Wu Wei and Effortless Action

Pronounced “ooo-way”, Wu Wei is a Chinese term for “action without action“. An example of this, from the Tao Te Ching:

The Sage is occupied with the unspoken
and acts without effort.
Teaching without verbosity,
producing without possessing,
creating without regard to result,
claiming nothing,
the Sage has nothing to lose.

I love the concept and can see it working well with the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi (an aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.)

One challenge I see with Wu Wei is a conflict with Buddhism and it’s emphasis on thoughtful and deliberate action (aka mindfulness), although the goal is to be mindful without trying to be mindful. So in the end, Wu Wei should be the goal of most anything worthwhile in life.

via A Meditation on the Art of Not Trying.

My 2014 in Music

Music has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. From getting into rap music in the mid 80s to discovering punk and hardcore in the early 90s, music has helped shape my beliefs and overall aesthetic.

Music, as an industry, is in a weird place. Like a lot of people, I imagine, the last year and a half saw a drastic change in my music consumption habits. Where my last evolution went from the shady side of the internet to buying MP3s from legit sources like eMusic, iTunes, and Amazon, the most recent evolution went from buying digital music to 100% streaming music.
Continue reading “My 2014 in Music”

Against Productivity

Quinn Norton went to Puerto Rico to be more productive, but instead learned the dirty secrets of “productivity”:

We dream now of making Every Moment Count, of achieving flow and never leaving, creating one project that must be better than the last, of working harder and smarter. We multitask, we update, and we conflate status with long hours worked in no paid overtime systems for the nebulous and fantastic status of being Too Important to have Time to Ourselves, time to waste. But this incarnation of the American dream is all about doing, and nothing about doing anything good, or even thinking about what one was doing beyond how to do more of it more efficiently. It was not even the surrenders to hedonism and debauchery or greed our literary dreams have recorded before. It is a surrender to nothing, to a nothingness of lived accounting.

via Against Productivity — The Message — Medium.

A great post and ode to the creativity and messiness of humanity over productivity.