Category: Productivity & Work

Arts Culture Music Newsletter Productivity & Work

Newsletter: The ‘nudge’ theory and why planning backward is better than planning ahead

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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.

web gems

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.

Planning ahead is good, but planning backward is better. Start with the end-goal in in mind and then work backward. The key to goal-setting is to ‘imagine hypothetical goal achievement' to create the feeling that you're already making progress.

The flaws a Nobel Prize-winning economist wants you to know about yourself. The ‘nudge' removes the barriers to decision-making by pre-selecting how one should save their money or what to eat.

Kazuo Ishiguro: how I wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks. Nobel Prize-winning British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro talks about how he completed Remains of the Day in 4 weeks using a hack he called a ‘Crash.'

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.”

Stephen Hawking


musical vitamins

New track on loop

Lynette Williams – Light (2017)

Digging in the crates

Aim – The Girl Who Fell Through The Ice (2002)

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Wells Baum (@bombtune)

Support Wellsbaum.blog

Wells Baum is creating a daily blog that collects and remixes the most interesting pieces of art, beats, life, and technology from around the web. Your support goes a long way: for every contribution, I can keep the blog running and continue to provide you interesting links.

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Creativity Productivity & Work

Open spaces, closed doors

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If you want to make more office collisions, you have to increase proximity. Open spaces are now the standard design model for companies looking for more ideas and collaboration.

Multiple bump-in conversations have replaced those at the water cooler, saving potential email threads from getting out of hand.

But excess openness “can cause workers to do a turtle” and pop on some headphones to crowd out the excess chatter.

Like the cubicle before it, which intended to be the ‘action office’ and instead resembled prisons where no one ran into each other, the open floor layout encourages serendipity but has come to resemble a chaotic classroom. External conversations crimp the thinking voice inside a person’s head.

Cubicles are like prisons.

Scott Adams

Focus is already scarce in a digital world. Deep work needs time to bloom. Perhaps that's why working from home is still the best option of all.

Arts Culture Music Newsletter Productivity & Work

Newsletter: ‘Reality is an Activity of the Most August Imagination’

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Interior with a Man Writing on a Long Table (Anonymous, French, 16th century)

Below are five links I think you'll find interesting. As always, listen to a new tune and old gem after the jump.

web gems

Aziz Ansari has great advice for people in creative slumps. When he's uninspired,  comedian Aziz Ansari does nothing at all: “I’m not gonna make stuff just for the sake of making stuff. I want to make stuff ’cause I’m inspired. Right now I don’t really feel inspired.” Should we force creativity? I think we know how Steven Pressfield would respond to this.

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.”

Inside the husband-and-wife architecture duo’s sprawling Cape Town home. South African architect Gawie Fagan built his house in 1965 into the surrounding natural environment. At 91-years-old, he still lives there with his wife and still goes to the office every day.

Reality is an Activity of the Most August Imagination: Tim O'Reilly. “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.

10 Einstein Quotes to Fire Up Your Creativity. “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.” The genius was on to something.


Thought of the week

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it’s not open.”

— Frank Zappa

New track on loop

Nathan Fake — REMAIN (Olga Wojciechowska Rework)

Digging in the crates

Erick Sermon – Music (2001)

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Wells Baum (@bombtune)

Support Wellsbaum.blog

Wells Baum is creating a daily blog that collects and remixes the most interesting pieces of art, beats, life, and technology from around the web. Your support goes a long way: for every contribution, I can keep the blog running and continue to provide you interesting links.

$21.00

Arts Creativity Productivity & Work

‘Patterns are the work of the evil’

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Creativity isn't a faucet; you can't just turn it on at a moment's notice and expect genius to flow out.

So what should you do in a creative rut?

The comedian Aziz Ansari takes the lack of inspiration as a sign to do nothing at all.

“I’m not gonna make stuff just for the sake of making stuff. I want to make stuff ’cause I’m inspired. Right now I don’t really feel inspired.”

Creativity comes in waves; it ebbs and flows but finds its way back to people that are “open to detours.” Taking a walk or going on travel never fail to reignite the curious mind.


However, some artists like painter Chuck Close and writer Steven Pressfield encourage their colleagues to get to work daily. Said Close: “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

Making stuff is a habit; whether you're having a good or bad day, feeling inspired or out of gas, there's no excuse not to sit your ass down and get to work.

Everything is practice. 

Whether you let creativity happen or you force it out, keep the faucet on so it can at least drip. All creative slumps are merely temporary.

Arts Culture Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Tech Writing

Let the internet empower you

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Everyone waits for the web to come to them. Such passiveness means that humans leave their decision-making up to algorithms. But don't hide behind the machines; look yourself in the eyes as you would others and pick yourself to succeed.

The internet could save you feeling stuck. It liberates the amateur photographer or writer from holding back on their interests and tastes and instead encourages them to show the world their art. The barrier between consumer and maker is thinner than ever.


Don't wait for the internet to come to you. Use it proactively to stumble into new worlds that inspire you to recast what you think you already know. Experiment with its distribution and feedback.

The internet is a tool you use to make stuff. Just as code changes, you too can sense patterns and update your skill set through trial and error. There's no reason to shy away from individual oddities; feel free to trespass your fear by getting some skin in the game too.

Arts Culture Music Newsletter Productivity & Work

Newsletter: ‘The asshole problem’

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via Karo Rigaud

Below are some of the interesting links I stumbled upon this week. Peep a new tune and old classic after the jump.

web gems

This Stanford Professor Has a Theory on Why 2017 Is Filled With Jerks. Technology increases the asshole problem “because people are much more likely to be mean if they don’t have to make eye contact.” The worst part: it's contagious.

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.

Why We Sleep – how more sleep can save your life. “Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer.” That revolutionary new treatment is sleep. Even jellyfish get sluggish when they don’t get enough. 


Thought of the week

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”

— Gertrude Stein, “Reflection on the Atomic Bomb” (1946)

New track on loop

Corbin (Spooky Black) – Ice Boy (2017)

Digging in the crates

Roots Manuva – Ital Visions (2001)

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

Wells Baum (@bombtune)

Support Wellsbaum.blog

Wells Baum is creating a daily blog that collects and remixes the most interesting pieces of art, beats, life, and technology from around the web. Your support goes a long way: for every contribution, I can keep the blog running and continue to provide you interesting links.

$21.00