you can kill the revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution

October 31, 2012

If people are too idle they will have too much time to think and then too much time to become radical revolutionaries.

AH. Run Away.

I once read an interesting study that asked people what they do, American’s answered with their jobs, almost the entire rest of the world answered with activities that they enjoy doing.  That puts a lot into perspective I think.

i·dle/ˈīdl/

Adjective:
(esp. of a machine or factory) Not active or in use: “assembly linesstanding idle“.
Verb:
(of a person) Spend time doing nothing; be idle.
Synonyms:
adjective.  lazy – indolent – unemployed – vacant – vain – inactive
verb.  laze – loaf – lounge – dawdle

When our car is in idle that is in the space of time while it transitions from one state to the next.. So why can’t being idle not necessarily be not doing anything  but instead, all of the things that we do in the in between that make our day actually worthwhile?


How to be Idle

October 31, 2012

Last week I was thinking , I need to stop going to the art studio so much and buckle down to do my homework for other classes. But then I end up ether going to the studio or watching 3 hours of Netflix instead.    I think that Tom Hodgkinson has a great point in this book, one of my favorite parts was when he talked about the working hour. How somebody somewhere desired when we are to wake up and go to work. I think that Tom H. is really emphasizing the social norms that our society and the even the world live by. Because Idlers often become thinkers, “and thinkers are not a welcome addition to most social situations”.  (McKenna,pg 34)

The author also emphasizes naps as vital in order to wake up every morning knowing you will get to take a nap.He even has a “day bed”.

While reading this book I kept thinking how the author manages to write his books, with his love for idleling…maybe he idles until he actually feels like writing.

This book makes me think of all of the stress you go through everyday to do things because it is expected that you do them.I think it makes my laziness a little less of something to feel guilty about, maybe if we had a siesta as part of our culture people would be less stressed about time and deadlines.

Great read !

 

 

 


Timeline Project

October 31, 2012

Sept 28th– looked for salamanders in area, found 3. Realized there was lots of garbage and waste scattered throughout.

Oct 25th– talked to Amy Downing. She said that it was really cool how I was actually found some salamanders still located in the area. She had no concerns, concerning the removing of trash. And actually gave me another idea to add to my project. To see if my actions have any effect on the populations of salamanders, she said I count the number of salamanders I am able to find in the area. So that in the future, if someone were to continue my project they could then count the number of salamanders they find to see if there is a positive, neutral, or negative trend in the population as years progress.

Nov 1-2– Talk to Buildings and Grounds on project. Find out if they have any concerns, and if they are able to help by bringing in rocks and stones, and clearing out bigger trash. Also talk John Krygier.

Nov 3-4– Count salamanders in area (mark them on map).

Nov 5-16– Taking out trash and placing rocks, stones, and pieces of pottery (if Buildings and Grounds agree to my proposal).

Nov 16– summarize results and report to class in 30 minute presentation


Revised Project Proposal

October 31, 2012

Project Title: Salamander Restoration

Project Participant(s): Tiffany Green, Milagros Green (cousin), Sara Starxyk (roommate)

Description and Overview of Project:

I had a hard time coming up with a topic for my project. But Krygier pointed me towards Amy Downing—who is a zoology professor at OWU—and she talked to me about a little wood area next to the bike trail by the football stadium. It was once a place where Ohio Wesleyan University would dump trash; but still before they started building the tennis courts near the 3D art building, you used to be able to find dozens of salamanders. Krygier then pointed out that they might not even be there anymore, because salamanders like cool moist places, where the water is stagnant—non moving. Not too long ago they took down the dams on the Olentangy river, and so the water in this wooded area might have all drained out when the river’s level dropped. Also, Salamanders are really sensitive to noise and vibrations, and the construction of the tennis courts might have also caused them to move.

On September 28th I decided to see for myself if there really were no longer any salamander’s in the area. I Invited my cousin Mili to go with me—cause she owned a camera, and was really interested in seeing some salamanders. We made our way down the bike trail, and proceeded to push our way through the thick trees and bush, to see what we could find. Behind the trees is a huge hill that we needed to slide down in order to get to where the salamanders might be—and since it rained a lot during the day, we got pretty filthy. At the bottom of the hill though, I started to feel a little bit more optimistic because there in front of us was a tinny stream was making its way through the underbrush. Problem was, the water wasn’t exactly still, but at least there was some water.

It was actually really beautiful down there, but the trash that littered the area certainly took away from the visual pleasantry. There were glass bottles, cookie wrappers, what looked like a tricycle wheel, and even a pair of rusted through 50 gallon drums (there were no grave yard stones that I could tell).

We looked under many rocks and rotting tree trunks, but for a while we couldn’t find anything. We were starting to become discouraged, maybe all the salamanders really did leave. It wasn’t until we got a little bit farther away from where the stream flowed, that we uncovered two salamanders under the same rock. Both were small and Mili at first thought they were worms because their legs were so tinny that you could barely see them when they were on the ground. Both were black, but one had an orange-brown stripe down her back. Later on we were able to uncover one more salamander—also all black.

Outline of Project:

First I need to coordinate with the Buildings and Grounds and see if they have any concerns regarding my removing the garbage and trash from the area. I would also need to see if they could help me remove some of the larger pieces of trash.

I would like to add in more rocks and clay pots in the area where salamanders could hide under.

Buildings and Grounds—if they agree—could help with this process since they can bring in some of the heavier rocks and stones.

When talking to Downing—after I found the salamanders in the area—she told me that in order to really calculate the affect my efforts will have on the salamanders, I need to come up with an estimate of how many salamanders there really are in the area. I plan to go back before everything takes place and find as many salamanders as I can, then bring the number to Downing where we can work together and find out around how many salamanders are in the whole woods. If someone continues this project they can use this number to then see if there has been an increase in the number of salamanders.

If I find that there are not many salamanders in the location, this could lead to inbreeding. Inbreeding causes deleterious recessive alleles to show themselves in offspring and often has harmful side-effects on the population overall. So in later years, if the population doesn’t seem to be going up, salamanders from other locations can be caught and released into the habitat so that new alleles can be added to the population overall. This should help if there is any inbreeding going on within the area, and should show improvements to the population numbers.

After looking at lots of pictures and descriptions of salamanders located in and around Delaware Ohio, I believe that the species of salamander we found are called red-backed salamanders or Plethodon cinereus . They are the most common type of salamander species found in Ohio, but are and endemic species to North America. The Terrestrial adults spend most of their life underground in burrows either of their own making of abandoned by other animals, they also hibernate in them during the winter. They live alone and feed on any available invertebrates that they might find. They rarely spend time in the water, and only return there to their ponds of birth to breed. They lay large eggs in clumps within the water, and their aquatic larvae have 3 pairs of external gills behind their head and above their gill slits. The larvae grow limbs soon after hatching with four toes on the four-arms and five on the hind-legs. Their eyes are wide set and lack eyelids.

 “Mole salamander.” Wikipedia the encyclopedia . Wikimedia Foundation.inc, 14 Sept 2012. Web. 3 Oct 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_salamander&gt;.

Gives information about Mole salamander species.

Cunningham, Bridget . “Olentangy makeover to restore river, remove dam.” The Lantern . N.p., 16 Jun 2012. Web. 03 Oct 2012. <http://www.thelantern.com/campus/olentangy-makeover-to-restore-r iver-remove-dam-1.1485939 >.

Information about the removal of dams from Olentangy River.

Rice, Dorothy. “State Water Resources Control Board General 401 water quality certification order for small habitat restoration projects.” . State Water Resources Control Board, 10 Aug 2007. Web. 3 Oct 2012. <http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/cwa401/docs/generalorders/

5259cert.pdf>.

–What constitutes a restoration project.

“Habitat Restoration Wesselman Woods Salamander Monitoring.” Evansville’s Zoo. Evansville’s Zoo, n.d. Web. 3 Oct 2012. <http://www.meskerparkzoo.com/conservation/Habitat Restoration.php>.

–Example of Restoration project with Salamanders.

Rhoads, John. “Norton Basin/Little Bay Restoration Project: Historical and Environmental Background Report.” . Barry A Vittor & Associates Inc. , Nov 2001. Web. 3 Oct 2012. <http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/regions_pdf/vittor01.pdf&gt;.

–Example of Restoration Project.

“Ohio’s Salamander Species.” Ohio’s Salamander Species. N.p., 23 Jan 2010. Web. 3 Oct 2012. <http://www.ohioamphibians.com/salamanders/Salamanders.html&gt;.

–Species of Salamanders.

Bowles, Mason. “Examples of past projects Small Habitat Restoration Program (SHRP).” Animal Plants and Habitat. Water & Land Resources Division, 8 Jan 2009. Web. 3 Oct 2012. <http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/animalsAndPlants/restoration-projects/small-habitat-r estoration-program/current.asp&xgt;>.

–More examples of Restoration Projects.

. “Salamanders.” eHow. Demand Media Inc. , n.d. Web. 3 Oct 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/salamanders/&gt;.

–Answers all kind of questions about salamanders. 


How to be Idle

October 31, 2012

i·dle [ahyd-l]  adjective, i·dler, i·dlest, verb,i·dled, i·dling, noun.

adjective

1.not working or active; unemployed; doing nothing: idleworkers.
2.not spent or filled with activity: idle hours.
3.not in use or operation; not kept busy: idle machinery.
4.habitually doing nothing or avoiding work; lazy.
5.of no real worth, importance, or significance: idle talk.

verb (used without object)

6.to pass time doing nothing.
7.to move, loiter, or saunter aimlessly: to idle along the avenue.
8.(of a machine, engine, or mechanism) to operate at a lowspeed, disengaged from the load.

“The idea that idleness is good goes against everything we have ever been taught.  Industry, hard work, duty, self-sacrifice, toil: surely these are the virtues that will lead to success in life? Well, no.  In the West we have become addicted to work.  Americans now work the longest hours in the world.  And the result is not health, wealth, and wisdom, but rather a lot of anxiety, a lot of ill health and a lot of debt.” – Tom Hodgkinson

As products of the Industrial Revolution, each and every person in America today has the same mentality and values: hard work, production, efficiency.  The implications of this way of thinking have built up over time and now we are facing more debt, environmental degradation, war, and economic segregation than ever before.  After reading the book, How to be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto by Tom Hodgkinson, I realized how drastically wrong we are living life.  Not only are we more stressed, anxious, and controlled than we need to be, we are also grinding ourselves into the inevitable demise of our planet.

“The advertising industry leads us to believe that life will be improved by the purchase of a product.  The purchase of a product requires money.  Money requires hard work.  Or debt.  We go into debt to chase our desires, and then keep working to pay the debt.  It’s the modern form of indentured labour.” (p 26)  In other words, our consumption patterns are shaped by the industry, not by human desires.  In order to keep up with this need to consume, we have to first earn money.  How do we do this?  We are told that we need to work, hard and long.  And that is the way of the world; we work so that we are able to consume.

 

Quotes:

  • “For all modern society’s promises of leisure, liberty and doing what you want, most of us are still slaves to a schedule we did not choose.” (p 6)
  • “Idleness is sin…don’t waste time! Better to be busy than doing nothing!” (p 7)
  • “The job was invented in order to make things easier for those at the top.” (p 20)
  • “The ascendancy of the clock and the machine tore us away from nature.” (p 20)
  • “Lying in bed doing nothing is noble and right, pleasurable and productive.” (p 30)
  • “It is precisely to prevent us from thinking too much that society pressurizes us all to get out of bed.” (p 33)
  • “Introspection could lead to that terrible thing: a vision of the truth, a clear image of the horror of our fractured, dissonant world…Governments do not like the idle.  The idle worry them…They cannot be monitored.  They are out of control.  They do not want to live like their leaders.  They do not want to be helped.” (p 34)
  • “The individual must be sacrificed to the smooth functioning of society!” (p 44)
  • Travailler moins, poduire plus. The less you work, the more you produce.” (p 64)
  • “Buddhism certainly seems to me the most human of all religions, the most life-giving and fun, for the paradoxical reason that it embraces suffering.” (p 90)
  • “Coffee is for winners, go-getters, tea-ignorers, lunch-cancellers, early-risers, guilt-ridden strivers, money obsessives and status-driven spiritually empty lunatics. It is an enervating force.  We should resist it and embrace tea, the ancient drink of poets, philosophers and meditators.” (p 98)
  • “In Buddhism the beggar, the tramp, the vagabond is not a subject for reform or liberal hand-wringing, but, on the contrary, he represents an ideal of living, of pure living in the moment, of wandering without destination, of freedom and worldly care.” (p 110)
  • “We should all admire those who hold out for a better way of life and manage to achieve it on small funds.” (p 160)
  • “Liberty and idleness for me are practically synonymous.  An idler is a thinker and a dreamer and is fiercely independent.  He would rather not riot but when his right to be lazy is attacked, he may be roused to activity.” (p 177)
  • “The answer, perhaps, is in anarchism, not socialism.” (p 184)
  • “Contemplation of the heavens takes us beyond speech and language to another place, to somewhere magical, in the sense of mysterious and unknowable and full of wonder, and to breathe in the sight can provide us with a whoosh of pleasure which I find quite impossible to describe.” (p 190)
  • “Today we seem to have lost the art.  We seldom remark on someone’s “conversational eloquence”…People now praise someone’s energy and achievements, and focus on the final result rather than the process.” (p 206)
  • “If we realized that meditation simply means staring into space, then it would be more accessible to more people.  It’s easy.  A window is all you need.” (p 229)
  • “Sleep itself can be seen as a radical act, something you have to fight for in a world that privileges action.” (p 240)
  • “It is no wonder that the true idler might recoil from the whole notion of the holiday, for isn’t a holiday actually no more than the brother of work?” (p 260)
  • “Dreams make the world go round.” (p 263)
  • “No, dreams are not about money.  They are about you, and they are about quality of life and imagination.  Perhaps the reason why we find this difficult to accept is fear – we are afraid of our dreams, and so we deliberately avoid them.” (p 270)

Questions:

  1. Where do our drives to be constantly working come from?
  2. Why are there values associated with being lazy and being purposeful?
  3. If we all quit our jobs, would social interaction cease? What would happen if we did this?
  4. Why do we value efficiency so much?
  5. Why does Hodgkinson describe “anti-idles” as “spiritually vacant enemies”?

Interesting

“It’s time to say no to jobs and yes to fun, freedom and pleasure. It’s time to be idle.”


How to be Idle

October 31, 2012

8am: Hour of rising

9am: Hour of work

10am: Stay in bed

11am: “Elevenses,” Break time, Skiving

12pm: Hangover kicks in

1pm: Lunch, “lonely refueling” 60

2pm: Illness used as recovery, not “soldiering on” 78

3pm: Naps replaced by coffee, “…don’t fight the nap.” 87

4pm: tea, “time not to do, but to think about doing.” (88)

5pm: Pedestrian flâneur “Mooch. Dawdle. Float” 111

6pm: 1st drink, energy, and conversation

7pm: Idle angler”…the idler has…been drawn to water and to rivers”127

8pm: Smoking, “it makes a master of a serf.” 137

9pm: “Staying in is the new going out” 147

I unfortunately started reading this book before bed with plans to get up early and get some work done from the nonproductive weekend. As a result, the next morning I snoozed my alarm at least 6 times and rose 45 minutes later than I intended…Thank you Tom Hodgkinson for allowing me to abandon all will power on that chilly Monday morning. As I read, I was using “How to be Idle” as a way to justify laying in bed in the morning to plan what I will wear that day, or a break between classes or for lunch, or even at the end of the day just staring at the ceiling. Hodgkinson mentions many times, with examples (Walt Whitman, John Lennon, John Keats, etc.) that “greatness and late rising are natural bedfellows” (11). Although we are “slaves to a schedule we did not choose” (6) I think there is a limit to how idle one should be…I am all for laying in bed and pondering how I will organize my day, but I also feel you shouldn’t be so idle that your tasks do not get done. So perhaps a 50/50 approach (perhaps even 60/40 either way) to idleness and productivity is the best way to go?

Hodgkinson speaks of the weavers, how independently and leisurely they worked until the invention of the spinning jenny. Is this “progress” in technology leading to humanity’s ultimate unhappiness and their quality of life? “the less you work, the more you produce.” (64)

In this book, Hodgkinson is very influential with his writing. He speaks of sleeping in, naps, tea, walks and makes me want all of those things…

“So my questions is: if the mind can create a hangover, could the mind not remove one, too?” (53) The mind is a very powerful thing and it is flabbergasting to see what it is capable of (things way more spectacular than hangover cures).

“If we had allowed ourselves an hour and a half, then that is how long the job would have taken. Work expands to fit the time provided.” (64) Again, with the mind, if we are able to embrace the power it has , we can do some neat and great things.

“But even if the symptoms are repressed by a painkiller, the illness is still there. It will take longer to go away if ignored.” (76) More important to take care of yourself rather than feeling guilty for being sick.

“Tea became almost a religion in itself, becoming known as The Way of Tea.” 90 “Tea was urban; beer was rural. Tea was for wimps; beer was for men.” 92 I find tea to be a relaxing endeavor if done right. When I steep a cup I usually forget about it until it is cold while I do other work. Every time I tell myself I will sit, drink, think, and relax, I end up doing homework. I definitely feel the modern urge to not be idle when there is so much to do, but I plan on taking time for myself every once and a while, maybe with a warm cup of tea this time.

“The pedestrian is the highest and most mighty of beings; he walks for pleasure, he observes but does not interfere, he is not in a hurry, he is happy in the company of his own mind, he wanders detached, wise and merry, godlike. He is free.” 99


How to Be Idle Reflections

October 30, 2012

8 o’clock: I totally agree about alarm clocks and getting out of bed, we aren’t awake yet because our bodies need sleep. When you’re excited to wake up and do something you want to wake up. We shouldn’t need alarm clocks to wake us up, we should just do stuff we’re excited to do and will naturally wake up for. I wonder how different our society would be  though…people would have to be excited about their work (which would be a lot healthier than how we work now) and a lot less structured and more willing to go with the flow.

9 o’clock: “At the bottom of it al is fear. Fear paralyses us.” (28) I like to think that is id not fear that motivates us but the want to achieve something in life. I don’t think that most people are scared of the unknown and that’s why they stay in their job. I think people stay in their jobs because they are working towards accomplishing something greater either through their job directly or through the resources they receive from doing their job.

10 o’clock: Staying in bed is easier said than done. Sitting back and relaxing and pondering things while there are things to be done takes a certain level of self-control (at least in order to truly enjoy this pondering time).

11 o’clock: Why are people so lazy that they have to trick themselves into working (or trick others into doing work). If we just suck it up and do the work then we’ll have plenty of time for skiving and feel accomplished too.

Noon: Enjoying a hangover…hmmmm. Sounds like an excuse not to do anything. But should we need an excuse to just chill out and let our bodies do what feels good? Instead of doing that we’re running around being ‘productive.’

1 pm: IT feels really good to treat lunch as a treat. Taking a long lunch with good people and enjoying the food and doing some leisurely activity is great. I agree that it’s a pity that we no longer do this.

2pm: If we all took time to enjoy being sick we would get better a lot sooner. Wonder if professors wold go for this…

3pm: Naps ARE great. If there existed the cultural norm to take naps they would be acceptable and great for all of us. But as mentioned in the end, paradise is for sleeping. So sleeping incorporated into the work day disrupts that kind of  aggressive, incentive driven culture we function in in our work world so often.

6pm: Wandering is something people don’t know how to do much anymore. It feels so wrong and weird sometimes when you wander but your mind can’t slow down with your body. Were we to wander more we may see more of the simple things around us that we can enjoy.

7pm: “The great thing is that we know how the journey will end, and that is in total idleness, which is death.”<<I really like this quote and chapter about taking things slow. We go through life pretty fast with small pockets of time set aside for going slow. Why not take life slow and only speed up when we really need to?

1am: Idle activities such as sex, drinking, drugs, and other indulgent activities are viewed with an overall negative light in modern society. These activities are physically pleasing, maybe too much and we fear that we will be overtaken by them and lost motivation to work. Would that be so awful?