Archive for the ‘Austin Kleon’ tag
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.”
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)
Isaac Asimov explains the magical things they do.
(via Austin Kleon)
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)
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)
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)
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 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.
Three random things:
- Feist performs a version of “1 2 3 4” — the song made famous by iPod nano ads — on Sesame Street. (via Austin Kleon)
- Chris Blake made a music video showcasing the Google results for “biggest regret.” (via Boing Boing)
- The word count of popular songs has increased. It was 176 in the ’60s, 436 last year. The untested consensus (to which I assent) is that it’s mostly due to the increased popularity of rap and hip hop.