Care and feeding

I recently read Ray Bradbury’s, How To Keep And Feed A Muse. It’s a great essay by the way, and I suggest reading the entire collection in his book, Zen in The Art of Writing.

When I give my thoughts on interviewing, depending on who’s asked me and why, I sometimes veer off into describing where the questions come from; right smack in the middle of the interview, where do all the questions come from? Sometimes I do actively try to think them up on the spot; I’ll run through the topics we’ve covered, the ideas I had before we started, and then I’ll grab a thread of thinking and tug. But that rarely works and it’s always obvious to the guest, to me, and in the recording. Most of the time however, the questions just come to me. Like, *flash* …they come streaming at me far faster than I could say them. So what’s up with that?!

Maybe it’s my muse?

Have you heard of tulpas? A “tulpa” was originally, “a concept in mysticism and the paranormal of a being … created through spiritual or mental powers.” (Wikipedia) No, not that tulpa.

More recently, the term is being used to refer to… Well, you’re not going to believe me, so I’ll just pull-quote it:

A tulpa is an entity created in the mind, acting independently of, and parallel to your own consciousness. They are able to think, and have their own free will, emotions, and memories. In short, a tulpa is like a sentient person living in your head, separate from you. It’s currently unproven whether or not tulpas are truly sentient, but in this community, we treat them as such. It takes time for a tulpa to develop a convincing and complex personality; as they grow older, your attention and their life experiences will shape them into a person with their own hopes, dreams and beliefs.

~ What Is A Tulpa from,

No, it’s not a joke. There are no drugs involved. They are literally talking about creating an entire, additional, thinking, conscious mind… which just happens to be running in the same physical organ as your mind. Sounds completly ape-shit-bonkers… until you start reading more about it and put some thought into how your mind developed. You [you reading. you as your current mind] certainly weren’t born in your brain. You-as-your-current-mind developed over years. How’d that happen?

What if you could do it again, on purpose, using your current brain?

Today I find myself wondering if I’ve created a nascent Tulpa. It doesn’t seem to mind being stuck in my brain; it has no control, but every once in a while it realizes there’s a cool, novel, human mind across the table, and here are these ice-cream-cone like things with the wires and… “oh OH! I have a question!!!”

…and then Craig’s all like, “now where did that question come from?”


Witch hunts

If you ask anyone who’s read [Fahrenheit 451], that hasn’t read it in like 20 years, “What do you remember of how that came to be in the book?” They’d say, “There’s this totalitarian government.” The truth is, it was the people. It was the people who decided that any dissenting opinions that would offend specific groups in society, ought to be burned. So it was self-inflicted. I think that’s what we are doing right now. We are slowly torching the first amendment and free speech by, basically, going on these witch hunts. I think it’s the most dangerous thing in the U.S. right now.

~ Tim Ferris from,

Normally, the Tim Ferris show is Tim interviewing his guests. But this episode is a rebroadcast of Jamie Foxx interviewing Tim.

First, great book. Second, I’m a huge believer of the marketplace of ideas. (That’s a significant part of the reason behind my Movers Mindset podcast project.)


According to Ray Bradbury, our education system has gone to hell

“With the publication of Fahrenheit 451, you were hailed as a visionary. What would you warn us about today? Our education system has gone to hell. It’s my idea from now on to stop spending money educating children who are sixteen years old. We should put all that money down into kindergarten. Young children have to be taught how to read and write.”

From the Spring 2010 issue of the Paris Review:

With the publication of Fahrenheit 451 , you were hailed as a visionary. What would you warn us about today?

Our education system has gone to hell. It’s my idea from now on to stop spending money educating children who are sixteen years old. We should put all that money down into kindergarten. Young children have to be taught how to read and write. If children went into the first grade knowing how to read and write, we’d be set for the future, wouldn’t we? We must not let them go into the fourth and fifth grades not knowing how to read. So we must put out books with educational pictures, or use comics to teach children how to read. When I was five years old, my aunt gave me a copy of a book of wonderful fairy tales called Once Upon a Time , and the first fairy tale in the book is “Beauty and the Beast.” That one story taught me how to read and write because I looked at the picture of that beautiful beast, but I so desperately wanted to read about him too. By the time I was six years old, I had learned how to read and write.

We should forget about teaching children mathematics. They’re not going to use it ever in their lives. Give them simple arithmetic—one plus one is two, and how to divide, and how to subtract. Those are simple things that can be taught quickly. But no mathematics because they are never going to use it, never in their lives, unless they are going to be scientists, and then they can simply learn it later. My brother, for example, didn’t do well in school, but when he was in his twenties, he needed a job with the Bureau of Power and Light. He got a book about mathematics and electricity and he read it and educated himself and got the job. If you are bright, you will learn how to educate yourself with mathematics if you need it. But the average child never will. So it must be reading and writing. Those are the important things. And by the time children are six, they are completely educated and then they can educate themselves. The library will be the place where they grow up.

What if there was a way for parents to obtain age-appropriate reading material for their children at a very affordable cost?

Suppose we nationally produced different series of books — picture books, alphabet books, then word books, early readers etc. Certainly, it would be difficult to decide at a national level what should be in the books, but common ground could be reached. Our existing elementary educators would know what would best merge with our education systems already in place. We’d have a massive economy of scale producing these materials, and they could be distributed through the schools.

This seems like it wins in several ways: Easier for the parents, more children exposed to reading and exposed sooner, and more parent involvement with their child’s education. Furthermore, the private sector could produce side tracks (which would be available through retail, not through the schools); This would be similar material but perhaps in additional languages; Or there could be cultural and heritage specific tracks that parents could purchase if they wish.