Ping Practices continues to be shaped by an expansive body of pre-existing thought and through conversations with people in the present.

When you really pay attention there a certain little clues we get; it’s so crystal clear what the next step is. It’s just this puzzle and everything is in its right place. And as we grow, take the next step, the dots get connected and we eventually become what we’re supposed to be.

Christopher Alexander A City Is Not a Tree

Modern psychology treats thought as a process of fitting new situations into existing slots and pigeonholes in the mind. Just as you cannot put a physical thing into more than one physical pigeonhole at once, so, by analogy, the processes of thought prevent you from putting a mental construct into more than one mental category at once. Study of the origin of these processes suggests that they stem essentially from the organism's need to reduce the complexity of its environment by establishing barriers between the different events that it encounters.

These experiments suggest strongly that people have an underlying tendency, when faced by a complex organization, to reorganize it mentally in terms of non-overlapping units. The complexity of the semilattice is replaced by the simpler and more easily grasped tree form.

Viktor Frankl*

Between stimulus and response lies a space. In that space lie our freedom and power to choose a response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.

*Exact source not currently known

We’re often too quick to imagine that we’ve actually learned from the past. But new works often tend to recycle the same ideas over and over again into different media. To me this suggests that we might be more open to letting old works speak, that our task might not be so much to make new works but to build new platforms for old works to speak from.

Dominique Foray The Economics of Knowledge

There is a big difference between the existence of knowledge in some other place and its availability to the right people in the right place at the right time. The crux of the matter is knowing how to integrate and organize fragmented, scattered and thinly spread knowledge.

Edmund Leach 1967 Reith Lecture

This act of listening and understanding is an act of submission on your part.

Bret Victor

One's ability to articulate an idea always lags behind the understanding of the idea, and the understanding of an idea often lags behind the embodiment in which it is first given life. It can take a surprising amount of time to come to understand what a prototype is trying to "say", and longer still to say it oneself.

Moyra Davey Index Cards

When away from his [Roland Barthes] desk he used spring-activated-ballpoint pens that required no fumbling with a cap, and wore jackets with pockets that would accommodate these tools. He maintained friends who would not question his habit of stopping, mid-walk, mid-sentence, to quickly note a thought.

The world of art and letters is the site upon which we hone these skills, acquire the responsiveness, imagination, and flexibility to deal with this world, where we learn to appreciate its anxieties.

...civilization must be defined by the ability of a diverse populace to tolerate and appreciate the anxiety of living in a tumultuous, heterogeneous urban world

...human civilization, in the process of becoming less centralized and less authoritarian, has created modes of expression in which the burden of assigning meaning and value resides wholly within the colloquy of beholders.

I kind of believe that when that feeling of wanting to write is coming up it’s because there’s a lot…of things that have mixed together in an interesting way and only in that moment will that interesting mixture come out

Carl Rogers On Becoming a Person (1961)

...I have almost invariably found that the very feeling which has seemed to me most private, most personal, and hence most incomprehensible by others, has turned out to be an expression for which there is a resonance in many other people.

Denise Scott Brown, Steven Izenour, and Robert Venturi Learning from Las Vegas

We look backward at history and tradition to go forward; we can also look downward to go upward. And withholding judgement may be used as a tool to make later judgement more sensitive. This is a way of learning from everything.

Massanobu Fukuoka The One-Straw Revolution

Nature , or the body itself, serves as a capable guide. But this subtle guidance goes unheard by most people because of the clamor caused by desire and by the activity of the discriminating mind.

It was a way to strip myself of all of the rules that I'd come up with that they were like collated invisibly over time. Like, "Okay , I don't, I shouldn't do that anymore because that didn't work. Okay, so now I have rule number one. Now, I shouldn't play multiple shows in the same city because it seems that by the third show it's strange and it doesn't feel right. So, okay, no more multiples. Or like, technically I should use my pedal chain this way because that's the way that seems to work best." I had kind of collected this armature of all of these things that I knew in air quotes because I...was just limiting myself. I created all these conditions that kind of disempowered me at the core where I thought that I could only be what I am and do what I do if these conditions were in place. And so, slowly slowly slowly I lost my scissor kicking punk clarity of vision and I became, like, a professional who in that transition kind of lost access to like the primary energetic truth surge that it makes sound out of my body.

Plato Phaedrus

For this invention [writing] will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem [275b] to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.

A special target of examination ought to be how societies differ in making room for pauses in the midst of life, for it is during such pauses that individuals are able to appraise the meaning of what they have undergone.

Kengo Kuma Anti-Object

All ideas come from sensation or reflection. Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas. How comes it to be furnished?

Abby Smith Rumsey When We Are No More

...analog information has a greater integrity—of the literal kind—and more accurately mirrors the embodied mind in time and space. But it is less flexible and faithful as a means of analysis, comparison, and communication over long distances.

We use technology to accumulate facts about the natural and social worlds. But facts are only incidental to memory. They sometimes even get in the way of thoughtful concentration and problem solving. It is the ability for information to be useful both now and in the future that counts. And it is our emotions that tell what is valuable for our survival and well-being.

Pharrell Williams

...still keep the same hunger. That hunger is to always be, 'Man, I feel something. I gotta go put it down.' And you put it down. As long as you keep that...the conduit between those two places clear, for the energy to come through, you gonna always be ill.

Donald Judd

Space is made by the artist or architect; it is not found or packaged. It is made by thought.

Marshall McLuhan Understanding Media

The oral man's inner world is a tangle of complex emotions and feelings that the Western practical man has long ago eroded or suppressed within himself in the interest of efficiency and practicality.

Yi-Fu Tuan Space and Place

To experience is to learn; it means acting on the given and creating out of the given. The given cannot be known in itself. What can be known is a reality that is a construct of experience, a creation of feeling and thought.

A mere smile or touch may signal our consciousness of an important occasion. Insofar as these gestures can be observed they are public. They are also fleeting, however and their meaning so eludes confident interpretation that they cannot provide the basis for group planning and action. They lack the firmness and objectivity of words and pictures.

It is a common tendency to regard feeling and thought as opposed, the one registering subjective states, the other reporting on objective reality. In fact, they lie near the two ends of an experiential continuum, and both are ways of knowing.

David Bohm Thought As A System

...if you have found the words which express the way you are actually thinking, the body will be affected.

Attention is really a potential to take us deeper.

...thought is a very subtle set of reflexes which is potentially unlimited; you can add more and more and you can modify your reflexes.

...anything perceived becomes sooner or later a set of reflexes. And what's what I want to call 'thought' – which includes the emotion, the bodily state, the physical reaction and everything else.

What I mean by 'thought' is the whole thing — thought, 'felt', the body, the whole society sharing thoughts — it's all one process. It is essential for me not to break that up, because it's all one process; somebody else's thought becomes my thought, and vice versa. Therefore it would be wrong and misleading to break it up into my thought, your thought, my feelings, these feelings, those feelings. I would say that thought makes what is often called in modern language a system. A system means a set of connected things or parts.

Similarly, thought is a system. That system not only includes thoughts, 'felts' and feelings, but it includes the state of the body; it includes the whole of society – as thought is passing back and forth between people in a process by which thought evolved from ancient times.'s implicit when you don't put it in words, and it can do all sorts of things. But now make it explicit and then you can at least see that thought is doing it. So you're getting some perception. By bringing it out you can see that this is what is happening, whereas if you don't make it explicit you can't see that thought is involved at all.

...when an insight is put into words, what is it that puts it into words? Is it thought or is it the insight? I want to suggest that the insight itself will be an insight into the words which express it properly. It's almost as though the words are coming out from a loudspeaker, rather than by somebody trying to get them out.

An environment that facilitates recalling and learning is a way of linking the living moment to a wide span of time. Being alive is being awake in the present, secure in our ability to continue but alert to the new things that come streaming by. We feel our own rhythm, and feel also that it is part of the rhythm of the world.

It is when local time, local place, and our own selves are secure that we are ready to face challenge, complexity, vast space, and the enormous future.

If we examine the feelings that accompany daily life, we find that historic monuments occupy a small place.

To attempt to preserve all of the past would be life-denying.

There must also be some random accumulations to enable us to discover unexpected relationships. But serendipity is possible only when recollection is essentially a holding fast to what is meaningful and a release of what is not.

Choosing a past helps us to construct a future. If forms are standard and do not change, we experience déjà vu. The world recycles endlessly. Pervasive novelty is even more disturbing. We experience jamais vu - we see nothing we have ever seen before, there are no connections, the present is perilously small.

Memory is the result of a process of selection and of organizing what is selected so that it is within reach in expectable situations.

Annie Murphy Paul The Extended Mind

...our jottings build for us a series of ascending steps from which we can survey new vistas.

...when a potentially relevant pattern is detected, it’s our interoceptive faculty that tips us off: with a shiver or a sigh, a quickening of the breath or a tensing of the muscles.

...gesture represents the leading edge of our thought.

Jacques Sojcher

...everything that speaks, makes noise, passes by, touches us lighty, meets us head on.

We think the ocean as a whole by multiplying mentally the impression we get at any moment when at sea.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Things are not quite real until they acquire names and can be classified in some way. Curiosity about places is part of a general curiosity about things, part of the need to label experiences so that they have a greater degree of permanence and fit into some conceptual scheme.

Robert Greene Mastery

If we feel like we know something, our minds close off to other possibilities. We see reflections of the truth we’ve already assumed. Such feeling of superiority are often unconscious and stem from a fear of what is different or unknown.

One's tastes tends to propel you into the same areas over and over again.

Most objects which we are accustomed to call beautiful, such as a painting or a tree, are single-purpose things, in which, through long development or the impress of one will, there is an intimate, visible linkage from the fine detail to the total structure.

...a distinctive and legible environment not only offers security but also heightens the potential depth and intensity of human experience. Although life is far from impossible in the visual chaos of the modern city, the same daily action could take on new meaning if carried out in a more vivid setting."

Concepts of size may depend in part on how well a structure can be grasped.

Christopher Alexander Making the Garden

To have something solid that I could be sure of, I started by examining the smallest particles of functional effect that I could discern in buildings, paying attention to small and sometimes barely significant aspects of the ways that buildings affect people. My purpose in doing this was to focus on the smallest particles of fact that I could be certain of: something that was extraordinarily difficult given the porridge of mush that then passed for architectural theory. In those early years, my studies were based on the most ordinary, miniscule observations about usefulness and the effect of buildings on the people who lived in them, always keeping the observations modest, ­reliable, and detailed—small enough and solid enough that I could be sure that they were true.

When we know those moments, when we smile, when we let go, when we are not on guard at all – these are the moments when our most important forces show themselves; whatever you are doing at such a moment, hold on to it, repeat it – for that certain smile is the best knowledge that we ever have of what our hidden forces are, and where they lie, and how they can be loosed.

Marshall McLuhan Understanding Media

Plainly, to store is to expedite, since what is stored is also more accessible than what has to be gathered.

Christopher Alexander The Timeless Way of Building

...the town slowly gets its structure from the incremental aggregation of their individual acts.

When we know those moments, when we smile, when we let go, when we are not on guard at all – these are the moments when our most important forces show themselves; whatever you are doing at such a moment, hold on to it, repeat it – for that certain smile is the best knowledge that we ever have of what our hidden forces are, and where they lie, and how they can be loosed.

I've always been interested in the idea of how do you photograph the mundane in order to kind of underline what you need the audience to take away from it because...especially if you're making puzzle movies or movies that have a lot of clues in them there's a real point of exhaustion that the audience can reach if they're over-cataloguing, over-indexing everything.

Alfred Whitehead

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.

Last updated