Want to feel magic? Ditch Netflix, dump the phone – and get outside 

19 Mar

Get out now” are the first three words of Outside Lies Magic, a book published almost 20 years ago by the Harvard academic John Stilgoe, but that feels more necessary than ever, in these mean-minded days of Trump and Brexit and trolling and shrivelling attention spans. It’s common enough advice: we’re always being told to exercise more and sit less, to go running to combat depression, to head to the hills for a mental-health boost. But such activities leave Stilgoe aghast. “Do not jog,” he writes. “Do not run. Forget about blood pressure.” Nor is he urging travel to wild, awe-inspiring locations. Outside Lies Magic is about the ordinary outdoors: the fire hydrants, telegraph poles, electrical substations and scratty verges outside your door right now. (I found it via Austin Kleon’s excellent email newsletter at It’s about “probing and poking at ordinary space”. Stilgoe thinks we’ve forgotten how to notice – and need “formal education in just going for a walk”.

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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in Uncategorized



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