epic voyage

...one does not discover new land without consenting to lose sight of the shore...

…one does not discover new land without consenting to lose sight of the shore…

“Epic voyage” – sounds so much better than “Homepage” or “Home“, a little bit exaggerated so; however, as I normally start a voyage from home, I think “epic voyage” actually matches the purpose of this homepage as a starting point for a journey respectively for exploring this site very well. Before I proceed with further explanations:

Welcome to Willem’s Chautauqua!

The first time I read about the term “Chautauqua” was in Robert M. Pirsig’s book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” – it’s not easy reading, but I found it very interesting and it fueled my own pondering. His analytic or classical approach to aspects of our daily life and the issues and stress it can cause with other people who favor a more “romantic” approach seemed to be very familiar to me.

Obviously Pirsig wrote the book and defined the terms “classical” and “romantic” approach long before the start of the “social networking service” hype and before “surviving” became solely entertainment as seen in e.g. “Men vs. Wild”, but how contemporary IMO these terms can be used today to describe the attitudes of our time with all these demands for entertainment and “reality shows”? – Think for a few moments about the wording “reality shows” … seems to be a perfect example for an oxymoron.

BTW, my wife likes “Men vs. Wild” – she’s a romantic person – but it makes me ponder about the quality difference compared to e.g. older documentaries from Malcolm Douglas about the Australian outback I liked to watch in my younger days, or the presentations of David Attenborough.

Is this new “vs. Wild”-approach really appropriate? I’m definitely not the experienced outdoor guy, but I did some trekking on my own in the Andes and in remote areas in Norway  - at times when EPIRBs weren’t available as a backup; hence I believe that this “vs. Wild” show might not be very helpful when finding myself outdoors in a desperate situation, at least I can’t recognize much focus on “understanding of nature” – crucial for me for survival when on my own in extreme scenarios. It is this “vs.” for the mere purpose of entertaining I have problems with; wouldn’t be “…with Nature” instead of “…vs. Wild” more appropriate?

I know the show has to sell, but in my opinion it lacks respect if we misuse nature only as background for cheap entertainment and – somehow – to fuel stupidity… or to serve solely a “romantic approach”…which gets me back to Pirsig, his understanding of the term “quality“ and his thoughts while riding his bike on his journey he describes in his book…what a luxury to have enough time to embark on a voyage where you can allow thoughts invading the open mind…

There were other authors, politicians, philosophers, explorers and scientist that have made me thinking … Castaneda, Herman Hesse, Einstein – it would be a long list if I kept going – and all of them would provide interesting and entertaining thoughts and topics for a Chautauqua … and lets not forget all the great movies, music and songwriters …

They all fueled my own pondering, sometimes resulting in a most entertaining outcome, sometimes in just wasting time – the later is always debatable. Some of these outcomes I will try to cover in the posts here. Some will be just entertaining, I hope – some will be more thought provoking; however, they are never meant to be insulting, harassing or to ridicule someone. Saying this, keep in mind that I’m only responsible for what I publish here, but not for what you understand or like to understand.

A last word of caution: English is not my mother language, so my wording might be sometimes a little bit bumpy – I appreciate any advice and if you stumble over passages in my posts that could be improved, please tell me.

My posts here may encourage some readers to embark on their own “epic voyage” to enjoy pondering far away from any “social networking service”, TV and mobile phone reception…

  • Willem

    now I’m commenting on my own introduction :) …anyway, some explantions wrt the term “social networking service” I used: conversely to this term, Facebook and the like constitue themself as “social networks” or “social network”, which is IMO not correct as a “social network” is a term used in Sociology for a quite complex social structure.
    …more here