Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Philosophy of Walking

"Solitude is an important aspect of creative thought. You could make an argument that in our information overloaded world where our senses are stimulated nearly 18 hours a day, solitude and calming our minds is more important than ever. Walking allows us time to play with ideas, explore concepts, and be wrong in our thinking without worrying about others seeing the rawness of our thoughts. I’ve never been a big walker, but after reading Frederic Gros’ A Philosophy of Walking, I think I’ll start walking more..." A Philosophy of Walking: Thoreau, Nietzsche and Kant on Walki
I've long been a big walker, but after reading this notice I think I'll start walking more urgently.

Not "faster," just better. 

Walking is the best way to go more slowly than any other method that has ever been found.
Walking is the best way to go more slowly than any other method that has ever been found.

"Do not believe any idea that was not born in the open air and of free movement..." Nietzsche

Friday, May 9, 2014

Re-amateurize collegiate sports

Professionalize collegiate athletics? No. Re-amateurize it, and make the pros start their own minor leagues.
"The N.F.L. and the N.B.A., which profit indecently from the free development of talent provided by colleges, need to start their own minor leagues, and the colleges should threaten non-participation in events like the draft in order to pressure them to do so. In basketball*, a gifted few already move directly from high school to the pros, but the standard development of players enforces a route, however hypocritical and short-lived, through a college team. In football, prospective professional players have essentially no choice but to attend college, or feign to. Establish credible minor leagues in these sports, as already exist in hockey and baseball, and the young athletes who want to play sports for money would be free to do so, and the ones who want to get a college education first and then play sports for money later can do that, with the knowledge that they will be able to do something else if a sports career doesn’t work out."
Adam Gopnik: Is It Time to Rethink College Sports? : The New Yorker

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A bridge to freedom

Local icon and national (as well as personal) hero John Seigenthaler got a fitting and perfectly-symbolic tribute this week: Nashville's Shelby Street pedestrian bridge was renamed and dedicated to honor the man who's done so much for so long for human and civil rights, and for freedom. The First Amendment Center which he founded is a beacon of advocacy and hope, and now it has new company as a civic monument to its founder.

The mayor's right, he's always been a man to extend a saving hand and a man to say Yes. That's what he said when I invited him to speak to my Vanderbilt ethics and computer ethics classes several years ago. I'll never cross that bridge again without grateful appreciation.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Take a Walk

Old advice, new evidence.
"Most of us have heard by now that exercise, including walking, generally improves thinking skills, both immediately and in the longer term. Multiple studies have shown that animals and people usually perform better after exercise on tests of memory and executive function, which is essentially the ability to make decisions and organize thoughts (although prolonged, intense exercise can cause brief mental fatigue — so don’t take a math test after a marathon). Similarly, exercise has long been linked anecdotally to creativity. For millenniums, writers and artists have said that they develop their best ideas during a walk, although some of us also do our best procrastinating then. But little science has supported the idea that exercise aids creativity."
Until now...

Want to Be More Creative? Take a Walk - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com

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