“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”—From Leo Tolstoy’s “What is Art?”
Sam Anderson on the art of seeing, or what a physical almanac can teach us about our physical selves under the crush of nonphysical information on the Internet:
We need to remember the value of nothing. It’s like breathing: you can’t inhale all day.
We need to learn to make peace with the information we don’t know, to embrace the zeroes, to relearn the pleasures of hunger, need, interruption, restraint. We need to work up our ignorance muscles. We need to organize our internal absences to create meaning. We are responsible, in other words, now and forever, for our own deletionism.