Christopher Alexander on Timelessness

To seek the timeless way we must first know the quality without a name. There is a central quality which is the root criterion of life and spirit in a man, a town, a building, or a wilderness. This quality is objective and precise, but it cannot be named. 
– Christopher Alexander

Learning through connecting

I love this paragraph Inkling's latest blog post. Resonates with me on a personal level, considering the way I grew up, the projects I'm drawn to, and my fascination with relationships and Co/Lab, the collaboration project.

Informal learning, by contrast, happens in the mental space between lectures. It’s what you learn outside a formal setting by observing the world and trying things out. (You didn’t learn the consequences of sticking a fork in the toaster from a book; you simply tried it.) It’s what you learn when you follow the trail of questions raised by every answer—once you read this, it makes you want to learn more about that, which in turn sparks your curiosity about something else. The next thing you know, hours have gone by and you’re the world’s newest expert on something you, perhaps, hadn’t expected. Odds are, just like in the first example you thought of above, you may have even called on your friends, colleagues, and the Internet to help in this process. Type I learning means developing networks (with people) and connections (between disparate concepts) that help you better understand ideas, both new and old. 

Read the full thing here:

It also reminds me of a quote from Tony Hsieh's Delivering Happiness:
"...happiness doesn't come primarily from within but, rather, from between."
-Jonathan Haidt in  The Happiness Hypothesis

Anyway. Just food for thought.

A Conversation pt. 2

Yesterday's conversations continued...

Me: Would you work if you didn't have to?

Him: Yeah, probably.

What would you do?

[Various ideas, including conducting a train across the country]

ooo, that would be chill.

Yeah, I could eat junk food all day.

No! I would be in the food car and make sure you eat healthy organic fresh foods all day.

What, you're going to bring me food every day?

No, I'd be working in the food car. You'd order a Big Mac, and I'd be like, no, you should have a fresh salad. And you'll be like, FIINNNEE and later you'll come back and be like, wow, that was pretty good, thank you, and then you'll come back every day and order a Big Mac and I'll give you a salad and you'll soon realize I do it because I love you and you realize you keep coming back knowing you won't get what you order because you love me and then one day you'll propose to me in the cap of a water bottle.

A water bottle?

Yeah, like Snapple. But we don't serve Snapple. Too much sugar.

I don't think Snapple tastes too sugary...

It's not about taste

and then the train comes and we go to work in silence.

A Conversation pt.1

A rough recall of this morning's conversation while walking through the brisk 6 AM air as we do every morning...

Him: I wish we had a helicopter to take us from our place to BART (the train station).
Me: Yeah... I'm sure helicopters take time to warm up though.
But maybe we could auto-set the time so as soon as we wake up, it turns on and by the time we get to the roof it'll be warm and ready to drop us off and instead of wasting time landing we can rappel down to the station with like, ropes and stuff.
Are you sure you can do that?
Uh, yeah? Can you?
It's from pretty high up there, I'll need like 5 ropes secured to me.
Well, I'd make sure the auto pilot knows to get close to the sidewalk so we can basically step down.
OR, we could just teleport.
Yeah, duh, why didn't we think of that? We could use the closet. Where would it drop us off at?
Inside the next train?
No, right at the front door of our work.
Yeah...OR, we could just quit our jobs and never leave our bed ever again.
Yeaaah, I like that one.

 To be continued.