Category Archives: 30 Second Philosophy

Blossom

Spring blossoms below the castle in Edinburgh, Scotland (P.M. Lydon | CC BY-SA 3.0)

Spring blossoms below the castle in Edinburgh, Scotland (P.M. Lydon | CC BY-SA 3.0)

What you see
feel
hear
taste
smell

The sensory experience
is the truly amazing part
of being a member of planet earth

It is the essence of life here

There’s human calculation
theory
explanation
categorization
all important things

They are superfluous to the experience
of appreciating this earth
through your own naked,  non-judging sense

We know not what life is
until we can appreciate it
in these most simple and basic of ways

Blossom.

From this view, it is impossible to have socially and ecologically responsible practices in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics without first having such a grounding as is expressed in the above idea. There is no STEM without ROOTS, and the ROOTS are found within our appreciation for the simple delights and necessities, gifts which our planet gives us each day.

The Roots of Humanity

Hands, Plant, and Soil (photo: P.M. Lydon | sociecity)

Hands, Plant, and Soil (photo: P.M. Lydon | sociecity)

If humanity were a plant, its current form would be rootless
washed away at the first rain
and all of the soil with it
for the plant, the roots, and the soil
require each other

If the roots of the human spirit should wish to take hold
to travel through the surface of this soil
to know foundations deeper
than a bank account, material possessions, or fleeting fancies
If these roots should wish to run down
to the source of what gives them life

the farm is the teacher these roots would seek
and the place from which true humanity can grow

This is all much less of a metaphor than it may seem, for the ideas behind — and lessons learned from — practices such as natural farming can help us do far more than grow plants. These ideas, and this understanding of the natural world we were born into, can help us restore balance in our lives as we find our true roots as human beings.

For more on natural farming, visit The Final Straw project.

The Art, the Individual, the City

A New Town seen past the walls of the old Seodaemn Prison in Seoul, South Korea (photo: Patrick Lydon | sociecity)

A New Town seen past the walls of the old Seodaemn Prison in Seoul, South Korea (photo: Patrick Lydon | sociecity)

Certainly one of the few tasks of importance which must only be entrusted to the command of a single person, is that of art.

Yet art it is not primarily mechanical or utilitarian in nature.

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Tasks outside of individual art, however — especially those which intend to serve function for a mass of different individuals — must in turn be planned and executed by these many individuals, not by a single master.

City design is inescapably the primary task of our times which falls within this requirement, and for this reason it remains far outside the realm of art.

But the city is art.

The city is art in the form of a collage, a group showing of creativity and cultures which come together in a deep and wide medely, pulsing with the rhythm of all who take part, an art in form and function of the people, and one which becomes a blanket to warm and protect the collective body, and outwardly, to show the world what the true spirit of a real city is. What a real community is.

The city is that special form of art which we must only, which we can only, build together.

Box

Le Light Show (Illustration: Raymond Yeung | sociecity)

Le Light Show (Illustration: Raymond Yeung | sociecity)

Sitting inside a box, surrounded by muted safety, the user feels invincible, the user views things outside the box as inferior; and atop a powerful machine comes the irresistible temptation to exploit its powers.

The box’s ability to take its users from one place to another in ease and perfectly maintained climate is such that it can be regarded as magic. Different boxes offer a different experience for the user. There are just about a million configurations in its design since its conception not long ago, always evolving and inline with users’ infatuations.

The force of gravity is the user’s only link to reality. Everything else is a light show, consisting primarily of green lights, which soothe the mind, and red lights, which ignite fury.

Many users find rhythmic audio transmissions of varying volume to be quite fitting while moving at a high rate of speed, but in reality it is much more often conceived as a stress reliever for involuntary immobility.

There is a strange and unnatural attachment to the box. Users often find themselves obsessing over every detail, from its powder coated steel skin, to its vinyl interiors, to its rubber feet, more so than the users’ own health.

Perhaps all this profound love for the box is not unfounded because after all, thousands of hours are spent sitting in it, and an exorbitant quantity of wealth and resources are also spend feeding it, outfitting it.

Until the it breaks. Then all hell breaks lose. But like many of life’s intrigues, its a love hate relationship. It might not be perfect but no one can live without it.

Or can you?

The Seeds

Empire State Building, New York City (photo: Patrick Lydon | sociecity)

Empire State Building, New York City (photo: Patrick Lydon | sociecity)

There are those who know well
the nature of humans;

of our shortsightedness
and of our lust
for self destructive behavior
so long as it comes in the form

of instant fun and satisfaction

Those who know this well
are the makers of The Seeds

Those who think they know this well
are happy to buy and sell The Seeds

Of the two

few from the former camp
and none from the latter
will simply stay clear

One: The Road in Front of You

One: The Road in Front of You (photo by Patrick Lydon | Ireland)

One: The Road in Front of You (photo by Patrick Lydon | Ireland)

To begin on a path

of unlearning all you have been taught

seems a frightening undertaking

a lonely undertaking

an aimless undertaking

But it is only these things

before you see the road in front of you

 

For the sake of human kind

May more of us be temporarily

frightened

lonely

and aimless

that we might find this road

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Also in this series

One: Wealth in Simplicity
One: True Self
One: True Freedom[/box]

One: True Self

One: What is True (photo by Patrick Lydon | Poland)

One: True Self (photo by Patrick Lydon | Poland)

The true self

is in living for your being

and allowing others to live for theirs

 

The true society

is in caring for others

without placing prerequisites

on how, when, and to whom

that care should be distributed

 

What are we, then,

who limit, regulate, and profit from

the care of our neighbors?

 

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Also in this series

One: Wealth in Simplicity
One: True Freedom
One: The Road in Front of You[/box]

One: True Freedom

One: True Freedom (photo by Patrick Lydon | South Korea)

One: True Freedom (photo by Patrick Lydon | South Korea)

From our birth, each step we take in this modern world

is a step away from true freedom

From our birth, we have no chance

to realize what we must do

to live truly

 

We believe that being true to society

is being true to ourselves

but when is society

a reflection of us?

Only when we accept that we do not exist

without the rules, regulations, and expectations placed upon us by it

 

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Also in this series

One: Wealth in Simplicity
One: True Self
One: The Road in Front of You[/box]

 

One: Wealth in Simplicity

In the past few years of traveling and living as a citizen of the world, I have come across many people who live many different lifestyles. In doing so, I have found certain truths which most members of modern society would laugh at until they die before they accept them as valid. The following, in four parts, is as simple and true a summary of these ideas as is possible for me to reproduce at this time using my own written word and photography.

One: Wealth in Simplicity | Businessman walks along a beach in Haeundae, South Korea (Photo, 2011 | Patrick Lydon)

One: Wealth in Simplicity | Businessman walks along a beach in Haeundae, South Korea

Our lives, full of important decisions

Decisions which carry no importance outside of the rules and regulations we’ve made up.

We write in pen, pencil, stone, yet it would be better written in air.

There is no word to express what life is.

There is no way for us to teach a virtuous life.

The only way our feeble English words might give correct direction

Would be to say

That a life worth living is one of simplicity

 

We walk with rubber, leather, and asphalt under each step

But the bare Earth under our feet

is our real home

We trade and make “wealth” for ourselves with papers, coin, and promissory notes

But kinship and trust

is our real wealth and purpose

 

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Also in this series

One: True Self
One: True Freedom
One: The Road in Front of You[/box]

Right, Wrong, and Tolerant: Easter at a Gay Bar in San Jose (photo: Patrick Lydon)

When Tolerance is Wrong

photograph: Patrick Lydon

If a people are taught tolerance
they live to be themselves and to let others be themselves

Tolerance is part of life
and the people live in harmony with eachother

If a people are taught right and wrong
they live to do right by themselves and to point out the wrongs of others

Tolerance is wrong
and the people police the beliefs of each other