Whatcha been up to since your visit back in December? It's hard to believe it's already been half a year since you and Paulina were here! Although we didn't know it in December, your Laughter Workshop was the first class at Runaway University Los Angeles (RULA). Since then we've had yoga, drawing, world geographies & cultures, music and photography workshops, and so much more! :)
Since your visit I've thought often about your dietary practice where you try not to eat meat, but that when you find yourself in the company of someone who's prepared a meat dish, you consider them as living beings also worthy of respect, and so long as your actions don't create a demand for meat, you'll go ahead and enjoy their hospitality. It's such an elegant compromise between trying to have some degree of principle in your diet and being difficult or unappreciative.
I'm so glad we're launching this occasional letter in cyberspace project Jacek! In the short time you and Paulina were here we had so much amazing conversation about so many topics.
You sent some cool videos when you were here. We never had a chance to talk about them.
Addiction is just one symptom of the crisis that's happening all around us.
The addiction video was really interesting. That we'd gotten it all wrong was pretty interesting. That addiction and habituation are the same thing was news to me. The video doesn't actually use those words, but in saying that heroin & cocaine function the same socio-cultural way as Reddit & Facebook, seems to say that. It's a big insight into drugs of the chemical kind and of the socio-cultural kind too.
The opposite of addiction is not sobriety.
The opposite of addiction is connection.
Powerful ideas. I was also struck by how the newer "Rat Park" experiment critiqued the context of the earlier "Rat Addiction" studies. Science is good. But complicated. And can be easily flawed. It made me think of John Oliver's piece on science:
You also sent a cool video from Adam Conover's Adam Ruins Everything series on truTV. Haha, you might have sent it because I was passing out Vitamin-C! But actually, the whole Adam Ruins Everything series is great. We do have a lot of superstitions naturally, and in so many cases they're enhanced by corporate marketing departments. Oh and the 1st video was from Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell which is also a great YouTube channel!
Some time ago you asked about photos! I posted some of these shortly after you were here and here's the links:
Here's a few more that never got posted:
Paulina & Jacek
Paulina Wątor, Jacek Golanski, Johanna Acero, Daleen Booyse, Glenn Zucman, Soojeen Heo, & Celeste Canete. (Poland, Colombia, South Africa, California, Korea, Argentina)
Paulina making tea
Paulina admiring the fruit at the Asian market
Jacek, Paulina & Soojeen sigining the log book of a nearby Geocache
The California Mission bell at the corner of Garvey Ave & San Gabriel Blvd here in New Taipei, CA where the Geocaching Altoids tin was hidden
Jacek, Paulina & Soojeen in the Sonthofen Ski Lodge, which would be renamed to the RULA Student Lounge, shortly after their visit
Packing for the next destination
Jacek & Celeste juggling as Celeste stands on a balance ball, and Johanna & Daleen look on in amazement!
Jacek & Celeste
Jacek & Celeste
Your and Paulina's visit was a real gem of 2015 for me. Such a nice time. Good food. Great conversation. Thank you again for the Baltic amber and the delicious candies.
I'm eager to hear about what you've been up to. More on my latest activities next time. ATM I'm thinking about turning off F*c*b**k and some other social media platforms. It's not that they're terrible, it's just that I'm feeling like they're distractions that return little. Perhaps taking them off the table will provide a bit more focus on more substantive things. Or just make communication harder for me. Not sure.
We live in an age where some people say that the majority of images that are made are not made for human eyes... often it's their collected meaning that has some meaning... heightens the idea of nostalgia... any image that's produced by somebody for somebody else
-- Charlotte Cotton, Self Service, No 44, Spring/Summer '16
I was just reading an interview with Charlotte Cotton in Self Service which gets a little bit at my idea. Kyle, a photography faculty member at CSU Long Beach, told me that he feels like most of his students now Think in Instagram.
There is power in this collectivism and Virginia Heffernan's new book Magic & Loss: the Internet as art, which just came out Tuesday, thinks about the net as a collective, realist artwork. So F*c*b**k & Inst*gr*m aren't necessarily bad, but I'm thinking about Charlotte Cotton's nostalgia for an image that's produced for someone.
Today we can take hundreds of effortless pix with our phones. And I love this! But the days when taking one or a few frames was a massive effort are also worth thinking about.
Photo Tamara Williams.