“I love the word practice. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? You practice. How do you get to the Carnegie Hall of your soul, of your life, how do you get to the concert hall where you make best music inside yourself? You practice. How do you practice? You change your behavior. Every day. It’s very difficult, and you constantly are falling down and you have to constantly try to change it again.”— Mandy Patinkin on Charlie Rose last night. (via jsmooth995)
“Collectively, the people I follow on Twitter — book nerds, science nerds, journalists, the uncategorizably interesting — come pretty close to my dream community. They also function as by far the best news source I’ve ever used: more panoptic, more in-depth, more likely to teach me something, much more timely, cumulatively more self-correcting and sophisticated. Additionally, they’re immensely generous with their time and knowledge; in contradistinction to most Internet agoras, the Twitter I know is helpful, polite, and friendly. It’s also a meritocracy; say enough interesting things, and other people will begin to engage with you. Surprisingly often, that engagement crosses the digital barrier into real life — and, without exception, the people I’ve befriended on Twitter have turned out to be terrific. (Twitter’s social aspect can, of course, cross other lines as well. As a friend once said to me apropos of texting, back when that was the breakthrough technology: It’s hard to hate any medium so optimized for flirting.)”—
And I would say that doesn’t have to be romantic flirting, either. While I know of several couples that have gotten together via the blue bird, potential friends “flirt” too. Don’t you get the butterflies when a person you think is cool on twitter favorites, retweets, or responds to one of your witticisms? I know I do. Do it enough and I’ll be angling to get coffee with you when I’m in your neighborhood.—misterjt
In Louisville, the RFI was issued last week and responses are due Jan. 31. In addition to gigabit fiber, the city-county seeks “discounted or no-cost” service of 100Mbps in low-income areas.
Smith is optimistic because of the early response. “We’ve met with a number of different parties going into this RFI and we already have preliminary interest,” Smith said. “I’m not going to over-promise anything but the fact that we’ve had multiple meetings with some parties makes me feel a little more bullish.”
The area’s current providers, Time Warner and AT&T, are welcome to join the fun.
"I’m not here to say we’re trying to get away from our incumbent providers," Smith said. "This is an equal opportunity situation, anybody is welcome. Time Warner is welcome, AT&T is welcome. What we’re trying to say is, we see other cities offering a digital infrastructure on much different terms than we see them today. We want to be one of those cities."
“Something else I learned from working in the music industry was how to present my work. Recording artists had contractual cover approval, which meant that I had to present the work to them, and they had to agree to it. I learned very early on how to explain my work to others, and how to get them to appreciate it. If I couldn’t sell my work, then I couldn’t get it made. That lesson has continued to be very important to everything I do.”—The Great Discontent: Paula Scher
“When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling. Try that for practice. When you’re in town stand outside the theatre and see how the people differ in the way they get out of taxis or motor cars. There are a thousand ways to practice. And always think of other people.”—
“6. When Mother Abbess tells Maria, “Climb ev’ry mountain,” she is setting a very unrealistic expectation of success, especially since they are in the Alps. It’s one thing to use a metaphor about uninterrupted mountain climbing if you’re in Nebraska, but when you look out of the window every day and see more mountains than you could ever climb in your entire life, that’s just setting you up to feel like a failure. Even if it’s only until you find your dream, getting up every day and saying, “Well, I haven’t found my dream yet, so I guess it’s mountain-climbing all day long” isn’t necessarily helpful.”—
Finally someone else who doesn’t buy into the Sound of Music! My wife, my sister, my step-mother and sister-in-law have roped me into seeing a live production of it. I plan to just play with my nephew the whole time.
“Middle Branch’s version is drawn from a barrel that the owners of the bar personally selected from Heaven Hill, the Kentucky distillery that makes the bourbon. They bought the entire barrel — 120 bottles’ worth of whiskey — choosing the cask from among several samples sent to them. It had the right balance of char, smoke, caramel and vanilla they were looking for, said Lucinda Sterling, the bar’s managing partner. Heaven Hill then bottled it, and now Middle Branch pours it. This thirst for proprietary whiskey, a product that a bar can call its own, is spreading. Heaven Hill and other bourbon makers — including Buffalo Trace, Four Roses and Brown-Forman — are selling barrels to bars from San Francisco to Boston. In the last year, Heaven Hill, a leading force in the proliferation of personalized whiskey, has sold full barrels to 109 bars in 27 states and three international markets. Forty-five of those businesses bought multiple barrels or were reordering.”—
“What my friends don’t know is how to measure any of this on the only scale most of us have. You know, the one the I.R.S. uses. And to be honest, I’m not sure how to answer the question either. How successful is Max’s music career? What is a tattoo on the forearm of a 20-something in a medium-size Midwestern state worth? The Eskimos have all those words for snow, and it seems the only language we have for expressing success is numeric. It may be a universal language, but it’s an impoverished one. Maybe we need a word for “never having to sit in a meeting where someone reads long power point slides out loud.” Maybe we should have an expression that captures the level of success you’ve achieved when you do exactly what you love every day.”—
“Its central idea is that pop music’s obsession with luxury disconnects with the reality of its audience’s lives. The trick is that it makes this critique while musically embodying so much of what’s great about contemporary pop and hip-hop – the weight of the drums, the scale of the chorus. Subliminally it says, “While I find this silly, I also adore it.” Bringing intellect and aesthetic ambition to a medium often both celebrated and derided for banality, the song sounded like a major new star kicking in the door, and demanding a place at pop’s table. You could almost feel the incumbents trembling.”—
“The fine folks at SorryWatch bring our attention to the utter marketing fail of the day, courtesy of the Kristall Sauna Wellnesspark, a German spa promoting a special event they were calling a “long, romantic Kristallnacht”—on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, a violent pogrom during which Nazis shattered the windows of Jewish businesses, raided homes, and lit synagogues on fire throughout Nazi Germany.”—
“Levison believes that when the government was faced with the choice between getting information that might lead it to its target in a constrained manner or expanding the reach of its surveillance, it chose the latter. The documents, and Levison’s comments to us, suggest that although he is a skeptic, he was willing to work with the government: he offered to write intercept code himself to capture their target’s metadata, and acknowledged that the government might have a right to the person’s information. He was willing to turn that information over, as he did in a case involving child pornography; Lavabit’s archived site in fact explicitly states that one of the reasons its most secure services are available to paying customers only is so that if an account “is used for illegal purposes that money trail can be used to track down the account owner.” But the government refused Levison’s offer. It wanted the keys to everything, so he gave it nothing.”—
“An expansive new survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has found that nearly a quarter of European Jews fear to openly identify as Jewish, including 50 percent of Swedish Jews, 40 percent of French Jews and 36 percent of Belgian Jews. And this is only one of the study’s shocking discoveries. Similarly disturbing, 37 percent of Romanian Jews, 35 percent of Hungarian Jews, 31 percent of Belgian Jews, and 21 percent of British and Swedish Jews, reported experiencing anti-Semitism in the past year.”—
“The world needs sustainable, profitable, vibrant content companies staffed by dedicated professionals; especially content for people that grew up on the web, whose entertainment and news interests are largely neglected by television and newspapers.”—Jonah Peretti in his Memo To The BuzzFeed Team from about a month ago. (via misterjt)
“You can’t eat ‘reach’ and we can’t pay salaries with ‘brand awareness’. I don’t pretend to know other people’s business models or strategies. But successful business practices are always about having a close understanding of the costs of what you produce and the origins and mechanics of your revenues and more than anything else the interaction between the two”—Are Operations Like Flipboard Scams Against Publishers?
“Williams jokingly suggested calling the project “Friendstalker,” which was ruled out as too creepy. Glass became obsessive, flipping through a physical dictionary, almost word by word, looking for the right name. One late afternoon, alone in his apartment, he reached over to his cellphone and turned it to silent, which caused it to vibrate. He quickly considered the name “Vibrate,” which he nixed, but it led him to the word “twitch.” He dismissed that too, but he continued through the “Tw” section of the dictionary: twist, twit, twitch, twitcher, twitchy … and then, there it was. He read the definition aloud. “The light chirping sound made by certain birds.” This is it, he thought. “Agitation or excitement; flutter.” Twitter.”—All Is Fair in Love and Twitter - NYTimes.com (via misterjt)
“I remember working with a law school in which white men heavily dominated the faculty. They used lots of sports metaphors (doing an end run, Monday morning quarterbacking, and so on), with legal jargon thrown in for good measure. I suggested that this was not a particularly welcoming trait in their school, that in fact it was sexist, but they paid little attention. I made my point by speaking for about five minutes in dressmaking terms: putting a dart in here, a gusset there, cutting the budget on the bias so it would be more flexible, using a peplum to hide a course that might be controversial. The women in the room laughed; the men did not find it humorous….Language is power, make no mistake about it. It is used to include and exclude and to keep people and systems in their places.”—Frances E. Kendall, Understanding White Privilege (via nadashannon)
“But the most popular podcast app besides Apple’s, by far, is Stitcher. And it’s terrible. But it’s free. And I’ve had people in real life tell me, over and over again, that they “just use Stitcher because it’s free.” This is the real app market.”—
I really wish I understood this reality better. I just can’t understand sticking with an inferior product that’s free instead of paying a few bucks for a quality app. I know I’m in the tiny minority who feels this way but I just can’t understand the other position. I know it’s true, I know it’s the reality of the marketplace but on a personal level I just don’t understand it.
Another approach – and I would argue a more insightful one – is to learn about the nature of the market we’re working in. And not only about the market as an abstract whole, but about the value of our products specifically. The economic reality is that most apps offer next to no value to people. They might say otherwise when asked about, but their actions speak pretty clearly: A cup of coffee is worth more than almost every app on the store.
That’s a hard pill to swallow, but we should let it sink in. We pour all our creativity, time, and passion into creating basically worthless products.
“I didn’t get to attend every speaker’s session but of the ones I did see, Molly Crabapple’s resonated with me on a personal level. Molly spoke of the need for freedom in creating art and how getting better at any craft requires the luxury of time. She spoke the often unsaid truth at events and gatherings like this: money is the basic catalyst that allows for the freedom and time to create. When your primary concern is finding/keeping a job to pay the bills, then you’re just too worn out from working so hard to make ends meet to focus on improving your craft.”—my xoxo — XOXO Festival — Medium
“The story of the Schneersohn library is the stuff of a novel, or a movie—a sacred centuries-old collection of rare and holy books at the center of a longstanding and ever-widening dispute among an international cast of characters: rabbis, American lawyers, unsmiling Russian government officials, the heads of major American museums, Al Gore, and Vladimir Putin. The library in question was originally owned by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe and father-in-law of the seventh and last Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Housed in Lubavitch, Russia, Rabbi Schneersohn’s personal collection amounted to 12,000 religious books and 25,000 pages of handwritten manuscripts. During the upheaval of the Russian Revolution, half of the books were seized by the Bolsheviks and nationalized according to the Decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of 1918, eventually landing in the archives of Moscow’s national Lenin Library.”—
“A lot of things can be held against Thoreau, mainly his privilege. Thoreau came from a well-to-do family that allowed him the finances to build that cabin in the woods, and, of course, it takes a certain amount of affluence and privilege to be able to “opt out” of the dominant culture, stand back, and critique it. Still, Thoreau was a man with clear principles that embraced those with less opportunity than himself, and attempted to define the good life as something accessible to anyone. He valued convening with nature, going slow, stepping back, and—this is the donut part—accepting help. Thoreau was independent and he isolated himself, but he was not alone. Each week, his mother and sister would come to the cabin with pastries and donuts. And you know what? Thoreau ate those goddamn donuts.”—
“You’re also told that you should fail harder, because failure is the gateway to success. Oddly, only successful people say failure is necessary, because anyone who has truly failed in a meaningful, unrecoverable way would advise you to stay away from that shit at all costs. Believe me, I know.”—