Make culture, don’t just consume it

Consumption is a conduit to creativity.

Reading and curation inspire us to reproduce our thoughts and ideas to others.

The problem is, most people eat the news for entertainment’s sake.

Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram are passive experiences, doing more to keep us in our seat rather than encouraging us to get out of it.

A sedentary mind is a wasted one.

We must be proactive in structuring our systemic consumption habits.

Creativity should be the upshot of things we like and aspire to.

Developing a rhythm of productive output stimulates a flagging sense of information control. The consumer who lacks a purpose to make something of value builds neither satiation nor fire.

Feeling compelled to do something with what we see, we turn desire into a real-world creation.

When we contribute to the culture, we open up a new Pandora’s Box.

Humans consume ideas, remix them, and create culture. The history of contribution demands no right answer.

What matters isn’t always popular

If you’ve ever published anything on the web you know what it’s like when all you hear are crickets. No likes, no comments, no reshares.

You think your content sucks because no one’s acknowledging you. But it’s a misconception to sell your work short, especially if it’s your labor of love.

There are 2.1 billion+ people on the Internet. If you’re writing, acting, or sharing your music someone’s going to connect with you. They may be a fan, a teacher, or someone you admire within your scenius. But you’re never going to appeal to everyone.

“The less reassurance we can give you the more important the work is.”

Seth Godin

All social media is based on reassurance. That’s why most Instagram content looks the same. If you want to guarantee success, you’ll share photos of beaches, dogs, selfies, and food.

“We were raised to do things that work.”

Seth Godin

But why not challenge sameness by trying something new? Go for some tension. Err on the side of being vulnerable if it means you get to make the stuff that makes you happy.

Unlike politics, creativity asks that you own up to being edgy, different. People that make change stand up and take responsibility for causing a ruckus.

“The internet could save your life because it’ll keep you from a lifetime of being told what to do.”

Seth Godin

Choose yourself. The rest follows.

All quotes above are from Seth Godin’s most recent presentation. Watch it below.

“Are we going out or are we making things?”

via giphy

There are two ways to get what you want: you either pay someone else for the finished good and get the satisfaction of instant delivery or you buy the individual components and spend the time making something yourself.

The resistance/lizard brain always tells you should play it safe and just consume, especially if that shortcut allows time for the work you actually enjoy. But if you’re not doing the work that matters, then you’re wasting time.

For every action, there’s a reaction.  Creation is the action without a compelling need to dictate the end result. Everything you see today is the result of someone else’s hard work. The trick to starting is merely starting.

A funny thing happens when you “just” start tinkering: you forget about the big, intimidating picture. – Mark McGuinness

We have to balance passive consumption with the art of doing. Studies even show that when you work out while making music it makes the exercise a bit easier.  When you make something, you burn off ignorance and dictate the terms.

Creativity is more gratifying than consumption, especially in the long-term. No one remembers the buyer, the fan, nor the guest but they do remember the artist. Your contributions are always welcome.  Make something.

Create more than you capture

Listening is an essential part of learning. But then we need to do the work.

Clarity comes from recreation. The only way to understand something is to redo it.

Writing something out is a great way to summarize thoughts. There are also other ways to connect the dots: speaking out loud, mind-mapping, sketching, and walking with a quiet mind.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Maya Angelou

Recreating is learning. There’s no better way to learn something than to try to teach it:  to yourself, to others, to an imaginary friend, or the mirror.

Do it by doing it.

Producing for the masses

We live in the dawn of personalization, where aggregate data gathered through apps, social media behavior, and web surfing should be able to personalize our experience for just about anything. Diversity gets rewarded with stuff that you and only you, like. #gif
via giphy

Making for the masses taints the quality of the product.

The majority of people appreciate what they get. They may even vote it up. Some people recognize the overt standardization and consume just to conform. It’s not worth tailoring a dish when it’s faster to eat what you’re served to survive.

We live in the dawn of personalization, where aggregate data gathered through apps, social media behavior, and web surfing should be able to personalize our experience for just about anything. Diversity gets rewarded with stuff that you and only you, like.

Still, there will be times when your choice is pre-determined along with everyone else’s, and there’s no way to order what you really like.

Standardization makes it easier for the makers to control consumption. All the ingredients and dish sizes are the same. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think everything is meant to be made and consumed in bulk.

No one has the same tastes, but most people have the same expectations. Demand better. Customization is the key to satisfaction.


Thanks to the Internet, we have become both producers and consumers. We are, in the futurist (how old-fashioned the term “futurist” seems now) Alvin Toffler’s unlovely phrase, “prosumers.” We tweet, and post, and update, and blog at the same time we are consuming other people’s digital productions. We are all part of a vast crowd that is unaware of how atomized it is, ignorant of the fact that it is both interconnected and isolated at the same time. – Lee Siegel

Whether it’s this blog or Twitter or Facebook I try to mix up the content between stuff I own/write and stuff that inspires me, which is mostly content I consume first and then retweet or reblog.

Late Discoveries


“Once you make the New York Times the whole world news about it.”

As much information there is on the Internet, we can’t know everything.

The world is full of interesting places, people, and things that go undiscovered until a big publication like the NYTimes exposes them.

Most people wait to be told about new stuff only to complain when they experience it. It’s “too busy, overcrowded,” they say.

The masses follow the masses out of mimetic desire. If you want to make the first discovery, you have to be proactive about searching.

We can’t know everything. But we don’t need to lean on mass curation either.