Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Ah. Reasoned and intelligent discourse from Fox News.

Wait. What?

I was as shocked as anyone. Shep Smith and Napolitano remain the only two sane voices in a loud bowling alley of troglodytes. More transparency now, please.

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The Ant: A Creature of Marvelous Wonder and Near Mindlessness

(You have to drill down for the full size.)

This near blew my mind when I saw it. Tricked out with superfluous detail, I thought at first it was a 3D rendering. Somehow the mug shot of an ant has given me profound new respeck for the patient craftsmanship of the life evolving. HAIRS. Ants are covered with hairs. Hairy jumping spiders, fuzzy bees, all of these I have accepted – but I’ve long considered the ant to be little more than a clumsy extension of its hive mind, a hard carapace containing barely enough tendons and nerve-endings to cut a leaf and beat a stink-trail back to the colony. Hairy ants: this changes everything.

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Ah, the Brits and their advertising. Sometimes they’re just working on another level.

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Wired has a great little article from March about Brian Eno’s art school days here. A couple of things struck me about the article:

  • The deliberate introduction of randomness in Brian Eno’s life, and the idea of changing artistic and social roles to facilitate new and interesting art. Eno’s art professors would have the students assume characters that were out of their comfort zone, to elicit reactions that were of them “playing a role.” Much like the old Oscar Wilde quote (“Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth”), if you give students a mask or role to play, they’ll create new, “true” art, that is, true to the role they’re playing.
    Reminds me of Prince and Tom Waits adopting characters to get themselves out of their rote songwriting modes. Also reminds me of long-form improv training, of getting yourself “out of your head” and comfort zone to spur yourself to new risk taking.
  • How much this pointed Eno in the direction of Oblique Strategies, which is a great tool for breaking yourself out of artistic ruts. (Great PDF of printable cards here.)

I had a great instructor in art school (“You want fries with that?”) who used to tell us, “You’re only doing your job as a creative if you are constantly on the verge of getting fired.” Which seemed imminently true to me at the time- the profs who were safe, and needed their jobs had the worst work. The ones who were devil-make-care were actually  selling work and working at ad agencies, rather than writing bullshit artspeak proposals for federal grants.

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Some pretty salient points on the “Drug War,” and absolutely spot-on in his critique of Capitalism as Social Framework:

David Simon:

Capitalism is a wonderful engine, but how we mistook it for a social framework for how to build a just society and interpreted it that way is just incredible.

There’s also a couple of great points on Overtime, which is the internet-only after thought:

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“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

I think this is the toughest thing in life to do. Reminds me a bit of the Desiradata, attributed to Max Ehrmann.

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From his TED talk Feb 2006:

Whenever something is depressing or pissing me off, I go to TED.com and get inspired by the brilliant people focusing on solutions for this planet, rather than bitching about it. Or I drink scotch and curse the rich.

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