Eight years since Steve died. I keep looking for meaning, but all I’ve found so far is that in order to be at peace with the present, we must be at peace with the past, because the present is a product of the past. Accept. Accept. Accept. Learn to love the present moment. What happened, happened. It’s difficult to understand the big picture when our lives are mere brush strokes on the canvas of reality. Trusting that it all fits together to form something beautiful is the purest form of faith. Anything else is a dangerous distraction. No contracts with God, no expectations of reward, just trust.
“Animation, masks,” the 12-minute 29-second film that is the entirety of Jordan Wolfson’s New York gallery debut, has the hallmarks of a classic. It rejuvenates appropriation art through the incisive use of digital animation, achieving an intensity that rivets the ear and the eye while perturbing the mind.
Its only character is a jarringly stereotypical Shylockian Jew, with hooked nose, yarmulke, frizzed hair and beard and misshapen teeth, who is rendered in sleek high-definition animation (but only from the waist up). Sometimes benign, sometimes demonic, this gnomic cross between a Hasidic Woody Allen and a Semitic Yosemite Sam lip-syncs the sexy, whispered dialogue of a pair of young lovers that evokes the indie-film subcategory known as mumblecore, while executing repeated rap-music hand gestures.
Interesting dudes with interesting goals running a cool space with interesting artists.
1) The presentation layer aka the experience of the website/app
2) The audience/community
3) What the community chooses to share in that particular venue
The links above are my profiles on each respective website. I’m the same person of course, but its expressed differently in each venue based on the triangulation of the three factors above. Furthermore, my willingness to participate depends on the attractiveness of the three when I first show up. The earlier you show up, the more malleable everything is. If you show up early, you get to see the community norms being formed which is fun.
“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter, an art which might be for every mental worker, be he businessman or writer, like an appeasing influence, like a mental soother, something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue.”—Henri Matisse. Talkin bout his bougie intentions as an artist.
I just realized that. Here’s the traffic from Google Analytics.
Do you want to know that spike in traffic was? This post of Henri Matisse’s Le Bateau…no commentary, just the image. A weird traffic gift from the Google algorithm gods.
The way I’ve always approached the blog is to discipline myself enough to make it accessible/interesting enough so that hopefully 10 people read it, then optimize for creating the truest representation of what I’m thinking. We live in an attention based economy where the ability to push insightful, compelling content on things related to your job is key to success — full stop — and this blog is a vacation from that. Here are five mandates of good business writing that I don’t pay attention to on this blog:
1) It’s not about you
Good business writing is a spotless, gleaming tool. It can’t be gooped up with your human desire to be known as your true self…not just because its ineffective but also because its inappropriate. Your professional self should be a public self, an approximation of your real self which functions as a device to accomplish some goal. (I’m talking about the written word here, not how you carry yourself in person.) Some people’s whole professional shtick is “keeping it real" which is really hard to pull off.
I find people that behave the same in professional and personal contexts to be boring and one dimensional….or, on the flipside, totally batshit crazy but those are a rare, enjoyable breed.
2) Be clear
Readers should be forced to agree or disagree but not be forced to interpret what you are saying.
The prose should resonate with what readers already know, but readers shouldn’t be able to imbue their own meaning into the words.
3) Generally avoid allusions
Allusions multiply potential meanings and at the same time diminish the number of people who can access any of them. Good business writing should not be interdependent, it should be totally self-contained. Allusions also create a good smokescreen for unresolved cognitive disconnects that a good writing process should eliminate.
I’m talking clean takeaways, baby, always and everywhere.
5) The ideas should challenge, the prose should not
The ultimate test of good business writing is the ability to get the idea across to someone who could not care less. Seth Godin is the master of this IMHO, in that if you read the first sentence of one of his posts its almost impossible not to read the whole thing.