We all contain the miraculous ability to something out of nothing in our daily lives. But what’s your aim in that process — inner authenticity or outward correctness?
It’s almost a continuum of intention. Do you value your own process over the tastes of others? Should all work be made for an existing audience, or so that a new community may be formed to rally around you?
Our Week 28 subjects thoughtfully meditated on whether it’s more important to be truer to oneself or those we love.
Who or what do you create for?
I think everyone essentially grows up making their own rules for life. Then, when you go out in the world, you’re rewarded for deftly navigating others’ backgrounds and value systems.
But it’s just as important to understand where your value system came from. Are there ways you could stand to be rewired or reeducated? Do you operate on childhood preconceptions that could stand to be questioned?
Our Week 27 subjects are very self-aware about their creative, religious, emotional, cultural and intuitive frameworks, and when it’s time to honor or abandon them.
Never stop rewiring your mind!
As we cross the boundary of 200 conversations into uncharted territory, North of the Internet increasingly looks like a place to experience thoughts, concerns and ideas without prejudice or preprogramming.
What do you carry around day-to-day that was actually the conclusion of someone else’s thinking, rather than your own? How do we eliminate psychological baggage that serves no purpose anymore?
We think our Week 25 subjects can dive into our minds and help dig out the weeds.
Dignity and introspection!
P.S. As we get ready to unveil the next chapter for North of the Internet, our conversations will be truncated to Wednesday-Friday for the summer months. We will return to 5 a week this fall.
This week, North of the Internet reached 200 conversations. A week or so from now, we will have existed for one year.
We crossed the 200 mark with a brilliant American investigative researcher responsible for catching one of the most heinous criminals of our era.
One year ago, we began NOTI with six conversations and no idea what it would become. We can say with full confidence that it has surpassed all of our expectations. We are more committed than ever to providing a transformative space for peoples’ thoughts in a louder world than ever.
Thanks to our subjects, curators and the friends we’ve made along the way, NOTI has developed into an interconnected constellation made only of your intellect and imagination.
From North of the Internet HQ in New York and Italy, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
Dignity and introspection!
No matter what type of creative person one might be, the concept of finding and keeping an audience takes so many forms in the vast oneness of the digital landscape.
Sure, one can reach people they never dreamed of reaching, but I think everyone is starting to feel the friction of hitting the limits of human attention. In response, creation becomes “content,” often whittled down to a pithy speck of information.
Our Week 23 subjects stand against that homogenization. Without necessarily throwing out their computer or smartphone, they understand how to still reach peoples’ hearts in an old-school way.
Dignity and introspection!
These days, we’re inundated with more agitated white noise than ever about how the world should work. It almost serves as a game of predictions: when will the outrage of the week flame out?
As a result, it’s almost shocking to actually see folks actually step outside of their comfort zone to confront the complexities of the world head-on, rather than as a jaded commentator. By being brave and getting one’s hands dirty, beauty and friendship can be wrung out of the void.
Our Week 22 subjects have gone out in the world to confront a wide scale of hurt and need, only to come out the other side with more power and purpose than when they went in.
How do you pursue alchemy in your daily life?
We think NOTI has a lot to do with the question of education. What does it mean? How do we best receive it? What is its place in an era in which all human knowledge is virtually available for free?
It’s our hope that North of the Internet provides a way for our subjects and curators to keep an open mind in a minimalist space that allows for it. We want our subjects to become conduits rather than passive consumers of knowledge.
Luckily, our Week 21 conversations touch deeply on what a real education truly means.
May the results set your curiosity in motion!
North of the Internet has been on the road lately! I write to you today from a front porch among some green, rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee.
We returned this week with some meditative, thought-provoking conversations about patterns, oranges, shattered glass, chickens and stardust. May they forge new connections and bridges of understanding.
Dignity and introspection!
As NOTI approaches 200 conversations, an interesting shift has taken place in Week 17. Not a single conversation this week has been curated by either one of us.
Instead, our subjects have fully taken the reins, going on to have in-depth, unconventional conversations with friends, loved ones and those they admire. It’s spiraled out into 2D, 3D and for the very first time: 4D.
We’re going to take two weeks off for a visit to Chicago. We’ll see you all again in Week 20!
Dignity and introspection!
If you were to accurately look back on your entire life, how much of it would be graduations, birthdays, anniversaries and soccer games, and how much would it be vacancy?
Maybe we’re wrong on this, but it would seem that our actual lives might consist of looking at shabby infrastructure, waiting in lines, scrolling through sponsored ads and paying bills — whereas we may cut to the highlight reel while at death’s door.
Our Week 16 subjects are fearless in their embrace of life as perhaps being more soberly real than curated and idealistic.
But is it all a mirage?
We’ve all felt the occasional nostalgic ache, a longing for a past life situation, or a sensation that everything would be better if we could just “rewind.”
In those moments, I think it’s right to ask: who are you at all? Can you define a median point of yourself based on the versions you’ve presented to each person in your life? When you consider that, are past versions of ourselves valuable simply because they’re gone?
Our Week 15 subjects aren’t afraid to survey traditions, concepts and ideas of the past and grill the falsehood out.
We’ve only been around for a little less than a year, but a theme keeps popping up with those who really care to dig deep with us: can the mind study itself?
Maybe that’s a cliché of psychology, but I think it’s right to ask. We want to have self-aware conversations with creative human beings — not just your boilerplate promotional or egotistical ones.
This week, we have 5 great subjects who are more than willing to study who they are and how they fit into a broader picture of the world.
Are you but a drop in the sea?
What is the nature of noise? Not necessarily the daily noise we’re exposed to that’s just sort of filed away, but mental noise, unnecessary conversation, anxious baggage.
How would you react in a state of actual silence, where the nagging tension would erased? Would that lead to transcendence, or is the excessive static what makes us human?
We think our Week 13 subjects have the unique perspective necessary to neutralize the phantom unease a little bit.
P.S. We have made the switch from weekly to monthly email newsletters. Sign up here!
After carefully studying our analytics and feedback, we’ve made the decision to switch over from a weekly to monthly newsletter to cut down on unnecessary email bulk. We will continue our weekly updates in our Journal section. At the end of each month, expect a special, comprehensive newsletter from us that details our entire month of conversations!
So keep reading, keep sharing and keep loading up NOTI every day — and we leave you now with these five fascinating subjects.
Whatever you do, stay close to the North!
We write to you from the midst of a snowstorm in New York, working hard on delivering incredible new conversations to you.
Did you know our staff is a grand total of two friends living in two different parts of the world? Regardless, we convened in the city this week to discuss some exciting developments North of the Internet will be bringing you in 2018.
Beyond that, we hope you enjoy this week of intellectually nourishing, mind-expanding talks, which begins with one of my personal favorite artists of the 20th century. We certainly did.
We’re going to take a break from posts next week. We’ll see you in Week 12!
It’s only now become really clear to me after about 25 years how much loss all of us have to reckon with in our past, present and future.
In my case, it almost leads to a sense of resentment if you meet somebody who has seemingly dealt with zero adversity.
However, I think the right reaction is to reverse death in life — to live proudly in the face of grief, to look forward without losing sight of the gift of the people or things you had.
Maybe our Week 9 subjects can lead the way.
May their insights be of service!
If there’s one message I hope we can eventually convey with NOTI, it might be “Hey, you can’t just get in line.”
I hope we’re a tiny bit in opposition to the forces in our world that would like to limit our imaginations to a series of canned talking points and indignant tweets.
Try and think beyond the glowing screen this week, about how this form of reality hides an innate genius beyond what anyone could have guessed otherwise.
Maybe our Week 8 subjects can help.
Keep in touch!
The great Quincy Jones recently said this: “God is pushing the bad in our face to make people fight back.”
I wouldn’t blame anyone who feels like our global problems are coarsening lately, the unsavoriness digging in its heels, the divide widening between coolness and ugliness.
Luckily, we have our Week 7 subjects to see our global turmoil as a means to an end for transcendence.
Where’s your spiritual battle headed?
The part of the constellation Orion that contains the Horsehead Nebula contains some stunning juxtapositions of light and shadow, substance and negative space.
If you take a look at a photo, the dark clouds of the Horsehead are opaque like thick ink, while the Orion Nebula is diffused, ethereal.
I see our Week 6 subjects as possessing a unique ability to make out what’s beyond the glass, darkly.
PS. All of our conversations now follow a background color system as per each curator. Browse and enjoy!
We’re increasingly living in an arbitrary, linear world where little moments of awe are made out to be quaint or irrelevant.
What if a sliver of energy we spent worrying about exes, brunch, losing ten pounds, our online aesthetic, getting to work on time and negative Twittering was spent gobsmacked by a leaf or a lizard?
Our Week 5 subjects are interested in the world for what it is, not what it’s agreed upon to be.
What ordinary things blow your mind?
We tend to spend our lives forming a vast, intricate identity, adding daily information to inform our personality, philosophy and tastes.
But what happens when you strip all that identity-building away? When it really comes down to the wire, which aspects will prevail as the true “you”?
We think our Week 4 subjects meditated on that idea.
Who are you this time?
In the field of organic chemistry, it’s not the molecules that are of greatest interest — it’s the unique connections between them.
It’s not too big a deal if you’ve got a carbon surrounded by hydrogens. But the right connections between them really can explode the whole program, creating something brand-new in a miraculous way.
I appreciate this week’s subjects because they can draw connections between seemingly unrelated thoughts and make them harmonious.
Can you untie what’s been tied?
Out of the heavy weather of 2017, we step into a forest clearing, a silent respite of blank newness.
That’s where our first conversation of 2018 took place, between two multidisciplinary artists on a grimy bench right near the Pacific Ocean.
From there, our subjects expounded into the realms of insects, trumpets, clouds, death and the Alaskan wilderness.
We hope the new year finds you all in good health!