May you live in interesting times, often referred to as the Chinese curse, is reputed to be the English translation of an ancient Chinese proverb and curse, although it may have originated among the English themselves (or Americans). It is reported that it was the first of three curses of increasing severity, the other two being:
May you come to the attention of those in authority (sometimes rendered May the government be aware of you). This is sometimes quoted as May you come to the attention of powerful people. (Alternately important people.)
May you find what you are looking for. This is sometimes quoted as May your wishes be granted.
Never tell me the odds.
—Han Solo, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. It is the one thing that cannot be learned from others; it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an eye for resemblance.
Aristotle, De Poetica
via Frank Chimero
Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we’re wrong about that? “Wrongologist” Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.
How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people — first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving…
- Albert Einstein, The World As I See It
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
- Albert Einstein
The best solution to the multiple woes of Windows is starting over. Completely. Now.
Wow, thanks Captain Obvious.
Seth Godin: Bravery and Wall-e
Pixar, recently purchased by Disney, could crank out multi-billion dollar confections. They know all the moves, they have the chops to create merchandising powerhouses. And with just one movie a year, they certainly must have been under huge pressure to do just that.
And yet, instead, they make a great movie. A movie for the ages. A film, not 90 minutes of commerce.
Davenetics* : Do What You’re Great At
Not just good advice for Google. Good advice for everyone.
So ok, everyone is posting Carlin clips this week. Most are posting “The 7 words you can’t say on television”.
Fine. Good for you, it’s a classic. (Let it be noted I posted that clip on March 3rd)
I’d be curious to find out how many of these people were actually familiar with that skit prior to this week.
I discovered George Carlin in the mid 90’s. The first special I saw was Jammin’ in New York (1992) back in 1993. I still think it’s one of his best. Some of the jokes were used on previous stand-up specials prior to ‘Jammin’ (such as Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics).
Some people will say that’s weak, but the truth is, comedy, real comedy, is an art and it takes practice. Jammin’ in New York represents a perfect comedic rhythm, jumping back and forth from comedy to philosophy to observations the way only George could do. The jokes he tells for the second time (or third) are polished and complete.
Jammin’ in New York is a perfect mix of biting social commentary and comedy – a time before George dove too far into pessimism (realism? Just compare it to something like Toledo Window Box -which I have on vinyl from my parents). Once his wife died in 1998, his stand-up acts took a serious turn, still brilliant but bitter – not that I wouldn’t be bitter too.
I always considered Carlin my favorite philosopher, not favorite comedian.
So with that said, one of my favorite bits is on airline announcements:
Resign. It’s the best way to show people you mean business.
If people constantly reject your ideas or what you have to offer, resign.
You can’t keep fighting and losing, that makes you the problem.
If you are good and right for the job, your resignation will not be accepted.
You’ll be re-signed, on your terms.
If they accept your resignation, you were in the wrong job and it is better for you to move on.
It takes courage, but it is the right move.
- from Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite by Paul Arden
I’m an ideas guy, I think ideas can do anything. Anything, that is – if they’re executed. This company was named after an idea. Ideas inspire people. Ideas kick people in the ass. Below is a small list of things that have inspired me. Some are things you watch, some you read, and some you can listen to. They’re not in any particular order.