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The Human Behind a Favorite Spambot, Horse_eBooks

Horse_ebooks is Mr. Bakkila’s primary presence on social media. He said he has a Facebook account but that it’s more like “a phone book.”

The person behind one of my favorite Twitter accounts, Horse_ebooks finally steps forward. His name: Jacob Bakkila.

Also, Facebook is indeed a phone book, but one mostly without numbers listed. But you can just as easily direct message someone to get it.

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Who Made That Built-In Eraser?

“To keep our past failures ever before us would cause us to continue to fail…take out your pencil, rub out the mark and start over again.”

The eraser, an American origin to fit the American mentality of making mistakes and learning from failure.

After all, the right answer is a function of the mistakes you make.

Now, just imagine the computer without the “Delete” button.

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What Was, Is and Will Be Popular

New York Times culture editor Adam Sternbergh explains the conundrum of popularity in today’s high speed, viral world.  

If something is popular, it can’t also be good.

What’s to say something is actually popular, something that sells or streams, or both?  Just because something is popular today, doesn’t mean it’ll still be popular tomorrow.  Our digital appetites are transitory and therefore misleading.  

Paradoxically, popularity is now both infinitely quantifiable and infinitely elusive.  

Just make it stick.  

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Tech

I Am TOM. I Like to TYPE. Hear That?

Computer keyboards make a mousy tappy tap tappy tap like ones you hear in a Starbucks — work may be getting done but it sounds cozy and small, like knitting needles creating a pair of socks. Everything you type on a typewriter sounds grand, the words forming in mini-explosions of SHOOK SHOOK SHOOK. A thank-you note resonates with the same heft as a literary masterpiece.

I’ve never used a typewriter but I bet it’s easy to recreate that sound in the computer keys like Coffitivity does for recreating coffee shop noise in your home. An advanced product, same effect, at home. That sounds good to me.

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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.

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Instagram Video and the Death of Fantasy

most of the photographs uploaded to Instagram are beautiful and entertaining slices of life and not the tedious time in-between of those moments, when bills get paid, cranky children are put to bed, little spats with friends.

We’re all moving fast, information is over-flowing.  Just give us the highlights in photo format.   

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Do not daydream about the problems in your life, the evil in the world, the troubles around the next bend. That is what real life is for. Instead, daydream about things that make you smile. No summer workday is complete without a grown person staring at the wall, just laughing.

— Jon Methven, “How to Daydream
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The Anxiety of the Unanswered E-Mail

Those of us waiting for replies shouldn’t be so quick to leap to negative conclusions. It’s unlikely your best friend suddenly hates you. Or you’ve alienated a co-worker. Reach out again.

Email is an unhealthy game, full of misinterpretation and unnecessary worries.

I’ve learned to just let it go or call or text if it’s urgent. Tweeting at them is off the table.

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Where to Get a Good Idea: Steal It Outside Your Group

”The usual image of creativity is that it’s some sort of genetic gift, some heroic act.  But creativity is an import-export game. It’s not a creation game.”

Originality is stolen creativity. 

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timeshaiku is The New York Times smartest digital initiative to date, along with the simple fact that its apps and its site are mostly wall-less and shareable.   I hope The Financial Times is watching. 
timeshaiku is The New York Times smartest digital initiative to date, along with the simple fact that its apps and its site are mostly wall-less and shareable.   I hope The Financial Times is watching.