a misinterpreted teenagers-in-a-museum picture

“Late last year this photograph of children looking at their smartphones by Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’ in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam started doing the rounds on the web. It quickly became viral. It was often accompanied by outraged, dispirited comments such as “a perfect metaphor for our age”, “the end of civilisation” or “a sad picture of our society”.

Only they weren’t. It turns out that the Rijksmuseum has an app that, among other things, contains guided tours and further information about the works on display. As part of their visit to the museum, the children, who minutes earlier had admired the art and listened attentively to explanations by expert adults, had been instructed to complete an assignment by their school teachers, using, among other things, the museum’s excellent smartphone app.

I would like to think that all those who liked, posted, shared and tweeted the picture of children on smartphones by Rembrandt’s masterpiece in the erroneous belief that it illustrated everything that is wrong with society feel a tiny bit silly and a little more humble as a consequence. But it won’t happen.

The tragic thing is that this —— the truth —— will never go viral. So, I wonder, what is more likely to bring about the death of civilisation, children using smartphones to learn about art or the willful ignorance of adults who are too quick to make assumptions?”

“Technology and the death of civilisation” — by José Picardo at Medium — http://tinyurl.com/jz3ayfy

Posted on Ello: June 6, 2016 at 10:07AM: http://ift.tt/22HSKIi


“There’s nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic”


“There is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic, because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.”

Maya Angelou died on this day in 2014. Here is her timeless, ever-timely wisdom on courage and facing evil.

from a few days ago…


from my Tumblr blog: ferdifz.tumblr.com [direct link]

explore-blog: “The Really Important Kind of Freedom”, David Foster Wallace delivers This…


May 21, 2005: David Foster Wallace delivers This Is Water – his unforgettable commencement address about the meaning of life, one of the greatest commencements of all time.

He took his own life three years later. That he was able to give us the beauty and wisdom he did, for as long as he did, despite such unbearable inner agony makes it all the more impressive, generous, and precious a gift.

from my Tumblr blog: ferdifz.tumblr.com [direct link]

differences of opinion

Differences of opinion aren’t dangerous. But perceiving them as insults, as attacks on character, this has so often lead to wars…

Not just verbal backs-and-forth. Not just minorly bruising fisticuffs. All-out wars. With bombs and shit.

So in my opinion one way we could prevent some wars is to start feeling a bit less insulted all the time. By differences of opinion. The little wars in our small circles for a start. Just for a start.

Not to stop having differing opinions. Not by holding them back, not by silencing our dissents. But by not taking them as insults all the time.

Easier said than done, I know. I’m still struggling with this myself. Continue reading “differences of opinion”

ultimately how you feel about life….

That ultimately how you feel about life is all in your head: happy, sad, excited, despondent, overjoyed, angered, perplexed, bored…

…and no, you don’t have to let anyone or anything keep you stuck at any one moment. Escape the trap at any time, because the trap was never really there. You had always been free to leave.

Or stay. Or grow.

Nothing’s stopping us. Nothing.


I am not so conceited and full of myself that I consider myself a master writer or even plain competent blogger. But I do have a certain way of writing down words which I found pleasing to myself and I do not wish to lose this way of writing, not because this way of writing is what I make my money and/or living off of but because I wish to continue to be able to express my thoughts and feelings. Of which writing is one of my several, at least so far. Continue reading “space”

on Love via God

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”

This implies that the only “proper” and Godly way to reach each others’ hearts is through God; and that everything else is suspect….

It’s a concept, most certainly. Slanted towards Theism as it is…

Of course we could replace “God” and “Him” in the first sentence to Humanism, Pantheism, Critical Materialism, or any other -ism, deity, or supreme philosophy. Which makes me suspicious of the koan….

Need to think some more about this before I can swallow it whole-hearted.

It may even seem un-Biblical… to me… [by my own personal definition of ‘Biblical’, which as far as I can tell was given unto me by God Himself, I’m sure.]

Re-posted from a private Google+ Post I started….

Is Hierarchy good for Indonesian society?

Is Hierarchy good for Indonesian society? I mean I know that many traditional regional cultures born within Indonesia are socially structured with hierarchy as a vital element in decision making and leadership. And that–on the other hand–in many…

Is Hierarchy good for Indonesian society?

I mean I know that many traditional regional cultures born within Indonesia are socially structured with hierarchy as a vital element in decision making and leadership. And that–on the other hand–in many urban Indonesian cities there has been many signs which points towards a flattening of hierarchies as a way to break social barriers to opportunities and understanding.

But which mode will provide the best result for Indonesia as an entity? My work with the SBF depends on showing leadership in this area, and we do not think that the current trend of letting it be “decided” by “the market” is healthy at all.

Need more time to fully flesh this out, of course, but I also need to say that I do not see any leadership in this topic. And that if Indonesia decides that this is bullshit and we don’t need any of this kind of thinking, then Indonesia also needs to begin movement towards dissolution, as a way of bringing an end to our Nation’s pervasive undecidedness.