Below are the most interesting articles I read this week, mixing topics of creativity, philosophy, and technology. I also posted my Best of 2014 so you'll see a link to that after the jump.
The CIA Mixtape
The CIA used loud music and more specifically a mixtape consisting of Barney the Dinosaur's “I love You” and David Gray's “Babylon” to torture Guantanamo prisoners. But Guantanamo “detainees exhibit a marked aversion to country.“ Sounds like the worst concert ever.
“Excuse me while I kiss this guy”
Jimi Hendrix owns one of the most popular mondegreens (misheard lyrics) of all time. What we hear or mishear not only depends on our inner ear lobes but also our biases, perception, and even where we live.
Talk like an Egyptian
It's a canard to think that everything that gets recorded today will be easily retrievable in the future just because it's digital. Digital formats change too quickly. Maybe emojis are modernity's Rosetta Stone? Best to talk like the Egyptians.
Autobiography x Fiction
“In fiction, we step out of our skin, but we still remain in our skin as we read it.”
Simon Critchley takes us in a journey of self-discovery through fiction in his newest book Memory Theater. Maybe life's best told through someone else.
Get My E-Peon
A “peon” is a person in India hired to do temporary, everyday tasks. Now it's gone digital. While the job of a peon is a bit servile, it's putting dependable money on the table for its workers.
(The Mighty) Mos Def
“Americans are not unique. They like to think that, but they're just citizens of the world.”
Besides being my favorite rapper, Mos Def is also a supreme artist and American. Whether or not you believe in American exceptionalism, read this. Think global.
“Dark social” is a term introduced by Alexis Madgril's to describe the untraceable referrals of the web. He recently updated his theory with some new discoveries, mainly that Facebook is the main driver of dark social sharing.
Tracks of the year
Lacing beats, electronica, and hip-hop HERE are my favorite tracks of 2014. The usual 5-track delivery will restart next week.
Thought of the week
“I like hearing things incorrectly. I think that’s how I get a lot of ideas is by mishearing something.” — Tom Waits