Literacy has been a Curse? Thom Hartmann on Storytelling

What's Your Story?

Storytelling is a powerful thing. Here’s what Thom Hartmann had to say a few years ago on his radio program:

It’s interesting. In preliterate societies, which is the majority of the history of the human race, we didn’t write things down. We told stories. Everything had a story. Every tree had a story. Every rock had a story. Every animal had a story. Every place had a story. Every family had a story. Story was how we transmitted culture and it was how we remembered things.

When I lived in Vermont—I believe it was the University of Vermont, one of the colleges there—I heard of the Abenakis, the Native American tribe there. They have stories of what happened 10,000 years ago, when the mountains of blue ice, the walls of blue ice, receded: what happened, where and when, the order in which it happened, and things like that. A bunch of geologists checked it out, and the memory was accurate. A 10,000 year-old accurate memory.

There are a number of anthropologists over the years who’ve pointed out how literacy has really been a curse in some ways, as much as a blessing, because when we started writing things down, we stopped telling stories. We stopped having these multi-generational stories. We stopped teaching our children. And it’s so important that there be some stories that transcend literacy, that transcend the written down, the “here, it’s in a book.” It’s so important that we teach our children stories.

Thom Hartmann
29 January 2009

Photoshop wizard bends reality

go-your-own-road

Self-taught photographer and retoucher Erik Johansson explains on his website that “he doesn’t capture moments, he captures ideas.” And well, some of his ideas are pretty weird. The Berlin-based artist photographs different subjects, and then with the magic of Photoshop, compiles them into creative, often otherworldly scenarios and situations.

 
See more at: Mashable

15 Phrases That Will Change Your Life In 2015

As the new year approaches, many of us will resolve to transform our bodies — but what about our minds?

Giving ourselves a mental makeover could be just as important as giving ourselves a physical one. But accomplishing that doesn’t just lie in changing our thoughts — it’s also dependent on changing our words.

How we speak — to others and to ourselves — has a huge impact on our overall outlook. So isn’t it about time we started paying more attention to what we’re communicating?

Below are 15 phrases that will transform the way you think, feel and act in the coming year. Using your words to change your life? Now that’s a resolution worth keeping.

continues at: 15 Phrases That Will Change Your Life In 2015.

10 Worst Misconceptions About Medieval Life You’d Get From Fantasy Books

medieval-myths

Some tropes are so ingrained in Medieval-inspired fantasy stories that it’s tempting to think that they represent real aspects of Medieval life. But often these stories are just reinforcing myths and misconceptions about life in the Middle Ages.

One thing that it’s important to remember when talking about the Medieval period is that it spans a long time — from the 5th century CE to the 15th century CE — and involves a great number of European countries. You’ll notice that a great deal of the debunkery here involves 14th century England, thanks to works like The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer and the works of Joseph Gies and Frances Gies (although another source, Misconceptions About the Middle Ages, covers a bit more ground). But the point here is that the Middle Ages were, in fact, far richer than the Medieval-like settings of many swords and sorcery stories would lead you to believe.

Via io9: 10 Worst Misconceptions About Medieval Life You'd Get From Fantasy Books.

The Gorgeous Typeface That Drove Men Mad and Sparked a 100-Year Mystery

100-year-old Typeface, rediscovered

Over the course of more than a hundred illicit nightly trips, this man was committing a crime—against his partner, a man who owned half of what was being heaved into the Thames, and against himself, the force that had spurred its creation. This venerable figure, founder of the legendary Doves Press and the mastermind of its typeface, was a man named T.J. Cobden Sanderson. And he was taking the metal type that he had painstakingly overseen and dumping thousands of pounds of it into the river.

100 years later, a London designer set out to find the type.

via The Gorgeous Typeface That Drove Men Mad and Sparked a 100-Year Mystery.

Mind-Blowing Origins Of Everyday Symbols – YouTube

 
Vikings, Gorgon Loops, and USBs: check out the backstories behind symbols we see every day.

Mind-Blowing Origins Of Everyday Symbols – YouTube.

J.S. Bach – Crab Canon on a Möbius Strip

 
The enigmatic Canon 1 à 2 from J. S. Bachs Musical Offering (1747), The manuscript depicts a single musical sequence that is to be played front to back and back to front.
Video by Jos Leys (http://www.josleys.com) and Xantox (http://strangepaths.com/en/)

Unreal Paris Apartment (video)

 
Here’s a totally fake Paris apartment, rendered with Unreal Engine 4. We’ve sure come a long way since Myst.