many people walk around haunted by a guilt for a world of abundance that they did not create. It’s the paradox of choice (80 brands of toothpaste on the shelves, no means of picking) on a life-sized scale. If you can do anything, if you are blessed with a life in a country where food and shelter are a given, then you are cursed with the responsibility of choosing for yourself what your struggle is going to be.
I think this awkward phase of our culture is an inability to cope with the vastness of our potential. The Internet was the final piece; it is a gift from the minds of brilliant men (riding with the universe’s natural current of complexity and meaning), a tool so powerful that its potential is invisible to all but a select handful of visionaries. A website can be anything, yet most ventures are something that’s already been done.
Anyway: the means of production and distribution and commerce are now in the hands of all artists. A man can make his living as a musician without compromising his art and completely by himself. With a few trusted allies, he can make millions: period. A couple ambitions Timonium kids can chip away at dead-simple business ideas and retire in their mid-20s. It’s just amazing what we can do; I think every industry will at some point be revolutionized by the web (many have not, yet). But it’s not just retrofitting the old: there are many new ideas that can be created from scratch. I mean, Henry Ford built an automobile, not a robotic horse.
(this is an excerpt from a post I made on Havens.cc)
“It’s the 21st century, there’s not going to be a year in which it’s harder to copy than this year; there’s not going to be a day in which it’s harder to copy than this day; from now on. Right? If copying gets harder, it’s because of a nuclear holocaust. There’s nothing else that’s going to make copying harder from now on. And so, if your business model and your aesthetic effect in your literature and your work is intended not to be copied, you’re fundamentally not making art for the 21st century.”—Cory Doctorow (via poortaste) (via marco)
“An archetypal Americana living room was installed in an exhibition space. Then two performers were filmed in the space using a 16mm motion picture camera on a slowly rotating turntable in the room’s center. After filming, the camera was replaced with a film loop projector and the entire contents of the room were spray-painted white. The reason was to make a projection screen the right shape for projecting everything back onto itself. The result was that everything appears strikingly 3D, except for the people, who of course weren’t spray-paint white, and consequently appeared very ghostlike and unreal.”
Just had a band recommended to me by a friend. Went to Hype Machine to check them out, but no luck—all tracks unplayable. Found some on YouTube, but I can’t let the whole page of search results play consecutively like on HM. Guess that means I’m going to have to find and pirate their whole goddamn discography and not feel bad about it because they backed me into this corner.
A summary of Ariel Waldman’s TOS case with Twitter—I’m sure there will be other instances like this, unfortunately, and social networks need to be better prepared to handle them effectively in a…
I thought this was a performance art piece. Social commentary. He used the service for a while before he decided to incorporate it in his work. He was cordial up to that point. Her reaction, and the reaction of several other users, proved his theory, one which he came to after using Twitter for some time, one which is unavoidable to anyone paying any attention. Although his approach and treatment of others is entirely questionable, he was merely shining a light on something no one likes to mention when their concern is artificial freedom, i.e. freedom and rights reserved only for those who agree with them, look and talk the same, and so on.
“If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.”—Henry Miller Quotes (via bluechameleon)
Paul Graham offers a nuanced comparison of what life is like in different American cities, mainly focusing on New York, the bay area and the Boston area.
Reading the essay really made me think about how much I have been influenced by New York. I have always noticed that I enjoy every peaceful break I get from the city (I spend more than half my weekends away from it), though I get sucked right back in whenever I’m back. It’s not a chase after the power of money, from my perspective, but all that results from it - excessive materialism and consumerism that is just the culture.
Fred Wilson describes NYC as “the never ending chase of “what’s next” whether it be art, music, media, money, shopping, food, nightlife, etc, etc.”
The longer a stretch of time that I spend in New York, the more I end up chasing after these things as well. It takes a certain conscientiousness to self-motivate toward what I feel really matters. Would it be different in a different city? Inevitably. But more powerful than trying to find the right city would be to make oneself strong enough to balance it out.