Sometimes things happen

http://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/the-psychology-of-money/

People’s lives are a reflection of the experiences they’ve had and the people they’ve met, a lot of which are driven by luck, accident, and chance. The line between bold and reckless is thinner than people think, and you cannot believe in risk without believing in luck, because they are two sides of the same coin. They are both the simple idea that sometimes things happen that influence outcomes more than effort alone can achieve.

~ Morgan Housel

This is a long read. It was worth every minute that it took me to read it twice.

A call to action

(Part 9 of 9 in ~ A Tracer's Manifesto)

( In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about an idea. Eventually the project became a web site [now gone] and this series contains the posts from that site. The project continues in the Parkour Forum. )

Originally published Feb 2, 2017

“A statement of principles and a bold, sometimes rebellious, call to action,” is the perfect description of what I intend for this project.

Hopefully, eventually many others will contribute generally to the discussion, but I feel it’s important to start by explaining a bit about what this actually is. There are a few others helping with behind-the-scenes meta-work, but all the discussion of the contents of the Manifesto will occur in the open.

Please begin by reading the About page. ( …that is to say, the next part of this series. )

– Craig Constantine

Action’s ecstasy

http://www.thirdwayman.com/articles/the-1-drug-for-dads/

Action’s ecstasy is instantaneous and compounding: even if for the millionth time, it works it’s magic. It’s trigger is sure: All you do is peel your ass off the bottom of whatever hole you’re in, and climb.

~ Bryan Ward

I can vouch for the potentcy of this drug. And it’s method of action is clear: With each small action which demonstrates one can affect one’s environment, the pattern of learned helplessness is broken.

Where is the discussion?

(Part 8 of 9 in ~ A Tracer's Manifesto)

( In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about an idea. Eventually the project became a web site [now gone] and this series contains the posts from that site. The project continues in the Parkour Forum. )

Originally published Jan 27, 2017

I’m glad you asked. There is a dedicated forum in the Parkour Forum

https://parkourforum.world/viewforum.php?f=8

As things get discussed, concensus is reached or decisions are made, things will find there way here to this web site.

– Craig Constantine

A tweak to the name

(Part 7 of 9 in ~ A Tracer's Manifesto)

( In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about an idea. Eventually the project became a web site [now gone] and this series contains the posts from that site. The project continues in the Parkour Forum. )

Originally published Jan 25, 2017

A Tracer’s Manifesto

After some discussion about translations – this entire project is intended to be made available in as many languages as possible – I decided to use the English word “tracer” in the title. When we translate to French, for example, we’ll use “traceur”, etc.

– Craig Constantine

Vonnegut in rare form

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&time_continue=9&v=crPrPpAaRXo

When I taught in Iowa, University of Iowa, I had a writers workshop… Is I’d tell my students to go to the public library there in Iowa City and take out a novel that hadn’t been taken out for twenty years… And geezers they found some knockouts. It doesn’t surprise me at all.

~ Kurt Vonnegut

…and when I say “in rare form,” I mean that literally. This is a YouTube video, of a live interview in Second Life on NPR’s “The Infinite Mind.” The video is of two avatars, (in front of a live audience of avatars,) having a virtual, live interview… and it’s all Vonnegut gold.

A first attempt

(Part 6 of 9 in ~ A Tracer's Manifesto)

( In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about an idea. Eventually the project became a web site [now gone] and this series contains the posts from that site. The project continues in the Parkour Forum. )

Originally published Jan 1, 2017

A Traceur’s Manifesto

My Proposal

I’ve veered to using the word “traceur” in the hopes that people who self-identify with Parkour/freerunning/ADD will “recognize” it and will identify with it at least partially, while not being an instant lightening rod of diviciveness. (Using the masculine form in English, because that’s how English works. In other languages, we’ll use the appropriate default gender, which is also masculine as far as I know. eg, French.)

My choice of “manIfesto” is intended to be stirring; This entire project is meant to make people *think*, not actually to achieve changing their minds/opinions. So I feel “manifesto” comes from the moral high road by shouting out a declaration and a call to action. (Obviously, it has to be written so as to actually achieve those goals.)

The use of “A …” implies this manifesto is not presuming to be “The …” one true version of things. Also, “A Traceur’s …” can be interpretted to mean “the traceur who wrote the manifesto”, as well as to mean “this manifesto is for those persons who are traceurs”.

I remain open to being talked out of my opinions. But, after months of thinking about this. I’m convinced this is the best name *I* can come up with. So I’m leaving it here to provide an opportunity for you to talk me out of it.

Presuming it stands, I will build “infrastructure” to actually begin the project; a domain name, web site, google group for discussion, etc.

– Craig Constantine

Why fascism is so tempting

https://www.ted.com/talks/yuval_noah_harari_why_fascism_is_so_tempting_and_how_your_data_could_power_it/transcript

This TED talk warranted multiple pull quotes…

The greatest danger that now faces liberal democracy is that the revolution in information technology will make dictatorships more efficient than democracies.

In the 20th century, democracy and capitalism defeated fascism and communism because democracy was better at processing data and making decisions. Given 20th-century technology, it was simply inefficient to try and concentrate too much data and too much power in one place.

A dictator may not be able to provide me with good health care, but he will be able to make me love him and to make me hate the opposition. Democracy will find it difficult to survive such a development because, in the end, democracy is not based on human rationality; it’s based on human feelings… And is somebody can manipulate your emotions effectively, democracy will become an emotional puppet show.

~ Yuval Noah Harari

I particularly enjoy the TED talk format. The generally shorter nature of each presentation ensures that the speaker has spent at least some time distilling their message. This particular talk is about Fascism– but it’s also about “Big Data” and how even those of us with the best intentions, are paving the way to Fascism. Not, “might be” paving, but “are paving.” Give it a listen.

Where am I

(Part 5 of 9 in ~ A Tracer's Manifesto)

( In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about an idea. Eventually the project became a web site [now gone] and this series contains the posts from that site. The project continues in the Parkour Forum. )

Originally published Dec 22, 2016

Label

We’ve discussed a bit about the “identifier” component. Let’s talk about the other part. Is it a “code”, “code of conduct”, “ethics of”, “ethics for…”? And here I’m going to propose something specific, and grand: Let’s name it a…

Manifesto

In support of which I offer this definition and description which I’ve lifted from a web site. (When this all goes up on some web site/blog, I’ll attribute it. ;^)

The word manifesto traces its roots to the Latin manifestum, which means clear or conspicuous. A manifesto is defined as a declaration of one’s beliefs, opinions, motives, and intentions. It is simply a document that an organization or person writes that declares what is important to them.

A manifesto functions as both a statement of principles and a bold, sometimes rebellious, call to action. By causing people to evaluate the gap between those principles and their current reality, the manifesto challenges assumptions, fosters commitment, and provokes change.

edit: Here’s the attibution, How and Why to Write Your Own Personal Manifesto

– Craig Constantine

The kind of training I need

https://zenhabits.net/purposeful/

The truth is that if you can push into the discomfort, with love, and keep going … it’ll be an amazing breakthrough for you, an opening up of your habitual patterns. It’ll be a place of growth, of learning, of tremendous change. This is the kind of training that you need to put yourself in if you want to grow. Not a meditation retreat, necessarily, but any kind of practice that makes you want to retreat. It doesn’t have to be hardcore, just something that causes you to be uncomfortable, that causes your old habitual patterns to come up.

~ Leo Babauta

Leo’s Zen Habits has helped me tremendously over the years. His was one of the first useful sites I found about 10 years ago when I started changing my life. The idea that hard work– not a retreat per se, but anything that makes you want to retreat– is exactly what I need to work on, is one of the pillars upon which I began rebuilding. When things start to crack– when I feel my grip on my reasonable demeanor slipping– it’s this idea which I try to pull up.