Yearly Archives: 2005

Heliotropic

The field was a plateau, edged on one side by a ravine — the bottom of which a wild river forcing its way over rocks and boulders — the sky an open archway between the setting sun and the first glimmer of stars.

We had been arguing our convictions, the center of the world, the material layers made up by the earth’s crust. The last light dazzled us, a veritable example of what we discussed, the layers of the earth laid bare descending toward the river.

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Notes for Mother’s Day

Millenia ago in a rain forest

Beside a cave beside

The green-white waterfall,

I died a childhood death.

And She-with-vine-flowers-in-her-hair

Cried and laid my body (formed and folded as for birth),

Tinted red (the color of life),

Beside the fire-hearth (this, she thought, for warmth).

And this last year, this last dry year,

The University sent there

Our modest team to map the cave and document the site.

In my former grave they found the pollen count still high.

So now I know I know

That my Cro-Magnon mother

Mourned me even then with tears

And buried me with flowers!

— James Hall
First published in Psychological Perspectives 48 (2), p. 309.

If…

If you are willing, you will be taught.

If you are diligent, you will progress.

If you listen, you will learn.

If you pay attention, you will become wise.

–The Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach c. 200 B.C.E.

Design Thinking

The Feb / March issue of Dwell has a great interview with David Kelley, the founder of IDEO and the director of the fledgling Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (or d.school) at Stanford.

From the interview:

Instead of feeling that you know it all, that you’re the expert in the subject, design thinking also means being humble and questioning it. Many of the people who are designing things today are “experts” which means they’re looking for ideas from the “expert” viewpoint. But design thinking is much more about going out into the world not having a point of view and just finding these latent needs that are obvious, but only when you look with no agenda. With design thinking we try to get in the right general area first rather than just accepting what the problem is. We’re more experimental and less calculating. It’s optimistic. We thrive on the creative challenges rather than the obstacles. And it’s more intuitive, or empathetic, or however you want to say it. All this ends up being really cathartic for people who do nothing but analytical thinking!