#32: Despite all the risks

The hermit is professional, the fruit is oddly plentiful, and the road is (mostly) unavailable. Hello!

Lovely Linky Bits

Thoughtful reads and so forth.

Is Urban Loneliness a Myth?
“Cities, in other words, are the ultimate expression of our humanity, the ultimate habitat in which to be ourselves (which may explain why half the planet’s population currently lives in them). And in their present American incarnations—safe, family-friendly, pulsing with life on the street—they’re working at their optimum peak. In Cacioppo’s data, today’s city dwellers consistently rate as less lonely than their country cousins. ‘There’s a new sense of community in cities, an increase in social capital, an increase in trust,’ he says. ‘It all leads to less alienation.’”

Truth, Beauty and Annihilation: My Quest for Chess Mastery
“I was a middle-aged man who had done OK in life, but there was something missing. I hadn’t created anything substantial; hadn’t mastered a discipline. I craved substance, and saw in chess a possible way of laying down a marker. I would become an expert, demonstrate that I wasn’t just a dilettante. After a lifetime of chess mediocrity, I set out to achieve excellence, for the first time in my life to truly master a world, to become good – not just good at chess, but at living. To get really expert I would have to be focused, disciplined, ruthless even – all the things I had found it difficult to sustain in an often rackety life.”

Showing Up Whole, Despite All the Risks
“Here’s what I’ve discovered. In a world where we are crafting our identities more conscientiously than ever before — picking particular shots of our lives to share on Instagram, liking certain posts on Facebook — it takes a certain kind of modern courage to stop crafting. To say, enough with the curation. Enough with the control. I’m just going to be myself — warts and all.”

Curiosities & Delights

Some things to be glad about.

Switzerland’s professional hermit.
France’s sometimes road.
Binge-worthy websites:
Ways We Work and The Public Domain Review.
The tree of forty fruits.
75 years of Curious George.
And this guy’s balloon art.

Moving Pictures

Videos upon which to press play.

It’s what’s inside the glass frog that counts.
Relationships as teachable moments?
He’s the paper airplane guy.
Freediving beneath the ice.
Austria’s vegetable orchestra.
And ten alternatives to TED talks.

Happening Things

Book releases, courses, and other timely tidbits.

Here’s a chance to win free books for life and/or
a writing retreat in Iceland.
And On Being needs a new social media manager.