|Current Topic: Miscellaneous|
|| 7:40 am EST, Dec 3, 2013
You've got to be in the game, and to be in the game, you gotta be first.
Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify:
The question of when we'll be profitable actually feels irrelevant. Our focus is all on growth. That is priority one, two, three, four and five.
Dave Murrell, who calls himself Fyrare:
If you're not padding your numbers, you're not doing it right. It's part of the game.
I think Decius and I should start practice claiming that MemeStreams is worth four billion while keeping a straight face.
The general rule is, the more patents a company has, the more closely the quality of their patent portfolio approaches the quality of all patents, which is to say the majority of all of these patents are invalid.
Twitter had created a system that demanded the attention of intelligent people, individuals capable of assuming the entire false persona of a global brand without lapses, but there was no reward for that attention. It was a responsibility, not an opportunity.
Of course, the metabot does not want to create a single fake account that looks human. It wants to create tens of thousands of fake accounts that look sort of human. And it knows it should not overwhelm one user with 10,000 fake followers (though that's what happened). Rather, the bots should be spread out among many people, so that no one gets suspicious that thousands of porny spambots are following them.
State Department officials spent $630,000 to get more Facebook "likes," ... the agency's inspector general says.
Despite the surge in likes, the IG said the effort failed to reach the bureau's target audience, which is largely older and more influential than the people liking its pages.
|| 7:35 am EST, Dec 3, 2013
People don't quit companies -- they quit managers.
As every parent of a nine-year-old has recited at least once, just because "everyone" does something doesn't mean that it's smart.
Everyone wants to be effective; a manager's job is to do everything they can to make that happen.
Everything happens so much.
Eventually, the king always takes liberties ...
|| 7:35 am EST, Dec 3, 2013
It's exciting to me to subscribe to something that's foreign to my earlier taste ... Because I like what I'm not, I like to try to learn what isn't me or what I don't know. I'm curious.
Jessica Kerwin Jenkins:
What pleasure we might know by letting curiosity have its way with us for an hour or two.
Stop talking about time like you need to save it. You just need to use it better.
||the end of all our exploring
||10:06 am EST, Nov 30, 2013
The average middle-class couple will spend $241,080 to raise a child to age 18.
Mary Meeker and Liang Wu:
Adjusted for inflation, the cost of going to college has more than doubled in the past 30 years.
Things are readily accessible, until they aren't.
What would happen if I were to achieve perfection at some point? What would I do then?
The surest way to avoid disappointment is to lower expectations.
Your real competition -- and what you should worry about -- is the years you could waste going down the wrong path.
You are not wandering about because you are afraid of commitment, but because you are expanding your skill base and your possibilities. At a certain point, when you are ready to settle on something, ideas and opportunities will inevitably present themselves to you. When that happens, all of the skills you have accumulated will prove invaluable. You will be the Master at combining them in ways that are unique and suited to your individuality.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
||circling the hippocampian wagons of amygdalian resistance
|| 1:54 pm EST, Nov 27, 2013
If American citizens are to have any chance of speaking truth to power, they will need to have a better handle on the truth part.
Reality exists. So does the unconscious system of metaphors that we use without awareness to comprehend reality. What metaphor does is limit what we notice, highlight what we do see, and provide part of the inferential structure that we reason with… There is no way to avoid metaphorical thought ... [but] we must pay more attention to [its] mechanisms.
Several university presidents and provosts have lamented to me that when a scientist comes into their office, it's to announce some exciting new research opportunity and demand the resources to pursue it. When a humanities scholar drops by, it's to plead for respect for the way things have always been done.
This is, perhaps, the essence of the genre that Malcolm Gladwell has pioneered: while reinforcing beliefs that everyone avows, he evokes in the reader a satisfying sensation of intellectual non-conformity. Speaking to a time that prides itself on optimism and secretly suspects that nothing works, his books are analgesics for those who seek temporary relief from abiding anxiety.
Noticing is easier in a foreign place because mundane things are unusual. It's the sameness of the familiar that closes minds.
You might now be running in your head to a well worn path of justified resistance, phoning up the ol' gang, circling the hippocampian wagons of amygdalian resistance. Hold on a sec, pilgrim.
||undone by the things that delight us
|| 2:44 pm EST, Nov 25, 2013
We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute.
The illusion of choice is an indication of a lack of freedom.
Like it or not, transparency is coming.
Michael Sorkin, on recent construction in lower Manhattan:
The three buildings now or nearly done are clad in identically proportioned mirror glazing ... Like the NSA headquarters outside Washington, a humongous, foreboding, mirrored glyph set in a parking lot, these buildings emphasize that their business is none of ours.
Cowed by the challenge of rising to the symbolic occasion, the architects have produced buildings of neither originality nor weight. Instead, their structures seek, in fleeting reflections of sky and circumstance, to stealthily disappear. But, enormous, they cannot.
We are now entering a pre-revolutionary state, much as the nations of Europe did in 1849 with the suppression of the wave of revolutions that spurred, among other things, the writing of "The Communist Manifesto". It took more than a half-century for that pre-revolutionary situation to mature to the point of explosion, but explode it did, giving rise to the messy fallout of the 20th century. I don't know how long this pre-revolutionary situation will last -- although I would be surprised if it persisted for less than two decades -- but the whirlwind we reap will be ugly indeed: if you want to see how ugly, look to the Arab Spring and imagine it fought by finger-sized killer drones that know what you wrote on Facebook eighteen years ago when you were younger, foolish, and uncowed. And which is armed with dossiers the completeness of which the East German Stasi could only fantasize about.
Wolfgang Schmidt, 73, who headed one of the more infamous departments in the infamous Stasi:
It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won't be used. This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people's privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.
George Orwell feared that we would be destroyed by the things we fear -- the state surveillance apparatus so vividly evoked in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Aldous Huxley's nightmare, set out in Brave New World, his great dystopian novel, was that we would be undone by the things that delight us.
||step back and think about it
|| 2:44 pm EST, Nov 25, 2013
The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
A very popular error: having the courage of one's convictions; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one's convictions!
A fundamental paradox of the paranoid style is the imitation of the enemy.
The illusion of choice is an indication of a lack of freedom.
Everything was made, and if we want, we can remake it how we see fit. We only need to want it. And then we have to build it.
Just keep moving: don't ruminate and stare at the wall. Don't just play with your phone: go out and produce something.
Too often, people taking risks which they perceive to be big aren't really that big, when you step back and think about it. Real risk is about falling down in a way where it's hard to get back up. We should not be fooled by how hard this all is in a day when the word is just thrown around. It is about exploring, about going somewhere (and in some fashion) only a few will know, with no guarantee of a return ticket.
If Julian Schnabel is a surfer in the sense of knowing how to skim existence for its wonders, he is also a surfer in the more challenging sense of wanting to see where something bigger than himself, or the unknown, will take him, even with the knowledge that he might not come back from the trip.
|| 7:27 am EST, Nov 22, 2013
on computers, much gets lost,
while rubbish gets saved
forever and ever.
Charles Sobeck, deputy project manager of Kepler:
continues to shine.
Privacy may actually be an anomaly.
we're not ready
we think we want.
T. Bone Burnett:
to want artists
to do the same thing,
and it is incumbent upon artists to
do something that the audience doesn't want --
A man tries hard to help you find your lost camels.
He works more tirelessly than even you,
But in truth he does not want you to find them, ever.
You shouldn't let poets lie to you.
|| 7:18 am EST, Nov 20, 2013
Career advice from pianist Alexandre Tharaud:
After this residency at the Cité de la Musique, he will take a vacation of three months, during which he will move into a new apartment, with a view of the Seine. He will still not have a piano at home, which he offers as advice to many young musicians. Most important, he says, is not to play on a beautiful piano, because it does not encourage you to work.
"Pianomania" follows the adventures of Stefan Knüpfe, chief piano technician for the German branch of Steinway & Sons, who over the course of the film preps pianos for Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Buchbinder, Julius Drake and the high priest of fussiness, Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
When Knüpfe asks him if he wants a big, blossoming tone for the note or a more compact, intimate tone, Aimard responds, "I would like to have both."
Is our curse the endless pursuit of a happiness which can never be attained?
Five years is what any project worth doing will take. From moment of inception to the last good-riddance, a book, a campaign, a new job, a start-up will take 5 years to play through. So, how many 5 years do you have left? This clarifies your choices. What will they be?
G.K. Chesterton, in 1915:
It is perfectly obvious that in any decent occupation (such as bricklaying or writing books) there are only two ways (in any special sense) of succeeding. One is by doing very good work, the other is by cheating. Both are much too simple to require any literary explanation. If you are in for the high jump, either jump higher than any one else, or manage somehow to pretend that you have done so. If you want to succeed at whist, either be a good whist-player, or play with marked cards. You may want a book about jumping; you may want a book about whist; you may want a book about cheating at whist. But you cannot want a book about Success. Especially you cannot want a book about Success such as those which you can now find scattered by the hundred about the book-market. You may want to jump or to play cards; but you do not want to read wandering statements to the effect that jumping is jumping, or that games are won by winners.
|| 7:37 am EST, Nov 18, 2013
Don't imagine you'll have it forever. Use it while you've got it, because it'll go.
Writers are often asked: "How do you write? With a word processor? an electric typewriter? a quill? longhand?" But the essential question is: "Have you found a space, that empty space, which should surround you when you write? Into that space, which is like a form of listening, of attention, will come the words, the words your characters will speak, ideas - inspiration." If a writer cannot find this space, then poems and stories may be stillborn. When writers talk to each other, what they discuss is always to do with this imaginative space, this other time. "Have you found it? Are you holding it fast?"
What's terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.