Newsletter: We crave irreality

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Give the drummer some! Below are some interesting reads in creativity, culture, and tech from this week. Listen to the track ‘Glue’ from Belfast-based electronica duo Bicep after the jump.

web gems

    1. The actor turned painter/sculptor, Jim Carrey, makes art as a form of catharsis in order to bring some color to his life. His work is impressive. As he puts it in the video, “artists make models of their inner life.” Watch Jim Carrey: I Need color.
    2. “Museums shouldn’t be trending! They should set trends,” says the former Met director Philippe de Montebello. Great read on How the Metropolitan Museum of Art Can Reclaim Its Glory in the age of cell phone screen irreality.
    3. “Analysts warned of several metric tons of dopamine and cortisol careening through the global economy.” This business piece made me laugh.
    4. The internet seems to be part of the air, ubiquitous and invisible. But what if you could get closer to the servers and cooling fans and take a listen? Explore What The Internet Sounds Like.
    5. Facebook is surveillance, and we give Big Brother the benefit of the doubt in selling our information to marketers in exchange for the ease of communication with so-called ‘friends.’ Thoughts?

https://wellsbaum.blog/2017/08/05/hooked-on-facebook/

Thought of the week

“Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” — Steven Pressfield, The War Of Art

New track on loop

Bicep – Glue

Digging in the crates

Bullion – Caroline, No

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Wells Baum (@bombtune)


This is my daily collection of interesting reads and new music. I spend a lot of time digging the web for cool stuff and remixing them here. If you dig the blog, please consider making a donation or buying a book. A cup of coffee to helping out with hosting goes a long way.

Donate with PayPal

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Newsletter: Take the stairs 👣

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Happy Friday! Below are some of the interesting reads in creativity, culture, and tech I recently discovered. Composer Kara-Lis Coverdale ‘Grafts’ is this tune of the week.

web gems

1. 105-year-old Japanese doctor Shigeaki Hinohara shared his six tips for a healthy life before he passed away in July.

‘6 tips for a healthy life’ (in summary):

  1. Retire late (very late)
  2. Watch your weight
  3. Have fun
  4. Share what you know
  5. Don’t worry about material possessions
  6. Take the stairs

2. Perhaps one of the biggest issues of our time is the ability to stay focused in the age of distraction. NPR’s Hidden Brain interviews computer scientist Cal Newport on the value of deep work.

3. Can we improve our craft over time? The Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai(1760-1849) seemed to think so. Read his story about the importance of persistence. 🌊

4. External reflection is what philosopher and sociologist Charles Horton Cooley called ‘The Looking Glass Self’ theory. “I imagine your mind, and especially what your mind thinks about my mind, and what your mind thinks about what my mind thinks about your mind.” Watch Jason Silva break it down.

5. I’m reading 1984 even though today’s politics and culture – the fusion of controlled democracy combined with screen culture — seem to be more like Brave New World. Writes Shadi Hamid: “we are now condemned to live in exciting times.”

Thought of the week

“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” — Jerzy Gregorek

New track on loop

Kara-Lis Coverdale – Grafts

Digging in the crates

Calibre – Manchester Nights

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Wells Baum (@bombtune)


This is my daily collection of interesting reads and new music. I spend a lot of time digging the web for cool stuff and remixing them here. If you dig the blog, please consider making a donation or buying a book. A cup of coffee to helping out with hosting goes a long way.

Donate with PayPal

ORGANIC

Newsletter: Reality is too sober

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A floating cloud speaker

Below are some interesting reads I collected throughout the week about arts & culture, philosophy & productivity, social media & tech. Peep the new tune from Four Tet after the jump.

web gems

  1. “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” The Top five regrets of the dying are essential lessons for those looking to reprioritize their life.

  2. We were in high spirits the night until we had to shed the release of toxins the morning after. To free ourselves from the grip of a hangover, we mourn like blues musicians, “The blues is played to get rid of the blues,” and then we poison ourselves all over again. Reality is too sober.

  3. How do we measure GDP when robots and AI take all the jobs? “The computers are not in the productivity statistics precisely because they are so powerful.” Productivity growth is irrelevant.

  4. How do we develop better intuition? Take a page from chemists. Keep tabs on the obvious and learn from other fields and disciplines. As scientist Robert Oppenheimer once put it: “Tea is where we explain to each other what we don’t understand.”

  5. Give the drummer some: Watch birds modify sticks and seedpods to make homemade drums. Their beats “could be a clue to understanding the evolution of music.”

New Track on loop

Four Tet Two  Thousand And Seventeen

Digging in the crates

Red Astaire – Love to Angie

Thought of the week

“Never trust the artist. Trust the tale.” – D. H. Lawrence

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Wells Baum (@bombtune)


This is my daily collection of interesting reads and new music. I spend a lot of time digging the web for cool stuff and remixing them here. If you dig the blog, please consider making a donation or buying a book. A cup of coffee to helping out with hosting goes a long way.

Donate with PayPal

ORGANIC

Newsletter: The end of theory 🤔

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via giphy

Hi everyone, below is a list of links worth checking out this week.

web gems

  1. “Marketing is knowing how to communicate what’s special about what you’ve made to the right people.” In this video, author Ryan Holiday explains why artists should take responsibility for both making and marketing their own work. Creative side = business side.

  2. Red was considered the world’s “first color” — “the basic color of all ancient peoples” — before the 12th century writes historian Michel Pastoureau before the color blue gave it some competition. While blue initially represented a “hot” color, it came to represent pacification and peace after the 14th century.

    + Speaking of color consciousness, we celebrated #WorldEmojiDay this week. The Museum of Modern Art holds the original 176 emoji, designed by artist Shigetaka Kurita.

  3. “Over 40% of our creative ideas come when we give ourselves a break.” So give your brain some rest. Says Lin Manuel Miranda “A good idea doesn’t come when you’re doing a million things. The good idea comes in the moment of rest. It comes in the shower. It comes when you’re doodling or playing trains with your son. It’s when your mind is on the other side of things.”

  4. Check out this excellent piece from The Verge on how How Artsy finally convinced galleries to sell art online.

  5. “Stare at the world, not at your model,” warns MIT economics professor Arnold Kling in his review of Richard Bookstaber’s book The End of Theory“The world could be changing right now in ways that will blindside you down the road.” Buyer’s beware.

New Track on loop

Deep Summer (Burial Remix)

Digging in the crates

Barrington Levy ‎– Murderer (1984)

Thought of the week

“There’s a whole category of people who miss out by not allowing themselves to be weird enough.” — Alain de Botton

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Wells Baum (@bombtune)


This is my daily collection of interesting reads and new music. I spend a lot of time digging the web for cool stuff and remixing them here. If you dig the blog, please consider making a donation or buying a book. A cup of coffee to helping out with hosting goes a long way.

Donate with PayPal

ORGANIC

Newsletter: Against conventional thinking

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Hi everyone, below is a list of links worth checking out this week. If you’d like to receive this email in your inbox, subscribe right here and never miss an issue.

web gems

  1. The above GIF represents 6 million years of human evolution. But the video is even more psychedelic. Watch it from the start.

  2. “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way. ”It was Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday this week. His work seems ever more relevant in the age of distraction and climate change deniers.

  3. “Every year that passes without extinction doubles the additional life expectancy.” That’s how economist Nassim Taleb describes the Lindy Effect which predicts the durability of books, restaurants, etc lasting years from now. Ryan Holiday details the art of longevity in his new book Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts

  4. I shared this a while ago but it’s worth rereading in the Google Era: How the Humble Index Card Foresaw the Internet

  5. From marketing to making decisions, Vice-Chairman Rory Sutherland of Ogilvy gives us a lot to chew on in Things To Hang On Your Mental Mug Tree. Watch it with your favorite morning brew.

New Track on loop

Ross From Friends — Romeo Romeo

Digging in the crates

Twinkle Brothers – Faith Can Move Mountains (1983)

Thought of the week

“If you say the name Andrew over and over it turns into Duran Duran. Try it.” — Doug Copeland

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Wells Baum (@bombtune)

 


This is my daily collection of interesting reads and new music. I spend a lot of time digging the web for cool stuff and remixing them here. If you dig the blog, please consider making a donation or buying a book. A cup of coffee to helping out with hosting goes a long way.

Donate with PayPal

ORGANIC

Newsletter: ‘Find the torture you’re comfortable with’

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Harper’s: July Edward Penfield (1866–1925): The MET

web gems

1

Why Do Anything? A Meditation on Procrastination

Procrastination is the purest form of idleness. Our brain’s neurons ultimately dictate what we decide to do. “Who you are depends on what your neurons are up to, moment by moment,” writes David Eagleman in his book The Brain: The Story of You.

We are stuck between thinking and action, for which we have little choice but to finish what we conjure up in our minds or actualize in real life. “The procrastinator is both contemplator and man of action, which is the worst thing to be, and which is tearing him apart.” Humanities professor and author Costica Bradatan explains why procrastination is more than doing nothing.

nytimes.com

2

From Ptolemy to GPS, the Brief History of Maps

One of the oldest surviving maps (the Babylonian Map of the World) is “about the size and shape of an early iPhone.” While maps continue to guide us, they also exploited to drive conquest, gentrification, taxes, and voting polls.also have always lied. To quote the author Mark Monmonier of How to Lie With Map, “No map entirely tells the truth. There’s always some distortion, some point of view.”

Smithsonianmag.com

3

How to Live With Critics (Whether You’re an Artist or the President)

Criticism is democratic, integral to an informed democracy. Argues literary critic and poet Adam Kirsch: “Everyone brings his or her own values and standards to the work of judging. This means that it is also, essentially, democratic. No canon of taste or critical authority can compel people to like what they don’t like.”

nytimes.com

4

Schedule Nothing

“We like lists because we don’t want to die,” said Italian novelist and philosopher Umberto Eco. But in the age of digital distraction, we make records of things we’ll simply never complete. This cartoon explains why.

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wellsbaum.blog

5

Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: ‘The End of Advertising’

“Devoid of advertising, television was elevated to arguably the world’s most relevant mass art form.” Former advertising executive Andrew Essex tells the story about the dual nature of today’s ads, following the example of Bayer which developed both aspirin and heroin in 1898.

nytimes.com

quote of the week

“Your blessing in life is when you find the torture you’re comfortable with.”

Jerry Seinfeld


digging in the crates

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  1. Laurence Guy – Wichita Falls
  2. Laurence Guy – Drum Is A Woman (feat. Steve Spacek)
  3. Rothadam – I Was Born To Be A Rebel
  4. Bruce – Before You Sleep
  5. Sudan Archives – Come Meh Way

LISTEN


I spend a lot of time digging the web for cool stuff and remixing it here. If you dig the blog, please consider making a donation or buying a book. A cup of coffee to helping out with hosting goes a long way.

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via giphy

Newsletter: ‘The Best for the Most for the Least’

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Two Men Playing Chess Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946): The MET

web gems

1

Frank Gehry And The Walt Disney Concert Hall

Frank Gehry was at the bottom of the shortlist of candidates considered to design the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in 1988. His profile made him the odd man out for the job. But he kept his creative confidence: “It’s as though people expect you to blow one note all the time, and I guess a lot of people can only blow one note. But there are people who can blow two or three notes, and I guess I’m one of them.”

The selecting committee was looking for someone who “still had his greatest work before him” and who met four design criteria. Gehry’s stood out, most notably for his the populist-looking garden lobby, “the living room of the city,” which connected “all major parts of the building as well as to the outdoors and the street.”

getty.edu

2

Tim Ferriss: Why you should define your fears instead of your goals

“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality,” said Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger who help spread the seeds of stoic philosophy. Life hacker, author, and motivational speaker Tim Ferriss is one of the modern day followers of stoicism. Watch Tim Ferriss expound on the subject in his first Ted Talk, in what he says is his most important and vulnerable presentation to date.

Ted.com

The Fashion Outlaw Dapper Dan

“How would he feel if that Louis Vuitton pouch became a whole outfit?” remarked the Harlem fashion designer Dapper Dan, aka Daniel Day. And so he made custom clothing for famed sprinter Diane Dixon and rappers Eric B and Rakim, going on to remix all types of designs from the world’s most renowned brands before the fashion houses shut down his operations.

Dapper Dan’s efforts mimicked the sampling culture which helped give rise to hip-hop at the time. Said Elle Magazine director Samira Nasr, “Sampling was taking existing music and slicing it to recreate new sounds for original lyrics. Dap was sampling in a way. He was taking existing fabrications and breathing new life and beauty into them.”

nytimes.com

4

Open-minded people have a different visual perception of reality

Close-minded people literally see and experience the world differently. Our vision is tied to our creativity, particularly our ability to combine images. Says scientist Anna Antinori who conducted a recent perceptual processing test called ‘binocular rivalry‘ at the University of Melbourne: “Open people appear to have a more flexible gate and let through more information than the average person.”

 quartz.com

5

The Best for the Most for the Least

Charles and Ray Eames foretold a society of dizzying pace even before the inundation of mobile screens, interactive billboards, and social media feeds that are so normal today. “Their most ambitious multimedia work pushed the capacity of the medium and its platform, as when they designed Think for IBM’s Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair: a spectacular, twenty-two-screen live lecture about problem solving, and America’s first taste of information overload.

parisreview.com


digging in the crates

Episode 102

  1. Laurence Guy – Intro
  2. Shanti Celeste – Make Time
  3. Madou – Nowhere Else
  4. Hanna – Stranger
  5. Benjamin Muñoz – In Coming Months

LISTEN


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I spend a lot of time digging the web for cool stuff and remixing them here. If you dig the blog, please consider making a donation or buying a book. A cup of coffee to helping out with hosting goes a long way.

Newsletter: How to stretch out your weekends, why both focus and unfocus are vital, new tunes from Buddy and more

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Man Sitting on a Boat Albertus H. Baldwin (1865–1935) : The MET

Arts and Culture

David Sedaris On The Life-Altering And Mundane Pages Of His Old Diaries

In this interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, American humorist and comedian David Sedaris reflects on the rough diary entries that became his new book Theft by Finding and why he always wanted to be a successful writer.

A lot of people don’t know what they want, or they’re just kind of vague about it. I was never vague. I knew exactly what I wanted. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to get it, but it’s scary … because what if that doesn’t happen?

npr.org

Why Are Doughnut Boxes Pink?

Yesterday was #NationalDonutDay. Here’s the history on donuts in one GIF. But you know those brassy looking pink donut bags at high-end bakeries? It’s a marketing gimmick; a trigger for emotions. It’s no surprise that they’re a product of LA.

“How the pink box has persevered so long may be about more than just dollars and cents. Experts say the color triggers an emotional connection to sweetness that makes doughnuts more irresistible than they already are…Anytime you see a movie or sitcom set in New York and a pink doughnut box appears, you know it obviously took place in L.A.”

latimes.com

Philosophy and Productivity

Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus

We try too hard to find the perfect formula behind productivity. What if the brain prefers to multitask, toggling between focus and unfocus?

In keeping with recent research, both focus and unfocus are vital. The brain operates optimally when it toggles between focus and unfocus, allowing you to develop resilience, enhance creativity, and make better decisions too.

hbr.org

The Secret to Making Your Weekends Feel Longer

If you want to stretch time, experience something new on the weekends. Break up the time with simple excursions. For instance, go play your Nintendo Switch in the park rather than from the couch. Read and write somewhere else other than your study desk or favorite cafe.

“According to David Eagleman, professor at Stanford University and the author of The Brain: The Story of You, pursuing new settings, new activities, and new experiences is the best way to “stretch time,” so to speak. It all comes down to what your brain perceives as novel. When you spend time doing something unfamiliar, your brain focuses more on collecting the data associated with the activity, thus creating a more thorough memory of the experience. When you reflect on that memory, it feels like you had more time.”

lifehacker.com

Social Media & Technology

Fuck Facebook

The love-hate relationship with Facebook continues, at least for hardcore bloggers Dave Winer and John Gruber, who explain why Facebook is “all-out attack on the open web.”

Treat Facebook as the private walled garden that it is. If you want something to be publicly accessible, post it to a real blog on any platform that embraces the real web, the open one.

daringfireball.net

More addictive: Fidget spinners or smartphones?

While we’re at it, fuck fidget spinners too. I put together a roundup of some of the best illustrations reflecting the obsession with both widgets.

wellsbaum.blog 

Digging in the Crates

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Compton-based rapper Buddy is back with some beats and rhymes on the 5-track EP entitled Ocean & Montana, a collaboration with Canadian producer Kaytranada.

Listen

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Shugo Tokumaru is a Japanese singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He’s basically a one-man show.

Listen

Quote of the week

“Until the age of 70, nothing I drew was worthy of notice. At 110, every dot and every stroke will be as though alive.”

Katsushika Hokusai


For more interesting reads and new music, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or the Twitter feed. You can also subscribe to the blogs: wellsbaum.blog and bombtune.comIf you dig the blogs and want to support them, make a donation, buy a book, or email this post to a friend.

Newsletter: The History of Nostalgia, The Advantage Of Being A Little Underemployed, new tunes from Yasmine Hamdan and more

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Schreiber’s Hummingbird, from Birds of the Tropics series (N38) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes (1889) : The MET

Arts and Culture

Maria Loh On Lives Of Artists

We may live in the age of selfie but we’ve always been self-absorbed. Maria Loh, author of Still Lives: Death, Desire, and the Portrait of the Old Masteroutlines five books which address the history of the curated self with an emphasis on artists who painted their own portraits to cement their legacy.

“Art was a form of visual philosophy written with brushes and chisels rather than with pen and ink”

fivebooks.com

+ Before the self-portrait, the rise of ownership of mirrors in the 15th century gave people their first feeling of individuality.

Look back with danger

Nostalgia didn’t always have a positive tone. In fact, before the 20th century, the word was used in the pejorative sense.

Nostalgia in those days was a technical term used and discussed primarily by specialists. In the twentieth century, however, the word has become fully demedic­alized. It now means little more than a sentimental attachment to a lost or past era, a fuzzy feeling about a soft-focus earlier time, and is more often used of an advertising campaign, a film or a memory of childhood than with regard to any strong sense of its etymology, “pain about homecoming”.

the_tls.co

Philosophy & Productivity

The Advantage Of Being A Little Underemployed

It’s crazy to think that a hundred years after the Adamson Act passed, we’re still working the same eight-hour shifts designed for railroad workers. Given that most of us work in front of computers and our best ideas come when we step outside it, how can we free up more time to think? Writes Morgan Housel:

“Tell your boss you found a trick that will make you more creative and productive, and they ask what you’re waiting for. Tell them that your trick is taking a 90-minute walk in the middle of the day, and they says no, you need to work.”

collaborativefund.com

Platonically irrational

We think modernity is superior to the past. But we too can be intellectually overconfident. “When Kahneman writes that we are ‘blind to our blindness’, he is reviving the Socratic idea that wisdom consists in seeing one’s blindness: knowing what you do not know.” Within all facts and reasoning, there’s still a little room for doubt.

This is only a preliminary step in Plato’s dialogues – a (good-natured) reaching after fact and reason should and does occur – but an initial tolerance of uncertainty is a capacity without which individuals and societies cannot adequately self-correct and improve. 

aeon.com

Social Media & Technology

Notes From An Emergency

The internet companies are not only American-based, but their manifest destiny also makes them look like hegemonic colonizers.

“This is a dilemma of the feudal internet. We seek protection from these companies because they can offer us security. But their business model is to make us more vulnerable, by getting us to surrender more of the details of our lives to their servers, and to put more faith in the algorithms they train on our observed behavior.”

idlewords.com

The Library of Congress Wants to Destroy Your Old CDs (for Science)

CDs were once expensive, plastic things. But they were built really cheap. I just tried popping on an old Chemical Brothers mix, and it didn’t even play. Blame the sharpie.

It’s also better not to muck up the top of your CDs with labels—the adhesive creates chemical reactions that quickly eat up data—or even permanent markers. “The moment you start to write on that top layer, you’re setting yourself up for degradation.”

theatlantic.com

Digging in the Crates

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Shanti Celeste is an up and coming house producer from Bristol, England. Her latest 2-track EP features the jungle healer ‘Make Time,’ combining a rich collection of synths and electronic breaks. A real treat.

Listen

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Yasmine Hamdan is a Parisian-based electronic musician who grew up in war-torn Lebanon. While’s she gained a reputation in the Middle East as an underground artist, her latest solo record Al Jamilat plans to unleash her to a broader audience. The track ‘La Ba’den’ offers dreamy electronic Arab vibes. Compelling stuff.

Listen

Thought of the Week

“Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

Martin Luther King Jr.


For more interesting reads and new music, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or the Twitter feed. You can also subscribe to the blogs: wellsbaum.blog and bombtune.comIf you dig the blogs and want to support them, make a donation, buy a book, or email this post to a friend.

Newsletter: We shouldn’t value speed over power

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web gems

  1. Even when we’re not watching each other, we’re still paying attention. It’s called ambient awareness, and it happens in real life and on social media. 🔗 You’re Too Focused on What You’re Focused On
  2. The Metropolitan Museum only showcases ten percent of its owned pieces at any given time: “A physical museum is itself a sort of data set — an aggregation of the micro in order to glimpse the macro.” 🔗 An Excavation Of One Of The World’s Greatest Art Collections
  3. If you do small things, slowly, they’ll add up to something timeless. “We need to be a little bit more tortoise-y and a little less hare-ish.”  🔗 Malcolm Gladwell: Why We Shouldn’t Value Speed Over Power
  4. “We should go for a walk, to the coffee shop, just to get away. Even Victorian factories had some kind of rest breaks,” says workplace psychologist Michael Guttridge. 🔗 The psychological importance of wasting time
  5. Beeple is graphic artist Mike Winkelmann. He’s the Seth Godin of design publishing, shipping one artwork every day for the last ten years. 🔗 Celebrating the ‘Everydays’ by Beeple

digging in the crates

  1. The Synergy EP is a joint release between drum n bass elites Alix Perez and SpectraSoul, featuring four tracks of a soulful, smoother side of drum n bass. 🔗 Listen
  2. Jan Jelinek is a Berlin-based electronic producer. He’s known for his abstract style of moiré in which he reduces beat patterns to a third dimension. 🔗 Listen
  3. CO/R is a collaboration between techno heads Herron and Joy Orbison. The duo just released Gudrun, a vinyl 12″ from the Trilogy Tapes Store. 🔗 Listen

Newsletter: Emotional agility

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Web Gems

WHEN IT COMES TO OUR LIVES ON SOCIAL MEDIA, ‘THERE’S ALWAYS ANOTHER STORY’

We usually post things that we wish were, not as they are. Social media presents the best of the best, an online Truman Show that excludes the beautiful struggle in between. At the very least, social media is pseudo-news that often omits context. “There’s always another story,” indeed.

Listen to Hidden Brain: Ep. 68: Schadenfacebook

EMOTIONAL AGILITY: GET UNSTUCK 

Our inner dialogue is all over the place. The harder we try to tame the monkey mind, the crazier it gets. But instead of anxiety loop, we can “step back and ask: “Is this useful?”

“During the average day, most of us speak around sixteen thousand words. But our thoughts – our internal voices – produce thousands more.”

Recommended book: Susan David Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life

  • Bonus Read: Dutch soccer player Meijer Stad survived Nazi execution with ten bullets in his body.  Read this fascinating story. ⚽ 
  • Video: Watch health psychologist Kelly Mcgonigal explain how to make stress your friend in her Ted Talk.

CHAPPELLE BREAKS DOWN THE MILLENNIAL CONDITION

Have we grown immune to catastrophe?

Perhaps Huxley was right: we’re so inundated with screens and breaking news that we forget to care. The long-term consequences for such insouciance mean that evil can seep through unperturbed.

EXPERTISE MATTERS

“Having equal rights does not mean having equal talents, equal abilities, or equal knowledge.”

We’re all created equal but we’re not all experts. Experts are the hedgehogs, the servants; they do one thing well. They’re indispensable like doctors. Yet, the internet came along and unleashed a free for all of know-it-alls.

Recommended book: Tom Nichols’s The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters:

GET HAPPY: FOUR WELL-BEING WORKOUTS

Happiness doesn’t come easily to everyone but thankfully there are some exercises. Bicep curl you brain with these mental exercises:

  1. Identify Strengths: “Write down a story about a time when you were at your best.”
  2. Find the good: “Set aside 10 minutes before you go to bed each night to write down three things that went really well that day.”
  3. Make a Gratitude Visit
  4. Reply Constructively

QUOTES I’M CHEWING ON

“The camera is just as capable of lying as the typewriter.” — Bertolt Brecht, War Primer (1955)

“If you suppress the spirit of spontaneity, you will destroy the true democratic spirit of revolution which has to be unpredictable.” — In Our Time Podcast on Rosa Luxemburg

“If I do something what I do not understand, I force myself to think about it in my dream, and thus find a solution.” — Tesla

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” — Upton Sinclair

“Some of us are turtles; we crawl and struggle along, and we haven’t maybe figured it out by the time we’re 30. But the turtles have to keep on walking.” — John Goodenough, To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old

“Don’t get caught doing more than you need to but less than you want to.” – Seth Godin


Digging In The Crates

Flako is Dario Rojo Guerra, a Berlin-based producer known for his helter-skelter beats. I first discovered him in 2010 with his jaw-dropping Pharcyde sample on the track ‘Love.’

Now releasing music under his rebranded name Natureboy, Flako has done some reworks most notably with Malian Wassoulou Oumou Sangaré’s track ‘Yere Faga.’

LISTEN

Kara-Lis Coverdale is “one of the most exciting young composers in North America,” proclaims The Guardian. It’s not hard to understand why.

Her new 22-minute track ‘Grafts’ is gorgeous, rolling in hypnotic piano layers and echoes, “never fully coming to a resolution,” as Boomkat describes it, “Lingering on like a slowly dispersing plume of smoke.”

LISTEN

After a long series of original mixtapes, Thrupence has crafted a debut album called Ideas of Aesthetics.  The nine-track album represents a collection of songs he’s produced over the last six years, including two collaborations with his brother Edward on vocals. “It has become a diary of places I’ve lived and people I’ve met over this time,” says the artist.

‘Forest On The Sun’ and ‘Rinse Repeat’ are my two favorite tracks on the album, mixing elements of soft piano and choppy electronic beats that’ll make you nod your head and smile 😉

LISTEN

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Newsletter: The Coltrane Doctrine 🎷

Web Gems

THE COLTRANE DOCTRINE

John Coltrane and Einstein shared interests in mathematical principles. In response to the Coltrane doctrine (image below), Thelonious Monk replied: “All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

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+ Now that ⚾ is back, here’s a little-known fact on how the game influenced jazz music.

WORK, WORK, WORK, WORK

“I never sleep because sleep is the cousin of death,” spits Nas in his Illmatic track ‘N.Y. State of Mind.’ What he may have overlooked is that sleep, and indeed rest can make you even more productive. It’s a canard to think that all successful people do is just work. Charles Darwin and Ernest Hemingway were slackers.

THE SPIRITUAL, REDUCTIONIST CONSCIOUSNESS OF CHRISTOF KOCH

Somewhere upon the way of evolution, humans lucked out. We developed language. We had hands that allowed us to manipulate our environment. Says American neuroscientist Christof Koch, “human civilization is all about tools, whether it’s a little stone, an arrow, a bomb, or a computer.”

TOKYO’S HOTTEST NEW DJ IS THIS 82-YEAR-OLD DUMPLING CHEF

She makes dumplings by day and spins records by night. Check out 82-year-old Japanese woman DJ Dumpling. Watch the video.

Poll: What’s your jukebox preference: iTunes or Spotify?

WHO CAN NAME THE BIGGER NUMBER?

Scientists have shown again and again that the mind, like a piece of software, is elastic. We are the sum of a hundred billion neurons that strengthen through knowledge and experience. Our skull evolves within a gooey flesh.

But there has to be a cap on human acuity, surely. At some point, exponents can’t go any further. We can’t get any smarter, nor pinpoint the largest number which is infinity and beyond. Even “Moore’s Law peters out, “as microchip components reach the atomic scale and conventional lithography falters,” says computer scientist Scott Aaronson.

DR. GABOR MATE ON WHO/WHAT IS NORMAL

You’re either left brained or right. You’re either normal or mental. Rather, it’s a continuum of both. The stigma that goes along with differentness makes you an outsider, yet these ‘weirdos’ are exactly the ones crazy enough to change the world. Said the American mathematician John Nash: “I wouldn’t have had good scientific ideas if I had thought more normally.”

As Physician Dr. Gabor Mate explains in his interview, maybe we should make more space for those different to express themselves rather than hide in anguish.

Watch

THE STREETS OF PARIS

“Go out into the streets of Paris and pick out a cab driver. He will look to you very much like every other cab driver. But study him until you can describe him so that he is seen in your description to be an individual, different from every other cab driver in the world.” — De Maupassant

+ Speaking of cars, “Americans are used to cars the way that fish are used to water.” Ezra Klein explains why we should take a cue from Barcelona.


Digging In The Crates

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STUFF is a five piece instrumental band from Antwerp, Belgium. ‘Strata’ is the first track from the band’s second album old dreams new planets due out April 28th.

The song vacillates from broken jazz before weaving into a funky, electronic jungle. Says the quintet’s SoundCloud page, “it makes you doubt whether you’re at a rave or at a fusion jazz concert in some late 80’s basement.”

LISTEN

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Noga Erez is an electronic music producer from Tel Aviv. ‘Off the Radar’ is one of the lead singles from her debut album of the same name.

Noga’s electro-pop vibes will most certainly remind you of MIA’s adventurism. Says the artist, “have this idea of giving people moments of thought and inspiration, and at the same time offering escapism and fun.”

LISTEN

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With jungle nods to LTJ Bukem comes Mysterious of a Blunt, presumably an alias of Berlin-based techno producer Orson Wells.

Here’s how he describes his music-making process in an interview with EdHid:

 “It’s somehow a meditative process immersing yourself in a basic loop and trying to add selectively more elements based on your experiences you have collected. I didn’t have a mentor or did a programming study. Everything I do is the result of an autodidactic approach.”

LISTEN


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Newsletter: In search of micro-moments 👫

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web gems

  1. Seinfeld: “If you can walk to work or take your bike on a daily basis, I think that’s just about the coolest thing that there is.” It was National Walking Day this week. Studies show that walking is more powerful than meditation. Author Rebecca Solnit wrote a fantastic book on the history of walking.
  2. Receiving likes, comments and shares on social media all strike the right neurological notes. Here is your weekly article on how smartphone addiction is ruining your mental health.
  3. Issac Asimov wrote nearly 500 books in his lifetime. Warren Buffet says he spends hours a day reading in his office. The message is clear: go offline. But here’s why I think toggling between moments of multitasking and single-tasking yields benefits.
  4. Love and science: The warmth of everyday greetings makes you healthier, says Professor Barbara Fredrickson in her book Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection. She calls them “micro-moments.” Watch her Tedx video.
  5. Do you prefer smart watches, Kindle books, Spotify streams OR the telltale “tick-tock,” the fresh smell of an unopened book, or the surface noise of vinyl? In the case of books, price may be a more significant factor to their durability than the threat of their digital counterparts.
  6. Phillip Kremer’s faceless portraits are still freaking me out, in a creative genius way. Jess Mac’s Tumblr is also a riot.
  7. Quotes I’m chewing on:

“I’ve got a theory that what you hear influences – maybe even determines – what you see.” – Paul Theroux

“The earth laughs in flowers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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via giphy

digging in the crates

  1. After teasing his new track ‘X22RME‘ two weeks ago, Actress is back with another dark, grinder of a single. ‘Dancing in the Smoke’ sounds as Actress sees music, as bits of data, and the hypnotic loop and accelerating orchestral keys allude to our electronic ‘future,’ a vocal that punctuates throughout the track. | LISTEN
  2. Objekt is Berlin-based electronic producer TJ Hertz. Joining the avant-garde composer Actress, Hertz also excels in future, data-driven music. | LISTEN to ‘Needle and Thread
  3. Eric Lau is a London beat maker known for his work with an array of hip hop artists like Oddisse, Lupe Fiasco, and Guilty Simpson. His newest solo record Examples is a collection of bouncy head-nodding instrumentals. | LISTEN to ‘Re-Lax
  4. Flashback: Mos Def Feat Black Thought & Eminem | WATCH ‘The Cypher’

Newsletter: Social media divides democracy 😔

wellsbaum.com

web gems

  1. “Mindfullness needs a redesign.” I’m reading Rohan Gunatillake’s new book Modern Mindfulness so I can learn how to better use technology to help me relax on-the-go.
  2. How do you define war? “If civilization has an opposite, it is war. Of those two things, you have either one, or the other. Not both.” A warning of words from Ursula K. Leguin’s 1963 novel The Left Hand of Darkness
  3. Design creates function. As Austrian architect, Hermann Czech writes, “The ‘function’ does not precede the design, but is always only mediated in the design.”
  4. The idea of what Ray Kurzweil calls ‘mind uploading’ isn’t as far-fetched as it seems. Read ‘Your animal life is over. Machine life has begun.’
  5. Creator’s dilemma: “We’ve made it easier than ever to make stuff, and harder than ever to make enough money to live.” Creatives are fucked. And it may be too late.
  6. “It’s such an American thing that nothing is real until it’s on television.” – Tom Nichols. As Charlie Brown says after looking into the dark sky: “Let’s go inside and watch television. I’m beginning to feel insignificant.”
  7. Thinking about this: Social media divides democracy

digging in the crates

  1. Rapper lojii and beat maker Swarvy are a hip-hop duo currently based in Los Angeles. Their collaborative album Due Rent debuted on the Fresh Selects label, responsible for acts like Iman Omari who’s track Kendrick Lamar sampled in his stunning performance at the 2016 Grammy’s. Similar to ‘Omari’s Mood,’ the track ‘outchea…’ is a short track which boasts a horn sample but gets the added layer of lojii’s smooth lyrics. | LISTEN
  2. Kelly Lee Owens is a London-based electronic producer. Her eponymous debut album pairs together deep techno vibes to balearic beats and drifting vocals. ‘Bird’ is one of the highlights of this fantastic album. It fades in at the 1:45 mark. | LISTEN
  3. Rebecca Foon is Saltland, a Montreal-based cellist. Her newest album A Common Truth features a well-rounded mix of classical music, gentle electronica, and floating vocals. The track ’Forward Eyes II’ is one of the more ethereal tunes on the album, strung out in cello, violin, and a looping instrumental synth. | LISTEN

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Newsletter: Known and strange things 👀

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web gems

  1. “The music you travel with helps you to create your own internal weather.” I’m reading Teju Cole’s essays from his new book Known and Strange Things
  2. In January 2010, a woman fell into a Picasso painting at MOMA and ripped a 6-inch hole in the canvass. Read what happens when you break an artwork.
  3. “Humans are rodents that made it through the dinosaur era.” Listen to the latest podcast ‘The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum’ from BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time.
  4. Excellent piece of analysis from Economist Tim Harford on how CURIOSITY could help cure The Problem With Facts. Plus, author of The Complacent Class Tyler Cowen outlines why “The biggest challenge facing free societies today is our lack of belief in them.”
  5. 📺 Watch Dave Chappelle use a beautiful metaphor to explain how success can become a trap. Watch musician Ken Butler make instruments out of garbage including hockey sticks, tennis rackets, and golf clubs.
  6. We live in an era of the abundance of information, disinformation, but also information avoidance where “people select their own reality by deliberately avoiding information that threatens their happiness and wellbeing.”

digging in the crates

  1. Christian Scott is a jazz musician from New Orleans who along with his ensemble make up the Christian Scott Quintet. The band’s forthcoming album Ruler Rebel is album one of The Centennial Trilogy. | LISTEN to the lead single ‘The Reckoning.
  2. Arvo Pärt is Estonian composer of classical and religious music, known for creating his own minimalist style of “little bell” sounds which he calls Tintinnabuli. | LISTEN to ‘Silhouans Song.’
  3. The legend Goldie returns with his first album in nearly two decades, 22 years after his seminal release of Timeless. His new album The Journey Man drops this June. WATCH the full music video for lead single ‘I Adore You’
  4. Seb Wildblood is a jack of all trades. He runs South London’s house label Church and its imprint All My Thoughts in addition to DJing and producing his own music. LISTEN to ‘Wet Summer’
  5. In case you missed it, Gorillaz released 4 new music videos yesterday to tease their forthcoming album Humanz. 

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