Hi all! This week’s focus is productivity. Below is a list of inspirational links to help us step outside the robot and think differently about our work habits. Plus, peep the new tune from Harlem based singer-songwriter Lynette Williams after the jump.
Pretending to be Batman helps kids stay on task. Good advice for adults and kids alike. The magic of acting like someone else helps us ignore the distractions that get in our way. “It is important to note that pretending to be another character had large effects on children’s perseverance.”
The pleasure/happiness gap. We have two choices: the taking of short-term dopamine or the giving of long-term serotonin. We become what we choose.
I would, for a four-week period, ruthlessly clear my diary and go on what we somewhat mysteriously called a “Crash”. During the Crash, I would do nothing but write from 9am to 10.30pm, Monday through Saturday.
Thought of the week
“I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers.”
The Intuitive Thing: Ray Bradbury on the Arts. I love what Ray Bradbury said about books versus movies in this interview: “when you read…you’re creating it in your own theater inside your head. But a film is total realism. You can’t change it, it’s right there, there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“Our job is to imagine a better future, because if we can imagine it, we can create it. But it starts with that imagination.” Tim O’Reilly explains why we should avoid envisioning a dystopian society where robots wipe out humans.
Why We Fail and How. I love 16th-century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne’s concept of solitude in finding a “room behind a shop.”
“We must reserve a back shop all our own, entirely free, in which to establish our real liberty and our principal retreat and solitude. Here our ordinary conversation must be between us and ourselves, and so private that no outside association or communication can find a place.”
Keepers of the Secrets. No one knows what they want anymore because they depend on an algorithm to feed it to them. Thank goodness library archivists are still the element of surprise alive by giving you a box you don’t ask for. People “only want information based on the information they think they want. It’s important to look outside of your own existence.” We miss you John.
The Mask of Doom. He “wore the mask out of necessity.” Take a look back at Ta-Nehisi Coates’s piece on MF Doom from 2009.
The Stahl House Movie. Like watching The Office or seen Big Lebowski? My older brother wrote and filmed a mockumentary about icons & contemporary Los Angeles for his Sci-Arc thesis. Watch it, funny and brilliant.
Hi everyone, below is a list of links worth checking out this week. Listen to the new King Krule/Mount Kimbie collaboration after the jump.
Once you pass the median age of 38, you’re considered ‘old.’ But people actually don’t start feeling old until their 60s. So how do you stay young? Have a friend “from every decade of life,” is what one 101-year old recommended.
If you’re looking for a way to train your brain to think positive instead of negative, try to build yourself a positivity circuit: “spend one minute looking for positives, three times a day for forty five days.” Practice.
Would you rather live in New York or LA? You can only choose one. Fun think piece from someone who’s dabbled in both cities: No, I’m from New York.
Do you get goosebumps of a lump in the throat when listening to certain songs? If so, research shows that your brain might be unique.
Here’s your moment of Zen, a calf trying to catch snowflakes with his tongue. #TGIF
Thought of the week
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” — Nietzsche
We usually think of art pieces like the Mona Lisa as original, a copy of one. But history shows that artists frequently made multiple versions, even Leonardo. “The idea of producing more than one version of a work is nothing new,” writes Matt Brown in his new book Everything You Know About Art is Wrong.
TED distilled fourteen writing tips from an interview conducted with novelist Anne Lamott. Here’s the advice she’d give herself: “I’d teach my younger self to stare off into space more often. I would tell her to waste more paper. I would tell her she doesn’t need to stick to a decision; she can change her mind.”
A recent study shows that if you “accept life’s difficulties and one’s own negative feelings nonjudgmentally,” you’ll live a happier life. Own your state of mind; don’t be afraid of feeling bad!
No longer a rare sight. The painted bat is back! So dope.🦇
Thought of the week
“Music is, to me, proof of the existence of God. It is so extraordinarily full of magic, and in tough times of my life I can listen to music and it makes such a difference.”
We’re rhythmic creatures. There’s a reason we latch on to each other’s tastes and habits. Emulation begets automation.
But there’s always someone who comes along and challenges our beliefs, unlocking a Pandora’s box of attitudes and topics we never even considered. All of a sudden, everything we deemed to be true goes into question.
The echo chamber calls for cogs of sameness and lookalikes. Once we lose the urge to conform, we are free to rejoice in eccentric delight.
The internet could save your life because it allows you to skip the process of being picked. Anyone can be an author, musician, photographer without waiting to partner up with a label or a distributor.
Standing out in a sea of DIY artists is the real challenge. Ryan Holiday argues that most people should not publish a book. But why not?
The internet encourages possibility and weirdness.
Your work, even if you’re a so-called ‘amafessional,’ is doing nothing to get in the way of die-hard professionals who make a living off their art. Just because your creations don’t belong in the Louvre shouldn’t hold you back from showing others what you made. The market generally favors the marketing budgets anyway.
Mediocrity never hurt anybody. If you really want to go pro, you’ll spend the extra time to improve and seek the feedback that makes you better. Everything good comes from practice, trial and error, allowing your creativity to pour and shimmer.
Remember, Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime, and to his brother. With a leap of faith, casual work can turn into your most important work and stand the test of time.
“For a long moment “John Henry” becomes a song about music. Hooker shoots out a reverberating RINNNGGG! in front of that old hammer, and soon people are coming from miles around to hear it, but then that too disappears. A gray, foggy rhythm floats over Hooker’s broken riffs and his tapping foot: nothing holds. The performance is so mesmerizingly abstract you’re not sure John Henry ever existed—not the man, but the song.”