Every week I stumble across some articles that inspire my curiosity about art, culture, creativity, productivity, and social media. Below is what’s inspiring me this week.
1. Pursue Boredom And Let The Brain Wander
It Pays To Be Bored
Bored people let their minds wander towards more productive ends. They daydream. They write a song or try a new hobby. Or nine months later they add a member to their family.
Digital devices mean we’re always on, always connected, and always entertained. We have to make a deliberate effort to be bored if we want our minds to wander. Maira Kalman says it best: “Wonderful things happen when your brain is empty.”
2. Keep It Simple When It Comes To Design
Massimo Vignelli, a Modernist Graphic Designer, Dies at 83
Rather than representing the subway lines as the spaghetti tangle they are, it showed them as uniform stripes of various colors running straight up and down or across at 45-degree angles — not unlike an engineer’s schematic diagram of the movement of electricity.
Good design simplifies complexity. Things don’t need a literal translation; design recasts them to ensure they’re understood.
3. Creative Inspiration Comes From Other People
Sting at TED: How I started writing songs again
So having decided to write about other people instead of myself, a further irony is that sometimes you reveal more about yourself than you’d ever intended.
When stuck in a creative rut, tell other people’s stories. Great artists steal.
4. Nobody Reads Books Anymore
How the Novel Made the Modern World
The novel rose with modern selves because the novel, classically, relates the story of an individual attempting to create herself against existing definitions.
Books made us who we are. But now Tweets/short-form does. Will we ever get our long attention spans back?
5. Mobile Delays Time Rather Than Saving It
This is your brain on mobile
Phones have turned us into inconsiderate and tardy buttholes. I lost respect for my friend’s time and being punctual wasn’t a priority because updating them with an ETA became passive and far too easy.
Put the phone away and make the date on time. Didn’t Woody Allen, say that 80% of life is just showing up?
6. Share What You Know?
Faking Cultural Literacy
It’s never been so easy to pretend to know so much without actually knowing anything. We pick topical, relevant bits from Facebook, Twitter or emailed news alerts, and then regurgitate them.
We’re getting lazy, scanning headlines and sharing them instead of reading the whole article, or tweeting about TV shows we don’t even watch. Can we talk about something we only saw in a recap? Still thinking about this David Karp quote:
“There’s such a huge focus on social that it overshadows the actual creation of the stuff we want to share and talk about.”
7. Beats Made For Breaking
BEHIND THE DECKS ::: LTJ Bukem
I’ve often said when asked about creating music, some of the best tracks I think in the last few decades of electronic music have come from mistakes almost made at the computer, maybe something that isn’t essentially musically correct but just works.
Did Bukem make one of those creative mistakes in producing this early 2000 classic?