Newsletter #52: Why photographers are so obsessed with youth, how to spend time alone, how to vacation with your Smartphone, new tunes, and more

Arts & Culture

Why are photographers so obsessed with youth

It's no coincidence that Instagram's Weekly Hashtag project this week is WHPforeveryoung. Photographers love capturing the youth and making older viewers feel nostalgic. Maybe it's the carelessness, audacity, and free-will of youth. Whatever it is, young people are just up to more interesting stuff.

Capturing a millisecond of a moment in time – kissing, laughing, dancing, crying, fighting – such snapshots can last forever as references to a time before, allowing us to trace and compare our own habits, emotions and behaviour with our predecessors.

Coming Back to What You Love

What's popular isn't always “pedestrian.” What's underground isn't always cool. What makes work great is an appreciation and passion for the craft. Van Gogh and entrepreneurs share this perspective.

“what it really comes down to is whether the founder is somebody who has a deep appreciation of the space in which she or he works, consciously and methodically improves in the craft and demonstrates that growth in the product.”

Philosophy & Productivity

How to Spend Time Alone

Being alone is not the same as being lonely. Sometimes you just want some quiet space to yourself. This is possible, even in a place like New York, where “it’s less about being a hermit and more about being a chameleon.” Or you can just pop on some Radiohead and party alone:

One fourth of July, I didn’t feel like having a big party and all my roommates went to other parties. I downloaded OK Computer, which, amazingly, I didn’t have yet—I decided in a day to become a Radiohead fan—and just went up to our roof, which overlooked the East River, and listened to the whole thing while the fireworks happened. It felt really cool. It was just having that mental blank. Being up there by myself made the fireworks feel totally different; instead of this big bang and hurrah, it was just like, Oh, these are beautiful.

+ Here's my blog post elaborating on this excellent piece.

Standing Orders

Sitting is the new smoking. It kills, or so they say. In one of the more pragmatic articles on sitting published in 2013, the Economist explains why it's most important to move often. However, don't see low-level activity such as standing as a replacement for vigorous exercise.

“What you need as well, the latest research suggests, is constant low-level activity. This can be so low-level that you might not think of it as activity at all. Even just standing up counts, for it invokes muscles that sitting does not.”

+ Be wary of high stress exercise, according to this longevity expert.

Social Media & Technology

How to Vacation Like It’s 1999

In some ways, mobile phones are essential. Just ask the teens who use their phones to find, make, and stay friends. But mobile phones also mean you can never really get away and take a true vacation. Because the phone is our communications device, camera, and music player it's almost impossible to leave it behind.

“In recent months, I’ve started deleting some social media apps from my phone on weekends. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are removed entirely on Friday afternoons. On Monday morning, I reinstall everything for the workweek ahead.”

+ If you're facing the urge to seek out distraction a.k.a. opening up Facebook or a new tab, acknowledge it but do your work anyway.

New Music

  1. Four Tet – Back2thestart
  2. Gwilym Gold – Flex (Zomby Remix)
  3. Martyn – EF40
  4. Mako – Warrior Pose
  5. Photek – Into the 90's (2015 Re-master)
  6. Keiska – Bobby Re-Edit
  7. Nuage – Haunting
  8. Sami Baha – I Still Got It

> Listen here

Thought of the Week

“An iPhone is not a computer. It is a living creature. One would do better to think of the iPhone as a pet. It is the toy dog of mobile devices, a creature one holds gently.” – Ian Bogost

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Published by Wells Baum

A daily blogger who connects the dots between arts and life.