Desk Notes · Papers

A quality life? ‘Knowing what matters and if you achieved it’

Qualitative sciences are curious, sometimes. I found something written by Philip Kitcher in his book, The Lives to Come. Not saying that you should read the book, it wasn’t that interesting, but this part was very curious to me. I’ll paraphrase.

The author lists three ways, according to him, that one can evaluate if someone else’s life was ‘with quality’, or not. Why should we listen to him? I’m not sure. I’m not writing newspaper stories these days, just blogging what I wants o I will just say, ‘maybe you can decide if you think the below is interesting and take or leave it.’ I have had it kicking around in ‘draft’ here, for three years.

Let me just tell you these criteria, according to the author.

To paraphrase, they are:

    • Knowing what matters. This one is about discovering the journey towards what really counts, for you, personally. Here’s what the questions to ask are: ‘Did the person develop a sense of what is significant? How was the conception of what matters formed?’ I guess it’s important how you got to what counts just as much as it is to know what it is that you put on those blanks, in a list, of what matters.
    • Achieving what matters. Related to the last idea, of course, is how did you do with what you knew was important. ‘To what extent is the person’s desires to achieve what matters to her satisfied in a life plan? Did she get there?’ Big questions for sure. But important, right? Looking at what matters to you is fine, but actually taking steps (or having the desire to take steps, to go a step backwards from that), is pretty huge, according to this three-point criteria list.
    • Knowing if that arrival was any good. This part was about the levels of real experience the person got to have. I mean, we all have ups and downs, but feeling the feelings through when we do is pretty much what, I think, this is about. One could ask: ‘How did it feel, to achieve the goals set out as that which mattered to a person? What was the character of the person’s experience, the balance of pleasure and pain?’

MASSIVE QUESTIONS, to be sure. What do you think about the above? Would you agree or disagree with Kitcher’s three-point list of what makes for a quality life? Would you add something, and if so, what would it be? If you could eliminate something, what would you take away?

These are the kinds of things that we talk about, in ‘Papers‘.

'S' is for Sincerity · Experiments in Expression · Papers

November syllabus

Each month’s end is a fun time for me to review the multiple threads of email conversations between me, and co-creators of S P A C E, plus, our online interactive writing community that is called Papers. It is a gentle weekly journaling space, for those who just want to make more time for that. I host it. I listen to everyone’s sharing and write prompts from each week’s conversations; in this way, it is organic, emergent, and flowy. It’s my online version of a weekly regular meet up, just a few people at a time. I love that kind of regularity and the comfort that comes with just knowing that, once a week, there will be a small group to get together with and talk, just about whatever, and it’s like, a kind of… community.

DSP and I talked about ‘an artists community’ when we last met in person, I think, or perhaps it was the time before last, which would have been… August? I am losing track of time. Time… another topic. But we will focus on the things that have come up, in the ‘Papers’ conversations, which are quite simple in design: circles of just four people talking together; talking in email; talking, internationally and asynchronously. The important part is: talking.

Good things take time.

Started this in May.

It’s only just now starting to find its way; this, sometimes, is how a beginning… begins.

Welcoming those who are in it, and know who they are, to our November circle of Papers.

See you on email.


Papers · Publisher's Diary

Design is listening

Making space for people to write more. Sharing our stories together as we go. Designing the syllabus for September, based on threads that are emerging. Conversations, every single day, as well as those that have been going for years and years, interlace in DK | Papers. The next call for applications will be in December. Check out FB to keep up with us, there. Meantime… I’m learning as I go that design isn’t ‘making meaning’ as I used to say before, in the 2010s… or ‘trust the process’ as I would keep on talking about, too. It’s something else. Far more important.

Design is listening.

HT Y, VT & P from DL conversations. And also: A & A in DK | June Papers.