Magnolia Blooms - Knoxville, TN


We recommend having your headphones at the ready. 

Posts in Shorts
Teknovation Article

Micah and I have been on an internet hiatus for the past while, refreshing our minds and working on more fulfilling things than getting lost in the sauce of bit-sized info.

That aside here's an excellent article about our operation written by a champion of East Tennessee's entrepreneurial and business scene, Mr. Tom Ballard.

Check it out!

Literary Absorption Vol.01

The first of its kind. The original of its species. The first post containing a list of some fantastic fodder for the hungry mind. 

We of MB do not advocate mindless consumerism in any shape, form, or fashion. Consumerism and the hyperconsumerist society in which we live is a toxic and destructive environment.

We of MB do, however, advocate the intellectual consumption of value-intensive books. The following is a brief first list of books to add to your reading list -- or maybe we can jam because we've both read them which is cool too. 

We believe in people. We believe in sharing experiences and collaboratively creating the society and future that we'd like to inhabit across an array of mediums; nothing is off limits.

Reading is an invaluable vehicle for experiencing life in the shoes of another, learning from those who have gone before, and being exposed to ideas outside of the small worlds we occupy.

What follows is a list of some of the better books I've consumed over the past few months. They're in no particular order, but if I had to recommend one to begin:  Antifragile

Check out McKay's, they have a few of these in stock I know. Or, if you'd like, we'll even loan one to you if we have one available via Kindle or hardcopy. 

Dive in.

Ready Player One: A Novel
By Ernest Cline
Generic Millennial Ad - And/Or

And/Or has masterfully created a parody ad based on a stock footage collection from the vast collection over at Dissolve.

What we receive on the other side is an incredible dissection of the wrongness happening in the space of "thought leaders" and content creators who pander to stereotypes bubbling up from the pits of influence marketing. 

From their site:  "We made this so we will never make something like this."

And/Or is a content creator we can get behind. Talented designers and thinkers, they're constituted of three rockstar women who produce a special flavor of brand that is at once neoteric and refreshingly socially conscious. Here's how they describe what they do:

And/Or is a creative studio fueled by deep thoughts, bold vision and choice words. We make clever things that play on screens of all sizes.
— And/Or, Brooklyn, NY
On Finding Presence in an Often Frenzied Reality

Maria Popova is a treasure for the modern human mind. One of my favorite writers and thinkers on the internet, she embodies the sort of fearless intellectual expression of knowledge and perspective that all humans should strive toward. She is the mastermind behind Brain Pickings and I highly recommend subscribing to her stream of consciousness. 

In her timely post today, she reiterated the importance of artistic expression and imagination, even when cynicism seems to be outpacing what is good and noble. 

And yet, paradoxically, in the very act of exposing the abiding instability of existence, art moors us to a sense of the eternal and becalms our momentary tumults against the raging ocean that has always washed, and will always wash, the shoreline of the human spirit.
— Maria Popova

She engages the essentialness of art to the human experience, especially in facilitating understanding about the state of present society up against the tides of uncertainty. A principal function of the artist's imagination, according to Popova, is 

the ability to transcend what is and to envision a different, better version of what could be.
— Maria Popova

May we be reminded of the importance of embracing the unknown and forging ahead, especially during times wherein the inner-skeptic seems to be stifling the inner-creative self.

So let's make it a priority to focus on what could be as a result of raw creation, not to the dismissal of what is, but to the emphasis on how we can make manifest the future world that we'd all like to inhabit. Part of this starts with being our most authentic selves. 

We're not powerless. Why not empower ourselves and others by seeking the cathartic experience of collaborating to achieve this better future? Inevitably, a part of the process will be waking the dormant bonfire that is the creative spark inside us all that is often purged through rote monotony and as a detriment of matriculating.

Fueling the fire is to activate the spirit of your fellow humans; to propel our species towards a future in which we will thrive. And there's the inner skeptic again, yes? Strangle it. Cut off its oxygen with the foreknowledge that creation is fulfillment and there is value to be given and received. 

The roots of nihilism in me have taken years to cleave and overcome. I can assure you that on the other side:  it is better.

So if you have an idea? Execute it to its fullest extent. If you've been meaning to get out the pastels and put them to the medium, do it. If you've been kicking yourself for not bringing your camera and/or pulling out your phone and snapping a picture of an interesting scene, take the leap next time. Take the leap every time. 

Wanting to create a better society for yourself, your progeny, and your fellow humans? Start designing that future today. We need more enablers, not cynics. There will always be plenty of cynics. Of course, I'd be remiss not to say that a degree of cynicism is healthy and an intellectually protective mechanism of ensuring the integrity of ideas. But fight for those ideas.

You'll never regret doing something that fulfills you. Reconnect with your harmonic human spirit and the spirit of ambition and ideas.