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The Cut on Tuesdays Episode 18: The Secret to Natasha Lyonne’s Success: Resisting the Urge to Stay in Bed
On this week’s show, we’re bringing you some of our favorite conversations from the How I Get It Done live event that happened earlier this month. Like Natasha Lyonne, explaining the No. 1 fundamental secret to success.
Natasha: You gotta leave the house in this life, right? I always find that I’m dreading, dreading, dreading leaving the house. I’m like, “Please don’t ask me to do anything ever. I’m begging you.” Leaving the house is a crucial element of participation in life that is very instinctual to want to resist. If you give me a day off, my dream is to stay in bed all fucking day with nobody around.


So, if you’ve successfully left the house: well done. The next step is getting used to rejection. Natasha and her Russian Doll co-star Greta Lee had this to say about the rejection that actually made their new show possible.
Natasha: Listen, Russian Doll was the big achievement, but prior to that, Greta and I had also done together a different show that I created with Amy Poehler at NBC that actually got rejected severely.

Greta: Yeah, actually denied. Dead in the water.

Natasha: And that show was called Old Soul … After that show didn’t happen, Poehler turned to me and she said, “Hey, what’s the show we would really want to make if there were no rules, if there was no network, if it was just anything, what do we really, really want to say?” And that became the early ideas of the formation of what would become the show we created a together called Russian Doll.


Natasha said that, at this point, she’s glad that first show was rejected. It was liberating.
Natasha: Rejection is God’s protection. Like in the truth of the matter was, we had no way of knowing at the time of that in fact we were going to end up making something that was far, far greater just in terms of, on an integrity level of the things I really want to say in this life, being an opportunity and a forum to be able to sort of speak whatever our own version of the truth is without sounding too grandiose.

Greta: Thank God Old Soul didn’t get picked up.

Natasha: It’s almost like a relationship where it’s like, it’s not that this guy wasn’t great; it’s just, thank goodness I didn’t have a baby with him.


Click above to hear more, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
advice  life  living  natashalyonne  2019  russiandoll  gretalee  rejection  motivation 
5 weeks ago by robertogreco
Letters of Note: Ladies & Gentlemen of A.D. 2088
"The sort of leaders we need now are not those who promise ultimate victory over Nature through perseverance in living as we do right now, but those with the courage and intelligence to present to the world what appears to be Nature's stern but reasonable surrender terms:

1. Reduce and stabilize your population.
2. Stop poisoning the air, the water, and the topsoil.
3. Stop preparing for war and start dealing with your real problems.
4. Teach your kids, and yourselves, too, while you're at it, how to inhabit a small planet without helping to kill it.
5. Stop thinking science can fix anything if you give it a trillion dollars.
6. Stop thinking your grandchildren will be OK no matter how wasteful or destructive you may be, since they can go to a nice new planet on a spaceship. That is really mean, and stupid.
7. And so on. Or else."

[via http://www.openculture.com/2016/07/in-1988-kurt-vonnegut-gives-seven-pieces-advice-to-people-living-in-2088.html
via https://kottke.org/18/07/seven-bits-of-advice-from-kurt-vonnegut-to-people-living-100-years-in-the-future ]
vonnegut  advice  future  environment  sustainability  selfishness  goodancestors  1988  2088  nature  planetearth  spaceshipearth  ecosystems  war  small  slow  waste  wastefulness  escapism  technosolutionism 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Time for Self | Akilah S. Richards [Episode 61]
"In this episode, Atlanta-based SDE facilitator and education entrepreneur, ANTHONY GALLOWAY II, speaks on moving past the mental aspect of self-care over to the literal practice. You’ll also learn about two Atlanta events in support of Self-Directed Education, both of which Anthony is playing a major role in bringing to the city. Also, the Jamaican patois term “Dat nuh mek it” basically means “that isn’t nearly enough.” In other words, something needs leveling up, because in its current state, it just won’t do. You’re welcome! #POCinSDE"
akilahrichards  anthonygalloway  unschooling  deschooling  self-care  self-directed  self-directedlearning  creativity  art  howweteach  howwelearn  work  labor  focus  artleisure  leisurearts  play  teaching  mentoring  practice  criticism  advice  decisionmaking  schools  schooling  schooliness  decisions  skepticism  pedagogy  priorities  process  technology  2018 
july 2018 by robertogreco
The tools matter and the tools don’t matter
"What I love about Gardner and Barry is that they believe that the tools you use do matter, but the point, for them, is finding the proper tools that get you to a certain way of working in which you can get your conscious, mechanical mind out of the way so that your dreaming can go on, undeterred.

You have to find the right tools to help your voice sing.

For Lynda, it was the paintbrush that allowed her to get to the point where she could basically take dictation—“to dream it out” without editing—but it could’ve been anything, really. (I should note that Lynda happily details the exact sumi-e brush and ink she used to make One! Hundred! Demons! in the back of the book.) While I don’t myself use a brush and legal paper to draft my work, I keep a page from the manuscript hanging in my bedroom to remind me of the importance of handwriting and slowing down."



"As for non-fiction writing, my friend Clive Thompson took the “pencil vs. typewriter” thing literally and researched when you should write with a pencil and when you should type on the keyboard.

What he discovered was that handwriting is great for coming up with ideas, for note-taking and big picture thinking. So, when you’re at lectures or in meetings or brainstorming ideas, it’s a good idea to scribble or doodle in your notebook. So always carry a pencil. (Clive got me into Palamino Blackwings.)

Typing, on the other hand, is great for producing writing for other people, say, writing an article. The faster you type, Clive said, the better your ideas will be. There’s a thing called “transcription fluency,” which boils down to: “when your fingers can’t move as fast as your thoughts, your ideas suffer.” If you help people increase their typing speed, their thoughts improve. (Learn to type faster!)

So, yes, the tools matter, but again, it’s all about what you are trying to achieve. So a question like, “What brand of pen do you use?” is not as good as “How do you get that thick line quality?” or “How do you dodge Writer’s Block?”"
austinkleon  tools  writing  howwework  2018  advice  art  lyndabarry  johngardner  clivethompson  typing  handwriting  ideas  notetaking 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Shira Erlichman on Twitter: "I teach writing. A lot. & If I had to distill the lesson that comes up the most it would be: Sensuality > Concepts Sensuality > Concepts Sensuality > Concepts Sensuality > Concepts Sensuality > Concepts Sensuality > Concepts"
[via:
"Dear poets-I-chaperone-through-the-process-of-exploring-creative-writing: this thread is to be considered #requiredreading. And then some."
https://twitter.com/jsamlarose/status/960434099524644864 ]

"I teach writing. A lot. & If I had to distill the lesson that comes up the most it would be:

Sensuality > Concepts
Sensuality > Concepts
Sensuality > Concepts
Sensuality > Concepts
Sensuality > Concepts
Sensuality > Concepts

Sure, I'd like to know what you think about the world. But only if I can trust that you can invite me into the world: sense by sense. If you write "That year was really hard for me" I don't know what year it is, I don't know what "hard" means for you. Give me bone, give me break.

If I wrote, "When we moved to the US my dad protected us" like, okay? What is protected? What do I mean? The same thing you mean? What if I said "We lived in a basement apartment. The first time I saw snow it blocked our whole front door. My dad dug us out."

& Then, there's so much room for specificity. "Aba" instead of "my dad." My language is not conceptual; it's based in migration, country, movement, slang, whozeewhats, whatevertheFiwant.

You are the only you, you-ing right now.

Be specific.

Be sensual.

Give us the gift of your aliveness.

The second thing that comes up the most when teaching is a total misunderstanding of editing. I get that. Because about 7 years ago I was really skeptical of a 2nd, let alone 19th draft. However, the palace I live in now is the Utter Joy of the (Literally) 21st Draft Palace.

What changed?

For one, I was writing so much that sometimes I'd go back (years later!) to an old 1st draft & see the second Russian Doll hiding inside it. "Whoa, that's weird," I thought & I'd open up that second Russian Doll. Behold, a third Russian Doll (draft) inside it. [image of Russian dolls]

I banished the idea of editing as boring, reductive. Poems were suddenly turned inside out, upside down. I'd find a hidden gem (an image, let's say) & like Sardines, there'd be all these possibilities tucked up beside it. Editing. Became. More. Creative. Than. Writing.

The proof was in the pudding. I'd write a poem, work on it with my little chisel for years & then BAE WOULD ARRIVE! This poem would suddenly strut, sing, thank ME! As if I hadn't been chasing her for her number all these years!

This poem, "Barometer," 2 years before publication basically read like a Dream Journal LOL. Not great. But necessary! Maybe if I get brave I'll post that first draft here. I send it to students to show them the journey!

https://preludemag.com/posts/ode-to-lithium-6-barometer/

Think about going 2 the doctor. When you go, you want a listener. Tenderness. Empathy. Thats how I approach a draft: How can I best listen to u? To whats hiding here? Can I have patience for ur glitches & starts? What might u already know––& if I ask the right questions––show me?

& Always remember baby!

There's nothing wasted!

Even if you get to draft 22 & throw that lil beast out. So what? So you sat there, refining & chiseling & flipping language & seeking secret caves & spelunking?

You're muscular as fuck for it. I promise. You'll glow for it."
shiraerlichman  writing  advice  howwerite  classideas  editing  poems  poetry  via:jslr  sensuality  aliveness  individuality  tenderness  empathy 
february 2018 by robertogreco
On Seeking Unschooling Advice | A Muddy Life
"I love to write about and share how my children learn without school here on the blog. And I feel it’s important to share not just the abundance of good stuff and the leaps and bounds of learning, but also to show the underbelly: the doubts, insecurities and fears around taking risks or being judged.

But if I could give one piece of advice to parents just setting out on their own unschooling journey with their children it would be this:

Don’t seek too much advice.

I know that sounds paradoxical, but here’s the thing: you are unique. Your children are unique. Your life together is unique. And because of all that individuality and rich diversity, the what, when, why, where and how you and your children live and learn will be innately different. If you trust yourself as a parent to offer gentle guidance and support without interference (and that’s a tall order in and of itself) and if you then extend that trust to your children to be curious and inquisitive, you’re half way there. The other half of the journey will unfold in glorious and magical layers and sometimes very ordinary ways, if we just let it happen naturally.

Insecurities and doubts about how our children will learn without someone teaching them are normal. We’ve been conditioned to believe it’s neither possible nor socially acceptable. We fear giving our children freedom because most of us have been well trained ourselves to stay within the confines of societal rules and regulations. We are led to believe that offering our children autonomy means giving up any sense of structure, or that we may even be putting them in harm’s way. Society tells us that following, obeying, and perpetuating rules and paradigms we don’t necessarily believe in are all part of being a good citizen, and dare I say, A Good Parent.

Those same parameters and restrictions are sometimes seen in online unschooling communities. Many believe if we follow certain rules and can check off certain criteria, we are being “good” unschoolers. Stray from those norms, and you’ve wandered off into a sub strait or separate faction that needs yet another label. These likenesses form out of a need to belong, to do things the “right” way, to fit in and yes, even to comform to expectations about how we parent, guide our children in their learning, and help them explore their world. It’s human nature to want to learn from others, to seek support when we feel uncertain, even to rely on those with more experience to guide us. There is often great comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our doubts, that others have trudged through the obstacles and survived. It’s affirming to be inspired by real examples of unschooled children who have conquered criticism and surmounted physical or developmental obstacles, to be bolstered by stories of children who come to reading and writing later in life, children who don’t seem interested in anything or anyone, until one day, when everyone seems to have given up on them, they are moved by interest or curiosity or some great unknown force within themselves and cannot, for any reason, be torn away from the object of their intent. There is always relief when we recognize our children or ourselves in these stories and we let out a sigh of relief. Phew! I feel so much better.

But there is a difference between asking for comfort, support, suggestions and reassurance and receiving it in a non-judgemental and constructive way, and taking too much advice from those we deem experts. Particularly if that advice goes against our instincts and better judgement. Many in the unschooling world would argue with me, but I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as an unschooling “how to.” Of course, we need to offer examples about what unschooling is and what it isn’t as a way to explain it. It needs to be called something so that we can refer to it, talk about it, write about it. But can we really assign it a global definition? And do we need to?

If we boil it down to it’s essence, unschooling is really just living, fully and freely. If the institution of school had never existed, society would not have collapsed. Learning would not have died off. And certainly, we would be more intriquitely woven together–as families, communities, as a society, and probably as a world filled with different and unique individuals, each contributing, each respected.

It’s wonderful to ask for and receive loving support. Ask for suggestions, but don’t follow anyone else’s path. Seek advice, but know that it’s okay to sift through it and toss out what doesn’t work. Look to those with more experience, but don’t try to replicate. Try things. Weigh them. Discard. Be inspired. Let in what resonates. Fail. Succeed. Try again. Follow your children, follow your instincts. And listen to yourself. Trust. And never let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong. Your unschooling is not my unschooling. Or anybody else’s. And that’s exactly how it should be."
unschooling  advice  education  learning  individuality  parenting  deschooling  multitudes  2018  ellenrowland  homeschool  howto 
january 2018 by robertogreco
my writing advice – Snakes and Ladders
"Given that I’ve written a book about reading, and a book about thinking, maybe I should write a book about writing? I don’t think so. Writing has always seemed to me such a strange act, and one that can be pursued in so many different ways, that it’s extremely difficult to make useful generalizations about it. If you were to read all the Paris Review interviews with writers, I bet the primary lesson to take away from the whole experience would be: Writers are different — different from one another.

But insofar as I do have any general advice for writers, it boils down to this:

1. Find the time of day when you do your best thinking — when your intellectual energy is at its highest — and set that time aside for writing. (If that’s impossible because of work or other responsibilities, then find the best time that’s available to you.) Then preserve that time. Be flexible and generous all the other hours of the day, but be rigid and ruthless about your writing time.

2. Write to think. Don’t try to know where you’re going before you start writing, but write to find out what you think, or find the story you need to tell. Never expect that a particular time-unit of writing will produce a given number of publishable words. You must learn to think of your writing time as a period of discovery, in which you find out what you think, or what images and rhythms tend to emerge from your mind, or where a story seems to want to go. If you focus on discovery, then something worth sharing with others will emerge, in its own way and on its own schedule. But that’s not the kind of thing that can be forced. Allow yourself the freedom to explore.

Of course, these rules can be, and by some should be, broken. Anthony Trollope’s time for writing was determined by his work day at the Post Office — he had to get the writing in before heading off for work — and in order to get the most out of the limited time he had, he always thought out, in the hours after work, what he would write the next morning. But I think most people who want to write will benefit from following the two suggestions I make above."
alanjacobs  writing  advice  2017  differences  howwewrite  howwethinking  thinking 
september 2017 by robertogreco
Anne Lamott: 12 truths I learned from life and writing | TED Talk | TED.com
"Number one: the first and truest thing is that all truth is a paradox. Life is both a precious, unfathomably beautiful gift, and it's impossible here, on the incarnational side of things. …

Number two: almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes — including you. …

Three: there is almost nothing outside of you that will help in any kind of lasting way, unless you're waiting for an organ. You can't buy, achieve or date serenity and peace of mind. This is the most horrible truth, and I so resent it. But it's an inside job, and we can't arrange peace or lasting improvement for the people we love most in the world. They have to find their own ways, their own answers. You can't run alongside your grown children with sunscreen and ChapStick on their hero's journey. You have to release them. It's disrespectful not to. And if it's someone else's problem, you probably don't have the answer, anyway. …

number four: everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy and scared, even the people who seem to have it most together. They are much more like you than you would believe, so try not to compare your insides to other people's outsides. It will only make you worse than you already are.

Also, you can't save, fix or rescue any of them or get anyone sober. What helped me get clean and sober 30 years ago was the catastrophe of my behavior and thinking. So I asked some sober friends for help, and I turned to a higher power. One acronym for God is the "gift of desperation," G-O-D, or as a sober friend put it, by the end I was deteriorating faster than I could lower my standards.

So God might mean, in this case, "me running out of any more good ideas.

While fixing and saving and trying to rescue is futile, radical self-care is quantum, and it radiates out from you into the atmosphere like a little fresh air. It's a huge gift to the world. When people respond by saying, "Well, isn't she full of herself," just smile obliquely like Mona Lisa and make both of you a nice cup of tea. Being full of affection for one's goofy, self-centered, cranky, annoying self is home. It's where world peace begins.

Number five: chocolate with 75 percent cacao is not actually a food. …

writing. Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair. That's the secret of life. That's probably the main difference between you and them. They just do it. They do it by prearrangement with themselves. They do it as a debt of honor. They tell stories that come through them one day at a time, little by little. When my older brother was in fourth grade, he had a term paper on birds due the next day, and he hadn't started. So my dad sat down with him with an Audubon book, paper, pencils and brads — for those of you who have gotten a little less young and remember brads — and he said to my brother, "Just take it bird by bird, buddy. Just read about pelicans and then write about pelicans in your own voice. And then find out about chickadees, and tell us about them in your own voice. And then geese."

So the two most important things about writing are: bird by bird and really god-awful first drafts. If you don't know where to start, remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours, and you get to tell it. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should've behaved better. …

Seven: publication and temporary creative successes are something you have to recover from. They kill as many people as not. They will hurt, damage and change you in ways you cannot imagine. The most degraded and evil people I've ever known are male writers who've had huge best sellers. And yet, returning to number one, that all truth is paradox, it's also a miracle to get your work published, to get your stories read and heard. Just try to bust yourself gently of the fantasy that publication will heal you, that it will fill the Swiss-cheesy holes inside of you. It can't. It won't. But writing can. So can singing in a choir or a bluegrass band. So can painting community murals or birding or fostering old dogs that no one else will.

Number eight: families. Families are hard, hard, hard, no matter how cherished and astonishing they may also be. Again, see number one. …

Nine: food. Try to do a little better. I think you know what I mean.

Number 10 — grace. Grace is spiritual WD-40, or water wings. The mystery of grace is that God loves Henry Kissinger and Vladimir Putin and me exactly as much as He or She loves your new grandchild. Go figure.

The movement of grace is what changes us, heals us and heals our world. To summon grace, say, "Help," and then buckle up. Grace finds you exactly where you are, but it doesn't leave you where it found you. And grace won't look like Casper the Friendly Ghost, regrettably. But the phone will ring or the mail will come and then against all odds, you'll get your sense of humor about yourself back. Laughter really is carbonated holiness. It helps us breathe again and again and gives us back to ourselves, and this gives us faith in life and each other. And remember — grace always bats last.

Eleven: God just means goodness. It's really not all that scary. It means the divine or a loving, animating intelligence, or, as we learned from the great "Deteriorata," "the cosmic muffin." A good name for God is: "Not me." Emerson said that the happiest person on Earth is the one who learns from nature the lessons of worship. So go outside a lot and look up. My pastor said you can trap bees on the bottom of mason jars without lids because they don't look up, so they just walk around bitterly bumping into the glass walls. Go outside. Look up. Secret of life.

And finally: death. Number 12. Wow and yikes. It's so hard to bear when the few people you cannot live without die. You'll never get over these losses, and no matter what the culture says, you're not supposed to. We Christians like to think of death as a major change of address, but in any case, the person will live again fully in your heart if you don't seal it off. Like Leonard Cohen said, "There are cracks in everything, and that's how the light gets in." And that's how we feel our people again fully alive.

Also, the people will make you laugh out loud at the most inconvenient times, and that's the great good news. But their absence will also be a lifelong nightmare of homesickness for you. Grief and friends, time and tears will heal you to some extent. Tears will bathe and baptize and hydrate and moisturize you and the ground on which you walk.

Do you know the first thing that God says to Moses? He says, "Take off your shoes." Because this is holy ground, all evidence to the contrary. It's hard to believe, but it's the truest thing I know. When you're a little bit older, like my tiny personal self, you realize that death is as sacred as birth. And don't worry — get on with your life. Almost every single death is easy and gentle with the very best people surrounding you for as long as you need. You won't be alone. They'll help you cross over to whatever awaits us. As Ram Dass said, "When all is said and done, we're really just all walking each other home."

I think that's it, but if I think of anything else, I'll let you know."
via:austinkleon  life  living  writing  grace  2017  success  creativity  families  brokenness  advice  parenting  howwewrite  publication  goodness  god  worship  nature  outdoors  ralfaldoemerson  death 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Deciphering Glyph :: Email Isn’t The Thing You’re Bad At
"We’re In This Together, Me Especially

A lot of guidance about what to do with your email addresses email overload as a personal problem. Over the years of developing my tips and tricks for dealing with it, I certainly saw it that way. But lately, I’m starting to see that it has pernicious social effects.

If you have 24,000 messages in your Inbox, that means you aren’t keeping track or setting priorities on which tasks you want to complete. But just because you’re not setting those priorities, that doesn’t mean nobody is. It means you are letting availability heuristic - whatever is “latest and loudest” - govern access to your attention, and therefore your time. By doing this, you are rewarding people (or #brands) who contact you repeatedly, over inappropriate channels, and generally try to flood your attention with their priorities instead of your own. This, in turn, creates a culture where it is considered reasonable and appropriate to assume that you need to do that in order to get someone’s attention.

Since we live in the era of subtext and implication, I should explicitly say that I’m not describing any specific work environment or community. I used to have an email startup, and so I thought about this stuff very heavily for almost a decade. I have seen email habits at dozens of companies, and I help people in the open source community with their email on a regular basis. So I’m not throwing shade: almost everybody is terrible at this.

And that is the one way that email, in the sense of the tools and programs we use to process it, is at fault: technology has made it easier and easier to ask people to do more and more things, without giving us better tools or training to deal with the increasingly huge array of demands on our time. It’s easier than ever to say “hey could you do this for me” and harder than ever to just say “no, too busy”.

Mostly, though, I want you to know that this isn’t just about you any more. It’s about someone much more important than you: me. I’m tired of sending reply after reply to people asking to “just circle back” or asking if I’ve seen their email. Yes, I’ve seen your email. I have a long backlog of tasks, and, like anyone, I have trouble managing them and getting them all done4, and I frequently have to decide that certain things are just not important enough to do. Sometimes it takes me a couple of weeks to get to a message. Sometimes I never do. But, it’s impossible to be mad at somebody for “just checking in” for the fourth time when this is probably the only possible way they ever manage to get anyone else to do anything.

I don’t want to end on a downer here, though. And I don’t have a book to sell you which will solve all your productivity problems. I know that if I lay out some incredibly elaborate system all at once, it’ll seem overwhelming. I know that if I point you at some amazing gadget that helps you keep track of what you want to do, you’ll either balk at the price or get lost fiddling with all its knobs and buttons and not getting a lot of benefit out of it. So if I’m describing a problem that you have here, here’s what I want you to do.

Step zero is setting aside some time. This will probably take you a few hours, but trust me; they will be well-spent."
email  2016  productivity  gtd  advice 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Pragmatic Shopping — Medium
"I resented shopping until I got good at it. I got good at it by overthinking it. This is the story of how that happened and what I learned from it."
dianakimball  shopping  furniture  home  clothing  2016  howto  advice 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Austin Kleon — How to graciously say no to anyone
"A couple of years ago, I was getting sent this article, “Creative People Say No,” at least twice a day. The idea was that creative geniuses say “no” to a lot of requests (like, a psychology professor researching processes of creative genius) in order to get their work done, so if you want to be a creative genius, you have to say no a lot so you can get your work done.

A bunch of people asked me what I thought about it, and I said, “It’s good advice for the rich and famous. Creative people say yes until they have enough work that they can say no.”"
no  advice  austinkleon  ebwhite  robertheinlein  carlsandburg  rejection  raw  zyzzyva  howardjunker  edmundwilson  bernardshaw  evelynwaugh  grouchomarx  sayingno  ianbogost  time  attention  correspondence  letters 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Be Kind
"I almost got fired once.

My friend, and CTO at the time, Dustin Moskovitz pulled me into a room one morning. He told me I would no longer be working on News Feed, which was surprising because at the time I was the only engineer keeping it running. Instead they were going to hand it off to someone else and build a team around that person. With alarm in my voice I asked if I was being fired. Dustin relented only after a telling pause: “no, but you need to find something else to do."

I believe if you looked at what I had accomplished in my two years at Facebook to that point, it would not be obvious that I should be a candidate for such a stern conversation. In addition to building the backend and ranking for News Feed I had also launched a number of other popular features on the site. I maintained our early anti-abuse efforts in my spare time. I was one of a small group of people making decisions that would shape our infrastructure for years to come. I wasn’t the best engineer at the company but I was solid, I was dedicated, and I was clearly having an impact.

So why was I being sidelined? I demanded answers. Dustin did not disappoint.

He gave me a single sheet of paper. On it, in a dull monospace font, were anonymous quotes about me from my coworkers.
“Boz is one of the better engineers at Facebook” one read, and then the next "I would have a hard time working with him."

These two statements struck me as incongruous. If I was a good engineer, why would it be hard to work with me? Of course that question was the very foundation of my problem.
“He is most interested in the truth…but more inhibited members of the team avoid any discussions with him."

The realization hit me hard. In short, I thought my job was to be right. I thought that was how I proved my worth to the company. But that was all wrong. My job was to get things done and doing anything meaningful past a certain point requires more than one person. If you are right but nobody wants to work with you, then how valuable are you really? How much can you realistically expect to accomplish on your own? I was “winning” my way out of a job one argument at a time.

I headed home early that day to think about what I had heard. My future wife April was gentle but she offered me little reprieve from the feedback: “If you want people to work with you, you need to be kind.” It turns out this wasn’t just a problem I had at work. Looking back, I’m amazed (and grateful) that my friends put up with me.

Altogether this feedback changed the course of my career and probably my life.

I don’t think I was ever outright mean to anyone. I was just callously indifferent and on a long enough timeline that is indistinguishable from being mean. In a cruel twist of irony I thought that was what it meant to be professional. In retrospect it just seems inhuman. It will take me several posts to details the many mistakes that got me to this point, but my biggest lesson was the importance of kindness.

Being kind isn’t the same as being nice. It isn’t about superficial praise. It doesn’t mean dulling your opinions. And it shouldn’t diminish the passion with which you present them.

Being kind is fundamentally about taking responsibility for your impact on the people around you. It requires you be mindful of their feelings and considerate of the way your presence affects them.

Being kind hasn’t hurt my effectiveness at all. Being thoughtful about the emotions of my colleagues hasn’t made me any less right or wrong, it has simply made me more likely to be asked to help in the first place. Being invited to more conversations has allowed me to scale my impact in a way that would have been unfathomable on my own.

I’m still not as good as I’d like to be at any of this. When I’m under stress I can sometimes fall back into my old habits. But believing deeply that I am responsible for how I make others feel has been life changing for me. Being kind turns out to be a long term strategy for maximizing impact."
kindness  andrewbosworth  advice  facebook  management  careers  social  via:kissane  2015  responsibility  howwework  truth  indifference  meanness  humanism  humans  interpersonal  socialemotional  thoughfulness  emotions  socialemotionallearning 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Amelia Greenhall: Start your own b(r)and: Everything I know about starting collaborative, feminist publications
[via: "Is there something like a website framework for starting an organization? Like boilerplate/best practices on decision-making, structure,"
https://twitter.com/CaseyG/status/598262858661699584

"This guide by @ameliagreenhall feels like the closest thing to what I'm imagining…but not as generic as a "framework" http://ameliagreenhall.com/posts/start-your-own-b-r-and-everything-i-know-about-starting-collaborative-feminist-publications "
https://twitter.com/CaseyG/status/598263698147377152

"I have a hard time believing there isn't already a whole universe out there of "forkable" sets of principles, how-tos, bylaws, workflows?"
https://twitter.com/CaseyG/status/598264178994974720 ]
via:caseygollan  advice  branding  publishing  startups  publications  howto  organization  bestpractices  frameworks  principles  workflows  organizations  2015  tutorials 
may 2015 by robertogreco
“Rules of Business” — Medium
"Pretend like you’re a human being
With the possible exception of artists and architects, no one is more full of shit than designers. We can find a way to justify anything. Blah blah blah. That means no matter what you end up with, you can come up with some reason why it’s a good design. The best advice I have for designers is to practice being not-designers: stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and then look again like you’re just a regular person encountering this product/service/user interface/object/page/poster for the first time. Where do your eyes go? What do you think it is at first? How do you figure out what you are supposed to do?

Make it inevitable
There is some truth to that old Henry Ford aphorism “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”. If you can’t believe it, it’s probably not going to happen. However, I like to take that one step further and ensure that every action we take is one that assumes the desired outcome is inevitable. Do not make actions that are out of alignment with that inevitability. Do not allow judgements which contradict it. The more evidence you have — and everyone else has — that things will come out as planned, the more likely it will be so.

Every job you do has your signature on it
When I was around 10 or 11 years old, my father offered me $10 to move a cord of recently-delivered firewood from the driveway into the garage and stack it up inside (I am old; $10 was a great deal of money back then). I managed to get all the firewood inside but rather than it being stacked against the wall, it was more or less evenly distributed across the floor of the garage. I expected my payment, but instead got some advice: “Every job you do has your signature on it — do you really want to sign that?” I always remembered that and if I am going to do something, I make every effort to do it right. (I also properly stacked the wood afterwards, even though it took forever, and I got paid in the end.)

Everyone should always be trying to make it easier for everyone
I used to play in a band. Other people might have played team sports, or worked in a well-functioning restaurant. There’s something about working deeply, in real-time, with other people that’s both incredibly satisfying and enormously more effective than working alone. You need to be open for the pass, you need to hear the subtle rhythm shifts, you need to spot when someone else’s table needs the check … everyone should be taking account of what everyone else is doing and constantly modifying their own behaviour to better serve the team.

Know why you’re doing it
If you are just out to make money, god bless: I hope you make some money. If you just want awards or recognition or for others to think highly of you, I hope you get that too. But I don’t think anyone is really satisfied by fame or fortune. I find it incredibly satisfying (and gratifying, rewarding and pleasant) to honestly have done the best job I could have done on something and I believe that works for everyone else too. Being skillful and exercising your mastery is what you’re here to do. Doing anything less undermines the whole point of being alive."
stewartbutterfield  business  advice  2015  design  humans  purpose  responsibility 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Parenting Advice: Don’t Kill Them — Medium
"Having had kids before most of my friends, I’ve now reached the stage in life when many in my circle are coming to me for parenting advice.

“Your boys are so fun, so precocious, so well-mannered. What’s your secret?” they ask.

“Don’t kill them.” I answer.

People always chuckle when I give that advice. “No really,” they say. “Really,” I reaffirm, “Don’t kill them. You’ll want to, but don’t.” They stop giggling and never ask me for parenting advice again.

But I stand by this advice. Don’t kill them. You’ll want to, but don’t. We like to pretend that outside of some adorable sleepless nights right after they are born, that parenting is a magical gift full of love and joy. And sometimes it is. Sometimes your heart is full of such inexplicable love that you feel like it might burst. You know that you would die for your children, and you would die if anything ever happened to them. You can’t imagine your life without them.

But there are other times."
parenting  humor  ijeomaoluo  2015  children  advice 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Photographer's Playbook - Aperture Foundation
"The Photographer’s Playbook features photography assignments, as well as ideas, stories, and anecdotes from many of the world’s most talented photographers and photography professionals. Whether you’re looking for exercises to improve your craft—alone or in a group—or you’re interested in learning more about the medium, this playful collection will inspire fresh ways of engaging with photographic process. Inside you will find advice for better shooting and editing, creative ways to start new projects, games and activities, and insight into the practices of those responsible for our most iconic photographs—John Baldessari, Tina Barney, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Jim Goldberg, Miranda July, Susan Meiselas, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth, Tim Walker, and many more. The book also features a Polaroid alphabet by Mike Slack, which divides each chapter, and a handy subject guide. Edited by acclaimed photographers Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern, the assignments and project ideas in this book are indispensable for teachers and students, and great fun for everyone fascinated by taking pictures.

Jason Fulford is a photographer and cofounder of the non-profit publisher J&L Books. He has lectured at more than a dozen art schools and universities and is a contributing editor to Blind Spot magazine. Fulford’s photographs have been featured in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, Time, Blind Spot, Aperture, and on book jackets for Don DeLillo, John Updike, Bertrand Russell, Jorge Luis Borges, Terry Eagleton, Ernest Hemingway, and Richard Ford. His published books include Sunbird (2000), Crushed (2003), Raising Frogs for $$$ (2006), The Mushroom Collector (2010), and Hotel Oracle (2013). Fulford is also a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient.

Gregory Halpern received a BA in history and literature from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. His third book of photographs, entitled A, is a photographic ramble through the streets of the American Rust Belt. His other books include Omaha Sketchbook and Harvard Works Because We Do. He currently teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Halpern is also a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient."
photography  books  classideas  jasonfulford  gregoryhalpern  advice  exercises  johnbaldessari  tinabarney  philip-lorcadicorcia  jimgoldberg  mirandajuly  susanmeiselas  stephenshore  alecsoth  timwalker  mikeslack  assignments  teaching 
february 2015 by robertogreco
The Artist Endures - The Atlantic
"What’s more, the idea that 10,000 hours of practice makes someone an expert may not even be psychologically valid. A recent meta-analysis found that while practice correlated with skill, it did not at all explain it. “Deliberate practice left more of the variation in skill unexplained than it explained,” wrote one of that study’s authors in Slate. We know so little about this idea because it’s so relatively recent: The first research suggesting a “10,000 Hour Rule” existed was published in 1993, and the rule itself only became popularized with the 2008 release of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers.

And look what happened: In six years, the idea became such a part of the cultural atmosphere that Deresiewicz can treat it like it’s timeless. But it’s not—it’s new, as much a part of the changing artistic firmament as the compulsion to have a website.

But that doesn’t mean its meaningless. The “10,000 Hour Rule” caught on because it invited readers to a cultural meritocracy. It discredited the un-American idea that in-born talent drives careers, instead suggesting that any discipline, any craft or art, could be accessible to anyone through hours upon hours of practice. Maybe that’s true: We just don’t know. Likewise, I don’t know whether true cultural democracy is coming.

But I do know one thing. The value of any discipline, whether craft or art, is not extracted solely by experts. In his essay, Deresiewicz approves of how Gertrude Stein once scolded Picasso for writing poetry. I have also heard Picasso was a terrible poet, but I really don’t know, and I can’t hazard whether some iambic innovation would have spurred him to paint differently.

I am not Picasso, though, and neither are you. And in the world I’d like to live in, everyone—whether they’re a famous painter or a CPA—would feel as though they can explore the breadth of human expression, whether through writing poetry or learning about Chinese pottery or even researching historical pickling methods. If cultural democracy comes, my guess is it will not look like 100 million specialists. It will appear as a society of curious minds, captivated by human traditions and inspired to improve upon them, interested in the many places in the world where humans have spent their attention—and hungry to invest more."
robinsonmeyer  2014  art  williamderesiewicz  craft  practice  internet  malcolmgladwell  advice  democracy  culture  creativity  attention  specialists  specialization  generalists  meritocracy  joirodreamsofsushi  gertrudestein  pablopicasso  dilettantes  innovation  imagination 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Radical Computer Science — )
"It was such an honor and pleasure exploring the limits of computation with you all this semester. You are all brilliant, talented, and brave people. Together, we all asked and answered questions that most computer science and art programs avoid for a variety of reasons. That was only possible because of your consistent hard work and presence, and I thank you for that.

Endings are just beginnings. As Zan said on our last day together, we’re still in the cave painting era of programming languages. What little actual magic is inside these tools has been revealed to you, and you’ve wielded it well. All that’s left is to think about people, thought, society, politics, and how all those manifest themselves as code, and how code steers them in return. The important questions are human questions, not technical ones.

This blog will live until tumblr shuts down or the current internet stops resolving URLs, whichever comes first. Until then, you have access to the videos, homework, and articles whenever you want. I will continue to post links to this blog as I come across relevant things in my practice, and may use it in the future for a rerun of the same class. This blog is yours forever. Use it.

My final bits of advice will be in the form of a list (lisp hackers amirite):

• You can learn to do anything in this field. I mean this literally. Between online resources, academic papers, and free tools, the only things impeding your ability to code is the amount of time you have available and your drive to keep learning. This is not true of e.g. brain surgery.

• Don’t ever stop asking questions. I also mean this literally. I cannot count the number of times that “accepted wisdom” or “best practices” or “just the way it’s done” has turned out to be horseshit. Question everything. Adopt what makes sense to you, reinvent everything else.

• Don’t ever let anyone tell you your questions are anything but crucially important. Those people are toxic. There are no bad questions, only toxic people.

• Value the process of learning programming as much as (or as more than) the knowledge itself. If you can take joy in the feeling of being bad at something then slowly getting better at it, you will be unstoppable.

• Being really superhumanly good at one particular tool is overrated. It’s great to have something you are fluent in, and it’s a decent goal to have, but certainly not the be-all-and-end-all of programming. See previous point.

• Have fun and be silly. I brought this up in class but it bears repeating. If you are working on something and its not fun, take that as a sign that you should try something else.

• Be kind to one another. The world is a shitty place, and the tech world in particular tends to be racist and sexist, but you can change that just by being yourselves, being kind, and being visible. Often, code speaks louder than words, and code that generates code (compilers!) can be super loud.

• Teach someone what you know. Pass on the torch of knowledge. Its one of the most important ways you can give back, and one of the most gratifying experiences you can have.

That’s all I got.
Change the world, you crazy kids.
R"
ramneynasser  advice  art  life  programming  teaching  learning  howweteach  howwelearn  compsci  computerscience  sfpc  kindness  sharing  coding  time  bestpractices  questioning  schoolforpoeticcomputation 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Mike Rowe's must-read response to an Alabamian who asked why he shouldn't follow his passion - Yellowhammer News
"A few years ago, I did a special called “The Dirty Truth.” In it, I challenged the conventional wisdom of popular platitudes by offering “dirtier,” more individualistic alternatives. For my inspiration, I looked to those hackneyed bromides that hang on the walls of corporate America. The ones that extoll passersby to live up to their potential by “dreaming bigger,” “working smarter,” and being a better “team player.” In that context, I first saw “Follow Your Passion” displayed in the conference room of a telemarketing firm that employed me thirty years ago. The words appeared next to an image of a rainbow, arcing gently over a waterfall and disappearing into a field of butterflies. Thinking of it now still makes me throw up in my mouth.

Like all bad advice, “Follow Your Passion” is routinely dispensed as though it’s wisdom were both incontrovertible and equally applicable to all. It’s not. Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you won’t suck at it. And just because you’re determined to improve doesn’t mean that you will. Does that mean you shouldn’t pursue a thing you’re passionate about?” Of course not. The question is, for how long, and to what end?

When it comes to earning a living and being a productive member of society – I don’t think people should limit their options to those vocations they feel passionate towards. I met a lot of people on Dirty Jobs who really loved their work. But very few of them dreamed of having the career they ultimately chose. I remember a very successful septic tank cleaner who told me his secret of success. “I looked around to see where everyone else was headed, and then I went the opposite way,” he said. “Then I got good at my work. Then I found a way to love it. Then I got rich.”

Every time I watch The Oscars, I cringe when some famous movie star – trophy in hand – starts to deconstruct the secret to happiness. It’s always the same thing, and I can never hit “mute” fast enough to escape the inevitable cliches. “Don’t give up on your dreams kids, no matter what.” “Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have what it takes.” And of course, “Always follow your passion!”

Today, we have millions looking for work, and millions of good jobs unfilled because people are simply not passionate about pursuing those particular opportunities. Do we really need Lady GaGa telling our kids that happiness and success can be theirs if only they follow their passion?

There are many examples – including those you mention – of passionate people with big dreams who stayed the course, worked hard, overcame adversity, and changed the world though sheer pluck and determination. We love stories that begin with a dream, and culminate when that dream comes true. And to your question, we would surely be worse off without the likes of Bill Gates and Thomas Edison and all the other innovators and Captains of Industry. But from my perspective, I don’t see a shortage of people who are willing to dream big. I see people struggling because their reach has exceeded their grasp.

I’m fascinated by the beginning of American Idol. Every year, thousands of aspiring pop-stars show up with great expectations, only to learn that they don’t have anything close to the skills they thought they did. What’s amazing to me, isn’t their lack of talent – it’s their lack of awareness, and the resulting shock of being rejected. How is it that so many people are so blind to their own limitations? How did these peope get the impression they could sing in the first place? Then again, is their incredulity really so different than the surprise of a college graduate who learns on his first interview that his double major in Medieval Studies and French Literature doesn’t guarantee him the job he expected? In a world where everyone gets a trophy, encouragement trumps honesty, and realistic expectations go out the window.

When I was 16, I wanted to follow in my grandfathers footsteps. I wanted to be a tradesman. I wanted to build things, and fix things, and make things with my own two hands. This was my passion, and I followed it for years. I took all the shop classes at school, and did all I could to absorb the knowledge and skill that came so easily to my granddad. Unfortunately, the handy gene skipped over me, and I became frustrated. But I remained determined to do whatever it took to become a tradesman.

One day, I brought home a sconce from woodshop that looked like a paramecium, and after a heavy sigh, my grandfather told me the truth. He explained that my life would be a lot more satisfying and productive if I got myself a different kind of toolbox. This was almost certainly the best advice I’ve ever received, but at the time, it was crushing. It felt contradictory to everything I knew about persistence, and the importance of “staying the course.” It felt like quitting. But here’s the “dirty truth,” Stephen. “Staying the course” only makes sense if you’re headed in a sensible direction. Because passion and persistence – while most often associated with success – are also essential ingredients of futility.

That’s why I would never advise anyone to “follow their passion” until I understand who they are, what they want, and why they want it. Even then, I’d be cautious. Passion is too important to be without, but too fickle to be guided by. Which is why I’m more inclined to say, “Don’t Follow Your Passion, But Always Bring it With You."
mikerowe  passions  advice  employment  dowhatyoulove  realism  life  2014 
october 2014 by robertogreco
For potential Ph.D. students
"mathematics is so rich and infinite that it is impossible to learn it systematically, and if you wait to master one topic before moving on to the next, you'll never get anywhere."

[comes from this longer point]

"Here's a phenomenon I was surprised to find: you'll go to talks, and hear various words, whose definitions you're not so sure about. At some point you'll be able to make a sentence using those words; you won't know what the words mean, but you'll know the sentence is correct. You'll also be able to ask a question using those words. You still won't know what the words mean, but you'll know the question is interesting, and you'll want to know the answer. Then later on, you'll learn what the words mean more precisely, and your sense of how they fit together will make that learning much easier. The reason for this phenomenon is that mathematics is so rich and infinite that it is impossible to learn it systematically, and if you wait to master one topic before moving on to the next, you'll never get anywhere. Instead, you'll have tendrils of knowledge extending far from your comfort zone. Then you can later backfill from these tendrils, and extend your comfort zone; this is much easier to do than learning "forwards". (Caution: this backfilling is necessary. There can be a temptation to learn lots of fancy words and to use them in fancy sentences without being able to say precisely what you mean. You should feel free to do that, but you should always feel a pang of guilt when you do.)"

[via: https://twitter.com/ddmeyer/status/486974811361783808 ]
math  advice  education  mathematics  learning  messiness  curriculum  ravivakil 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Daniel José Older - » Write When You’re Ready To Write (Storify)
"Increasingly clear that procrastination is a guilt trippy interpretation of taking much needed time to process before sitting down to write

Really, sitting down to tryn write/edit before you're ready is way more dangerous than taking a few days to do other things while thinking.

That's why I'm not with the WRITE EVERY EFFING DAY advice.

Take walks every fucking day. Eat a good breakfast every fucking day. Fall in love every fucking day. Be creative every fucking day.

Write when you're ready to write.

I swear 90% of the angst people feel about writing and not writing is rooted in this idea that WE MUST ALWAYS BE WRITING. Mothafucka no.

I've sat at the keyboard and felt that anxiousness. Then I stood up and plotted and paced and made sense of the shit…sat down later. Wrote."
writing  readiness  via:nicolefenton  howwewrite  cv  2014  advice  procrastination  routine  inspiration 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Locus Online Perspectives » Cory Doctorow: Cheap Writing Tricks
"So my favorite, foolproof way to start a story is with a person in a place with a problem, preferably in the first sentence. A named person in a defined setting is a signal to the reader’s human-being-simulator to get started assembling a skeletal frame upon which to hang future details about this ‘‘person.’’"

[via: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2014/02/first-sentence-problems.html ]
fiction  writing  corydoctorow  howwewrite  advice  firstsentences  setting  characters 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Giving less advice by Jason Fried of Basecamp
"Advice, like fruit, is best when it’s fresh. But advice quickly decays, and 15 year-old advice is bound to be radioactive. Sharing a life experience is one thing (grandparents are great at this – listen to them!), but advice is another thing. Don’t give advice about things you used to know. Just because you did something a long time ago doesn’t mean you’re qualified to talk about it today.

Think you’ll get a good answer from a 30 year old telling you what it’s like to be 15? Or a 20 year old remembering what it’s like to be 5? Shit, I’m about to turn 40, and all I remember about being 25 is that I wasn’t 26. How clearly do you really remember anything from 15 years ago? And how many of those memories are actually marred by time and current experiences? How many of those things really happened the way you recall them today?"
advice  context  2014  jasonfried  experience 
february 2014 by robertogreco
gis-advice.md
"Find interesting people. You’ll learn a lot more from a great professor (or mentor, or friend, or tutorial) talking about something outside your specialty than you will from someone boring who’s working on exactly what you’re interested in. Don’t get insular! All the best artists I know have close scientist friends and vice versa.

That principle alone should expose you to enough interesting ideas that you will be able to see the most productive paths for yourself. I guess I could go on:

Look for real problems. “Let’s make a map of the furthest point from a McDonalds in each state” may be a useful exercise, but it’s not a real problem. Accurately measuring how earthquakes propagate is a real problem. Making sure that indigenous land rights are represented is a real problem. Finding early evidence of village destruction is a real problem. That doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time on scientific and humanitarian topics, especially as a student! But your work is valuable and should be spent on things you care about, even if they’re silly. If you learn to ask interesting questions that no one else is asking, you will get a good reputation among the people whom you would actually want to work for.

Learn as much statistics as you reasonably can. Trust me. Half the time I solve a tough technical problem it involves learning some stats, and then suddenly I see all these other places where that bit of knowledge applies. In fact, I’m making a note: I should learn more stats.

Read Edward Tufte’s books front to back several times, even the parts that don’t seem to have anything to do with maps."



"If you need to do some work (a course, a job) that you don’t believe in, fine, and try to learn something from it. Pay the bills. But don’t bring it on yourself. Don’t say “Well, Yoyodyne makes kitten-seeking missile guidance computers and their contract doesn’t allow side projects, but I need something solid on my résumé, so I’ll just spend four years there while I get on my feet.” It might work by chance, but odds are it’ll lead to selling out, burning out, and just generally being no use to yourself or anyone else. The GIS industry is a moving target: don’t aim for a good job, aim to invent it.

One of my coworkers came to the company from a project to map the history of the ancient Mediterranean; another got on the radar because he was mapping the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk. Our lead developer was a philosophy/studio art major. I dropped out. Very few of us majored in GIS or CS. But we all ended up here because each in our own way we fundamentally care about geography – place, space, and helping people work with representations of their world more easily. Of course we’re a startup so things are a little unusual, but really, to any company worth working for, showing initiative, carefulness, curiosity, and delight in geography itself matters so much more than any one item on your CV.

When people say “do what you love” they don’t mean “goof off and trust the world to provide”; they mean “you’ll be working below your abilities whenever you don’t have intrinsic motivation, so find it”.

Stick with open-source tools as much as reasonably possible. There are various advantages, but one is that in principle you can always look inside them and figure out exactly what they do. In practice that’s rarely easy, but it’s still valuable. You also get to share your work with a much larger community – given that maybe 3% of the population can afford a closed-source GIS package, 97% of Earth’s latent GIS talent is in the open-source world. Help bring it to fruition:

Teach. Any time anyone is paying attention to you, you’re teaching anyway, so it’s good to be deliberate about it. This might take the form of a notebook blog, for example: “Today I tried to do X with method Y, but got result Z. Will try again next week”. Teaching forces you to think carefully in certain ways (as does programming!). Teaching also helps you keep ethics in mind. Mapping is a special kind of power that most people cannot tell is being abused even when it is; having to justify something to a student is one technique to keep in mind the consequences of things."
charlieloyd  2013  advice  learning  interestedness  problemsolving  gis  teaching  inventing  understanding  unschooling  values  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  potential  interested 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero × Blog × Suggestions for Speakers
• Import ideas. Search for examples that are outside the purview of everyone in the audience. Novelty wins, so start somewhere unexpected and figure out a way to navigate toward your topic. For example, last week I gave a talk at Build about screens, but started with the composition of aspirin pills. In your search, look for common verbs with different nouns. In the case of technology and aspirin, both are getting smaller, yet have limits to their minimum size because of what we can grasp. Of course, novel examples require hunting. Good thing that process is fun.

• Write, then jump to Keynote as quickly as possible. Keep in mind lectures are visual, too. My process is usually writing, then into keynote, back into writing, and then another pass at Keynote. Also, consider using blank slides for your most critical points. The absense of visuals will force your audience to look at you, giving the point extra importance.

•A nice typeface on a dark background is good enough. Spend your time on the ideas and practicing the talk.



• Go in loops. It’s nice to come back to a thread that you dropped. Use recurring themes in your examples. Develop a thought to a question, say “I’m going to leave that question hanging for a bit,” then start somewhere else, and eventually link the new place to the the hanging question’s answer. I’m sure you can think of a bunch of other ways to do this. Leaving loops open creates anticipation. Resolving them creates closure. Both are necessary for a good talk.

• Have padding. Listening is hard work, especially if you’re at a conference and listening for 5 or 6 hours in a row. Help your audience along by keeping in a little bit of fluffiness, and changing beats every 10 minutes or so. For instance, last talk, I wanted to show that screens had no problem showing a lot of different kinds of imagery. Rather than saying that one simple sentence, I stretched it out for a couple minutes by showing a bunch of different images of horses. Now, this is definitely ridiculous, but it had a purpose—the example lets your brain rest for a minute and allows the previous points to sink in. It’s negative space. I like to think of this fluffiness as if they were establishing shots or B-reel in television. Every once in a while, your brain needs a break."
frankchimero  presentations  advice  speaking  keynote  publicspeaking  2013  design 
november 2013 by robertogreco
The Crucial Body Part All Great Leaders Must Enhance | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
"If you already believe you know better than the person you’re listening to, you’re not listening. If you already have advice to give, you’re not listening. If you already know how this story turns out, you’re not listening. If you’re already listening only to the parts of the story that confirm your beliefs, you’re not listening. And if you already have your counterattack planned, you’re not listening. If you want to be a more effective listener, drop your agenda. And what I mean by that is make sure that really listening is your only agenda item at that moment if you want to build trust, develop relationships, solve problems, create collaboration, and demonstrate your leadership."

[References: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/06/the_discipline_of_listening.html ]
listening  advice  2013  leadership  attention  openminded  relationships 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Interrupt the program — Medium
"Spoiler alert: I am about to tell you what to do.

1. Talk to a stranger

It’s simple, and harmless, and generous, a beautiful interruption. You can do it without even slowing down your pace. Catch someone’s eye, smile in passing, say “have a good day,” or “how’re you doing.” These are mundane utterances that are also deeply profound. They say to someone: I see you there, we are both people walking down this street or through this lobby, we are both real and it’s worth a nod to that. If you are still smiling for two seconds after you pass by, you are doing this right. You have created a moment of street intimacy.

2. Fall down a rabbit hole

Ignore the kerfuffle about what the internet is doing to your attention span. There are kinds of distraction that are deeply focused. There are many clicks involved in this. Someone, somewhere on your internet has posted something that intrigues you, that you want to know more about. Read it, watch it, wonder about it. What questions does it leave you with? Dig deeper into it. Or, what does it remind you of? Follow unexpected tangents. You are not scattered, you are on a quest. You are looking for answers. If what you find are more questions, you are doing this right. You have been distracted from what you were doing when you started all this. You have been curious.

3. Do nothing

Sit by yourself somewhere in public for 7 minutes without looking at your phone. It has to be somewhere without a TV. Neither of these are bad, I like them too. Do it anyway. This may make you uncomfortable. Do it anyway. Unless you choose to sleep, you will find that you are forced to look at something. What is it? Are you reading signs or looking at things in store windows? Are you looking at other people? Are you looking at trees? Water? Sand? Cement? If you start talking to yourself in your head, you are doing this right. I should have said at the beginning, take a pen in case you want to write something down. You can write on your hand, it’ll wash off. You have been awake."
kiostark  strangers  2013  intimacy  conversation  idleness  stillness  distraction  internet  attention  focus  depth  messiness  curiosity  advice  solitude  awakeness  slow  time  noticing  mindfulness  observation  engagement  people  life  living  interruption 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Someone you know ill? Watch what you say, and to whom - Los Angeles Times
"When Susan had breast cancer, we heard a lot of lame remarks, but our favorite came from one of Susan's colleagues. She wanted, she needed, to visit Susan after the surgery, but Susan didn't feel like having visitors, and she said so. Her colleague's response? "This isn't just about you."

"It's not?" Susan wondered. "My breast cancer is not about me? It's about you?"

The same theme came up again when our friend Katie had a brain aneurysm. She was in intensive care for a long time and finally got out and into a step-down unit. She was no longer covered with tubes and lines and monitors, but she was still in rough shape. A friend came and saw her and then stepped into the hall with Katie's husband, Pat. "I wasn't prepared for this," she told him. "I don't know if I can handle it."

This woman loves Katie, and she said what she did because the sight of Katie in this condition moved her so deeply. But it was the wrong thing to say. And it was wrong in the same way Susan's colleague's remark was wrong.

Susan has since developed a simple technique to help people avoid this mistake. It works for all kinds of crises: medical, legal, financial, romantic, even existential. She calls it the Ring Theory.

Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie's aneurysm, that's Katie. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. In the case of Katie's aneurysm, that was Katie's husband, Pat. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. One of Susan's patients found it useful to tape it to her refrigerator.

Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, "Life is unfair" and "Why me?" That's the one payoff for being in the center ring.

Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings.

When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you're going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn't, don't say it. Don't, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don't need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, "I'm sorry" or "This must really be hard for you" or "Can I bring you a pot roast?" Don't say, "You should hear what happened to me" or "Here's what I would do if I were you." And don't say, "This is really bringing me down."

If you want to scream or cry or complain, if you want to tell someone how shocked you are or how icky you feel, or whine about how it reminds you of all the terrible things that have happened to you lately, that's fine. It's a perfectly normal response. Just do it to someone in a bigger ring.

Comfort IN, dump OUT.

There was nothing wrong with Katie's friend saying she was not prepared for how horrible Katie looked, or even that she didn't think she could handle it. The mistake was that she said those things to Pat. She dumped IN.

Complaining to someone in a smaller ring than yours doesn't do either of you any good. On the other hand, being supportive to her principal caregiver may be the best thing you can do for the patient.

Most of us know this. Almost nobody would complain to the patient about how rotten she looks. Almost no one would say that looking at her makes them think of the fragility of life and their own closeness to death. In other words, we know enough not to dump into the center ring. Ring Theory merely expands that intuition and makes it more concrete: Don't just avoid dumping into the center ring, avoid dumping into any ring smaller than your own.

Remember, you can say whatever you want if you just wait until you're talking to someone in a larger ring than yours.

And don't worry. You'll get your turn in the center ring. You can count on that."
advice  communication  support  relationships  2013  susansilk  barrygoldman  illness  complaints  comfort  ringtheory  emotions  canon 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Letters of Note: Live as well as you dare
"Foston, Feb. 16th, 1820

Dear Lady Georgiana,

Nobody has suffered more from low spirits than I have done—so I feel for you.

1st. Live as well as you dare.
2nd. Go into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold, 75° or 80°.
3rd. Amusing books.
4th. Short views of human life—not further than dinner or tea.
5th. Be as busy as you can.
6th. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you.
7th. And of those acquaintances who amuse you.
8th. Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely—they are always worse for dignified concealment.
9th. Attend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you.
10th. Compare your lot with that of other people.
11th. Don't expect too much from human life—a sorry business at the best.
12th. Avoid poetry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy sentimental people, and every thing likely to excite feeling or emotion not ending in active benevolence.
13th. Do good, and endeavour to please everybody of every degree.
14th. Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue.
15th. Make the room where you commonly sit, gay and pleasant.
16th. Struggle by little and little against idleness.
17th. Don't be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice.
18th. Keep good blazing fires.
19th. Be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion.
20th. Believe me, dear Georgiana, your devoted servant, Sydney Smith"
mind  psychology  advice  living  life  1820  well-being 
july 2013 by robertogreco
“I bristle at the idea that the only thing Susan Sontag or David Foster Wallace had to offer is advice for me.” | biblioklept
"“I bristle at the idea that the only thing Susan Sontag or David Foster Wallace had to offer is advice for me.”
BY BIBLIOKLEPT

"If I had first encountered Anaïs Nin by reading a quote of hers about love or dreams or fulfilling your potential or massaging your inner child superimposed on an insufferably twee image, I would never have picked up her wonderful remarkably-transgressive books. Perhaps this shows the shortsightedness of my own prejudices but it’s still not a fair or substantial representation of her work. What I want when I encounter Anaïs Nin is Anaïs Nin, not a therapist or a motivational speaker. The same goes for Susan Sontag or Henry Miller or David Foster Wallace or any of the other incandescently brilliant writers whose writing has recently been cherry-picked and repackaged as glorified self-help tracts. The quotes are certainly theirs, being culled from diaries, journals, speeches and interviews (with the double meaning of culled being entirely apt). The sentiments may well be true. Yet it seems to me duplicitous because the quotes have been carefully selected to fit a pre-existing agenda – us. I am a ludicrously solipsistic and selfish person but even I bristle at the idea that the only thing Susan Sontag or David Foster Wallace had to offer is advice for me. At the risk of impertinence, if I chance upon someone using the currently virulent “there is actually no such thing as atheism” quote by Foster Wallace out of context to bash atheists (ignoring its implicit ‘worship God precisely because He is so ineffectual He can’t harm you’ angle) with no further interest in his writing or life, I’m going to nail a copy of Infinite Jest to their collective forehead."

—From an essay that had me enthusiastically mumbling yes the whole way, “Albert Camus and the ventriloquists” by Darran Anderson. Read it."
davidfosterwallace  susansontag  advice  anaïsnin  infinitejest  henrymiller  albertcamus  darrananderson  via:selinjessa  camus 
july 2013 by robertogreco
I’m just a working-class guy trying to take part in the conversation that all the smart people are having. What books should I read?
QUESTION (in part):

"I’m just a working-class guy trying to take part in the conversation that all the smart people are having. This brings me to my question: What books should I read? There are so many books out there worth reading, that I literally don’t know where to start."

ANSWER (in parts):

"We’re not on a ladder here. We’re on a web. Right now you’re experiencing a desire to become more aware of and sensitive to its other strands. That feeling you’re having is culture. Whatever feeds that, go with it. And never forget that well-educated people pretend to know on average at least two-thirds more books than they’ve actually read."

"Come up with a system of note-taking that you can use in your reading. It’s okay if it evolves. You can write in the margins, or keep a reading notebook (my preference) where you transcribe passages you like, with your own observations, and mark down the names of other, unfamiliar writers, books you’ve seen mentioned (Guy D. alone will give you a notebook full of these). Follow those notes to decide your next reading. That’s how you’ll create your own interior library. Now do that for the rest of your life and die knowing you’re still massively ignorant. (I wouldn’t trade it!)"

"Ignore all of this and read the next cool-looking book you see lying around. It’s not the where-you-start so much as the that-you-don’t-stop."

SEE ALSO: the books recommended

[Orginal is here: http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2012/08/31/dear-paris-review-john-jeremiah-sullivan-answers-your-questions/ ]
books  reading  literacy  2013  advice  learning  lifelonglearning  canon  wisdom  ignorance  readinglists  lists  recommendations  curiosity  booklists  notetaking  notes  observations  education  religion  libraries  truth  howilearnedtoread  readingnotebooks  notebooks  howwelearn  culturalliteracy  culture  hierarchy  hierarchies  snobbery  class  learningnetworks  oldtimelearningnetworks  webs  cv  howweread  borges  film  movies  guydavenport  huntergracchus  myántonia  willacather  isakdinesen  maximiliannovak  robertpennwarren  edithwharton  denisjohnson  alberterskine  karloveknausgaard  jamesjoyce  hughkenner  richardellmann  stephengreenblatt  harukimurakami  shakespeare  vladimirnabokov 
march 2013 by robertogreco
audience-driven storytelling
"When you write an abstract for a project, retweak it every time you tell someone about it. That way the story gets retooled at the speed of thought, matching your community and all the information you take in from them. Every time you retell the story for someone just on the edge of your social circle, you entertain another body of knowledge.  How would this story sound to scientists? to working-class folk?  Try to hear their thoughts in advance and tell them a story they'd find meaningful.  Then see how they actually respond, and take on what they know.

This advice particularly applies to graduate students at the end stage of a dissertation.  Retooling your methods won't work, but once you have your data, it can speak to many questions. Most book manuscripts that come out of dissertations suffer by responding to too shallow a literature, too narrow a public.  When you sit down to write the introduction and conclusion to a project, remember the best books you've read, the smartest people you've talked to, the most compelling conversations about changing the world."
workinginpublic  2013  writing  community  feedback  projects  prototyping  iteration  advice  retooling  joguldi  conversation  smallifying  collaboration  criticism  constructivecriticism 
march 2013 by robertogreco
How to Choose a College - NYTimes.com
"I use the word “claim” deliberately and urge skepticism with rankings."

"SO dig as deeply as you can into what the statistics that colleges showcase do and don’t assure. And treat your undergraduate education as a rare license, before you’re confined by the burdens of full-fledged adulthood and before the costs of experimentation rise, to be tugged outside your comfort zone. To be yanked, preferably."

" The world is in constant flux, life is a sequence of surprises, and I can think of no better talents to pick up in college than fearlessness, nimbleness and the ability to roll with change, adapt to newness and improvise."
2013  education  frankbruni  learning  comfortzone  challenge  diversity  colleges  universities  admissions  advice  rankings  undergraduate 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Gregory’s iPhone Contract | Janell Burley Hofmann [I don't agree with all of this list, but I do agree with the parts highlighted here.]
"Do not use…technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

Do not text, email, or say anything…you would not say in person.

…Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person—preferably me or your father.

Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially…while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

…Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear – including a bad reputation.

…There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences…

Be bigger & more powerful than FOMO…

You will mess up… You & I…are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together."
fomo  howtobehave  behavior  attention  cybersapce  learning  etiquette  internet  mobilephones  2012  technology  advice  parenting 
january 2013 by robertogreco
THE ONES
"‘Heirloomness’ is the one principle that guides everything on this list. Is this something we want forever? Is this something that our grandkids could want forever? These are hard, bordering impossible, questions. But let’s step away from external forces that drive current desires and trends and consider the objects we acquire on a generational time scale.

* The design is simple, timeless and long-lasting. We want to love it today and forever.

*It’s over-engineered to take a beating and age gracefully. We trip, fall, spill and drop things. It’s part of life. Engineer it to account for abuse, misuse and wear.

*It’s built with quality in mind, using the right tools and materials. There’s a time and place for every material. But, let’s not kid ourselves, a plastic case with a metallic finish will not perform the same as a piece that’s milled out of a solid block of metal.

*The interface is intuitive to use and works as expected. No manuals please. Who reads those anyways?…"
builttolast  longlasting  advice  quality  betterthings  lessthings  possessions  tools  cw  longterm 
december 2012 by robertogreco
The best general advice on earth « the jsomers.net blog
"These are excerpts (emphasis mine) from William James’s 1890 classic, Principles of Psychology, Chapter IV, “Habit”:

1. The great thing, then, in all education, is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy. It is to fund and capitalize our acquisitions, and live at ease upon the interest of the fund.

2. … The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work.



4. No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one’s sentiments may be, if one have not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one’s character may remain entirely unaffected for the better.

5. … be systematically ascetic or heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something for no other reason than that you would rather not do it."
wisdom  advice  asceticism  education  focus  automatism  automation  efficiency  1890  williamjames  via:maxfenton 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Field Study | Don't Be Wise. Be Relentless.
"There are no tricks of any trade. There is volume and consistency. There is kindness. That’s it. There might be a few people out there that aren’t good and maybe were never meant to get good, no matter how much work they put in (and I’m not sure that’s true). But you’re not one of those people. You found something that you are pretty good at, and that you care a ton about. That gives you options to create any kind of career you want. Really. Honestly.

Start now by chasing opportunities. Be relentless. Write. Read. Make. Mimic (but credit your sources or course). Just don’t buy into any advice that tells you to be loyal, pay dues, bide your time. Those are truthy sounding old-time wisdom that has no real substance."

[Related: http://muledesign.com/2012/09/i-want-to-start-a-company-right-out-of-school/ and http://www.quora.com/David-Cole/Posts/Startups-and-Studios ]
cv  practice  experience  mikemonteiro  payingdues  hazing  consistency  volume  doing  making  learning  mentoring  mentors  mentorship  advice  careersm  startups  design  2012  kindnes  creativity 
september 2012 by robertogreco
I want to start a company right out of school! :: Mule Design Studio
"If you are serious about a career in design, the absolute best thing you can do right now is to get yourself a job at a studio working for experienced designers who are willing to teach you the parts of the trade you didn’t get in school. A good designer understands that part of their role is to teach the next generation."

[Two responses: http://www.quora.com/David-Cole/Posts/Startups-and-Studios and http://blog.keenancummings.com/post/31480548551/dont-be-wise ]
apprenticeships  design  trade  time  learning  teaching  mentorships  mentoring  mentorship  2012  mikemonteiro  advice 
september 2012 by robertogreco
To the Teens | Justin The Librarian
"In your teens and twenties, a lot of people will look at you and your ideas and think they’re a bit bizarre and out there.  However, when you get into your late twenties/thirties something interesting happens…now that you’re older, people start to understand that you’ve had the experiences and matured enough that what you’re doing must be legit.  It’s kind of awesome.  Remember how I helped bring video games into the library for people to play and borrow?  When I talked about how libraries should be doing that when I was younger, people thought I was crazy.  When I got older and did it people thought it was a really great move.  Being 28 years old and having gone through years of video gaming helped me get to do that “crazy thing.”  So, yes, your bones may hurt a bit more (it happens) but you get to do a lot of cool shit when you’re older."
growingup  videogames  gaming  games  families  ideas  change  maturation  2012  adolescents  teens  youth  portland  maine  librarians  libraries  justinhoenke  aging  advice 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Advice on moving to Los Angeles | Derek Sivers
"1. It’s not really a city. …
2. … People talk about themselves a lot because they feel they have to, for survival, for self-promotion. …
3. Avoid the highways and take the backroads…
4. Get into nature often. …
5. Every culture values different things… In LA, it’s who you know. …
6. Not just LA but California is the most optimistic place on earth. The side-effects of this can confuse outsiders. When you say, “Will you come to my event?” or, “Want to help with this project?” - they will almost always say yes, full of enthusiasm, and actually 100% sincere, fully intending to be there, to help, whatever. They honestly and optimistically think that they will be there and do it… they reluctantly “flake”… Don’t get bitter and write them off…

As with any place, if you really want to experience it, don’t just sneer and condemn it, dive in and live it like a local…

It may feel fake, but faking it is fine. (Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “You are whatever you pretend to be.”)…"

[via: http://tumblr.austinkleon.com/post/22541615704 ]
self-promotion  culture  2012  howwelive  overcommitted  optimism  socal  california  flakiness  advice  cities  losangeles  dereksivers 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Look at yourself objectively (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought)
"Looking at ourselves objectively isn’t easy. But it’s essential if we ever want to get better. And if we don’t do it, we leave ourselves open to con artists and ethical compromisers who prey on our desire to believe we’re perfect. There’s no one solution, but here are some tricks I use to get a more accurate sense of myself:

Embrace your failings. …

Studiously avoid euphemism. …

Reverse your projections. …

Look up, not down. …

Criticize yourself. …

Find honest friends. …

Listen to the criticism. …

Take the outside view."
constructivecriticism  vulnerability  humility  honesty  oprah  mindchanging  mindchanges  change  behavior  ignazsemmelweis  learning  feedback  advice  self-improvement  wisdom  fear  failure  psychology  self-image  perspective  euphemisms  criticalfriends  collegiality  criticism  self-criticism  selfimprovement  2012  aaronswartz 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Pay Too Much | ALLENTUCKER [The writing isn't great, but content is spot on.]
"High end gear lasts a lifetime. Just like that old watch or tool that your grandfather passed down, the stuff made by real craftsmen and engineers will be working years from now."

"Overpaying means getting exactly what you need, often custom made to your specs, not some imaginary average person."

"Employees don’t ask for raises.  On the infrequent occasion that they do, they’re not really asking for a raise, their telling you about the new job some place else that they found, which comes with a raise. It’s your job to make sure they never have a reason to look for that job."

"People who constantly try to always get that great deal end up spending all their time chasing those deals and never actually get things done. I’ve seen people do this their entire lives, and it is debilitating.

When we change your mindset from getting the best deal to getting the best quality, it changes the emphasis from shopping to deciding what’s important."
time  whatmatters  srg  edg  glvo  advice  cv  value  quality  life  psychology  money 
august 2012 by robertogreco
The Dilbert Blog: Career Advice
If you want an average successful life, it doesn’t take much planning. Just stay out of trouble, go to school, and apply for jobs you might like. But if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths:

1. Become the best at one specific thing.
2. Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.

The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. Few people will ever play in the NBA or make a platinum album. I don’t recommend anyone even try.

The second strategy is fairly easy.
advice  business  career  productivity  via:lukeneff 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Leveling up: handling conflict like a boss | tending the garden
"Friends have remarked to me that I “seem so confident” or that they “wish they could be as sure about things” as I am.

When someone says that to me, I get confused for a minute. Because I question myself all the time, wonder if I am doing the right things, and often think that I am really, really screwing things up. I used to never talk about those moments with other people. I felt pretty alone.

People have told me that I’m “argumentative,” or more politely “a little intense.” I tend to engage in conflict directly, and to resolve problems with people by talking or having arguments. I can be the type of conversationalist that’s a little scary to people who aren’t used to so much directness. But here’s the secret: I wasn’t born like this."

[Advice follows]
relationships  problemsolving  johngottman  advice  marriage  contempt  conflictresolution  tcsnmy  cv  instensity  conflict  confidence  2012  selenadeckelmann 
august 2012 by robertogreco
naotumblring robertogreco {tumblr}: Me gustas cuando callas…
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

-Henri J.M. Nouwen
silence  pain  cures  powelessness  hanrinouwen  2012  caring  advice  listening  friendship 
may 2012 by robertogreco
What They Don't Tell You at Graduation - WSJ.com
"Research tells us that one of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings…

…if you are going to do anything worthwhile, you will face periods of grinding self-doubt & failure. Be prepared to work through them…

Don't make the world worse…I'm supposed to tell you to aspire to great things. But I'm going to lower the bar here: Just don't use your prodigious talents to mess things up. Too many smart people are doing that already…if you really want to cause social mayhem, it helps to have an Ivy League degree.…

Help stop the Little League arms race. Kids' sports are becoming ridiculously structured & competitive. What happened to playing baseball because it's fun? We are systematically creating races out of things that ought to be a journey…

Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives."
2012  obituaries  happiness  goodenough  advice  well-being  living  charleswheelan  racetonowhere  wisdom  graduation  life  commencementspeeches 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Give it five minutes - (37signals)
"And what did I do? I pushed back at him about the talk he gave. While he was making his points on stage, I was taking an inventory of the things I didn’t agree with. And when presented with an opportunity to speak with him, I quickly pushed back at some of his ideas. I must have seemed like such an asshole.

His response changed my life. It was a simple thing. He said “Man, give it five minutes.” I asked him what he meant by that? He said, it’s fine to disagree, it’s fine to push back, it’s great to have strong opinions and beliefs, but give my ideas some time to set in before you’re sure you want to argue against them. “Five minutes” represented “think”, not react. He was totally right. I came into the discussion looking to prove something, not learn something.

This was a big moment for me."
creativity  collaboration  psychology  ideas  speed  thought  slow  time  thinking  2012  saulwurman  jasonfried  conversation  listening  learning  advice 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Alex Payne — On Business Madness
"We mistake dumb luck for a machine that produces success. We rely on induction when we should rely on deduction, and then, having realized our mistake, we lean on “data-driven decisions” in lieu of common sense. We chase patterns that aren’t there and miss eager markets right in front of us. All this while projecting the confidence, real or manufactured, that’s necessary to play the game.

This madness takes many forms…"

"How can we be like the successful ones and not like we are: tired, confused, scared, not-rich? Just tell us the secret. There is a secret, right? There must be. They make it look so easy.

I am not a business person. I don’t know what makes a good business. It seems like it helps to have a good idea, great people, the willingness to work hard, and an absolute shit-ton of luck. Being certain about much beyond that seems, well, a bit crazy to me."
nobodyknowswhatthey'redoing  patterns  patternrecognition  deducation  induction  2012  successworship  entrepreneurship  processcults  taylorism  processcult  process  failure  madness  startup  advice  luck  startups  success  business  alexpayne 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Some Advice for Young People | The Awl
"2. Yes, you should not worry too much about the consequences and you should definitely quit your job that you hate and it'll probably all work out great. Job quitters are the happiest people around…

The soulless careerists, though: they get where they are because social training doesn't allow us to stop them. They depend upon our unwillingness to say "bad things" about people. But if you don't, who will?

It is incumbent upon you to put a fucking boot in the face of the soulless careerist.

When people ask you about them, tell the truth. Practice saying "They're useless and horrible." Practice saying "They're soulless careerists who don't care about anything or believe in anything and they're just using us all to get ahead at any cost." Practice telling the truth. They can't stand the exposure in the light of day. They can't keep stepping on people if their previous steppings-on are known. You'll all be happier in the long run."
advice  people  workpolitics  careerism  2012  careerists  choiresicha 
february 2012 by robertogreco
AU 2011: Otherlab's Saul Griffith, Part 1 - Pneubotics Yields Soft Robots on Vimeo
"At Autodesk University 2011, Saul Griffith, founder of Otherlab, discusses his pioneering work in Pneubotics. Otherlab is working on soft, fabric-based robots that are actuated by compressed air."

"At Autodesk University 2011, Saul Griffith, founder of Otherlab, talks about inventing and the type of follow-up required to see that invention go out into the world." [ http://vimeo.com/33131553 ]

"Part 3 of our video chat with Saul Griffith, co-founder of Otherlab, at Autodesk University 2011. Griffith answers questions about Theory vs. Making Stuff in education, advice for design students, and how to enable yourself to make truly unique things." [ http://vimeo.com/33131913 ]

[Later: "Solve for X: Saul Griffith on inflatable robots" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqP3IpEqkk4# ]
design  tools  toolmaking  saulgriffith  education  projectbasedlearning  2011  core77  glvo  making  doing  learning  learningbydoing  advice  robots  invention  failure  howwework  howwelearn  pneubotics  otherlab  pbl 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Thrilling and Amazing! 15 Tips for an Extraordinary Vacation.
[I pretty much agree with all of this advice, especially this one that Jason Kottke pointed out.]

"13. Buy your own fruit. It sounds simple. It is simple. Just do it. You’ll love it. And I don’t mean, if there happens to be a fruit stand outside your hotel door you should buy some, because you need to have 9 servings a day.  What I mean is, find fruit and buy it. Make it a daily task that you’re going to track down a fruit stand, a farmers’ market (they’re not just in San Francisco) and get some good fresh fruit. The entire process will expose you to elements of daily life you would have otherwise ignored. Trust me: You’ll have memories from your trips to buy fresh fruit."

[That is one of my family's strictest rules of travel. Another one of our rules: Visit a local library.]

[via: http://kottke.org/11/11/golden-rules-to-live-by-while-travelling-the-world ]
travel  fruit  glvo  advice  howto  tips  cv  libraries 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Figure Out Who’s On Your Team « John’s Blog
"One of the best pieces of advice I ever got, back when I was 23 and newly out of school, is this: look around and figure out who you want to be on your team. Figure out the people around you that you want to work with for the rest of your life. Figure out the people who are smart & awesome, who share your values, who get things done — and maybe most important, who you like to be with and who you want to help win. And treat them right, always. Look for ways to help, to work together, to learn. Because in 20 years you’ll all be in amazing places doing amazing things.

That’s turned out to be true for me. Knowing who’s on your team — or as Reid likes to say, who’s in your “tribe” — has been critically important for me, even though I don’t see them all as much as I’d like."

[via: http://sinker.tumblr.com/post/10358919069/via-john-lilly-one-of-the-best-pieces-of-advice ]
advice  teams  aspirationalnetworks  aspirationalfriends  tribes  making  doing  learning  mindset  surroundings  surroundyourselfwithgoodpeople  lcproject  networks  work  howwework  howwelearn  johnlilly  2011 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Mercurial Mishmash: Frederick Buechner on writing
"…For my money anyway, the only books worth reading are books written in blood…<br />
<br />
Write about what you really care about is what he is saying. Write about what truly matters to you—not just things to catch the eye of the world but things to touch the quick of the world the way they have touched you to the quick, which is why you are writing about them. Write not just with wit and eloquence and style and relevance but with passion. Then the things that your books make happen will be things worth happening—things that make people who read them a little more passionate themselves for their pains, by which I mean a little more alive, a little wiser, a little more beautiful, a little more open and understanding, in short a little more human. I believe that those are the best things that books can make happen to people, and we could all make a list of the particular books that have made them happen to us.”<br />
<br />
— Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life
frederickbuechner  writing  voice  personality  self  human  passion  advice 
august 2011 by robertogreco
A VC: Subconscious Information Processing
"My dad made me stay up very late that night until I had completed it. And he stayed up with me. He made sure I understood two things that evening. The first one is obvious. When assigned something, you do it and you do it on time.

But the second thing he explained to me was more subtle and way more powerful. He explained that I should start working on a project as soon as it was assigned. An hour or so would do fine, he told me. He told me to come back to the project every day for at least a little bit and make progress on it slowly over time. I asked him why that was better than cramming at the very end (as I was doing during the conversation).

He explained that once your brain starts working on a problem, it doesn't stop. If you get your mind wrapped around a problem with a fair bit of time left to solve it, the brain will solve the problem subconsciously over time and one day you'll sit down to do some more work on it and the answer will be right in front of you."
fredwilson  projectbasedlearning  creativity  business  information  productivity  time  procrastination  subconscious  thinking  attention  subconsciousinformationprocessing  2011  persistence  howwework  howwelearn  timeliness  parenting  tcsnmy  advice  wisdom  pbl 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Buster Benson
"A few rules that I try to live by:

1. You must not dilly-dally. 2. You must be your word. 3. You must have good intentions. 4. You must admit to being the maker of meaning. 5. You must not feel sorry for yourself. 6. You must have a vision that you are striving for. 7. You must tie creativity and experimentation with survival. 8. You must be the change you want to see. 9. You must rally others with your vision. 10. You must stake your reputation on your better self. 11. You must be comfortable with the consequences of being who you are. 12. You must share. 13. You must make your own advice and take it. 14. You must manage your stress, health, and clarity. 15. You must study your mistakes. 16. You must retry things you don't like every once in a while. 17. You must make time to enjoy things."
busterbenson  howto  living  life  presence  advice  meaning  makingmeaning  sensemaking  meaningmaking  change  vision  values  cv  well-being  stress  health  clarity  self 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Zadie Smith's rules for writers | Books | guardian.co.uk
"1 When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

2 When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

3 Don't romanticise your "vocation". You can either write good sentences or you can't. There is no "writer's lifestyle". All that matters is what you leave on the page.

4 Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can't do aren't worth doing. Don't mask self-doubt with contempt.

5 Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

6 Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won't make your writing any better than it is.

7 Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.

8 Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

9 Don't confuse honours with achievement…"

[See also http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/10-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-two and http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one and (adding this much later) http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/19/zadie-smith-10-rules-of-writing/ ]
zadiesmith  writing  advice  writers  2010  honors  achievement  reading  howwework 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Designer’s Poison
"1. lack of definition for design…ironic that group of communicators can’t summon definition for their practice…2. public’s general understanding of design as noun…many clients believe value of designer is things that they make…designer, meanwhile, believes that core of their value comes from process, strategy…3. Not considering design a liberal art, & entrenching ourselves in opinion that this is craft for few, rather than skill for many…4. miseducation of a designer…Schools would be wise to focus activity around objectives rather than tasks…5. Asking the wrong questions.…How, the other on Why…6. Designers wanting a seat at table, but frequently not inviting clients…7. The self-serving nature of design…8. Villainizing criticism…9. Undervaluing philosophy…The core question of Aristotilian philosophy and ethics is “What is the good life?” How is such a desirous question not brought up more frequently…10. Our cognitive bias towards uniqueness of our challenges."
frankchimero  cv  advice  design  communication  why  how  craft  tasks  objectives  business  clients  criticism  philosophy  happiness  well-being  meaning  values  clarity  ethics  bias  cognitivebias  definitions  2011  thisishuge  practice  holisticapproach  authority  dicussion  aiga  work  glvo  twitter 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Practical Tips for Surviving Academic Life (Part One: The Early Years) - Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"2. Write down every idea you have, even if you suspect it might never be useful. Most won’t be, but some? Some will be more valuable than you might dream.

3. Contact people whose work you admire. Do this not to impress them, but instead to let them know them why you find their work important. Why not tell someone who you’re reading at the moment—someone whose work engages you on a serious level—that you’re enjoying (or at least provoked by) their research and perspective?…

4. Keep in touch with smart people and funny people. You’ll need them in your life no matter what they—or you—end up doing. Smart and funny people make even the worst day better. They are the best reward for survival.

5. Keep good notes. Keep track of the titles, authors, and dates of those books, articles, movies (or “films” if you’re that sort), songs, poems, art pieces, reviews—of anything that engages you—because otherwise you’ll spend ridiculous amounts of time trying to track them down."
learning  networkedlearning  networking  notetaking  cv  academia  via:lukeneff  admiration  remembering  memory  recordkeeping  people  howto  advice  work  sharing  etiquette 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Seven Habits of Highly Connected People ~ Stephen's Web
1. Be Reactive: …some time listening and getting the lay of the land. Then, your forays into creating content should be as reactions to other people's points of view…It's about connecting…

2. Go With The Flow:  When connecting online, it is more important to find the places to which you can add value rather than pursue a particular goal/objective…

3. Connection Comes First:  If you don't have enough time for reading email, writing blog posts, or posting to discussion lists, ask yourself what other activities you are doing that are cutting in to your time…

4. Share: The way to function in a connected world is to share without thinking about what you will get in return…

5. RTFM: "Read The Fine Manual"…means… people should make the effort to learn for themselves before seeking instruction from others…

6. Cooperate: …online communications are much more voluntary than offline communications…successful online connectors recognize this.…know the protocols…

7. Be Yourself…"

[via: http://steelemaley.posterous.com/greco ]
collaboration  socialnetworking  connectivism  education  stephendownes  ego  howto  advice  connectivity  online  internet  etiquette  netiquette  learning  2008  flow  cooperation  sharing  rtfm  self  identity 
february 2011 by robertogreco
5 Keys to the Art of Listening ["Because the world has a shortage of listeners."]
"1. Listen actively. Listening does not mean just not talking. Look in the person’s eyes, watch their mouth. Lean forward.

2. Don’t think about talking. When many people are listening, you can actually see them thinking…Instead of thinking about what you could say, think about what the other person is saying.

3. Ask questions. When the other person has finished what they have to say, instead of replying, ask a question…

4. Don’t fake it. If you’re really not interested in what someone is telling you, don’t pretend you are. I have a hard time listening to a lot of people, particularly braggarts, bores, martyrs & hateful people. I’ll try asking a few questions to get them into a different subject, but most often I usually end up walking away…

5. Ask better questions. To truly engage someone in a conversation, there is nothing more important than your choice in questions. I am fascinated with the why’s…Take them deeper into their own thoughts and feelings…"
communication  listening  teaching  learning  wisdom  life  advice 
january 2011 by robertogreco
ball nogues interview
"mark allen…'machine project'. they work in a kind of nexus, a community that is bound by mutual interests. this could be an interest in cooking, or gardening, mathematics, ad so on. they do workshops on everything, like computational crochet to baking with a light bulb… it's an approach to art & life…

advice to the young?

…it's very important to not be constrained by categorization…categories that define people in a particular way can kill a lot of good, creative

inspiration by trying to fit into a specific group…can be very limiting for people. I would always encourage everyone to be critical of categorical thinking…another thing that's going on is people are starting to disassociate their hands from their brain…there is no sense of meaning, materiality, or gravity in what they make…it's always important to balance those things out - but not entirely.

you should be able to dream as well."
ball-nogues  benjaminball  gastonnogues  loasangeles  architecture  design  interdisciplinary  craft  art  glvo  advice  childhood  markallen  machineproject  interviews  categorization  meaning  materiality  making  doing  make  life  openstudio  lcproject  learning 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Among your lessons learned as a young entrepreneur, which are the greatest? - Quora
"It's usually better to have a cofounder than go it alone.<br />
<br />
Being an entrepreneur is not about being in love with an idea, it's about being in love w/ running a company.<br />
<br />
Having a highly homogeneous (background, education, values, preferences, etc) very early team is better than not — cuts down on time-wasting arguments.<br />
<br />
You can have successful teams where people hate but deeply respect each other; the opposite (love but not respect among team members) is a recipe for disaster.<br />
<br />
If there is any doubt about hiring a candidate for your first 5-6 positions, there is no doubt — do not.<br />
<br />
You cannot hire a cofounder.<br />
<br />
All compensation information eventually becomes public, & usually eventually—very quickly.<br />
<br />
In many cases "working from home" is not really working.<br />
<br />
Leadership by example is the most effective type. If you expect the troops to crank through nights & weekends, better be there yourself…"
lcproject  via:robinsloan  management  leadership  business  startup  advice  administration  maxlevchin 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Getting Creative Things Done: How To Fit Hard Thinking Into a Busy Schedule :: Tips :: The 99 Percent
"At first glance, the GCTD system seems obvious. “Block out time on my calendar for big projects,” you might think. “I've tried that.”

Creative work, however, is a subtle affair. If your mind is not in the exact right state, it’s difficult to produce high-quality results. Because of this, details matter. This is what’s important about GCTD, not the general idea of blocking out time, but the carefully-calibrated details that accompany it: the blocks are treated like real appointments and are dedicated to only one (or, at most, two) projects in a week; absolutely zero interruptions are allowed during the blocks; and the focus is on process, not goals.

These little things add up to a system that consistently produces the types of ambitious results that, as Graham puts it, are “at the limits of your capacity.” The type of results that can make you a star."
creativity  time  scheduling  gtd  gctd  arts  business  advice  work  focus  goals 
december 2010 by robertogreco
My Father’s Teachings Part 1 | The Do Village
"He was difficult to please but always selfless. An old fashioned man whose family responsibilities subsumed all else…taught me that families should break bread & eat together as often as possible…taught me to cook well. To respect food, respect producers & labourers that create it, & be parsimonious with leftovers & waste…taught me that when a task is to be taken on…to plan, prepare, take time to accomplish it well, & do it w/ conviction…taught me how to upcycle…I saw him consume little but consume well. He taught me to consume nothing that that you cannot afford to pay for in cash…to avoid borrowing…taught me to be loyal to family. Family comes first, however difficult that can be at times. Period…his teachings were not overt. He did his stuff, & I watched. He used to say to me when I phoned to discuss cooking something I’d eaten with him, and I was in need of quantities and timings – why do you not watch learn. Learn by watching doing not studying"
parenting  advice  waste  upcycling  borrowing  cv  responsiblity  families  food  doing  do  dolectures  production  planning  preparation  consumption  well-being  learning  unschooling  deschooling 
november 2010 by robertogreco
What We Can Do - New Teachers - Practical Theory
"Don't just take any job. Work in places that you agree with. And ask a ton of questions when you interview. Include some of these:

* What is the pedagogy of this school?
* How do you nurture, support and develop that pedagogy?
* (To a principal) - What is your theory of action? How does innovation happen here?
* (To a teacher) - How does what you do in your classroom relate to the whole of learning in the school?
* What is the common language of teaching and learning here?
* How do you create systems and structures to support and enhance that language?
* How do teachers learn and grow here here?
* What is the role of the student here? (And don't settle for "To learn.")

And only work in the places where the answers are in line with what you believe. And never work in the places that cannot answer those questions."
chrislehmann  education  teaching  advice  values  educationalphilosophy  cv  learning  lcproject  pedagogy  change  reform  schools  interviews  hiring  toshare  topost 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Don’t listen to Le Corbusier—or Jakob Nielsen : Cheerful Sofware Manifesto
"Cheerful software, above all, honors the truth about humanity:

Humans are not rational beings.

A human is a walking sack of squishy meat and liquids, awash in chemicals.

We laugh. We cry. Sometimes we laugh while crying. We love, and hate, and dream about tomorrow while paying no attention to today. We do ridiculous things in pursuit of love or happiness or self-esteem. We sabotage ourselves. We see faces in inanimate objects, clouds, rock formations, and unevenly toasted bread. Then we sell them on eBay.

We pray to giant humans up in the sky. We think that a fly could be our grandmother. We work for free because we’re bored. We create art, dance, and sing even if we are starving. We give to others when we have little, or we give none when we have a lot, even if we gain no clear survival benefit either way."

[via: http://twitter.com/jeeves/status/6585252130594816 ]
architecture  software  lecorbusier  interactiondesign  jakobnielsen  emotion  love  usability  ui  soul  psychology  philosophy  webdesign  ux  manifesto  interaction  advice  design  manifestos  webdev 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Annie Dillard and the Writing Life by Alexander Chee - The Morning News
"If I’ve done my job…you won’t be happy w/ anything you write for the next 10 years…not because you won’t be writing well, but because I’ve raised your standards for yourself. Don’t compare yourselves to each other. Compare yourself to Colette, Henry James, or Edith Wharton. Compare yourselves to classics. Shoot there.

She paused here…another of her fugue states. & then she smiled. We all knew she was right.

Go up to the place in the bookstore where your books will go, she said. Walk right up & find your place on the shelf. Put your finger there, & then go every time.

In class, the idea seemed ridiculous. But at some point after the class ended, I did it. I walked up to the shelf. Chabon, Cheever. I put my finger between them & made a space. Soon, I did it every time I went to a bookstore.

Years later, I tell my own students to do it. As Thoreau, someone she admires very much, once wrote, “In the long run, we only ever hit what we aim at.” She was pointing us there."
via:lukeneff  anniedillard  creativity  writing  writers  teaching  education  advice  reading  learning  craft  alexanderchee  classideas  expectations  comparison 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Academic Evolution: Dear Students: Don't Let College Unplug Your Future ["Your college experience is likely to set back your education, your career, and your creative potential…]
"The credentialing system of college will ultimately prove less important than whether you use your college years to generate a body of visible and durable online work, openly accessible to the world, shouting who you are louder than any "graduated with honors" certification on a transcript one must pay to see…You must consciously and conscientiously build your online presence…the biggest danger of the Internet in your generation is that people are keeping themselves from taking advantage of it…So much oversight and review has been worked into the hierarchy and politics of higher education that it has made itself incapable of valuing or accommodating the very media and methods that could accelerate your learning…Feel the energy of living knowledge sustained by the new media. Don't sit in the voluntary detention of self-censorship, kept from more involved participation online by worries over whether you will get a good grade in college."
education  highereducation  highered  advice  identity  socialmedia  social  learning  digitalfootprint  newmedia  pedagogy  teaching  media  academia  unstructured  technology  internet  web  online  unschooling  deschooling  institutionalinertia  inertia 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Ben Pieratt's Blog In Praise of Quitting Your Job
"for some people, work is personal…in the same way that singing or playing the piano or painting is personal.

As a creative person, you’ve been given ability to build things from nothing by way of hard work over long periods of time. Creation is a deeply personal & rewarding activity, which means your Work should also be deeply personal & rewarding. If it’s not, then something is amiss.

Creation is entirely dependent on ownership.

Ownership not as a %age of equity, but as a measure of your ability to change things for the better. To build & grow & fail & learn. This is no small thing. Creativity is the manifestation of lateral thinking, & w/out tangible results, it becomes stunted. We have to see fruits of our labors, good or bad, or there’s no motivation to proceed, nothing to learn from to inform next decision. States of approval & decisions-by-committee & constant compromises are third-party interruptions of an internal dialog that needs to come to its own conclusions."

[via: http://kottke.org/10/10/for-some-people-work-is-personal ]
employment  entrepreneurship  freelancing  creativity  psychology  cv  quitting  yearoff  depression  advice  business  lifehacks  jobs  life  frustration  ownership  meaning  glvo  creation  work  compromise  meetings  interruptions  decisionmaking 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Contributors - Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend - NYTimes.com
"Somewhere in your childhood is a gaping hole. Fill this hole…best things I did in college all involved explorations"

"Remember to take some time away from campus"

"When you leave your room for class, leave laptop behind. In a lecture, you’ll only waste your time & parents’ money, disrespect professor & annoy whomever is trying to pay attention…by spending the hour on Facebook.

You don’t need a computer to take notes—good note-taking is not transcribing. All that clack, clack, clacking…you’re a student, not a court reporter. And in seminar or discussion sections, get used to being around a table with a dozen other humans, a few books & your ideas. After all, you have the rest of your life to hide behind a screen during meetings."

"when my drawing teacher invited several of us students to dinner at her house, I was still worried that I was out of my league. But in this casual setting, everyone opened up, & I was able to talk about art in the most relaxed & personal way."
education  learning  teaching  advice  wisdom  off-campus  exploration  colleges  universities  notetaking  self  identity  attention  technology  distraction  seminars  tcsnmy  lcproject  casual  intimacy  comfort  safety  reality 
september 2010 by robertogreco
12 Things Really Educated People Know
"1. Establish an individual set of values but recognize those of the surrounding community and of the various cultures of the world.

2. Explore their own ancestry, culture, and place.

3. Are comfortable being alone, yet understand dynamics between people and form healthy relationships.

4. Accept mortality, knowing that every choice affects the generations to come.

5. Create new things and find new experiences.

6. Think for themselves; observe, analyze, and discover truth without relying on the opinions of others.

7. Favor love, curiosity, reverence, and empathy rather than material wealth.

8. Choose a vocation that contributes to the common good.

9. Enjoy a variety of new places and experiences but identify and cherish a place to call home.

10. Express their own voice with confidence.

11. Add value to every encounter and every group of which they are a part.

12. Always ask: “Who am I? Where are my limits? What are my possibilities?”"
johntaylorgatto  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  community  self  identity  purpose  glvo  values  culture  personhood  relationships  mortality  creativity  make  making  experience  wisdom  criticalthinking  truth  curiosity  love  reverance  empathy  wealth  well-being  vocation  selflessness  homes  home  confidence  voice  participation  teaching  principles  philosophy  knowledge  life  advice 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Everything You Need to Know About a Digital Sabbatical
"What is a digital sabbatical? Dedicating one day a week or even a whole month away from the internet, email, twitter, and other online activities.

Taking an extended sabbatical is appealing to me. It would be one way to solely focus on writing my next ebook and to recharge my creative juices. Until I can take an extended break from the web, I’m planning on unplugging every weekend."
advice  digitalsabbatical  timeouts  internet  twiter  email  infooverload  analog  slow 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero — Anonymous asked: What advice would you give to a graphic design student? [This is not just for graphic design students.]
"Look people in the eyes when you are talking or listening to them. The best teachers are the ones who treat their classrooms like a workplace, & the worst are ones who treat their classroom like a classroom as we’ve come to expect it… Libraries are a good place. The books are free there, & it smells great… beat them by being more thoughtful. Thoughtfulness is free & burns on time & empathy… The best communicators are gift-givers… Don’t become dependent on having other people pull it out of you while you’re in school. If you do, you’re hosed once you graduate. Keep two books on your nightstand at all times: one fiction, one non-fiction… Buy lightly used. Patina is a pretty word & beautiful concept… Learn to write, & not school-style writing… Most important things happen at a table. Food, friends, discussion, ideas, work, peace talks & war plans. It is okay to romanticize things a little bit every now & then: it gives you hope… Everyone is just making it up as they go along."

[Book list: http://blog.frankchimero.com/post/993864785/you-put-together-the-remarkable-text-playlist-along ]
advice  design  education  frankchimero  empathy  thoughtfulness  patina  beausage  teaching  learning  interestingness  libraries  books  work  life  careers  glvo  tcsnmy  writing  craft  whatmatters  meaning  mindfulness  hope  truth  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  gifts  self-directed  self-education  relationships  discipline  graphics  graphicdesign  tools  wisdom  toshare  topost 
august 2010 by robertogreco
hrrrthrrr [First quote from this page, reminds me of the following three.]
[via Sebastian who also sends this along: http://aliedwards.com/2009/05/working-through-creative-fear.html ]

"Eventually I discovered for myself the utterly simple prescription for creativity: Be intensely yourself. Don’t try to be outstanding; don’t try to be a success; don’t try to do pictures for others to look at - just please yourself." –Ralph Steiner

"If only everyone could learn to look more like themselves." —Jonathan Harris http://number27.org/today.php?d=20091026

"I asked him what was the secret to being a great teacher, and he said, “Well, you’ve gotta bring yourself to class every day. Your whole self. Your problems, your opinions, your stories—all of it. When you’re a full person, your students see you as an equal, and they trust you like they trust each other." —Jonathan Harris quoting his fourth grade teacher Ronald Bazarini http://number27.org/wb-baz.html

"A genius is the one most like himself." —Thelonious Monk
http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/75776357/
ralphsteiner  identity  authenticity  creativity  success  advice  jonathanharris  theloniousmonk  ronaldbazarini  via:cervus 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Jonathan Harris . World Building in a Crazy World
"This series of vignettes is based on a talk I gave on October 27, 2009, at UCLA, as part of the Mobile Media Lecture Series, organized by Casey Reas. It’s mostly about the current state of the digital world (as I see it), and some thoughts about what that world's future could be." [But it's not just about world building, it applies to all creative acts.]
jonathanharris  creativity  philosophy  culture  design  digital  learning  media  society  internet  art  writing  advice  ideas  building  glvo 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Lazy Hammer [Too much to quote here. Read the whole thing. Don't miss Franks memory from childhood that opens and closes the essay.]
"maybe we should be risky. Many designers waste an opportunity to make new, meaningful things by instead letting someone else pretend for them and making work that is overly referential. Instead of that, designers can use their skills to collaborate with others to create new things. We can pick up that dinosaur toy and play with it a bit instead of the He-Man toy.

Rather than spin our wheels because we’re left without content, we should partner with others who have a message but not the savvy to properly communicate it. It’s combustion through collaboration…

Designers are excellent producers. We do well to steer and hone other people’s creative impulses, we can fine-polish ideas, and craft successful ways to communicate and tell stories. So, I’d say the next time you’ve got the impulse to make something but don’t have a message or story of your own, consider collaboration."
interestingness  content  frankchimero  collaboration  creativity  storytelling  childhood  toys  play  memory  meaning  imagination  tcsnmy  classideas  writing  clients  personalwork  craft  meta-content  fanart  culture  risk  risktaking  advice  design  message  thewhy  dangermouse  grayalbum  music  brianburton  thinking  source  sourcematerial  invention  crosspollination  crossmedia  sharing  anthropology  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  graphics  communication 
august 2010 by robertogreco
The Millions : On Repetition [via: http://www.matthewculnane.co.uk/post/898073563/a-contradictory-set-of-truths-about-books-and]
"A contradictory set of truths about books and publishing in the abstract: don’t repeat yourself, and don’t write books that are too different from one another. Other writers will pillory you for the first, and publishers will be more than happy to pigeonhole you from the moment you achieve anything like success. Blow out your advance? Great. Now write the same exact book again."<br />
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"Art should never be the result of habit, it should strive eternally for the fresh and the new even when we work in forms we did not invent. Craft, we should vigilantly remind ourselves, means to make something absolutely new where before there was nothing at all."
writing  repetition  books  creativity  advice  craft  art  invention 
august 2010 by robertogreco
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