January 2012

Alone together

> “Users of social networking services are 30% less likely to know their neighbors.” – [PEW Internet survey](http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/18–Social-Isolation-and-New-Technology/Part-3-Network-Diversity-and-Community/2-Are-internet-users-less-likely-to-participate-in-the-local-community.aspx)

On knowing

When I was a senior in high school, a teacher asked me to join the [impromtou speaking](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impromptu_speaking) team. In this competitive speech event, you received a question from a predefined category–for the category “transportation”, it might be something like “Should seatbelts be mandatory?”–and had just 6 minutes to prepare and deliver a speech on it….more

Swapping manufacturing jobs for design ones?

U.S. manufacturing is rapidly going away, exemplified by [this story about Apple](http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all) which shows the power of scale and cultural advantages in China and other Asian countries. Thus ends a century of American innovation in manufacturing, starting in the days of Henry Ford and the assembly line and reaching its zenith in and after WWII….more

Driving Mr. Giant

Today I learned: Samuel Beckett (Nobel Prize-winning modernist playwright, Waiting for Godot), [used to drive Andre the Giant to school](http://historicalmeetups.com/post/1524567373/samuel-beckett-playwright-novelist-and-nobel), because the future wrestler was already too big to fit on the school bus.

Winning the internet

John Kilduff ([previously mentioned](http://www.ryskamp.org/brain/?p=234)) just keeps pushing the human race forward; this time [blending margaritas and painting at the same time…while cycling through a park](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0onvRmD34c)). And crashing sometimes. > “We ran out of ice, we ran out of everything…but we didn’t run out of passion!”

Wisdom and experience

> “Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.” – [Mulla Nasrudin](http://virtualbumperstickers.blogspot.com/2007/06/good-judgment-comes-from-experience.html), via [Jared Spool](http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2012/01/03/how-important-is-natural-talent-to-becoming-a-great-designer/)

Cutting into the present

> “When you cut into the present the future leaks out.” – [William Burroughs](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut-up_technique), on the “cut-up” technique of randomizing his writing.

10 minutes of gratitude

I think [watching this](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXDMoiEkyuQ) would be a pretty good way to start each day; filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg explores gratitude, mindfulness, and the beauty of the world we live in and people we live with: Could also be seen as the sentimental counterpart to [Louis CK’s celebration of the modern world](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk).

Building sinew into language

> There are innumerable examples of this, but my favorite is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Before this novel’s rise to prominence, any discussion of intrusive surveillance was singularly bloodless… > But a science fiction writer, Orwell, has given us a marvelous and versatile vocabulary word for discussing this: now we can say, ‘‘Your surveillance idea…more

Learning and survival

> People in organizations don’t change until their fear of survival exceeds their fear of learning – Organizational theorist [Edgar Schein](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Schein), [via](http://fora.tv/2010/10/16/Long_Conversation_with_Stuart_Candy_and_Katherine_Fulton) [Katherine Fulton](http://www.monitorinstitute.com/about_team.html#fulton)