Video Summary, Week of the 30th

Hey everyone! Check out my new video in which I recap my work from last week. I am trying out my new strategy of summarizing my weeks on camera. Let me know what you think.



  • Thomas 21 months ago

    Jake this is an excellent reflection. Your points at in seminar tangents and multiple discussions on material are especially rich. You told me what you where doing and what you where arguing. Your defense of this argument was thought provoking in many ways.

    A few questions:

    Is it important to look at routines, predictability: illusion in education and other aspects of your generations life-way for your collective futures? Why? Is it important for the collective of humanity to understand their material existence- “freedom to understand self” as you state, how might human organization need to change?

    Inspiring post! Thank you for sharing.

  • Shoshana 21 months ago

    Hi Jake,
    I was very interested in your video blog and found myself wanting to connect more dots! For example, is the development and imposition of routine on daily life one way that humans have created to enhance survival by exerting control over the welter and chaos of life and thus increase predictability. Control leads to predictability, and survival is enhanced with predictability. Therefore, we seek to control. Think of our origins…without predictability how to make sure we have enough food and other essentials for survival. Humans need to know when the rains come, the pattern of weather, what will happen when you eat a fruit, seed, or certain part of an animal, how to find food in the wild, and even more demanding: how to grow food. Control and predictability have been essential elements in the possibility of civilization, and they are the essence of scientific method. Yet different peoples have taken up the challenge of control and predictability so differently. A more Buddhist approach is one in which one understands and appreciates the natural cycle and tries to adapt to it. A more western worldview seeks to impose control over nature with a view to rationalizing (making predictable) its dynamics. So we build dams and tall buildings and try to overcome nature. We are learning this often can not be successful, as with global warming and the many unpredicted consequences it entails. Don’t political systems impose routines on populations in order to enhance the predictablity and controllability of society–for the group, for the rulers, and for the individual people too? Living in a disorderly society (somalia) is terrifying.

    I like your reflections on travel as a way of “being in the now”. This has been the mystery and allure of travel–the heightened awareness that comes when you can’t take things for granted. The phenomenologists have a word for that quality of routine. It’s called “the wide awake state”. It’s the state that everyone shares of taking meaning and action for granted. Without it we couldn’t have safe traffic, or even a simple conversation…”Hello” expected to be followed by…”Hello”. But sometimes things come along that jar you out of the wide awake state–something that challenges your assumptions or forces you to bracket your assumptions while you figure out freshly what is going on and why??????!!!!!! Maybe you stumble into a marketplace in some distant land and suddenly witness a beheading….no routine there, no wide awake state, just having to figure out all the basics and FAST. The best thing is when you let yourself question the wide awake state even at home in your normal life and allow yourself to ask the questions…how do I really feel? How do I really want to live? Can you capture the magic of travel without physically traveling? Can you travel in your daily life?

    Finally, the quote you read about no room for the individual. Is this something that was more true in traditional societies, or even in Arendt’s mid-century society, than it is now? What about differences between societies and cultures? I would have thought you would be wrestling with this even more than you did, in the sense that at this stage of your life you face many questions about how much of an individual you will be vs. how much you will “fit in”. Is it easier to be an individual in society today? Or is that tension destined to always be a feature of human life?

    In general I love the issues you are highlighting. I would encourage you to try and think through how they connect to one another and to the readings. You are on the road!

    Looking forward to your thoughts. Keep up the good work!

  • Jake 21 months ago

    @Thomas thank you so much! You bring up a good point…and I am not sure of the answer. Obviously materialism is something that our country and my generation is struggling with. I believe one step in the right direction would involve changing the idea of what is ‘cool’ and what defines a person within society.
    @Shoshana Thank you so much! Im glad you were able to understand my points and what I am trying to convey. I agree as well, I need to look at how I can connect these features to each other and the book.

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