Conception Phase The song is born in a basement, a warehouse, or among buskers on the street or subway station. The song may not be entirely finished yet.
Underground Phase The song is played to a small crowd of 3 – 20 friends, mostly drunk, incoherent, and incapable of judging its quality.
Ambivalent Phase You hear it in concert and no one cares. It’s not worth bragging to your friends, even if you secretly like the song.
Connected Phase You hear the song and it’s so refined that it’s good. Your first thoughts are, “Is this real? Am I hearing this?” This is the great “aha” effect [...]
In 2012, in a rare moment of actual confidence, I mailed an envelope of cartoons to famous New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff (who, for the short number of weeks surrounding this event, I referred to, in my head, as Bob). I never heard back. Which, I mean, was not a surprise. I’d been doing a lot of drawing, almost entirely for the Internet, and almost entirely for free. The Internet can be a tricky thing; sometimes it feels like there are countless outlets and platforms for creative people, and other times, it all just feels a little pointless. Content is disposable, and whether or not you contribute to it, [...]
Astra Taylor’s forthcoming book The People’s Platform, about who has power and who gets paid in the age of the Internet, mentions the following quote about the virtues of “open-source” (read: unpaid) labor from Internet guru Yochai Benkler:
“Remember, money isn’t always the best motivator. If you leave a fifty-dollar check after dinner with friends, you don’t increase the probability of being invited back. And if dinner doesn’t make it entirely obvious, think of sex.”
That quote, unsurprisingly, is from a TED Talk. The talk's audience chose to reflexively laugh rather than actually think about sex or about work. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone in the audience [...]
Today's least offensive Times op-ed (we can't even talk about this) begins like this: Just five years ago, Adam Fleischman was in a two-bedroom rental with his wife and their year-old son, fumbling around for a career that might stick. Screenwriting hadn’t worked out. Same for finance. He was 38 and, he told me, “It was do or die.”
Today he owns two houses here, one with six bedrooms and a makeshift vineyard out back. He said that he’s toying with the idea of a third in London.
That's about the founder of Umami Burger, but: it seems like that's all people can think to do when they [...]
This interview with Alfonso Cuarón is so great: "There’s more a sense of a fun intellectual community in New York. Here [in London] it is not. This is a city supported and made by the banks. And also, British upper classes are very philistine, while in the U.S. you can have an upper class that is cultivated, not necessarily good or bad, so that they support the arts. And because of that, with all the flaws of the U.S., something it keeps that is great is the sense of possibility. Look, I can be critical about a lot of stuff around U.S. politics and stuff, and something I [...]
The quasi-hypnotic effects of certain Internet activities were discussed by Alexis Madrigal in The Atlantic recently: "The Machine Zone: This Is Where You Go When You Just Can't Stop Looking At Pictures On Facebook." In particular, Madrigal drew serious attention, at last, to the elephant in the room: people may spend hours a day demonstrating compulsive "engagement" on Facebook or Tumblr, but they very commonly loathe themselves for doing so:
Silicon Valley has made the case to itself (and to the users of its software) that we are voting with our clicks. [...] Of course, that completely elides the role the company itself plays in shaping user behavior to [...]
"The information economy that we are currently building doesn't really embrace capitalism, but rather a new form of feudalism," writes Jaron Lanier, in Who Owns the Future? That book is published today, and you can order it from all the usual places. (Indiebound; Amazon; McNally Jackson; Barnes & Noble; Powell's. See what I did there?)
Jaron Lanier is the author of You Are Not a Gadget, and is a "scholar-at-large" at Microsoft Research. LOL he's also working on an alternative to the space elevator.
But right now, he's looking at how things have come to work on the web. "The primary business of [...]