January 2020 Articles

In January, I learned a number of things that made me better appreciate the nature of my work, read some books as part of my 2020 Reading Project, and reminded myself that I have limited time on earth so I might as well enjoy it as best as I can. Without further ado, here’s the first batch of articles I enjoyed reading for 2020.

One man’s 10-year experiment to record every moment (BBC)

I started to keep a log of my life when I was in high school. I had the same idea as the guy in the article– I knew myself best, I was invested in myself more than anybody I knew, I deserved my own honest and detailed autobiography. It continued until I was in college. Any idea, drabble, or activity, the time I thought about or made them, and the music I happened to be listening to at that time would be logged in my precious notebooks (I was a scholar and I didn’t spend my stipend on expensive journals/ planners but on books).

Consolation for Sorrow from King Arthur’s Court: Merlyn’s Advice on What to Do When the World Gets You Down (Brainpickings)

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Learn. And here I thought that was the top answer to everything…

Polish Poet and Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska on How Our Certitudes Keep Us Small and the Generative Power of Not-Knowing (Brainpickings)

Complacency is only one of the many things that irk me but it’s in the first half of the list. It’s one thing to be certain about what you know and another to know that what you know is certain. Saying that you are certain is another matter altogether. This is why human beings have to read, watch videos and consume information in various means because only through intensive and extensive accumulation of information can we grapple with half-truths and misinterpretations.

Think about it this way: Sciences and languages continue to evolve in a rapid pace, catching up as it is is not easy. So, why stay in the same spot?

The Eternal Return: Nietzsche’s Brilliant Thought Experiment Illustrating the Key to Existential Contentment (Brainpickings)

Somehow, this article reinforces my take on learning new things. I don’t pretend that I completely understand Nietzsche’s philosophy– I haven’t even read his entire work!– so I have to depend on Maria Popova’s articles otherwise I’d be overwhelmed by radical ideas Google was very much willing to feed me.

Nietzsche, in his work Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is, gave us a life hack: the eternal return. Imagine being given another chance at life, only to repeat every breath you have taken in this life, experience the same triumphs and lows, without being able to change anything. The only difference? The chance right at this moment to choose what your next action or step is going to be.

Kahlil Gibran on Befriending Time (Brainpickings)

The concept of time and its timelessness reminded me of Sheldon and Amy’s Super Asymmetry.

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Before, Now, and Next (AEON)

I have already read a number of articles about time as it continues to fascinate me. This article has given me another perspective and I quite agree with the question on what propelled McTaggart to view time as unreal. In fact, my curiosity has been so fired up I want to devote enough time to read his arguments and examine them side by side with Einstein’s–the latter being known to have said, ‘Time is an illusion.’ Perhaps, I need more time?

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To end this post, let me salute Kobe Bryant. He will be missed.


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