Notas de El escritor y sus fantasmas, de Ernesto Sábato

Este libro está constituido por variaciones de un solo tema, tema que me ha obsesionado desde que escribo: por qué, cómo y para qué se escriben ficciones?

Palabras preliminares a la primera edición, Ernesto Sábato

En cualquier caso, el que leyere puede tener la certeza de que no está frente a gratuitas o ingeniosas ideas o doctrinas, sino frente a cavilaciones de un escritor que encontró su vocación duramente, a través de ásperas dificultades y peligrosas tentaciones, debiendo elegir su camino entre otros que se le ofrecían en una encrucijada, tal como en ciertos relatos infantiles, sabiendo que uno y sólo uno conducía a la princesa encantada. Leerá, en fin, las cavilaciones de un escritor latinoamericano, y por lo tanto las dudas y afirmaciones de un ser doblemente atormentado. Porque si en cualquier lugar del mundo es duro sufrir el destino del artista, aquí es doblemente duro, porque además sufrimos el agustioso destino de hombre latinoamericano.

Palabras preliminares a la primera edición, Ernesto Sábato

Notes of Book “Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks” by Dave Asprey

  • your mitochondria contribute more energy to your brain’s performance than your heart, lungs, or legs. Your brain gets first dibs on mitochondrial energy, and your eyes and heart are right behind it in line.
  • The first symptom that your mitochondria are overtaxed is fatigue. Fatigue is an absolute performance killer. It causes cravings, moodiness, brain fog, forgetfulness, and lack of focus.
  • Our fight-or-flight response kept us a little bit distracted all of the time so that we could constantly scan the environment around us for threats. When our brains perceived a threat, they would divert all of our energy into the systems necessary to either kill a lion or at least run away from it faster than the slowest member of the tribe. The problem is not only that lions don’t pose much of a threat anymore but also that our bodies can’t distinguish between real and perceived threats—they react the same way to any stimulus
  • Every time you resist an urge, you are making a decision. Scientists have proven that there are a limited number of decisions you can make each day before you reach “decision fatigue.”

Review and Summary of This is it, by Allan Watts: Spiritual experience and its relation to ordinary material life

The author goal in these 6 essays is to demystifying the contradiction and separation of spiritual experience and the material life. The spiritual is not to be separated from the material, nor the wonderful from the ordinary. We need, above all, to disentangle ourselves from habits of speech and thought which set the two apart, making it impossible for us to see that this—the immediate, everyday, and present experience—is IT, the entire and ultimate point for the existence of a universe.1

This is it

The names applied for mystical, spiritual or poetic experiences often refer to something out of this world, as it’s something related to metaphysical. It’s important to notice that the moment isn’t special because of that moment, as there’s nothing different in that from all the other ordinary moments. The world has that in it, as well as all the other parts in it.

That change in perception brings more clarity into the ordinary moments, commonly classified as worse if compared to the spiritual ones. It is usual for the individual to feel that the whole world has become his own body, and that whatever he is has not only become, but always has been, what everything else is.2

The immediate now is the consequence and goal of embracing the world as perfect as it is, which should bring a sense of freedom and relief from the anxiety commonly felt – the anxiety from past and future are gone because they don’t exist. It shouldn’t be difficult as we are already in the present moment, and something that we’ve always been. Someone said to me, “But why try to live in the present? Surely we are always completely in the present even when we’re thinking about the past or the future?”

The experiences described are not to say that the author, like a preacher or philosopher, is to live in constant enlightenment as most religions or philosophies may assume. It’s not about testing the character or his morals, whether he has stomach ulcers or likes money, whether he loses his temper, or gets depressed, or falls in love when he shouldn’t, or sometimes looks a bit tired and frayed at the edges. It’s possible that we can improve ourselves, even though the aspects of life that change are small compared to the static nature of life.

Nature is much more playful than purposeful, and the probability that it has no special goals for the future need not strike one as a defect. On the contrary, the processes of nature as we see them both in the surrounding world and in the involuntary aspects of our own organisms are much more like art than like business, politics, or religion.

Instinct, intelligence and anxiety

Animals learn what they need in much less time than humans, that need almost a quarter of life to The difference is roughly that action by instinct is spontaneous, whereas action by intelligence involves a difficult process of analysis, prediction, and decision.

LSD and consciousness

I asked, too, whether what I was seeing was “drugged.” In other words, was the effect of the LSD in my nervous system the addition to my senses of some chemical screen which distorted all that I saw to preternatural loveliness? Or was its effect rather to remove certain habitual and normal inhibitions of the mind and senses, enabling us to see things as they would appear to us if we were not so chronically repressed? Little is known of the exact neurological effects of LSD, but what is known suggests the latter possibility.2

  1. This Is It: and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience by Alan W. Watts
  2. This Is It: and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience by Alan W. Watts
  3. This Is It: and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience by Alan W. Watts

Meme

“For this body replicator itself, Dawkins proposed a name. He called it the meme, and it became his most memorable invention, far more influential than his selfish genes or his later proselytizing against religiosity. ‘Memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation,’ he wrote. They compete with one another for limited resources: brain time or brandwidth. They compete most of all for attention.
(…)
These are memes, living a life of their own, independent of any physical reality. ‘This may not be what George Washington looked like then,’ a tour guide was overheard saying of the Gilbert Stuart painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, ‘but this is what he looks like now.’ Exactly.”

pages 312, 313 – “The Information, a history, a theory, a flood” by James Gleick

Outliers note

“Jewish immigrants like the Floms and the Borgenichts and the Janklows were not like the other immigrants who came to America in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Irish and the Italians were peasants, tenant farmers from the impoverished coutryside of Europe. Not so the Jews. For centuries in Europe, they had been forbidden to own land, so they had clustered in cities and towns, taking up urban trades and professions”.
Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell.

Society

‘Society is a bit hypocritical. The mainstream shuns wayward creative people with skepticism, especially when they defy the status quo dropping out of school or choosing an alternative career is frowned upon. But at the same time we celebrate the successes of the artists and entrepreneurs who enrich every aspect of our lives. Society celebrates the outcome of what society shuns’.

Sonhadores, mão na massa e incrementalistas

É importante saber reconhecer a importância e o tipo dos colegas dr trabalho, pra assim montar de forma adequada a equipe. Scott Belsky divide em três grupos segundo seu perfil:
1- Sonhadores: O trabalho nunca está completo na hora combinada porque o sonhador sempre se distrai ou acaba se engajando em uma ideia nova. É muito criativo entretanto tem dificuldade de manter o foco.
2- ‘Mão na massa’: Este tipo não imagina tanto porque está obsessivamente concentrado no modo como as tarefas devem ser feitas. Têm o poder de boicotar ideias por estas não terem sido bem articuladas e sua estrutura não ter sido claramente definida. Action oriented.
3- Inrementalistas: tem um pouco dos dois tipos, entretanto não conseguem levar a fundo todas as ideias – isso porque são inúmeras.

É importante perceber que os tipos são complemetares, e a equipe ideal deve ser formada por elementos distintos e que sigam o propósito da equipe.

O trabalho de insegurança

O ‘trabalho de insegurança’ é todo aquele que involve a revisão de material já aprovado, revisão de métricas, a constante checagem do andamento dos planos etc. É o tempo disperdiçado com constantes, que não melhoram a qualidade do material mas o mantem sob constante vigia.

Como é o seu ambiente de criação?

Em Making Ideas Happen, Scott Belsky discute em um de seus capítulos a reconsideração da arquitetura dos locais de trabalho para um melhor aproveitamento. Claro que o lugar ideal para trabalho depende de muitas características pessoais, o que dificultaria um consenso entre pessoas de uma mesma empresa, por exemplo. Entretanto o autor chama atenção para o trabalho de Joan Myers-Levy, uma americana que através de pesquisas no campo da neurosciência descobriu algumas características importantes sobre como a arquitetura pode influenciar o raciocínio.

O resultado mais famoso de suas pesquisas aponta para um padrão com relação à altura do teto dos ambientes de trabalho. Os tetos altos são mais propensos a desenvolver raciocínios mais abstratos, enquanto que os tetos baixos são mais favoráveis aos detalhes de uma análise, por exemplo. Estas e outras conclusões podem ser encontradas em uma reportagem muito interessante da Fast Company.