Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

Filtering by Tag: productivity

#6: you gotta leave the library

This week, Justin and Robin ostensibly talk about learning. There is some banter about Battlestar Galactica that we level-headedly refrain from turning the entire show into, and then we talk some about why learning gets mistaken for schooling, and how not to be noisily average.

As always, you can find us on iTunes, or subscribe to the RSS feed, if that's your style. Follow us on Twitter at @DefiniteA to read delightfully digestible summaries of each episode as they air.

Show Notes

Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich

A book that challenges a lot of deeply held beliefs about schools and institutions in general. Illich suggests that our ideas of what education really is are so influenced by what schools tell us it is that we don't believe we can find any true education outside of schoolroom doors. The institutionalization of society renders individual accomplishment so suspect that those who deviate from the educational norm are considered uneducated.

Rhyme's Reason by John Hollander

In his classic text Rhyme's Reason the distinguished poet and critic John Hollander surveys the schemes, patterns, and forms of English verse, illustrating each variation with an original and witty self-descriptive example.

Mario Savio Speech in Battlestar Galactica

Comparing Mario Savio's famous 1964 Berkeley speech with Galen Tyrol's pro-strike speech from the 2006 Battlestar Galactica episode "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II"

Where Should I Go to College? by Mark Edmundson

A critique of the modern state of the American university and high school. Edmundson describes two opposing kinds of university - the corporate city and the scholarly enclave. Neither of them exists in their pure forms, but there are varying amounts of each element in every school. Although it certainly is "not about what you know, but who you know," perhaps it's still important to, like, read books and stuff.

Bring on the learning revolution! by Ken Robinson

Ken Robinson has over a dozen TED talks about education, but this one particularly sticks out. He talks about how standardized education prevents students from unearthing their true talents, and why we need to stop ignoring that.

"Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by WB Yeats

"Tread softly, for you tread on my dreams."

The UnCollege Manifesto by Dale Stephens

In which Dale Stephens, the founder of UnCollege, lays out his beliefs about college and why it's not only not necessary to be successful, but is a veritable breeding ground for normalcy and mediocrity.

Grad School - ART THOUGHTZ by Hennessy Youngman

"But why take out loans and enter into massive debt just so you’ll be able to hold up your end of a conversation at a creative time benefit? You know? That makes no sense, internet. But for $4.99, plus shipping and handling, I definitely think it’s worth it."

#3: put the t-rex on the couch

Download This Episode

This week Robin & Justin tackle stress--when it can be good, how you can use it to your advantage, and why it's important to buy the right size hamper if you don't want to bang your face against the wall. There's help along the way from business psychologists, William "Therapist to the Dinosaurs" James, and even a guest appearance by the Buddha.

If you're a follower, you should follow us on the Twitternet: @DefiniteA. We like to toot about things that we like, which are mostly comics.

Subscribe to us on iTunes, or visit the show at hoosteen.net/tda.

Show Notes


How to make stress work in your favor

...new research suggests that all the attention to the risks of stress may actually be part of the problem. Though it tends to get lost in the frenzy, our stress response evolved to do us good; psychologists have long recognized that under the right conditions, it can improve mental and physical health and boost athletic and cognitive performance. And researchers are finding that one way to unleash this positive side of stress is simply to retrain ourselves to think of it differently.

Understanding the Dangers of "Ego Depletion"

The reality of modern life is that we can’t always avoid depletion. But that doesn’t mean we’re helpless against it... Simply knowing you can become depleted, and moreover, knowing the kinds of decisions you might make as a result, makes you far better equipped to handle difficult situations when and as they arise.

The Principles of Psychology by William James

When we look at living creatures from an outward point of view, one of the first things that strike us is that they are bundles of habits. In wild animals, the usual round of daily behavior seems a necessity implanted at birth; in animals domesticated, and especially in man, it seems, to a great extent, to be the result of education.

Dukkha: Etymology

Later translators, however, including Walpola Rahula (What Buddha Taught, 1974) and nearly all contemporary translators, have emphasized that "suffering" is too limited a translation for the term dukkha, and have preferred to either leave the term untranslated or to clarify that translation with terms such as unease, anxiety, stress, dissatisfaction, disquietude, etc.

Stress as Metaphor

This inward reorientation of the stress metaphor, Becker argues, is largely the result of the rising monoculture of liberal individualism, which places individual freedom and self-actualization at the heart of what it means to be human, all the while preserving and honoring the fluid self and negating the myth of fixed personality.

Parkinson's Law

The total effort which would occupy a busy man for three minutes all told may in this fashion leave another person prostrate after a day of doubt, anxiety and toil.

*P.S.: Thank you to George Porteus, who designed our awesome new logo! Y'all should check out his other work and hire him to make things for you because he has got the skills to pay the bills, as they say. *