Archive for the ‘Austin Kleon’ tag

#  Purell and Torture →

January 14th, 2012 at 17:24 // In Worth Considering 

An interesting and brief little history of product placement. It’s one of those forces that we take for granted today, but this was a new observation to me:

“The Paradox of Product Placement,” in which the titular conundrum is defined: “If you notice, it’s bad. But if you don’t notice, it’s worthless.”

(via @austinkleon)

#  Getting Things Done to Death →

October 26th, 2011 at 10:59 // In Worth Considering 

I don’t love the tone of this essay — a little too bitter and anti- for my liking — but I think there’s a valuable point at the heart (a point that I’ll probably always think of as Mannian).

The advice was horrifyingly simple: When you find yourself pausing in between normal projects and work tasks for anything more than, say, 30 seconds, why not take those tiny moments and, well, do more things? I mean, you’re just sort of sitting there, right?

What sort of things? Fast things, little things, otherwise inconsequential things you don’t care about otherwise, like clearing your junk mail, refilling the stapler, changing your voicemail message, retweeting someone’s Twitter blip or giving a momentary damn about something you need not give a damn about otherwise but hey, what else are you gonna do, breathe? Feel? Merely… exist? What are you, a hippie?

(via Austin Kleon)

#  Fuck Yeah Books! →

June 3rd, 2011 at 14:08 // In Worth Seeing 

Isaac Asimov explains the magical things they do.

(via Austin Kleon)

#  The Plain Writing Act →

May 25th, 2011 at 11:21 // In Worth Knowing 

This is progress. Unlikely to make a dent in the mountains of unintelligible legalese that exist elsewhere (EULAs, etc), but progress.

That’s right: Pursuant to regulations promulgated thereunder and commencing in accordance with a statute signed herein by President Barack Obama, the government shall be precluded from writing the pompous gibberish heretofore evidenced, to the extent practicable.

(via Austin Kleon; though my aversion to the HuffPo is strong enough I found a different host of this AP story)

#  10 Myths About Introverts →

May 1st, 2011 at 14:15 // In Worth Knowing 

Filed under “the vanity of seeing yourself explained,” I’m telling you that I liked this list. Even though it’s a list on the internet. This wasn’t a description I’ve seen before, but it feels pretty spot-on for me:

Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

(via Austin Kleon)

#  Living with Technology →

February 24th, 2011 at 3:49 // In Worth Reading 

Adam Gopnik does a laudatory job cataloging and categorizing the works of those who aim to explain our current relationship to technology. Offering blows against both the unbridled pessimism of Nick Carr (a “better-never” in Gopnik’s words), and the unbridled optimism  of Clay Shirky (a “never-better”), he gives the critical distance all great literary reviews should. The third group Gopnik names, the “ever-wasers”, are the most interesting and least discussed. Consider this point:

Everything that is said about the Internet’s destruction of “interiority” was said for decades about television, and just as loudly.

(via Austin Kleon)

#  Powell on American Muslims →

October 19th, 2008 at 19:18 // In Worth Reading 

This image — presented excellently by Mr. Kleon — from Colin Powell’s appearance on Meet the Press made me cry:

Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That’s not America. Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion that he is a Muslim and might have an association with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel particularly strong about this because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay, was of a mother at Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone, and it gave his awards - Purple Heart, Bronze Star - showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death, he was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the head stone, it didn’t have a Christian cross. It didn’t have a Star of David. It has a crescent and star of the Islamic faith.

And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could serve his country and he gave his life.

#  A Slave’s Reply →

August 27th, 2008 at 21:19 // In Worth Reading 

A bit of history was Twittered into my lap today. Jourdan Anderson writes his former master in 1865 to decline — or more accurately, ask for more details about — an invitation to return to his plantation. This may be my favorite part:

…we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty- two years and Mandy twenty years. At $25 a month for me, and $2 a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to $11,680. Add to this the interest for the time our wages has been kept back and deduct what you paid for our clothing and three doctor’s visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams Express, in care of V. Winters, esq, Dayton, Ohio.

#  Random Music

July 14th, 2008 at 20:13 // In Worth Seeing 

Three random things:

#  The Three Stooges →

June 17th, 2008 at 16:10 // In Worth Distraction 

Austin Kleon is rather excited that Hulu — a synonym for legal, free, ad-supported streaming — now has some Three Stooges episodes. Personally I’ve never much watched the classic, but now I think I mights have to.

#  Garden Path Sentences →

May 19th, 2008 at 10:13 // In Worth Distraction 

For a little linguistic fun, consider the following sentences:

  • The old man the boat.
  • The horse raced past the barn fell.
  • The cotton clothing is made of grows in Mississippi.

(via Austin Kleon)

#  What is Needed →

April 28th, 2008 at 16:20 // In Worth Reading 

Austin Kleon’s latest “newspaper blackout poem” it truly great. You should take the next 30 seconds and read it.

#  Love and Literature →

March 30th, 2008 at 14:01 // In Worth Considering 

I probably wouldn’t be linking to this cute/strange/odd essay from the NY Times Book Review were it not for what Austin Kleon (a recent favorite) had to say about it:

last night we watched MARGOT AT THE WEDDING, and this morning I read this essay. these poor, miserable, over-educated, imbred [sic] bastards. doomed to loneliness. this whole stupid American Hologram has somehow convinced us that we are what we consume — and intellectuals buy into it just as much as anybody else. “You’ve never read Nabokov? Oh, I could never marry you.” Losers. A nation of losers.