Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger was reputed to have said: “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”
These are a few conclusions I made last year in a Philosophy class that I found scribbled on a piece of graph paper. They relate Western Philosophy (Theory of Forms & the state) to Christian theology.
Plato’s perfect state compared with the Church
1. Preachers are Philosophers
- Lovers of Knowledge
- Knowledge = Forms
- Forms = Truth = God
2. Elders are auxillaries
- Bravery, spirit, anger
3. Members are craftspeople
- Each member contributes skill that they are naturally gifted with by God. Volunteer. Appetite. What church should be.
[ Corruption in churches happens when leadership deteriorates into oligarchy (fame, wealth, private jets) Democracy (no purpose, order, discipline.) Indulgence = anarchy. Dictatorship (pastor influences who to vote for, make members follow reules because they have to - not out of heart ]
The just individual will live the happiest life.
- Most of the pleasures money can buy are not true pleasures. You are selling yourself to the life of a pig, not that of a human.
- Soul is more real than human body, what satisfies body is less real than what satisfies soul.
What satisfies human soul is knowledge of Forms (God).
- The just person is free. They satisfy desires when necessary and have necessary desires to fulfill their soul, unlike a person who gives in to desires. They are a slave to lust etc.
I think at this point in my career, it’s more about developing a consistent process for doing work, than the actual work that I produce. The work probably won’t matter in 10 years, but the process will be what is insanely valuable.
Check it out! I’m published!
A few months ago, Jonathan Reimers pointed out a contest to me, suggesting that I enter my “Shit be Meltin’” piece. I did. It was selected to be published, among 50 other artists. The book is called the Green Patriot Posters and will be available in October. It’s published by Metropolis Books in Association with Environmental Defense Fund and The Canary Project, and in Europe the book is being published by Thames & Hudson. Ed says, “The book was printed sustainably and domestically, resulting in significant environmental benefits, which we catalog on the back cover of the book (attached). You can pre-order it on Amazon by clicking this link!
Here’s a summary of the book, from Amazon:
This book brings together the strongest contemporary graphic design currently promoting sustainability and the fight against climate change. Collectively, essays by Michael Beirut, Steven Heller, Edward Morris and Dmitri Siegel look back in time to posters and ideas that set the stage for the current movement (World War Two posters, images of international cooperation, posters from the environmental movement in the 1960s and 1970s) and address the state of the poster: what is the efficacy and mode of distribution for purposeful, message-oriented graphic images today? Thomas L. Friedman advocates for “a redefined, broader and more muscular green ideology that can be the basis of a new unifying political movement for the twenty-first century.” The bulk of the book is given over to a compilation of the best posters on the theme of sustainability by a variety of contemporary artists (both emerging and established), among them Shepard Fairey, Michael Beirut, DJ Spooky, James Victore and Geoff McFetridge. These posters, which have a strong graphic presence and which never rest on the tired slogans of the past (“Save the Earth,” etc.), show that graphic design does not passively respond to the zeitgeist–it helps shape it. The book, which is sustainably printed in the U.S., reproduces 50 of these posters as tear-outs. Also included is a section on action, with documentation of designs at work in the world: on buses, billboards, protesters’ placards, graffiti, t-shirts and so on. This movement is about a new form of patriotism, one that exhibits pride of place, but not fear of others.
After being chosen to be featured, I sent Ed a million variations of my original, but he and Dmitri really preferred the original one I designed. I was never quite satisfied with it, and repeatedly revised it, sending Ed version after version of updated work. I have yet to see which variation they ultimately went with, although I have a feeling it’s the original. I’m posting a few here so you can see my process. The last image is the original, the one that I designed in Charmaine’s class, as a second year. At the time, the class loved it, but she didn’t.
I really can’t thank Ed enough for being so patient with me, as I sent him a billion re-designs. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! It’s an honor to be featured alongside some of my contemporary design heroes.. Shepard Fairey, Michael Beirut, Geoff McFetridge, Mike Perry.. incredible!
Which one is your favorite?
I sold both of these on Craiglist last week. The bike, a beautiful vintage Schwinn I bought from Sarah Suksiri last year before she left for Indiana. Google her name, and you’ll discover where she is studying. I bought the guitar with the money I earned housesitting one summer for Joe Henry, a talented and honest musician. The dozens of guitars in his historic home (a Greene and Greene home, and former house of President Garfield’s wife).
Goodbye warm friends, hello cold cash.
I’m in the process of getting rid of all my stuff before I leave for Italy. Someday I might keep a public list of everything I own to keep honest, and not spend my money on dumb things. Not that I have a problem spending money, but Dante suggested that it might be interesting to see how I live, because I spend so little.
Higher incentives lead to worse performance in high cognitive tasks.
Three factors lead to better performance and more personal satisfaction:
- Once a quarter, an Australian software company gives their workers 24 hours to work on whatever they want, with whoever they want. This one day leads to new bug fixes, and new software ideas that might have never emerged.
- Google does the same thing, but on a more frequent basis. It was where Google Maps and many of their other products started Also, Facebook video was developed in the the same process.
- People like to get good at things. It’s why we play instruments on the weekend. It won’t make us better at our job, but it’s rewarding to get better at something.
- An example of our need and love for mastery, in a business model: You get a bunch of people around the world doing highly skilled work, but they do it for free, and volunteer their time. People do this because they are challenged, and want to achieve mastery. (This is the Experts-Exchange model, a website started over 10 years ago)
- We’re finding that companies that are driven by pure profit are dangerous, and churn out crappy products, lame services, and are uninspiring places to work. People don’t do great things when the goal is strictly to make money. Organizations that are flourishing are animated by purpose.
If we start treating people like people, and not horses, we can start building organizations that don’t reward people with money, but offer satisfaction, and purpose.
“I’m more interested in wit than humour. Humour is entertaining, but wit makes you look at something in a different way. Buster Keaton said that a comedian does funny things; a good comedian does things funny. The second is more subtle.
Work should express the kind of person you are, and I do not have a linear mind.. I like to put odd things together. I see wit as cerebral acrobatics. You stand thoughts on their head. You have little pictures in your mind and juggle them around. An idea may come in microseconds, or a few minutes, or months. I have no rules or regulations about how I think. Sometimes I sort through my mental archive, up pops a card and that’s it. Other times I go to bed without an idea in my head, and I wake up to find it’s all there and I’ve written the caption too.”
That’s my work.
That’s a Cal Poly Art & Design graduate, a few weeks before graduation.
Thanks Maleesa for the photo.
Thanks Mai-Chi for putting on an incredible senior show.