Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The pleasures of merely circulating

From The pleasures of merely circulating:

Now, when I hit upon an article that starts me thinking, I excerpt a sentence of it on Twitter and start firing off aphoristic tweets. I don’t worry about ordering my thoughts into a sequential argument, or revising my first impressions much. I don’t try to build toward a conclusion; rather I try to draw conclusions that seem to require no build-up, no particular justification to be superficially plausible. And then, more often than not, I will monitor what sort of reaction these statements get to assess their accuracy, their resonance. At best, my process of deliberation and further reading on the subject  gets replaced by immediate Twitter conversations with other people. At worst, tweeting pre-empts my doing any further thinking, since I am satisfied with merely charting the response.

Yep. Yep. Yep.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Monday, 28 October 2013

Why Are Americans so Divided? Why Are We so Angry?

Why Are Americans so Divided? Why Are We so Angry?

It’s ironic that less than two decades ago we thought that the Internet would bring us closer together and turn our planet into a kind of small village.  Without a doubt, digital technologies have empowered citizens  and democracies.  But, as we’ve been learning, these empowered citizens express lots of different opinions, and while their diverse opinions contribute to civic engagement, the ensuing dialogues are often anything but civil.  The Internet is now amplifying voices who previously struggled to be heard, and helping like-minded people to find each other and self-organize as activist communities who share a common interest or passion.  Our technology-mediated, free-for-all conversations are just as likely to polarize the discussions as to bring us together.
We should not be surprised.  

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


2 things that struck me looking through the latest National Geographic. it's the 125th anniversary edition:

1. Founded in 1888, photos weren't added until 1905 when the editor needed to fill some space.
2. In 2012, for every shot that made it into the magazine, a further 1,331 didn't.

Time to be a little more choosy, methinks.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

What a PSG crowd sounds like.

PSG crowd by Delaney Turner

Shared from the SoundCloud iOS app. Get it for free here: .

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Clay writes another Onion headline

Wiki needs updating

Legendary Lindi

In "I'm no Elvis Presley" from her third album, Little Red Boots, Country phenom Lindi Ortega sings of a failed attempt to wow the A&R reps in an LA songwriter showcase: 

I did my best to impress
You were not impressed, I guess
Oh well, what can you do?
I sing songs and play guitar
That don't make me a superstar
Oh well, who the hell are you?

In her notes, the dismissive A&R rep from some unnamed label wrote of Ortega, "Oh, she's good, but I don't ever see her being legendary." The words made it into the song:

I know I'm not legendary
I'm nothing extraordinary
Maybe you're just ordinary too
I'm no Elvis Presley, no
I'm no Elvis Presley, no
I'm no Elvis Presley, so
Who the hell are you?

That was back in 2011. Since then, Ortega's packed up her signature little red boots and relocated to Nashville. In 2012 she released "Cigarettes and Truckstops." Produced with the help of ace Colin Linden, the album won wide acclaim, including being longlisted for the Polaris Prize. gave it four and a half stars.

I loved it; it had everything I loved about its predecessor only moreso. The songs were stronger, the production richer. It was a perfect follow-up.

Now it's 2013 and Ortega has released Tin Star, her third album in as many years, to universal acclaim.

Entertainment Weekly calls it the best country album of 2013 and "The album that country music needs":

The Guardian calls it "a dark paradise for lovers of country."

I think it's the best album I've heard all year. "I want you" is crank-it-up sexy. "All These Cats" is a cheeky rebuke to the Nashville establishment. Songs About" is absolutely majestic. Ortega's voice is still there, as is crack musicianship to back her up. The songs are as strong as ever.

I wonder what that A&R rep thinks of her now.

Friday, 11 October 2013



From Evernote:


You know, sitting in the airport and seeing so many (presumably) elderly Americans limp through the halls, how could you argue against healthcare?

From the front lines of the Furlough

From Evernote:

From the front lines of the Furlough

"It's a good day to work for free." 
"If I don't show up I lose my job. Some folks on my team don't have the gas money to get to work." 
"Move ahead folks, let's give the people at the end of the line the hope that things are moving."
"This is the last lineup you'll have to be in in Florida."
"Please throw out all liquids. Scientific studies have proven that water is indeed a liquid."
"The college-educated people above us said we'd see four to six strollers every eight hours max. Because that's the standard at all airports around the country. Six strollers max....We have Disneyland here."

Micro Macro Micro

From Evernote:

Micro Macro Micro

when i was in school, i noticed that the structure of an atom was the same as the structure of the solar system.

the macro paralled the micro.

I see that playing out everywhere. 

and if you say "it can't happen to my/my industry" your simply fooling yourself.

adapt or die. those are your only choices.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Picky, picky

"That's not a 'twist'."

"That's a peel. There's a difference."

The longer I spend in the United States...

  • the more David Lynch appears the most mainstream of their filmmakers.
  • the more David Byrne appears the most mainstream musician.
  • the more people like Spielberg and everyone else seems the real alternative. 
Who's really showing us the real reality? Who's promoting the fantasy?

The things you read in Orlando

Florida Magnets
Disney Magnets
Keychains 2 for 99 cents.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Tab A, meet slot B

Everything I see looks like the picture on the box.

A picture made by someone else and then sold.

(Ok. Not *everything* everything, but enough things to qualify as a trend.)

Shouldn't be surprised, though. We grew up following the rules. 

Still. Can't say it moves me much. 

When can we see something new?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Not enough, part 2

(Clearing out the Evernote archive from SXSW)



How many of these can one person be?

SXSW is full of people like these - or at least people who like to think they're like this. If you go to SXSW, you'll hear all kind of peans to disruption, innovation and our glorious algorithmic future.

What you won't hear is how hard it actually is to make these things happen.

For these you'd need these kinds of adjectives:


Follow your heart, but back it with a business plan and get a damn good lawyer.

My only approach is to believe that all these people are faking it, or at least some of it. They're letting their freak flags fly in the comfort and safety of their peers and fueled by generous expense accounts.

Perhaps because I'd been traveling almost non-stop and seen and done and said more than I'll ever remember. My brain skews towards self-preservation when it's had enough. That might explain things.

Hell, I don't begrudge people for having some fun in their jobs. And of course an industry conference is going to paint said industry in its best possible light. But for all the talk of a bright shiny future, all I could think of was the effort and patience and tenacity you need to effect real change.  

I was surrounded by denizens of the creative class, and if you spend enough time around them you'll start to think that creativity is all that matters.

But it's not.  

Getting anything disruptive done is a tough slog. It's thankless, devoid of glory, and there are no guarantees.

The 200th post is a picture

200 posts would be impressive, if I updated this thing with any regularity.


Here it is, straight from the darkroom:


From Evernote:


My nagging thought at #sxsw is that we can't all be creative. Then I go on vine and realize the definition of "creative" is in rapid flux. 

The tangible still matters

From Evernote:

The tangible still matters

Wolfram won out over a session on this, but here are my ideas: 

Obviously the Apple effect, placing the emphasis on well-crafted objects. 

But you can see how that effect now informs competing products: Craftsmanship communicates potential and value. 

For me the physical informs / drives my thought process. Capturing it by writing it down is a way to process it. Typing it and going back doesn't produce same intensity. 

May have

From Evernote:

May have

Restored if not my faith in tech, but at least my comfort level.


Because it restored my faith (yes, faith) in people. So long as we keep touch with what makes us human. 

a foot in two camps (still)

practitioner / academic.

doing it, thinking about what it all means.

the thing and the meta.

still can't figure out which path to choose.

do i have to?

Just because it's easy to do...

Doesn't mean it's easy to do.


Because everyone else can do it, too. 

What are the new barriers to overcome? How do we overcome them? 


For me, they're internal. The ingredients are there. 

I believe in yesterday

I believe in yesterday