going to have a job, that is the job I want. Took me a long time to get it. But in between that, I did many things including starting businesses and selling businesses and doing other kinds of things (and more adventures). I highly recommend it.