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Posts about Uncategorized

he doesn’t write like a drummer…

On July 26th covering , ,

Dumbdrummer has good things to say about creative partnerships and more…

Great art blooms from the heartfelt, illogical, sometimes even embarrassing impulses we harbor. When we mess with those impulses too much, when we censor them, smooth the edges, and try to conform them to something we presume people will like, we destroy the vitality that makes our work compelling.

“this is probably a stupid idea….” the keys to creativity

On July 26th covering

I have learned that when people preface a comment with a disclaimer like “this is probably a stupid idea”, they are about to say something really great, so I listen up.

Variations on this include “this is probably really naive”, “I’m probably wrong about this”, “this is probably irrelevant”, etc. I have a friend who will say “this is totally naive, but…” and then say something brilliant.

I’ve noticed that practically every good idea I ever had first occurred to me as a joke. I think this works in the same way:

When we have an actual new idea, there is some feeling it’s risky. I think it’s largely about the shame of hoping you’ve created something new and the fear it’s just lame and pathetic. The feeling of embarrassment makes the disclaimer seem somehow necessary. Read more »

passion vs. snobbery: the cautionary tale of Murky Coffee

On July 21st covering ,

I deal with people who have strong opinions about what they do. They are passionate experts. Some of them are musicians, some are programmers, some are something else. Some complain about being accused of being snobs about whatever their thing is — some wear it as a badge of honor. But truly, snobbery is destructive — it drives people away.

It’s the opposite of what the specialist needs to do, which is to share their love and enthusiasm for whatever their thing is, whether it’s modern chamber music, database design, or fine bicycles.

If you are deeply passionate about a thing and you have a refined appreciation for it that you are impelled to share, you are giving a great gift to your audience/customer base/community. If you’re derogatory towards the unwashed masses who aren’t connoisseurs like you, they will hate you and you deserve it. Read more »

Robert Frost schools us on life balance

On July 18th covering

I recently rediscovered an old favorite, Frost’s poem Two Tramps in Mud Time. I hesitate to say any more about it, because it’s really impossible to add anything to the poem without taking more away from it.

The poem has a lovely payoff for anyone who strives to combine work for money with work for other satisfactions. I could write a little summary of what I think it’s saying … but then I’d be substituting my halting prose for Frost’s poetry. I think he says it just fine.

Why I don’t blog more often

On July 16th covering

It ruins my life. it’s too easy to be obsessive about thinking of material, noting other blogs and news items to link, checking the stats, etc.

Ecto makes it a little better because i can just write a little note like this without opening up my WordPress control panel, which makes one thing lead to another.