Neil Jussila, Black Sound (2006), acrylic on canvas
Read this very closely.
Take interest in what you have interest in. Do not be a slave to general zeitgeist, memetic net culture OR fandom juggernauts. Take interest in only that which interests you. Fuck everything else and anyone that would deride you for your interest or call you pretentious for what you love. Take interest in that which is particular to you.
Go find the things you love. Find what it is about them you love, how they were made, who made them. Go to the places those things come from and trace them to where they end up. Even in those moments where you feel like it separates you from other people, keep going.
Eventually you will find what it is about you that causes you to like these things and at that point you will find the core operators of an idea called ‘self’. Once you have found that point you will have found those people to share that core with. Take part in that feedback loop.
Learn to, as NYT Op-Ed columnist David Brooks put’s it:
”…appreciate the tremendous power of particularity. If your identity is formed by hard boundaries, if your concerns are expressed through a specific paracosm, you are going to have more depth and definition than you are if you grew up in the far-flung networks of pluralism and eclecticism, surfing from one spot to the next, sampling one style then the next, your identity formed by soft boundaries, or none at all.”
It is good to be particular, for particularity is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.
now, reblog this and spread the word.
It is good to be particular. The core operators of the self. Fuck everything else.
Trying to find yourself is a staple of the self-help literature, along with the striving for authenticity and building up your self-esteem. I probably wrote about authenticity and how you needed to practice it in my book** because way back in 2007, I thought it was a good thing, a necessary thing.
Now I’m convinced that’s all wrong. The self that matters isn’t some tightly defined, self-loving, individuated thing in the world. The self that matters is the mashed-up self, the networked self — the self made up of relationships and experiences and interactions and ideas. It’s way bigger and more powerful than the un-networked you.
These are some ideas I want to explore: combinatorial creativity, connectivist learning, the third person perspective in the creative process, and self-transcendence. What all these have in common is they all overturn the idea that the individuated self is primary…
…So we need to stop thinking so much about our individual selves — we need to transcend ourselves. Interesting that some of the most satisfied people combine a love of the new with persistence and self-transcendence. These seem like exactly the traits you’d need to succeed in a networked world. Neophilia (novelty-seeking, love of the new) draws you to new ideas, new people, and new experiences, giving you more material for the mashup that is you and the mashups you create. Persistence keeps you from being merely a dilettante, flitting from one new thing to another. And self-transcendence stops you from thinking that it’s all about you.