While I have no desire to live forever from an immortal standpoint (thank goodness!)I do have a deep desire to learn forever so I could read every book I would want to and feed my insatiable curiosity forever. However, I live very much in the present and this picture if of the recent presents (pun intended) I received in the boxes which arrived the other day from my trip to the USA and Canada last month which you may have seen in the previous blog entry here.
Many of you know that I have become a complete convert to eBooks and prefer to do pretty much all my reading on my eReader (Kindle) tablet (iPhone), smart phone or laptop. I’ve talked about that at length over on my Off Course – On Target blog if you are interested in more details but the reasons are essentially that my eBooks are now as good or better than paper from a pure readability standpoint, they have reached the level of transparency so I can forget I’m reading on a digital device and get lost in the story, and then they give me a built in OED dictionary I use so often as I read plus a organized collection of all my highlights and notes taken while I read so that I have this to refer to and use after I’ve finished each book or even as I’m in the process of reading it.
However as you can see in the picture these ones I’m highlighting today are all paper books because they are not yet available in Kindle or eBook format and I’m not going to let that stand in the way of me reading them especially when I get the opportunity such as here in Majuro to have them shipped to me. Here is some of what am I reading that you can see in the picture:
DRAWING on the RIGHT SIDE of the BRAIN:
Yes, that’s right Wayne is going to try to learn how to draw, go after his more creative side and learn to see the world more fully through the eyes of an artist. Well, that’s my intent and motivation anyways. As you may be able to see I have both the book and the workbook for Betty Edward’s acclaimed “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” and these are maybe the ones I’m most excited about as they represent an another journey I’ve long wanted to take, that of learning how to draw better and more so learning how to see the world better. I’ve only read the first chapter so far and I don’t know if I’m more excited about learning how to draw or all the ways in which drawing and Betty’s experiences for the past 20+ years inspire and ignite my passionate pursuit of topics such as how to become a more “whole brained” person and how this all relates to learning in general. Both are all part of this grand voyage I’m on for my own self improvement on a more quantum and spiritual level and I couldn’t be more excited about all of it.
Knowing how I like to use myself and my life as a grand experiment and my recent penchant for uncharacteristically putting myself “out there” and sharing everything, I will undoubtedly share with you some of my drawings along the way so you can see first hand how I’m doing and hopefully the great progress along the way. I
I will also be using this as an opportunity to test the use of the touch screen on my iPad and my stylus to do some of the drawings. Some of you will know that I’ve long been fascinated by and talked much about how we can discern and extract the essence out of our historical and well proven practices and human elements and carry them forward into the future as we combine them with the most modern of technologies and innovations. The combination of drawing and touch screens is one of my most cited examples. We have been drawing since we lived in caves and I see no likelihood or desire to stop doing so as far into the future as I can see. However the transmogrification into the digital world and the apparent readiness of touch to be added to our human computer interactions and interfaces is extremely exciting and already upon us. I want to have the experiential learning of doing so and be able to share this all with you more knowledgeably and hence the new books and the new voyage. Wish me luck!
Rudy Rucker’s Trilogy: The Ware Tetralogy
This is another long time coming read for me and will likely need to wait till I’m back into full time sailing mode rather than my current boat work mode, but I finally have it onboard with me now and can’t wait to dive into each of these four books; Software, Wetware, Freeware and Realware. If you aren’t familiar with these a quick search on any of these titles will give you a good overviews and you’ll quickly see why I’ve been wanting to read these for so long. I had the distinct pleasure to be at Autodesk in the early years when we were working with Rudy and James Gleick on things like Chaos Theory so my interest goes a long ways back.
I took advantage of being back in the USA and in Florida to be able to raid my carefully stowed few boxes of books which I keep ashore as they are too bulky and valuable to have on the boat all the time. I was looking for and found three that I’ve been wanting to read or reread which were:
David Bohm’s “Wholeness and the Implicate Order” and “On Creativity”
David is one of my mentors and a great inspiration to me for over twenty years since Jimm Meloy, one of my many great “bosses” at Autodesk, first put me on to him. You can read a brief tribute I did about David and his work several years ago over on the Off Course – On Target blog. Again, I’ll let you read up on these books if you’re intrigued which I can’t imagine anyone not being but that’s just me. David is one of the great minds of the past century in my humble opinion and he has helped me understand so much about how things work, not just from the theoretical physics side of which Bohm is one of the most highly regarded scientists ever to be in that field, but also his more spiritual and holistic views on life, learning and how we think.
Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” and “The Universe in a Nutshell”
Inspired by my recent reading of Martin Gardner’s great collection of essays in “The Night is Large” (thank you, thank you, thank you Erik for that great gift!) I’ve become ever more fascinated by what would seem to be the one single constant in the universe: time. And I’ve also been learning about celestial navigation with the purpose less so for the actual navigation abilities it gives me in a catastrophic failure of all my digital navigation on board and the use of my sextant, but more so for the development of a true working understanding of how the whole universe works in a full three dimensional way or perhaps more. I’ve had Hawking’s books for a long time but as usual I let serendipity and synchronicity determine when the call to read them will come. It came, I’m reading!
Finally on the sailing front, I was able to pick up two books which will be extremely valuable to my ongoing education about all things sailing to which I am such a complete novice.
Tropical Cruising Handbook by Mark Smaalders and Kim de Rochers
You can maybe just make this one out over in the distance on the on the far side of my cockpit table where I took the picture above. A friend had this when I was in my beloved Fiji last year and rather than be a cruising guide which I depend upon for all the local knowledge about islands, bays, inlets and the like, this one was a fabulous collection of detailed and well illustrated explanations of things like weather systems, anchoring , navigation and health and wellness in the tropics. I couldn’t put it down nor remember enough of it so I ordered a copy for myself last year and finally have it in my eager hands now.
Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia by Linda and Steve Dashew
This is one of the “bibles” of we blue water or off shore cruisers and I finally have my own copy now. I’ve become a huge fan and student of Steve and Linda and have learned so much from being a regular visitor to their setsail.com web site where their prolific writing and photography is freely available and constantly being added to as they sail the world and more recently have moved over to power boating. In all cases they have designed and built their own boats and what is so great about them is they explain every detail about each and ever decision they make in the process. Plus they are the “real deal” living aboard and sailing or powering their way around and all over the world many times over and for many many years. Now into their seventies they are still going as strong as ever, still pushing the envelop more than ever and I’m looking forward to learning even more from them within the pages of this old classic of theirs.
I will leave for another posting the MUCH longer list of books that are patiently awaiting my attention on my Kindle and end with this additional photo of my paper books. I thought I was just taking a second photo in case the first one didn’t turn out so well and zoomed out a bit as Ruby the Wonderdog decided she needed to be in the picture. But I’m putting it in here as it will give you a microcosm view of my life right now as there is so much of it in this one photo. For example if you look just behind Ruby you will see the recalcitrant oil pan you may recall from the previous posting now awaiting an adapter I need for my oxy-acetylene welder to weld in a new section of the bottom. There is my dear Ruby of course, and all of this is taken the cockpit where I am typing this up and where I spend the vast majority of my time when I’m aboard and not down in the engine room or otherwise busy with boat jobs.
So there you have it folks, the update for today from the good ship Learnativity here in the tropical NE Trades and crystal clear waters of Majuro in the Marshall Islands. Wish you were here and you do too!!