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Feb
4th
Mon
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Saudade [noun]


“Saudade is a Portuguese word that has no direct translation in English. (…) The “Dicionário Houaiss da língua portuguesa” defines saudade (or saudades) as “A somewhat melancholic feeling of incompleteness. It is related to thinking back on situations of privation due to the absence of someone or something, to move away from a place or thing, or to the absence of a set of particular and desirable experiences and pleasures once lived.” (…) Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses. (…)

It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one’s children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. In Portuguese, ‘tenho saudades tuas’, translates as ‘I have saudade of you’ meaning ‘I miss you’, but carries a much stronger tone. In fact, one can have ‘saudade’ of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.” “
Wiki (Illustration: Bertha Worms, Saudades de Nápoles (Missing Naples), (1895))
Nov
2nd
Fri
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Optimist:
Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha.
Robert Brault, writer, journalist, Six Definitions of an Optimist, June 28, 2009.
Oct
9th
Tue
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A work of art is an artifact upon which some person(s) acting on behalf of the artworld has conferred the status of candidate for appreciation.
George Dickie, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at University of Illinois at Chicago and is an influential philosopher of art working in the analytical tradition, The Definition of Art, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Jul
19th
Thu
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Umwelt is the idea that we blindly accept the reality of the world around us.

“It would be useful if the concept of the umwelt were embedded in the public lexicon. It neatly captures that idea of limited knowledge, of unobtainable information, of unimagined possibilities.”

David Eagleman, neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action, in This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking.

Illustration: “Early Scheme for a circular Feedback Circle" from Theoretische Biologie 1920. An organism creates and reshapes its own Umwelt when it interacts with the world. This is termed a ‘functional circle’.

See also: M. Stella, K. Kleisner, Umwelt as science and as ideology: the light and the dark side of a concept (pdf)
39 New Scientific Concepts That Everyone Should Understand, Business Insider, Jun. 11, 2012. (tnx wildcat2030
Apr
11th
Wed
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Mono-no-aware means literally “the pathos of things”, also translated as “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera”, is a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of impermanence, or the transience of things, and a gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing. — (Wiki)

Mono means things, and aware comes from the ancient Japanese exclamation ‘Ah(a)!’. In early Heian times (794-1185) aware became a noun designating a profound and individual emotion that one experiences in communion with the transient beauty of a person, an event, a natural object or a work of art. Aware is sometimes called the ‘ah!-ness of things’ you feel when confronted with beauty and at the same time are conscious of the transience or incompleteness of this beauty. Aware transcends the feelings of sadness and joy and merges these into a new, profound emotion. (…)

In the 12th and 13th centuries Southern France saw the troubadours turning their feelings of love, what they called fin’amor, into exquisite poetry. The basis of fin’amor was an emotion called joy. Joy caused an ecstatic experience in which the lover appreciated simultaneously the happiness as well as the sadness, the gaiety as well as the pains, of loving. The same is true for 'mono no aware', where an object, person or situation can cause a feeling encompassing happiness as well as sadness, and where experiencing both elements is essential to the emotion. When one experiences fin’amor one forgets all about oneself. One can live life without the obstructions from one’s self-created ego and enjoy every component of one’s emotions, be they happy or sad.”

Mono no Aware - A Sensitivety to Things
Mar
5th
Mon
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Anthropologists seek out epiphanies through a sense of “Vuja De.” Everyone knows that feeling of déjà vu, a strong sense that you have seen or experienced something before, even if you really never have. Vuja de is the opposite - a sense of seeing something for the first time, even if you have actually witnessed it many times before.
Tom Kelley, business consultant, author, The Ten Faces of Innovation, Doubleday, 2005. (tnx innovationcultures)
Sep
13th
Tue
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Mamihlapinatapai is a word from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the “most succinct word”. See also: ☞ Volunteer’s dilemma
Aug
5th
Fri
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