Web Gems 21 / Music’s power is in its ambiguity

Below is an excerpt from the weekly newsletter, published every Sunday morning which includes links to interesting reads, music, and other top-notch content. Subscribe here or below.

Music doesn’t need thought. It is intuited. Like laughter, its power is ambiguous but pleasurable.

Music, after all, does a rather poor job of showing you anything, especially when there isn’t any text to consider. It doesn’t have the same resources to depict things that the other arts do (apart from the occasional cheap trick such as a loud thunderclap). Perhaps music’s power is in its ambiguity.

Life & Arts 🎭

It’s hard to know why music gives pleasure: is that the point? | Aeon Essays

We know music is pleasurable, the question is why? Many answers have been proposed: perhaps none are quite right

Ten tweaks to your morning routine that will transform your entire day | Quartzy

Your energy isn’t infinite. Learning how to control it is key.

Quote 🗣️

Listen 🎧

Video 📺

To see more content and read the newsletter in its entirety, click here.

Write just one sentence

Stuck, in limbo, at the fright of starting. It is the activation energy that gets us over the hurdle of inertia. For Ernest Hemingway, writing one sentence motivated him to write more and more.

Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. So, finally I would write one true sentence and go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.

However, his other writing trick took advantage of intertia. By pausing what and putting aside his next idea, he could guarantee he had something to play with the next day.

I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.

Action begets action but the breaks also serve an important purpose. As Albert Camus wrote: “Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre.”

Read Inertia

‘Podcasts are the audio of our time’

gif by @hoppip

“Podcasts are the audio of our time. They can be beautifully produced, as good as a good book, and perhaps they will supersede radio. But there’s something about the knowledge that countless others are listening to the same thing as me, at the same time as me, that can’t be replaced. When I listen to radio from other time zones, I am reminded that I do not move through times of day but rather they move through me. Somewhere in the world, it is always far too late to be up listening to the radio”

Read On The Radio, It’s Always Midnight

Newsletter: ‘The Best for the Most for the Least’

Two Men Playing Chess Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946): The MET

web gems


Frank Gehry And The Walt Disney Concert Hall

Frank Gehry was at the bottom of the shortlist of candidates considered to design the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in 1988. His profile made him the odd man out for the job. But he kept his creative confidence: “It’s as though people expect you to blow one note all the time, and I guess a lot of people can only blow one note. But there are people who can blow two or three notes, and I guess I’m one of them.”

The selecting committee was looking for someone who “still had his greatest work before him” and who met four design criteria. Gehry’s stood out, most notably for his the populist-looking garden lobby, “the living room of the city,” which connected “all major parts of the building as well as to the outdoors and the street.”



Tim Ferriss: Why you should define your fears instead of your goals

“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality,” said Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger who help spread the seeds of stoic philosophy. Life hacker, author, and motivational speaker Tim Ferriss is one of the modern day followers of stoicism. Watch Tim Ferriss expound on the subject in his first Ted Talk, in what he says is his most important and vulnerable presentation to date.


The Fashion Outlaw Dapper Dan

“How would he feel if that Louis Vuitton pouch became a whole outfit?” remarked the Harlem fashion designer Dapper Dan, aka Daniel Day. And so he made custom clothing for famed sprinter Diane Dixon and rappers Eric B and Rakim, going on to remix all types of designs from the world’s most renowned brands before the fashion houses shut down his operations.

Dapper Dan’s efforts mimicked the sampling culture which helped give rise to hip-hop at the time. Said Elle Magazine director Samira Nasr, “Sampling was taking existing music and slicing it to recreate new sounds for original lyrics. Dap was sampling in a way. He was taking existing fabrications and breathing new life and beauty into them.”



Open-minded people have a different visual perception of reality

Close-minded people literally see and experience the world differently. Our vision is tied to our creativity, particularly our ability to combine images. Says scientist Anna Antinori who conducted a recent perceptual processing test called ‘binocular rivalry‘ at the University of Melbourne: “Open people appear to have a more flexible gate and let through more information than the average person.”



The Best for the Most for the Least

Charles and Ray Eames foretold a society of dizzying pace even before the inundation of mobile screens, interactive billboards, and social media feeds that are so normal today. “Their most ambitious multimedia work pushed the capacity of the medium and its platform, as when they designed Think for IBM’s Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair: a spectacular, twenty-two-screen live lecture about problem solving, and America’s first taste of information overload.


digging in the crates

Episode 102

  1. Laurence Guy – Intro
  2. Shanti Celeste – Make Time
  3. Madou – Nowhere Else
  4. Hanna – Stranger
  5. Benjamin Muñoz – In Coming Months



I spend a lot of time digging the web for cool stuff and remixing them here. If you dig the blog, please consider making a donation or buying a book. A cup of coffee to helping out with hosting goes a long way.

Newsletter: Social media divides democracy 😔

via giphy

web gems

  1. “Mindfullness needs a redesign.” I’m reading Rohan Gunatillake’s new book Modern Mindfulness so I can learn how to better use technology to help me relax on-the-go.
  2. How do you define war? “If civilization has an opposite, it is war. Of those two things, you have either one, or the other. Not both.” A warning of words from Ursula K. Leguin’s 1963 novel The Left Hand of Darkness
  3. Design creates function. As Austrian architect, Hermann Czech writes, “The ‘function’ does not precede the design, but is always only mediated in the design.”
  4. The idea of what Ray Kurzweil calls ‘mind uploading’ isn’t as far-fetched as it seems. Read ‘Your animal life is over. Machine life has begun.’
  5. Creator’s dilemma: “We’ve made it easier than ever to make stuff, and harder than ever to make enough money to live.” Creatives are fucked. And it may be too late.
  6. “It’s such an American thing that nothing is real until it’s on television.” – Tom Nichols. As Charlie Brown says after looking into the dark sky: “Let’s go inside and watch television. I’m beginning to feel insignificant.”
  7. Thinking about this: Social media divides democracy

digging in the crates

  1. Rapper lojii and beat maker Swarvy are a hip-hop duo currently based in Los Angeles. Their collaborative album Due Rent debuted on the Fresh Selects label, responsible for acts like Iman Omari who’s track Kendrick Lamar sampled in his stunning performance at the 2016 Grammy’s. Similar to ‘Omari’s Mood,’ the track ‘outchea…’ is a short track which boasts a horn sample but gets the added layer of lojii’s smooth lyrics. | LISTEN
  2. Kelly Lee Owens is a London-based electronic producer. Her eponymous debut album pairs together deep techno vibes to balearic beats and drifting vocals. ‘Bird’ is one of the highlights of this fantastic album. It fades in at the 1:45 mark. | LISTEN
  3. Rebecca Foon is Saltland, a Montreal-based cellist. Her newest album A Common Truth features a well-rounded mix of classical music, gentle electronica, and floating vocals. The track ’Forward Eyes II’ is one of the more ethereal tunes on the album, strung out in cello, violin, and a looping instrumental synth. | LISTEN

Newsletter: Disinformation and Frappuccinos™

web gems

  1. What an American football team in southeastern Ukraine can teach the US about the perils of disinformation, a term created by the KGB in the 1950s.
  2. In 1992, George Howell AKA “The Coffee Shaman” created the Frappuccino™. In 1994, he sold his twelve Boston-based Coffee Connection stores to Starbucks for $24 million. He still hates cold brews.
  3. Technology shapes us. Cities shape us. But urbanites across the world are all becoming the same. Read Future Life in the City and the Growing Spaces Between Us
  4. The cubicle was intended to be the action of office. What we got instead was “a mania for uniformity.
  5. Moving to a virtual utopia is saving the disabled from ‘information porn.
  6. Polish artist continues to make his thought-provoking illustrations.
  7. “The darker the night, the brighter the stars.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

digging in the crates

  1.  “I still have a lot of time for putting out 12 inches.” Joy Orbison wasn’t lying. It’s been five years since his last solo release, but Joy Orbison is back with all new EP on his own label TOSS PORTAL. ‘Rite Ov’ steps into a dub groove that even Mark Ernestus would appreciate. I just wish I had a better sound system to do the bass justice. |
  2. The Peter Franks Group is an instrumental and jazz beat collective from Bournemouth, England. The fresh and crisp flute-driven track ‘Leaving This Place’ is one of the standout tracks off the band’s album Days Past. ‘Inner Most’ is also a moody gem. | LISTEN
  3. “In 2005, while making his Saturday morning yard sale rounds around town, collector Blake Oliver stumbled upon a box of curiously marked tapes. At first, Oliver thought he’d found the lost masters from Clem Price and George Beter’s Columbus-based Prix label.” | LISTEN

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Newsletter: Evil is a fungus

web gems

  1. Evil is a fungus. It feeds off thoughtlessness and organized lying. It destroys the marketplace of ideas. Newness starts in forgiving, public places. Eerie listen: Hannah Arendt on Totalitarianism
  2. “Boredom might spark creativity because a restless mind hungers for stimulation.” – Clive Thompson
  3. Words, Not Voices: “Raise your words not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” — Rumi
  4. They drop heart levels. They alleviate anxiety. They deaden the fear by practicing it beforehand, strengthening confidence. Read The power of rituals: they calm nerves and boost performance
  5. We all share complex inner worlds. But how and what we think often conflicts with how we act. Such paradox calls for change. Read Shakespeare’s Characters Show Us How Personal Growth Should Happen
  6. George Orwell’s 1984 is an Amazon top-seller. That’s not doublethink; those are the facts.

digging in the crates

  1. Letherette is an electronic duo from Wolverhampton, England. They released the boogie down track ‘Wootera‘ back in November. The mellow dab track ‘Triosys’ appears on their new album Where Have All The People Gone?a 42-minute mix of previously unreleased music. Thanks again Ninja Tune. | LISTEN
  2. German electronic artist Orson Wells ‘Blend’ provides a flashback to early 1990s Prodigyesque techno, with a proper step toward vibrating house music. According to the Bandcamp page, the album artwork is a hodgepodge of stickers “found in car liveries.” | LISTEN
  3. The collaboration between Canadian electronic musicians David Louis & Stranjah is yet another big release from UK drum n bass label, Repertoire. | LISTEN 
  4. William Onyeabor was a Nigerian musician and businessman. He was known as “The Chief” in southeast Nigeria, where he built “the greatest record manufacturing business in all of West Africa.” He released nine funky electronic albums in total, all pressed at his own studio. | LISTEN
  5. London-based producer Slim teamed up with up and comer soulstress Ella Mae to drop some fresh new beats on the Banoffee Pies Records label. | LISTEN

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Weekly Rewind: Everything starts on paper, how Grandmaster Flash created the drum break, the future of work, and more

I spent last week in the Dominican Republic, going through bottles of sun lotion and bug spray. I sauntered, strolling through the Punta Cuna beaches listening to N.E.R.D’s first record and while coincidentally, stumbling upon an MTV-inspired foam party (see above). It felt like college all over again. 

This newsletter also marks the 100th edition of my SoundCloud weekly playlist, so I made sure to span a few genres including electronica, folk, hip-hop, and world. Scroll down to peep. – WRB

 1. Everything starts on paper

“As with music, so with thought: when you want clarity, you seek out paper. Paper is the slow food of thought.”

2. Grandmaster Flash explains how he created the drum break

“I came from a scientific approach. Once I came up with the queuing, the proper needle, the “wafer,” duplicate copies of records, the mixer, which I had to rebuild, I was able to take a 10-second drumbeat and make it seamlessly 10 minutes.”

3. The future of work

“It is disappointing to think that we’d have to create make-work for people, but it may be the hard truth.”

4. A world that runs on algorithms

“In the US, some 72% of CVs are never seen by human eyes.”

5. This history behind he modern definition of average

“Belgian astronomer/mathematician Adolphe Quetelet discovered what we now know today as the ‘average’ when he aggregated the mean chest size of five thousand Scottish soldiers.”

6. Why everyone should blog

“Everyone should write a blog, every day, even if no one reads it. There’s countless reasons why it’s a good idea and I can’t think of one reason it’s a bad idea.”

7. Real or fake? How to identify the authenticity of online photos 

“it’s not uncommon for an image to appear on social media claiming to be of a crowd in a recent protest, but reverse image searches then reveal that the image was actually taken in a completely different city years earlier.”

8. A zibaldone was a 14th-century scrapbook

“Some media scholars argue that commonplace books and zibaldones were precursors to the Internet, which is similarly scrappy and mixed-up, rich in influences and perfectly willing to zig-zag between genres.”

9. Gardening the brain with a good night’s rest

“Your brain cleans itself out when you sleep—your brain cells shrinking by up to 60% to create space for your glial gardeners to come in take away the waste and prune the synapses.”

10. What’s the point of university? 

“undergraduate degrees have no value to society: they enable employers to pay higher wages to smarter workers, but lower wages to everyone else — and in order to enjoy these higher wages, smart people must waste time and money going to the trouble of acquiring a degree.”

11. How to use ‘temptation building’ to get things done

“only watch your favorite show while you’re in the gym. Once you leave the gym, you’re left wondering what happens next in that show. The only way to find out (that is, if you stick to the plan) is to reward yourself with the next episode while you’re on the treadmill.”

New Music


  1. Shadow Child and Bodhi – Um
  2. Madeline Kenney That’s Us/Wild Combination (Arthur Russell cover)
  3. Trim – Before I Lied
  4. James Vanish – Booth (this one’s for Fabric London)
  5. Raffaela Renzulli – Asking Eyes


Baum Blog Digest 7.30.2016

Hi Everyone, I started a new blog. It takes the newsletter approach but goes into more depth. Please find a section below that interests you and have a read. The music stays. Where would we be without it, eh?

Arts & Culture

Milton Glaser on his iconic “I ♥️ NY” logo, the joy of working, and on the future of the Big Apple

“I never separated the city from myself. I think I am the city. I am what the city is. This is my city, my life, my vision.”

Werner Herzog talks filmmaking, Pokemon Go, and how to manage our online life

“don’t wait for the system to accept you. You create your own system, create your own [budget] and make your own first feature film or your first own documentary.”

Brian Eno on what he learned from David Bowie in making art

“A lot of people think that singers should always be sincere, that it has to be their own soul coming out. That’s b — — — -. What you’re really doing is working like a playwright. You’re making little plays and the singer is the lead character.”

Music & Beats

Dizzee Rascal talks Brexit with Pharrell on Beats 1

“What happens when you shout and scream at the world and then they listen, agree with you. ‘Yeah, we like that too.’ You’ve got to find something in common with people. That’s the way to get on in life.”

Radiohead introduces set with Nina Simone

“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: No fear. I mean, really – no fear.”

The music industry’s digital revolution

“Nothing is bigger than the music itself.” — Moby

Philosophy & Productivity

How trees help you de-stress

“Natural environments, on the other hand, provide what Berman calls “softly fascinating stimulation.” Your eye is captured by the shape of a branch, a ripple in the water; your mind follows.”

Debating the nature of time

“The future is not now real and there can be no definite facts of the matter about the future.” What is real is “the process by which future events are generated out of present events.”

How colored noise helps you focus and relax

“White, pink, and brown noise — playing across all frequencies — are like muffling blankets of sound.”

Internet & Tech

Ray Kurzweil and Aziz Ansari on the modern information era

“People think the world is getting worse. … That’s the perception. What’s actually happening is our information about what’s wrong in the world is getting better.”

This smart-powered pedestrian pavement could save your life

“studies have shown that around one in three people get distracted by their phones when crossing the street.”

Snowden is working on an untrackable iPhone case

“We want to give a you-bet-your-life assurance that the phone actually has its radios off when it says it does.”

The 1996 Chicago Bulls, Nike’s Extension into Fashion, Tips for Living the Creative Life, Social Media Narcissism, and more

Arts & Culture

The Oral History of the 1996 Chicago Bulls

The only way Michael Jordan would agree to filming the movie Space Jam is if they built him a dome where he could workout and practice. The following 95-96 season the Bulls won 72 games in the regular season. Players, coaches, and reporters recount Jordan’s Airness:

“Ahmad Rashad: The great things that you saw Michael do in games, there was way more of that in practice. Watching him practice was like sneaking into a dress rehearsal of a great musician.”

At Nike, Extending the Track to the Runway

It took Nike 15 years to create the Nike Shox, waiting patiently for the materials to catch up to the ideas. Nike is the Apple of the shoe world. Not surprisingly, both companies are going aggressively into fashion. Fashion, Nike is coming for you.

“The effect of all this is simple: While Nike may not overtly identify itself as a fashion brand, and while traditional runway names may not see it as a competitor, to consumers considering what piece of clothing to buy, it increasingly seems like one and the same.”

Philosophy & Productivity

Fear is boring, and other tips for living a creative life

Replace the word creativity with curiosity and you’ll be creative. And while you’re at it, replace “follow your passion” with curiosity too. Everyone is born creative until they lose their sense of wonder. Good read.

curiosity doesn’t take anything from you. Curiosity just gives, and all it gives you are clues, just a beautiful thread, a tiny little clue from the scavenger hunt that you’re unique here in life.

A conversation with Wiwek, the Dutch producer who invented ‘jungle terror’

When forced to come up with a genre, Grime pioneer Wiley called his music “two-step” because there wasn’t anything out there that sounded like it. Similarly, Dutch musician Wiwek only called his music “jungle terror” because that was the only way he could upload songs into SoundCloud. Vibes.

back then you had to put a genre otherwise you couldn’t upload your songs. But you could still use your own words, so you could make up weird shit, and so I just called it “jungle terror” because I couldn’t find another genre for it. And so that’s how the term got online.

Social Media & Tech

I, narcissist – vanity, social media, and the human condition

Social media made narcissism the new obesity, apparently. But the link is not so clear cut. Social media is also a utility, a business tool. DJ Khaled connects with his fans on Snapchat daily. Says another influencer:

“I sometimes spend hours thinking about what to post, thinking about what my followers want, but also what I want them to think about me. But I see it as time well invested: it’s made me successful, well known, and it’s made me money,” says Price, whose name has been changed.

Bonus long read: The American Scholar: Saving the Self in the Age of the Selfie – James McWilliams

New Music

Episode 82 | Tunes of the Week

  1. Morly – If Only Chords
  2. Big Thief – Real Love
  3. Shura – Touch (Four Tet remix)
  4. Anderson .Paak – Room in Here
  5. Bisk – Swampfroot
  6. Wiwek/Skrillex – Killa

🎵 Listen here

Thought of the Week

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” –

For more interesting reads and new music, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or the Twitter feed. You can also subscribe to the blogs: wellsbaum.blog and bombtune.comIf you dig the blogs and want to support them, make a donation, buy a book, or email this post to a friend.

The paradox of wearing neckties, faking happiness on the Internet, new tunes, and more!

I like to share a list of links every Sunday that inspire me to think differently about the world of art, culture, philosophy, and tech.  As always, there’s 5 new tunes after the jump.

Links Worth Reading

How to pretend to be happy on the Internet

Everyone’s a happy camper online. After all, why would you tweet or Instagram sad thoughts and get your Internet friends all worried about you? Yet even when your online behavior changes slightly, people notice.

“Pretending to be happy on the Internet is exhausting.”

Dickheads: The paradox of the necktie resolved

I never minded church so much as wearing that uncomfortable suit and tie. Even then, the color of the tie was still the only way to express any individuality.

“Couldn’t we say that a tie is really a symbolic displacement of the penis, only an intellectualized penis, dangling not from one’s crotch but from one’s head?”

At least now we can get away with hiding behind our hoodies. Thanks Zuck!

What Part of “No, Totally” Don’t You Understand?

Good news for the Yes Man: you can finally get away with saying “No” and still come off acquiescent. “Yes” is too serious and one character too long.

“These curious uses turn “no” into a kind of contranym: a word that can function as its own opposite.”

Yes, way.

The Rise of ‘Studyblrs’

Staying on social media would seem to have the opposite effect but these students are the new knowledge workers. They’re using Tumblr to motivate each other and trade study tips. I had AIM and a fax machine growing up.

“For example, Generation Z will be great at synthesizing information because they will have been doing that — rather than memorizing — the whole time they were in school.”

A ‘Darker Narrative’ of Print’s Future From Clay Shirky

It’s no longer breaking news that print circulation is down. It’s inevitable, just as it is for the death of CDs. But good writing is worth reading. The medium is less important.

“Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism.” – Clay Shirky

New Music

Tunes of the Week | Episode 48

  1. Ahkatari – Rude Bwoy
  2. Bakradze – Quiet Loop
  3. Redeyes – Psychonaut
  4. Robert Glasper – Of Dreams To Come (Philippe Edison Rework)
  5. Skepta – Shutdown

> Listen

Thought of the Week

“If you want to make money in a gold rush, sell shovels.” – The California Gold Rush

7 articles to read this weekend

Ground Zero

You won’t read a better 9/11 tribute than this piece by Rex Sorgatz. It sheds light on the contradictions of rebuilding the “Freedom” Tower in the age of extreme surveillance and commercialization. Everything is back to normal at Ground Zero, but not really.

Get Sinicized

You can say whatever you want on the Internet in China as long as you don’t act on it nor organize protest in the real world. Again, China reminds us that ‘controlled democracy’ is a paradox

+ Hypebeast: The Chinese are allowed to use Instagram but not Facebook nor Twitter. Aren’t pictures more powerful than words?

Polemical Tweets

As Nick Bilton discovers you’ll never win an argument on social media. It’s too fast and too accessible of a medium. Once everyone has their own microphone, the room becomes overly noisy.

+ New York Times: Like anything else used in moderation, there’s a time and a place for technology use. Even Steve Jobs limited how his kids used Apple devices. But what happens when we’re always on?

Internal Reflection

How can a yellow dot on a canvass mean anything? Abstract art confuses people it’s seemingly boring and unsophisticated, to the mind’s eye. But what is represents is more visceral. Abstract art reflects inner mood.

+ Business Week: Apparently it doesn’t pay to be weird but weirdos are the exact people companies should hire for their outlandish ideas and maniacal control. Would anyone hire Steve Jobs based on his personality alone? Speaking of Steve, here’s Apple’s CEO Tim Cook talking about Steve’s untouched Apple office: “His office is still left as it was.”

Last Works

As Roger Grenier explains, artists have always struggled with death. Should they create one last work and call it quits while they’re still alive or should they keep creating to the very last moment. What happens when they unexpectedly die mid-way through a project? Who knows what’s going to happen. Just hope it all ends with some work and successes to show for it.

Coffee Naps

It’s too bad we can’t take “coffee naps” until the weekend. Research shows that if we drink coffee and then take a 20 minute nap we’ll have double the boost.

+ YouTube: here’s your brain on coffee

Meditation Dribble

You can laugh now but meditation is going to become a daily habit just like brushing your teeth, predicts Dan Harris in the video below. It’s almost impossible to be bored and get a peace of mind in today’s distraction digital economy. Keep in mind that meditation doesn’t require a fancy chant or weird posture. You just need to sit there and do nothing. The brain will wander and worry which is natural. Just bring it back to being aware.

Here’s a good app for guided meditation: Calm app

7 articles to read this weekend

Each week I curate some of my favorite articles about art, life, psychology, and technology across the web. I like to collect a few new tunes too, after the jump.

‘The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013’. Writing is just painting with words. Teju Cole describes how Walcott’s fascination with paint seeped into his poems, seemingly connecting everything that appeared to be disparate.

Walcott has few equals in the use of metaphor. In his imagination, each thing seems to be linked to another by a special bond, unapparent until he points it out, permanently fresh once he does.

The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking. Positive thinking backlashes she’s when things don’t live up to expectations. Some suggest a neutral approach to improvement. The reality is that you can’t be neither too hard nor too soft on outlook. You need to be both practical and imaginary at the right times, to balance where you go next.

There’s nothing wrong with getting lost in fantasy, as long as you aren’t ultimately hoping to indulge in the real thing.

The Case for Blunders by Freeman Dyson. All believing is betting. Theories are experiments with the expectation of failure and the rarity of proven success. Most of everything is still a work in progress, even the fabric of democracy. We’re always testing, reconfirming, and editing on top of existing and prevalent beliefs. It’s ok to be wrong if it means discovering a better answer.

“We can’t live in a state of perpetual doubt, so we make up the best story possible and we live as if the story were true.” A theory that began as a wild guess ends as a firm belief. Humans need beliefs in order to live, and great scientists are no exception. Great scientists produce right theories and wrong theories, and believe in them with equal conviction.

Mindfulness in the Age of Complexity. Mindfulness is the practice of observation and perspective. It’s about being present and being open to new opportunities at the same time. Mindful people are ok with mistakes. On the whole. mindfulness is an instrument for coping with apparent stresses of daily life.

Remember, too, that stress is not a function of events; it’s a function of the view you take of events

Why 18th century books looked like smartphone screens. I jettisoned the kindle and physical books to read on a small iPhone screen which I can take with me and read wherever I want. For me, the small screen induces focus and makes me feel like I read through the pages quicker. This preferred reading style apparently isn’t so different than the small page format in the 18th century.

it was common to print essays in this pretty little style, because it had great ergonomics: It made for easy one-handed reading and portability.

10 Ways To Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered. Author Austin Kleon shares some insight from his new book, Show Your Work. My favorite tip is about selling out, not necessarily to make more money but to boldly do the things that’ll make your work bigger, reach a broader audience.

the best sign you can put up is SOLD OUT.” – Bill Withers

Michael Cina Interview. Michael Cina is a highly respected artist and designer. What may be more impressive than his talent though is his work ethic. Cina never takes it easy, embracing new challenges as the only way to grow. His ambition is clear, all the more reason he just keeps experimenting and pushing things forward.

You have to take risks in order to move forward—I feel very passionate about that. I always say that if you feel uncomfortable, then you know you’re doing something right. I’ve recently had a new vision for where I want to go, and I’m going for it. If you don’t have a solid vision for where you want to go, you’re just going to meander around without doing the kind of work you really want to do.

Also recommended:

‘VHS vs. Communism’

Chef Designs Meal Inspired by Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’

Tchaikovsky on Work Ethic vs. Inspiration

Why You Shouldn’t Drink Coffee In The Morning

Plus, I added some new tracks to the Best of 2014 ongoing playlist.

7 articles to read this weekend

Every week I compile my favorite reads from across the web. While the articles typically fall into the areas of creativity and life hacks, they also show what’s happening across the world.

Creativity Becomes an Academic Discipline. Creativity is a mindset, a desire to problem solve and think different about everyday things. Everyone is creative but not everyone likes to turns on their creativity gene, probably because it involves possibilities rather than absolute certainty. What we know today could be extinct tomorrow. Creativity begets innovation which begets progress.

Life is a game. This is your strategy guide. You won’t go anywhere in life without a lot of focus, willpower, and grit. Today’s technologies disrupt pursuit of the remarkable. Maybe we should do the hardest things first, and last.

‘Don’t get bigger, get weirder’: Things I’ve learnt from 5 years of The Story. Side projects are always fun, a strategy for keeping life personal, challenging, and rewarding. This blog started as a side project. So did my books, my music, and pretty much anything I’ve ever done including sports. But once you start, you can’t stop. Be consistent. You started it for a reason after all.

What Is The Point Of A Website In 2014?. Your website should be your first touch point, simple enough to explain who you are and what you embody. It should aggregate only the fine points, unless of course you’re a retailer with heaps of product, then it should focus on E-commerce. Own your voice. Start by owning the content on your own domain.

Talent Is Persistence: What It Takes To Be An Independent Creative. The best part about the Internet is showing your work as it’s produced; this means showing your shitty rough drafts but also displaying your finished product. People want to be taken along a journey, to see your flaws and corrections. The story is in the work.

Whose Turkey Is It?. I’ve visited Turkey twice in the last two years; sure, some of it is backward but a lot of the people are modern and forward-looking. Prime Minister Erdogan is just a power-hungry politician, looking to grow the country under religious, traditional values. The Gezi Park protestors checked that power last summer. Church and state are separate for a reason. True democracies take more pragmatic approaches over time.

Tim Berners-Lee: we need to re-decentralise the web. The inventor of the World Wide Web criticizes the Balkanization of the web, the tendency for governments to create intranets that allow them to censure Internet activity. China is not the only country controlling what its people see in the web. An Internet for nation-states is antithesis to the democratization of information Berners-Lee created the Internet for.