- Dropbox raising $200m-$300m at a $5b valuation? Yoicks. http://tcrn.ch/mTh5a0 ->
- “They’re doing what?!” Revisiting (politically) ridiculed research – http://t.co/w2haNmQ ->
- What Does Christopher Nolan Have Against Buildings? http://es.pn/o99hba ->
- High-res teaser poster for Dark Knight Rises. It looks like trouble for tall buildings. http://bit.ly/o3Zrnc ->
- Peter Thiel, @msuster and WSJ's @gzuckerman on WBUR's On Point talking the tech bubble – http://bit.ly/qTA3AV ->
- John Mayer on twitter, blogging, creativity and the error of self-publishing. http://bit.ly/p9RGNJ /via @ritholtz ->
The US may be on the verge of making among the biggest and least-necessary financial mistakes in world history.
Good musings from songwriter John Mayer on twitter, blogging, creativity and the curse of self-publishing.
But John Mayer’s main reason for discouraging promotion came from his own struggle to curb using social media, which should have been an outlet for promotion but eventually became an outlet for artistic expression. Mayer shared that he found himself asking himself questions like “Is this a good blog? Is this a good tweet? Which used to be is this a good song title? Is this a good bridge?”
And possibly more alarming, Mayer realized that pouring creativity into smaller, less important, promotional outlets like twitter not only distracted him from focusing on more critical endeavors like his career, it also narrowed his mental capacity for music and writing intelligent songs.
“The tweets are getting shorter, but the songs are still 4 minutes long. You’re coming up with 140-character zingers, and the song is still 4 minutes long…I realized about a year ago that I couldn’t have a complete thought anymore. And I was a tweetaholic. I had four million twitter followers, and I was always writing on it. And I stopped using twitter as an outlet and I started using twitter as the instrument to riff on, and it started to make my mind smaller and smaller and smaller. And I couldn’t write a song.”
Although twitter was his most frequent whipping boy, Mayer also targeted the urgency beginning artists feel to update their blogs and youtube channels with new songs or videos to maintain steady flows of interest for their work. Instead, Mayer explained that he found the separation of creation and promotion necessary in his own career, saying “as you start playing music you’re going to stop thinking about getting better. As soon as you flip the switch into showing other people your music, for some reason, the other brain sort of goes away.”
“You got the distraction of being able to publish yourself immediately, and it is a distraction if you’re not done producing what the product is going to be that you’re going to someday use the promotion to sell…I had to go through the same thing I’m talking to you about – what you have to go through – which is to completely manage all the distraction. Manage the temptation of publishing yourself.”
So, to avoid the temptation of publishing himself and to increase his mental capacity for creativity, Mayer deleted his twitter, stopped blogging, and created a strict regime for recording his next album.
“Here are the rules for recording this record… no drum machines, no loops, no keyboards to start out with, no excuses, no breaks, no laptops, no nothing. If you take a break, it’s to eat. If you’re done, you go home.”
Kevin Slavin on the algorithmic construction of reality:
I supposed I shouldn’t be surprised, but it is still amazing. And what’s up with Alabama?
California’s constitution has been changed multiple times over the years by successful voter initiatives and public referendums, which have extended the state’s constitution to the extent that it is now the third longest in the world, with only India and the state of Alabama having longer constitutions.
Brett Arends on the next financial crisis:
Why? Here are 10 reasons.
We are learning the wrong lessons from the last one. Was the housing bubble really caused by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Community Reinvestment Act, Barney Frank, Bill Clinton, “liberals” and so on? That’s what a growing army of people now claim. There’s just one problem. If so, then how come there was a gigantic housing bubble in Spain as well? Did Barney Frank cause that, too (and while in the minority in Congress, no less!)? If so, how? And what about the giant housing bubbles in Ireland, the U.K. and Australia? All Barney Frank? And the ones across Eastern Europe, and elsewhere? I’d laugh, but tens of millions are being suckered into this piece of spin, which is being pushed in order to provide cover so the real culprits can get away. And it’s working.
I remain a big fan of tracking insurance losses, especially natural hazard-related, as a way of tracking the tectonic changes (literally) in our world.
An exceptional accumulation of very severe natural catastrophes makes 2011 the highest-ever loss year on record, even after the first half-year. Already, the approx. US$ 265bn in economic losses up to the end of June easily exceeds the total figure for 2005, previously the costliest year to date US$ 220bn for the year as a whole. Most of the losses were caused by the earthquake in Japan on 11 March.
Altogether, the loss amount was more than five times higher than the first-half average for the past ten years. The insured losses, around US$ 60bn, were also nearly five times greater than the average since 2001. First-half losses are generally lower than second-half losses, which are often affected by hurricanes in the North Atlantic and typhoons in the Northwest Pacific. The total number of loss-relevant natural events in the first six months of 2011 was 355, somewhat below the average for the previous ten years 390.
- Obama, lawmakers fall short on debt deal – http://t.co/MK34wyh ->
- It makes me happy when CIA does even weirder things than I thought it did. A fake vaccine program? You go, spooks. http://slate.me/qqOKm9 ->
- How to evaluate new and wacky research claims, or, the re-return of Dennis the Dentist – http://bit.ly/pY4fmX ->
- Waldman: The IPO process offers issuers, underwriters, and favored investors too much and the rest of us too little. http://bit.ly/l2eRMZ ->
- Photo set: World War II — The Battle of Britain – http://bit.ly/nL78HU ->
Robbie Naish surfing one of the longest waves in the world, at Pavones, Costa Rica. 2m15s ride, and 1.09 km. Epic.