- Focus. A free ebook about cultivating concentration amid the distractions of our daily lives. It's written by Leo Babauta.
- You're Distracted. This Professor can Help. This article discusses a professor who uses meditation in his classes. He helps students become mindful of the ways in which they use technology so they can become more efficient.
- How Not to be Alone. A Times opinion that discusses how technology, specifically smart phones, subtly make it easier for us to isolate ourselves.
- This is Water. If you read nothing else on this list, please read this commencement speech by David Foster Wallace. When asked to summarize the advice DFW gives in this speech, one of my students said, "It's hard for me to summarize because every time I look at it, I see something new." Today, when I look at this speech again, I see this:
"If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won't consider possibilities that aren't annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.
This had me thinking about DFW, and talking about him to one of my colleagues. It turns out that this colleague is a huge fan of his writing and he immediately thrust some of DFW's short non-fiction into my hands. In his hilarious piece called "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never do Again", he wrote this, which struck me as something I've tried to express before, but have fallen woefully short.
"I am now 33 years old, and it feels like much time has passed and is passing after and after every day. Day to day I have to make all sorts of choices about what is good and important and fun, and then I have to live with the forfeiture of all the other options those choices foreclose. And I'm starting to see how as time gains momentum my choices will narrow and their foreclosures multiply exponentially until I arrive at some point on some branch of all life's sumptuous branching complexity at which I am finally locked in and stuck on one path and time speeds me through sages of stasis and atrophy and decay until I go down for the third time, all struggle for naught, drowned by time. it is dreadful. But since it's my own choices that'll lock me in, it seems unavoidable-if I want to be any kind of grownup, I have to make choices and regret foreclosures and try to live with them."
Tell me, what are you reading these days? I will be back tomorrow with a photo, but I'd love to hear your comments any time!