Arts & Culture
Brian Eno believes that art is “everything you don’t have to do.”
But for author Lewis Hyde art is at the core of human exchange, a collection of shared ideas, things, skills and “gifts” that people pass on to each other to help create something new. Naturally, he rebuts copyright law, especially those of copyright extensions: “Mickey Mouse can’t be invented twice.” Hyde dissects the perpetual tug of war between art and commerce.
For centuries people have been speaking of talent and inspiration as gifts; Hyde’s basic argument was that this language must extend to the products of talent and inspiration too. Unlike a commodity, whose value begins to decline the moment it changes hands, an artwork gains in value from the act of being circulated—published, shown, written about, passed from generation to generation — from being, at its core, an offering.
Ideas come from everywhere. For Dave Kepell, it was a sneeze that blew slips of paper everywhere that gave him the idea of Magnetic poetry. Creativity can be a happy accident. Don’t force it.
“I thought, oh, I'll stick little pieces of magnets on the back of each one and then stick 'em onto a cookie sheet. And that was the first magnetic poetry kit.”
Philosophy & Productivity
Bourdain is a household name. But he wouldn’t be where he is today without
writing Kitchen Confidential, a book he wrote for himself and his kitchen crew. He sent it The New Yorker and was lucky to get it featured. The rest is history. Lesson: Do work you love, promote it a little, and see what happens.
“I didn’t have the luxury of the time to sort of stare at the ceiling and ponder the mysteries of the universe and what is good writing. I just had a story, and I told it as quickly and entertainingly as I could, damn the torpedoes.”
If you’re looking to do something you’re passionate about, then you’ve already missed the boat. Just look more closely at what you enjoy doing right now and take it more seriously.
If you’re passionate about something, it will already feel like such an ingrained part of your life that you will have to be reminded by people that it’s not normal, that other people aren’t like that.
But as Nassim Taleb points out, be cautious of converting creative freedom into your career.
Emojis are getting more worldly. Now there’s a mosque and synagogue in addition to a Christan church. Emojis allow choice of race.
The Unicode Consortium that designs and votes on new emojis is becoming more democratic, even more events-based. However, it’s facing critcism for including a rifle to support shooting as an Olympic sport.
In deciding which emojis to add, the Unicode Consortium considers factors including compatibility (if a pictorial symbol in broad use has not been translated into Unicode), and frequency of use (whether people will be interested in using a certain picture often enough to justify its existence).
Episode 69 | Tunes of the Week
- Zero T – Piano Clip
- Dawn Wall – Between the Sheets
- Rapid – Pepper Riddim
- Kirk Knight – Dead Friends
- Yellow Stripes – Hold Me Tight
- Stormzy – Shut Up
Thought of the Week
“not knowing” is the whole fucking point. Life is all about not knowing, and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. All of it. And it’s not going to get any easier just because you found out you love your job cleaning septic tanks or you scored a dream gig writing indie movies.” – Mark Manson