Newsletter #54: Curating the curators, more time is better than money, a 21st-Century migrant’s smartphone essentials, Oliver Sacks (RIP), new tunes, and more

Arts & Culture

When Did We All Become Curators?

Curation may be defined as “just picking stuff” but to do it well requires good taste. Curation also thrives off abundancy and individuality; people are better at picking books and music than politicians because there's more variety. But politicians don't really define who we are. Art does.

The great value placed on the individual as the only valid social institution naturally elevated the consequence of previously quotidian things generated by the simple act of living, like lists and opinions. These things began to be worthy of the same white-gloved treatment and cultural esteem once reserved for fine art.

Seth Godin: The Truth About Shipping

If you're looking for some creative motivation this Sunday, any Seth Godin piece on the ‘lizard brain,' or the resistance, is worth reading. But here's one of his lastest. Get used to going for it, every day.

“The paradox of our time is that the instincts that kept us safe in the day of the saber tooth tiger and General Motors are precisely the instincts that will turn us into road kill in a faster than fast internet-fueled era.”

Philosophy & Productivity

On Drip – More time is better than money

Time is the most valuable asset we have, especially when it comes to vacation. Money just makes things easier. Instead of walking up the mountain, we pay to take the lift. Instead of using the local train, we hop in a more expensive cab ride. Yet, convenience is often a shortcut to experience.

The most memorable trips are the ones that slow us down and allow us to notice the minutiae: the smells, the way people move, communicate, and dress. Flying over a mountain makes an enviable Instagram photo but taking a picture of the man reading the newspaper or even his shoes, recreates a cultural moment that's not Googleable.

“Of the two modes, it is far better to have more time than money. When you have abundant time you can get closer to core of a place. You can hang around and see what really happens. You can meet a wider variety of people. You can slow down until the hour that the secret vault is opened. You have enough time to learn some new words, to understand what the real prices are, to wait out the weather, to get to that place that takes a week in a jeep.”

Stephen King: Can a Novelist Be Too Productive?

Stephen King pressures himself to ship regularly. He thrives on consistent output to keep the ideas flowing. King has published 55 novels. Jonathan Franzen has only written 4. Both authors are renown writers, however different their prolificacy. Neither work style guarantees success; it all come down to quality.

No one in his or her right mind would argue that quantity guarantees quality, but to suggest that quantity never produces quality strikes me as snobbish, inane and demonstrably untrue.

+ Author Salman Rushdie talks with HBR on the deception of the writing process: “When you write, you fool yourself into thinking it's a private act.” – Salman Rushdie

Oliver Sacks Dies at 82; Neurologist and Author Explored the Brain’s Quirks

Oliver Sacks died this morning. He announced in an op-ed last February that these would be his last months: “I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends.”

I never thought about music as therapy until I read his book Musicophilia.. It turns out that music was also essential to his neurological studies: “I think Mozart makes me a better neurologist.” – Oliver Sacks, RIP

Social Media & Technology

On Drip – A 21st-Century Migrant’s Essentials: Food, Shelter, Smartphone

I joked 3 weeks ago on Instagram that all you really need is ‘wifi and water.' But it's not far from the truth for migrants in today's world. Today's migrants are bypassing traffickers and instead choosing to travel on their own, using tips from others shared on social media.

“Every time I go to a new country, I buy a SIM card and activate the Internet and download the map to locate myself.”

New Music

  1. George FitzGerald – Full Circle feat. Boxed In (Bonobo Remix)
  2. Werkha – Dim the Light
  3. Odesza – Light (feat. Little Dragon)
  4. Sam Gellaitry – Long Distance
  5. Calibre – Posh Boy
  6. Dawn Wall – Kythera
  7. Snoop Dog Doesn't Like Migos
  8. DJ Mitsu – the Beats limited 7″ single
  9. 26 Carat – Fly

> Listen

Thought of the Week

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” – Bertrand Russell 

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Published by wells baum aka bombtune

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

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