Eight Minutes

Feb 25
Make more, think less.
Jan 25
Disorder is the condition of the mind’s fertility.
— Paul Valéry
Jan 17

[Anna] Akhmatova used to say, ’ When I was young I loved architecture and water. Now I love the earth and music.’

Jan 08

Susan Sontag on Lists

I perceive value, I confer value, I create value, I even create — or guarantee — existence. Hence, my compulsion to make “lists.” The things (Beethoven’s music, movies, business firms) won’t exist unless I signify my interest in them by at least noting down their names.

Nothing exists unless I maintain it (by my interest, or my potential interest). This is an ultimate, mostly subliminal anxiety. Hence, I must remain always, both in principle + actively, interested in everything. Taking all of knowledge as my province.

Susan Sontag via Maria Popova

Jan 07
Becoming Susan Sontag (3)
— Moreover, a journal is under no obligation to be consistent either in its form or purposes. We cannot know what it is that a journal actually reflects, generally or at any given moment—how transient or deep the author’s impulse, how exact, how distorted…what function the enterprise is serving. Obviously a journal mirrors no one but its author, but a mirror reflects largely what we instruct it to.

Becoming Susan Sontag (2)

In fact, Sontag was interested in experience, which spills over the confines of most academic categories. And it seems reasonable to say that her real, though not explicitly stated, objective—and eventual achievement—was to develop the ability to synthesize many sorts of information, in order to make the meaningful imaginative leap.


Becoming Susan Sontag

Among the entries are also lists of books to be read and words to be learned or contemplated, lists of things to be done and things not to be done, mentions of areas of history to become acquainted with, the odd aperçu, general reflections, and whole meadows of quotations. We see rudiments of ideas which years later expand into essays, and we see aspects of the author—and the author’s view of herself—that there certainly would be no other way to see.

Deborah Eisenberg, “Becoming Susan Sontag,” The New York Review of Books

Jan 06
A novel worth reading is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility, of what human nature is, of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness.
The pattern of the thing precedes the thing.
— Nabokov
Jan 04

Robert Downey: A futurist knows

In 2004 you released an album titled The Futurist, What was the inspiration?

I had some time on my hands, I wasn’t working much in my, ahem, chosen profession. An aspect of fortune is that, when it’s raining, then you gotta work inside the barn, you know?

And there is always something I’ve noticed with every person I know to a man, to a woman, they are always multifaceted. And I find that a certain sort of dysthymic, existential depression sets in on each and every one of us when we might not be doing what we wish, but we’re not doing what we can. Because there’s kind of a typically Western affixing to, you know, this is what I want, and this is what I should do, but oftentimes working on any part of yourself constructively is for the highest good and will help you ultimately achieve those other goals.

Fortune, December 19, 2013