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Algorithms curb the discovery process. Amazon tries to recommend you books. Pandora examines your listening behavior to recommend music. Art.sy tries to introduce you to new art based on your preferences.

Algorithmic predictions feel a bit like Google, crowdsourced information that displays results for what the masses are also looking for in the aggregate.

The information, art, and music DJs that really know their stuff ignore algorithms altogether. They have trusted sources and spend the time to find new and emerging sources to pluck gems from. These curators master the art of showing people what they know people will like and what they think people will like.

I believe everyone should research at least one category of art and dig into it as much as they can. That means scouring the Internet for niche blogs, listening to obscure podcasts, seeing what the DJs are recommending, and following influencers on forums and on Twitter.

Discovery is an active process, not a passive one. Turn off mainstream radio and find something new or rediscover something old. The real gems lie in the nooks and crannies. Predict what’s next, not what’s now.

The Recommender

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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7 articles to read this week

Below are some interesting articles I stumbled upon this week.

The Perfect Nap: Sleeping Is a Mix of Art and Science: Neither nap too long nor too short. And you’re definitely not getting enough sleep if you start dreaming in a 20-minute nap!

Cognitive Science Meets Pre-Algebra. Holistic, connective learning beats out learning in blocks. Either way, we’re still trying to learn why the brain is always moving.

Please Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are. I know you’re busy. So am I. But I still find time to take care of the most important things and try to have a life. Let’s not complain to each other about how busy we are and make it worse.

Jonathon Fletcher: forgotten father of the search engine. Fletcher created web search in 1993, 5 years before Google. He called it the “Jumpstation.”

What It Means to Be Popular (When Everything Is Popular). Thank goodness the masses are dividing into a mass of niches and confusing what it means to be “popular”. Conformity sucks anyway. Again, be this guy.

Turns Out Your Kids Really Did Love That Music You Played. Apparently we love our parent’s music more than we love the music we grew up with. Pink Floyd, Joy Division, and Depeche Mode are indeed extraordinary. Music is also timeless.

Dizzee Rascal mashes up Vine and Cinemagram for new video. I suspect we’ll see more long-form videos in the ever-snackable GIF format.

The Recommender

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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7 articles to read this week

Below are some interesting articles that inspired me to think differently this week. 

In praise of laziness: Workers should be doing less, not more.  We need more free-thinking breaks, what Jack Welch called “looking at the window time.”  All of this comes with the announcement this week that Google is cutting its “20% time,” which led to some of its great inventions like Gmail and Adsense.   

Do you know what made Apple great?  Thomas Brand argues that what made Apple great was Steve Job’s restraint.  Simplify.  Simplify.  Simplify.  

Orhan Pamuk talks to Simon Schama.  Turkey’s famous author comes to explain how the many paradoxes of modern Turkey influenced his writing. 

Why We Need Nomads?  Self-proclaimed nomad Jessica Runner explains why nomads are society’s true connectors. Move.  

Crosswords don’t make you clever.  I never had the patience for crosswords but I love to get outside.  Neuroscience professor Nicholas Spitzer argues that hiking creates more neurons than doing repetitive crossword puzzles. 

The Tragedy of the Sunset Photo.  There are a plethora of sunset images on Instagram yet too few good ones.  Lighting is hard to get right.  Plus, dark and moody photos feel more creative.  But you can sell both image types on Pinterest.  

Can what you do *before* you write improve your actual writing?  Interesting article exploring how rituals shape enjoyment in any process, like writing, which by the way, everyone should do. FYI – Seth Godin has been blogging for ten plus years and, surprise, he wasn’t always great at it.

The Recommender

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).