in·cep·tion [in-sep-shuh n]
1. beginning; start; commencement.

Of course, this is a not a coincidence. Inception is probably the best movie ever, or at least of 2010, or last decade? It pushes the envelope, has an amazing soundtrack, great actors, and for once I wanted to go see it again in theaters. That’s rare. I want to enter my dreams now, go deeper, feel the “kick” and maybe even plant an idea! Of course, this is mostly fiction, but the way the movie took reality, distorted it just enough to make millions of dollars, and kept us guessing all at the same time (“so is he still in a dream?!?!”) is jaw-dropping. Kudos, Nolan.

This blog is about pushing the envelope. It will be, hopefully, about nails that stick up: people, ideas, and things that are making a difference in the world. However, I can’t promise that I’m not going to deviate from such a legitimate concern to my own personal interests: cycling, green technology, vegan nutrition, or Norwegian black metal. But whatever I write about, I’ll try to keep it in line with something that can move people, an idea to affect, influence, or “plant” change. The full quote, “the nail that sticks up will be hammered down” is about conformity in Japanese culture, and can also apply to a host of other societies, groups of people, or even ideas. I love the quote, but I also find terrifying what it could entail. As this blog develops, I’ll expand more on what I mean by that.

Until then, tell me what you want to see – give me links, ideas, jumping off points, or even argue why you think conformity is good! There are so many avenues left to explore. For now, I’ll leave you with this: Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy? (video)

I’m very excited about this blog and and what we can do to change things. Enjoy!

Samuel J. Hartman