Now: Summer 2023

This has been a productive summer, in its own sort of way.

I haven’t been writing much here, even letting my notes go neglected because I’ve been active in that strange world without screens.

On a personal level, I’ve closed a lot of open loops or gestalts, some of them lingering for years. I’ve come to a place of equipoise that I haven’t felt in years.

Some highlights I can share publicly:

And so what have I doing? Reading! The book Wayfinding has had a huge impact on my and tied together a lot of loose threads I’ve been thinking about for awhile.

Some posts I’ve written about it:

  1. Not Knowing What We Don’t Know
  2. Wayfinding
  3. Magnetism and animals
  4. Oral history

This has inspired a spate of reading about anthropology, particularly on the Thai/Lao/Khmer periphery and some more academic critiques of “modernist” strands of Buddhist meditation. In much the same way that modern, European navigation techniques have so displaced traditional methods of wayfinding to make them seem mythological, earlier meditation traditions have been routed. And when these traditions die out, there’s often no textual record preserving them, largely because these traditions tend to believe that meditation can only be passed from teacher to student through direct instruction.

Navigation and meditation are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s staggering to think of how much knowledge we’ve lost and don’t even know we lost it. It challenges the rationalist, progress paradigm.

And when I’m not reading about 19th-century monks in Thailand, I’ve been working my way through the Dune series (on book 3) and Stormlight Archives (book 2), and of course getting reading for Ahsoka meant that I needed to watch all of Rebels and most of Clone Wars again, right?

  1. Incidentally, the raised hand ✋ symbolizes mindfulness in Buddhist art and not stop, so ✋📱 is a bicultural reference: a mindful relationship to my phone or the reality of just needing to stop using it so much.