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There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

Be prepared to have a lot of people not enjoy your work
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:27 am EDT, Apr 29, 2013

Kevin Ashton:

The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.

Oliver Jeffers:

Be disciplined. Work hard. Be prepared to hear "no" a lot and don't care. My dad taught me an important lesson, which is to look at why someone does something rather than what they actually do. A lot of artists are making art because they they want to be cool and they want people to like them. That's the wrong reason to be making art. Starting out, you will encounter a lot of people who don't really care what you do, but that shouldn't be the motivation ... Be prepared to have a lot of people not enjoy your work and have it not bother you; you should do it because you want to do it.

Yue Wang:

Allicia Mogavero, of southern Rhode Island, makes breast-milk jewelry that she sells at the online store Mommy Milk Creations, on the craft site Etsy.com. For $64 to $125, she'll plasticize a sample of your breast milk and mold it into miniature shapes -- hearts, moons, flowers or tiny hands. The milk beads are then set into a pendant of your choice. The final product is a keepsake of your body's liquid gold that you can wear "as a badge of honor" or perhaps give to your children when they are old enough to not be totally skeeved out by it.

David Byrne:

Complete creative freedom is as much a curse as a boon.


Keep Calm And Accumulate
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:27 am EDT, Apr 29, 2013

Walter Kirn:

Percentile is destiny in America.

No one had ever told me what the point was, except to keep on accumulating points, and this struck me as sufficient. What else was there?

Richard Conniff:

We tend to think that we are exclusively a product of our own cells, upwards of ten trillion of them. But the microbes we harbor add another 100 trillion cells into the mix. The creature we admire in the mirror every morning is thus about 10 percent human by cell count.

Ross Pomeroy:

By seeking straightforward explanations at every turn, we preserve the notion that we can always affect our condition in some meaningful way. Unfortunately, that idea is a facade.

Catherine Rampell:

Highly paid, college-educated people are increasingly clustering in the college-graduate-dense, high-amenity cities where they get good deals on the stuff they like, while low-skilled people are increasingly flowing out to cheaper places with a worse quality of life. The end result is that measures of the growing income gap between the high-skilled and the low-skilled, which already look pretty shocking, seriously understate the inequality between these two classes.


Habit, Compulsion, Obsession, Vocation
Topic: Business 7:02 am EDT, Apr 23, 2013

Bono on Jony Ive:

You cannot get people this smart to work this hard just for money.

Kevin Ashton:

Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation.

Steven J. Harper:

The billable-hour system is the way most lawyers in big firms charge clients, but it serves no one. Well, almost no one. It brings most equity partners in those firms great wealth. Law firm leaders call it a leveraged pyramid. Most associates call it a living hell.

Marco Arment:

Always have one foot out the door. Be ready to go.

This isn't cynical or pessimistic: it's realistic, pragmatic, and responsible.

Ted Gup:

Challenge and hardship have become pathologized and monetized.

David Simon:

Only cash still has meaning to those who claim to represent us. And the cash will always be there, more with every election cycle. Unsatisfied with the profits that can be achieved within the context of actual representative government, capital has instead succeeded in buying the remnants of representative government at wholesale prices, so that profit can always be maximized and any other societal need or priority can be ignored.

Rolf Dobelli:

We are not rational enough to be exposed to the press. If you think you can compensate with the strength of your own inner contemplation, you are wrong.


For Other People, Not For Yourself
Topic: Society 7:13 am EDT, Apr 22, 2013

Stanley McChrystal:

You have to not lose confidence in what you are doing.

You have to be able to go to the edge of the abyss without losing hope.

Sarah Kendzior:

Hope is something you should have for other people, not for yourself.

Elizabeth Smither:

The sea asks "How is your life now?"
It does so obliquely, changing colour.
It is never the same on any two visits.

It doesn't presume to wear a white coat
But it questions you like a psychologist
As you walk beside it on its long couch.

Rebecca Brock:

You can't even remember what I'm trying to forget.

Rachel DeWoskin:

Is it possible to re-imagine what you can't remember?

My friend, the writer Emily Rapp,
who just lost her baby, Ronan, to Tay-Sachs,
likes to respond,
"Yes, you can,"
when people say, "I can't imagine."

David Foster Wallace:

If you've never wept and want to, have a child.

Wislawa Szymborska:

Even a simple "Hi there," when traded with a fish, make
both the fish and you
feel quite extraordinary.


Think Of It As A Data Set
Topic: Surveillance 6:48 am EDT, Apr 22, 2013

Glenn Greenwald:

For anyone who supports the general Obama "war on terror" approach or specifically his claimed power to target even US citizens for execution without charges, it's impossible to object to Graham's arguments on principled or theoretical grounds. Once you endorse the "whole-globe-is-a-battlefield" theory, then there's no principled way to exclude US soil.

Bruce Schneier:

This is ubiquitous surveillance: All of us being watched, all the time, and that data being stored forever. This is what a surveillance state looks like, and it's efficient beyond the wildest dreams of George Orwell.

Sure, we can take measures to prevent this. We can turn our cell phones off and spend cash. But increasingly, none of it matters.

Mark Andreesen:

A lot of people looked at Facebook and saw a Web site. None of the people close to Mark [Zuckerberg] and the company thought of Facebook as a Web site. They think of it as a data set, a feedback loop.

David Montgomery, Sari Horwitz and Marc Fisher:

How federal and local investigators sifted through that ocean of evidence ... is an object lesson in how hard it is to separate the meaningful from the noise in a world awash with information.

Rolf Dobelli:

Information is no longer a scarce commodity. But attention is. You are not that irresponsible with your money, reputation or health. Why give away your mind?

Adam C. Engst:

Our only weapon in the war against the infinite is self-control. Regardless of the specifics, if you overindulge in information, no matter how good your tools, you will eventually be crushed by the infinite.

Stefany Anne Golberg:

Never mind not seeing the forest for the trees. In this ... you cannot even see the trees for the bark.


Studies Show That ...
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:49 am EDT, Apr  8, 2013

Evgeny Morozov:

Just as Amazon's algorithms make it possible to predict what books you are likely to buy next, similar algorithms might tell the police how often -- and where -- certain crimes might happen again. Ever stolen a bicycle? Then you might also be interested in robbing a grocery store.

Facebook is at the cutting edge of algorithmic surveillance here.

Bruce Schneier:

Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we're being tracked all the time.

Your Local High Speed Internet & Cable Provider:

We believe in money. Pools of money.

Mark Andreesen:

A lot of people looked at Facebook and saw a Web site. None of the people close to Mark [Zuckerberg] and the company thought of Facebook as a Web site. They think of it as a data set, a feedback loop.

Dexter Filkins:

In recent years, eighty-four per cent of the Army's majors have been promoted to lieutenant colonel -- hardly a fine filter. Becoming a general was like gaining admission to an all-men's golf club, where back-slapping conformity is prized above all else.

Quentin Hardy:

In January this year, Florida's Juvenile Justice Department reported that 114,538 youth and employee records had disappeared when a mobile storage device with no password was stolen. The state will pay for a year of credit monitoring for everyone whose data was lost.

Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco:

Between 2002 and 2010, an estimated 17616 patients presented to US EDs with trouser zip injuries to the genitals. The penis was almost always the only genital organ involved. Zip injuries represented nearly one-fifth of all penile injuries. Amongst adults, zips were the most frequent cause of penile injuries. Annual zip-related genital injury incidence remained stable over the study period.

Graham Hill:

The average size of a new American home in 1950 was 983 square feet; by 2011, the average new home was 2,480 square feet. In 1950, an average of 3.37 people lived in each American home; in 2011, that number had shrunk to 2.6 people.


Starry, Starry, Starry Night
Topic: Space 11:01 pm EDT, Apr  3, 2013

The Orb:

What were the skies like when you were young?

They went on forever
and they,
when I,
we lived in Arizona
And the skies always had little fluffy clouds
And they moved down,
they were long and clear
And there were lots of stars at night

Julie Bosman:

What would New York or Shanghai look like with a full sky of brilliant stars? Thierry Cohen, a French photographer, thinks he can show us by blending city scenes -- shot and altered to eliminate lights and other distractions -- and the night skies from less populated locations that fall on the same latitudes. The result is what city dwellers might see in the absence of light pollution. So Paris gets the stars of northern Montana, New York those of the Nevada desert. As Cohen, whose work will be exhibited at the Danziger Gallery in New York in March, sees it, the loss of the starry skies, accelerated by worldwide population growth in cities, has created an urbanite who "forgets and no longer understands nature." He adds, "To show him stars is to help him dream again."

Michiru Hoshino:

Oh! I feel it. I feel the cosmos!

Starry, Starry, Starry Night


You've Got To Keep Grinding, Until You Find The Very Essence
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:20 am EDT, Mar 28, 2013

Christoph Niemann:

Simplicity is not about making something without ornament, but rather about making something very complex, then slicing elements away, until you reveal the very essence.

James Lewis:

You've got to keep grinding.

Calvin Trillin:

Writing the story at seventy lines didn't mean the compressing was over. At the end of the week (or "at week's end," as we would have put it, in order to save three words), the makeup people would invariably inform us that the story had to be shortened to fit into the section. Since words or passages cut for space were marked with a green pencil -- changes that had to be made because of something like factual error were in red -- the process was called greening. The instructions were expressed as how many lines had to be greened -- "Green seven" or "Green twelve." I loved greening. I don't have any interest in word games -- I don't think I've ever done a crossword or played Scrabble -- but I found greening a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. I was surprised that what I had thought of as a tightly constructed seventy-line story -- a story so tightly constructed that it had resisted the inclusion of that maddening leftover fact--was unharmed, or even improved, by greening ten per cent of it. The greening I did in Time Edit convinced me that just about any piece I write could be improved if, when it was supposedly ready to hand in, I looked in the mirror and said sternly to myself "Green fourteen" or "Green eight." And one of these days I'm going to begin doing that.

Jhumpa Lahiri:

The best sentences orient us, like stars in the sky, like landmarks on a trail.

I hear sentences as I'm staring out the window, or chopping vegetables, or waiting on a subway platform alone. They are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, handed to me in no particular order, with no discernible logic. I only sense that they are part of the thing.

Geoffrey O'Brien:

Quotes are the actual fabric with which the mind weaves: internalizing them, but also turning them inside out, quarreling with them, adding to them, wandering through their architecture as if a single sentence were an expansible labyrinthine space.

At a certain point, in a necessary act of appropriation, you make it part of who you are, whether or not you ever quote it to anyone but yourself. Culture then is not a wall "over there" but the very tiles out of which your own thoughts are constructed.

Michiru Hoshino:

Oh! I feel it. I feel the cosmos!


When You're Done, Be Done
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:20 am EDT, Mar 28, 2013

Henry David Thoreau:

It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?

Teddy Wayne:

"We need to hire a 22-22-22," one new-media manager was overheard saying recently, meaning a 22-year-old willing to work 22-hour days for $22,000 a year.

Perhaps the middle figure is an exaggeration, but its bookends certainly aren't.

Kilian Jornet Burgada asks himself:

How much is it worth sacrificing to do what you love?

Cal Newport:

Do less. But do what you do with complete and hard focus. Then when you're done be done, and go enjoy the rest of the day.

David Ferguson:

My advice? Just find the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else, your one true passion, and do it for the rest of your life on nights and weekends when you're exhausted and cranky and just want to go to bed.

It could be anything -- music, writing, drawing, acting, teaching -- it really doesn't matter. All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it's far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you're stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life.

Is there any other way to live?

Nathaniel Rich:

The deeper you dive, the more you get paid.

Cormac McCarthy:

Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.

James Lewis:

You've got to keep grinding.

Peter Thiel:

Probably the most extreme form of inequality is between people who are alive and people who are dead.


A Race, A Game, and Chinese Takeout
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:20 am EDT, Mar 28, 2013

Michael Chertoff:

We are in a race against time.

Nicole Perlroth:

Janet Napolitano knows she has a problem that will only worsen. So she needs her own hackers. "We have to show them how cool and exciting this is," said Ed Skoudis.

One answer? Start young, and make it a game, even a competition.

Mary Meeker:

Do humans want everything to be like a game?

Abigail Pesta:

For the past year and a half, Brett Coulthard has been running a business, the Frivolous Engineering Co., that sells kits to build useless machines. For people who would rather not spend any money on a useless machine, Mr. Coulthard also provides free instructions.

Marvin Minsky dreamed up the useless machine, although the name he gave it was the "ultimate machine."

Nathan Heller:

Back in Sweden, the guys told me, they were studying computer science at university, and -- well, you know how it is: one thing leads to another, and soon you find yourself carving sheep bellies for a little extra cash.

Benjamin Carlson:

The "junket" industry of Macau brings high-rolling gamblers to the territory and collects debts on behalf of the casinos. These businesses also allow VIPs to stake more than the $50,000 legal limit on how much money Chinese are permitted to take out of the country every year. (In essence, junkets collect their clients' money on the Chinese side of the border and give them loans to gamble on the Macau side.)


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