1. Determine your values. Undoubtedly my top strategy for being effective is to work backwards from death. Imagine your last few seconds on Earth and the life you have lived. What was important to you? What were your most proud contributions in life? What do you hope to be remembered for? The bottom line is that you cannot gauge ‘effectiveness’ without first determining what you value.
“I call the ideology that legitimizes and sanctions such aspirations “solutionism.” I borrow this unabashedly pejorative term from the world of architecture and urban planning, where it has come to refer to an unhealthy preoccupation with sexy, monumental, and narrow-minded solutions—the kind of stuff that wows audiences at TED Conferences—to problems that are extremely complex, fluid, and contentious. These are the kinds of problems that, on careful examination, do not have to be defined in the singular and all-encompassing ways that “solutionists” have defined them; what’s contentious, then, is not their proposed solution but their very definition of the problem itself. Design theorist Michael Dobbins has it right: solutionism presumes rather than investigates the problems that it is trying to solve, reaching “for the answer before the questions have been fully asked.” How problems are composed matters every bit as much as how problems are”—Toward a Complex, Realistic, and Moral Tech Criticism. (via timoarnall)
“The idea of the Internet is still too young to produce strong anti-app sentiment. We do not yet have an adequate understanding of cyberspace as space. While it is safe to speculate that different design arrangements of the online world give rise to different aesthetic experiences, we still do not know the exact nature of this relationship. Nor do we know enough about how the design and the interconnection of online platforms affect the distribution of civic virtues—solidarity, equality, and flânerie, to name just a few—that we may wish to promote online. Just as we recognized many of the important civic functions of the sidewalk only after it had been replaced by the highway, so we may currently be blind to those virtues of the Internet—its inefficiency, its unpredictability, its disorder—that may ultimately produce a civic and aesthetic experience that is superior to the “automatic, effortless, and seamless” (one of Apple’s advertising slogans) world of the app.”—The iGod: Steve Jobs’s pursuit of perfection—and the consequences. (via timoarnall)
Welcome to what might be the hardest restaurant reservation to get in the country at the moment… a “seat” at the counter for one the new weekly “Ramen Flight” meals offered by Sun Noodle and Ramen Lab out in Teterboro, New Jersey!
Every Friday, the Ramen Lab will open its doors for between…
“[NBC] was such a great learning place for me. But some of the greatest things about it were the people that I worked with. And isn’t that always the case. I mean you can learn the mechanics anywhere, but it is the relationships that develop. Kurt Browning for instance was one of the ushers in our wedding. When people work very close together to create something that they feel has value that they want to give to their audiences, they become a community. It’s a real blessing to be part of a community of givers. If your main focus happens to be the person who is going to be watching what you are producing, that to me is the greatest thing you can ever have. It is so much more important than how many people are going to be watching. It’s what if this person who is watching, is somehow moved to do something of value because of what you put on the air. That is so much more important than the numbers of millions of people who are tuned in. But it is all a matter of quality vs quantity. If we can only not fall for the numbers game. We can continue to have this medium be a really thoughtful one.”—Mr. Rogers (via Yaron Schoen)
“I like *other people’s* cities. I like cities where I’m not an eager, engaged, canny urban participant, where I’m not “smart” and certainly not a “citizen,” and where the infrastructures and the policies are mysterious to me. Preferably, even the explanations should be in a language I can’t read. *So I’m maximizing my “inefficiency.” I do it because it’s so enlivening and stimulating, and I can’t be the only one with that approach to urbanism. Presumably there’s some kind of class of us: flaneuring, deriving, situationist smart-city dropouts. A really “smart city” would probably build zones of some kind for us: the maximum-inefficiency anti-smart bohemias.”—Bruce Sterling on Dan Hill’s essay: On the smart city; Or, a ‘manifesto’ for smart citizens instead. (via timoarnall)
“When I was a kid, I thought a lot about what made me different from the other kids. I don’t think I was smarter than them and I certainly wasn’t more talented. And I definitely can’t claim I was a harder worker — I’ve never worked particularly hard, I’ve always just tried doing things I find fun. Instead, what I concluded was that I was more curious — but not because I had been born that way. If you watch little kids, they are intensely curious, always exploring and trying to figure out how things work. The problem is that school drives all that curiosity out. Instead of letting you explore things for yourself, it tells you that you have to read these particular books and answer these particular questions. And if you try to do something else instead, you’ll get in trouble. Very few people’s curiosity can survive that. But, due to some accident, mine did. I kept being curious and just followed my curiosity.”—
“Gratitude can have such a powerful impact on your life because it engages your brain in a virtuous cycle. Your brain only has so much power to focus its attention. It cannot easily focus on both positive and negative stimuli. It is like a small child: easily distracted. Oh your tummy hurts? Here’s a lollipop. So you lost your job? Isn’t it wonderful we’re having KFC for dinner? On top of that your brain loves to fall for the confirmation bias, that is it looks for things that prove what it already believes to be true. And the dopamine reinforces that as well. So once you start seeing things to be grateful for, your brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for. That’s how the virtuous cycle gets created.”—
Long story short, T and I left Montréal. It was 6 months of thinking, discussing and trying out things. In the end, we were still torn. But I can safely say we left without regret either. Maybe we will come back one day, lovely people and beautiful life/memories will continue to entice us. So many things have happened since! Highlights: I went to New York and spent 6hrs in line to witness Jon Stewart and crew shoot an ep of the Daily Show, spent some time in France, ate bunch of cheese and rode on this crazy carousel, went to Malaysia to eat a bunch and celebrate my dad’s 60th on tropical island. Plus many countless great things in between!
Melbourne is really nice in the summer. I like that there are a gajillion nice cafes, warm sun, fresh air and good mates. You forget quickly that it’s a city best traversed with cars, public transport is unreliable and expensive. Stuff across the board is more expensive. Then again, it all hurts a little less when one has a job.
I’ve been lucky enough to score a contract gig at REA since the start of November. It’s so refreshing to be working in a familiar environment - “Australian” mannerisms, smart, talented folk, no-BS-get-shit-done and done well attitude. And there’s always new things to learn. I’m gonna miss this place.
After a bunch of hiccups, I finally got my French Working Holiday Visa. French bureaucracy begins where you have to begin - at their website. One has to book an appointment (most are min 2 months ahead) using a mid 2000’s Netscape like interface with barely 2.0 functionality. The content is messy and can be difficult to interpret. By the way, they don’t accept any phone calls or questions if you have any. You could try writing an email as they advise, but I’ve written a handful and never had any replied. I have to thank this lady for sharing her tips, and providing me for much assurance. Especially since I had to take a day off work and fly to Sydney, for that (f-me-if-i-have-to-book-this-again) appointment I’d scheduled 2 months ago. Ah well, life’s all about hiccups, just gotta take it in stride.
Ces jours-ci, j’apprendre le français avec deux applications iPhone. Duolingo et Mindsnacks. Tous les deux app sont vraiment super, également ils sont gratuit pour télécharger. Je n’ai arrivé pas encore, mais je crois que j’améliorer un peu. J’espere je peux, au moins commence avec des conversations de simples. On va voir!!