Identifying what matters

The brain is an empty void. It waits to remember until we give things meaning. Otherwise, it clings to the instincts of the amagdyla for its main sensory perception.

Thankfully, our brains are large processors. It knows that survival depends on exchanging information with others. Information is quid pro quo.

But the problem with oral communication is all the selling. Through rhetoric and persuasion, one can rise to have incredible influence. This is, unfortunately, how we got the Kardashians. We make stupid people famous.

Modern life narrows down our perceptions. Praising others, let alone mimicking them, makes us blind to our own self-worth.

The thrill of knowing is internal. It reminds us that we are more interesting than the role society gives us. Nothing means anything if we can't float with nature and find the question.


The new journalism, where fame is the game

gif of hands coming out of mirror

We worship celebrities like they’re the new Gods but they’re as fallible as we are.

We obsess with the famous for being famous. First, we had reality tv and then social media gave us the Kardashians and Trump.

Is this how the media wants to harvest our attention and chip away at human decency?

Reporters will continue to dupe a distracted public with attention-seeking missiles. The buzzfeedication of the web has taken over.

stop making stupid people famous print
Art by Etalpmet

We are stuck in click-bait culture

If a good journalist is supposed to write what they see and leave it to the world to interpret, then they better start choosing better subjects. At least more interesting ones.

Let’s start with this rule: No more graduation speeches to those who were famous for 15 minutes.


Like 4 Like?

You may have seen these hashtags on Instagram before:

followforfollow #likeforlike #follow4follow #like4like #l4l #f4f #tflers #followback #tagsforlikes

Kids are trading likes. You can even buy likes and followers from sites like Fiverr.

Social validation is big business. All the kids want is to be heard. They just want to be likes on screen more so than their real lives.

We’re already all famous. We can create professional looking content and publish it from our bedroom. Everyone is their own tv station.

The only difference is that some people get more likes than others, whether or not they asked for them, paid for them, or have duplicated fame outside the mobile phone.

Hashtags are the fame of the game.

Sunday Social Roundup

  1. As Tweets create more noise than value, a curated Twitter feed a la Facebook might not be that bad of an idea after all. It also enables Twitter to build in ads in between tweets which of course is good for profits but bad for the user experience.

  2. With the tablet market shrinking, more developers are building apps for the computer desktop to ensure their apps run across platforms seamlessly. Some of my favorite apps (e.g. Day One, Evernote) are platform agnostic which is hugely convenient for syncing your notes and keeping everything organized when you’re format shifting.

  3. Social media has made people write more and voice an opinion, whereas before these habits lay inactive in the layers of one’s own mind. For starters, my Facebook feed is floating with friends’ opinions about Israel/Palestine.

  4. Remember when acquiring new fans on Facebook was the priority? Now it’s all about delivering ads at the right time.

  5. It turns out that being ‘verified’ on social platforms gets you nothing more than maybe an enhanced search result. The CEO of Twitter doesn’t even have a verified account. What’s celebrity status mean in the first place?

Instagram’s Explore Tab: Now Tailored to You

The company has tweaked the algorithm that determines what posts appear under the app’s Explore tab — so that the tab displays photos and videos specifically suggested for each user. Previously, the Explore section only displayed posts that were popular among all Instagram users.

Looking forward to a more personalized Instagram Explore tab. It’s been dominated by celebs way too long.

Lame to Fame

“Anything you can do I can do better; I can do anything better than you.”


Are celebrities that much better than you? Or did they prepare and hit their luck at the right time, playing best when their best needed.

There may not be much that separates your skills from the celebrity, other than that they succeeded and you didn’t.

But the gap widens once they’re in. Their coaches, their network, their fan following, goes beyond any services a layman could afford.

Your blown away by celebrity status, so far behind and disconnected it’s unlikely that your chance will ever come. But maybe being famous isn’t even your goal. You like to produce in anonymity. You enjoy the practice for what it is.

Fame isn’t the goal of creativity. Fame tries to capitalize on good effort so it can let marketing do the rest. The pleasure in doing anything is in the performance, minus the expectations, otherwise we’re just fighting within ourselves to impress other people.

Valley of the Blahs: How Justin Bieber’s Troubles Exposed Twitter’s Achilles’ Heel

On Twitter users looking for instant fame:

It feels as if we’re all trying to be a cheeky guest on a late-night show, a reality show contestant or a toddler with a tiara on Twitter — delivering the performance of a lifetime, via a hot, rapid-fire string of commentary, GIFs or responses that help us stand out from the crowd. We’re sold on the idea that if we’re good enough, it could be our ticket to success, landing us a fleeting spot in a round-up on BuzzFeed or The Huffington Post, or at best, a writing gig. But more often than not, it translates to standing on a collective soapbox, elbowing each other for room, in the hopes of being credited with delivering the cleverest one-liner or reaction. Much of that ensues in hilarity. Perhaps an equal amount ensues in exhaustion.

Unfortunately, there’s already too much noise. We’re outmassed.

The All-Important Present Moment

“The scary part about the 21st century at least as far as the arts are concerned is that it has all become entirely too artificially intelligent. Certainly you feel that when you look at what is coming out of Hollywood, it often seems designed and programmed by robots in a way that doesn’t communicate to my kind of human.” – Andrew Bujalski

Hollywood is now just a data dump, making movies on raw numbers and projections rather than emotion and meaning. Acting is faking, after all.

Exclusive Discovery

One of the best things about finding something first (a piece of music, a new fashion style, an important article) is the feeling that you own it. Nobody else knows about it but you which means you can share it and get credit.

The Internet is the great facilitator and destroyer of discovery.

The paradox of sharing content is that it obviates exclusivity. When stories get publicized, especially amongst your tribe, they get shared fast and find people who are genuinely interested.

You may detest this rapid absorption. Someone can easily make the content their own with a fresh tweet or blog post. Even a retweet or reblog emulates a original share. Digital ownership is transient and a bit, socialist.

The thin window for exclusivity in a hyper-connected, social world, can be a fun challenge for the digger. Discovery never ends; it’s always about hunting for the next gem.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you find it first. You still need to convince others why they should get it too, unless you want to keep it to yourself.

Rich Content ≠ Rich People

Virality is not a clear indication of great content. At the same time, just because your content doesn't get shared with lots of people doesn't mean your content sucks.

The problem with direct to fan marketing, aka Twitter or blogging, is that influencers are generally poor sharers. They're riding the fame achieved through some other occupation: acting, writing, business. Celebrities are the unfortunate avenue in which many get their information.

Famous people will always have a high Klout score regardless of how boring or useless they are as social users. People are obsessed with engaging with anything celebrities have to say.

You may not be able to compete against the noise from Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Tom Cruise, or Rupert Murdoch. But you can at least share your voice and try to attract an engaged audience.

Quality content eventually finds the right people. If you don't participate you don't stand a chance at getting noticed.