BS: And yet the show never feels all that insular. There’s a lot of internal monologues and inside jokes but anyone can get into a bit like “The Order of Everything.”
TS: That’s something I’ve really tried to be conscious of all the time. I don’t want it to feel like some sort of club that you can’t join if you weren’t there at the beginning. Those things always feel isolating to me, when I see some sort of community that if you’re not completely up to speed you’re at such a disadvantage that you couldn’t appreciate any of it. I’m happy that there are levels to it and people can go as deep as they want.
I love the idea of building worlds. Jon and I built out one world with Newbridge. There’s the world of the callers that I’ve built out. And then the other world is me talking about myself. My worst nightmare would be for someone to say that [The Best Show] is impenetrable. It’s always going to take some time for people. It’s never going to be the easiest thing. People do have to give it a shot and spend some time with it. [But] if the show felt impenetrable to somebody that’d bum me out. Like “I listened to two episodes and I could not understand anything you guys were talking about”—I would hate that.
“It seems to me that the years between eighteen and twenty-eight are the hardest, psychologically. It’s then you realize this is make or break, you no longer have the excuse of youth, and it is time to become an adult - but you are not ready. I just could not believe that anything I desired would happen, and the responsibility of making my own way, economically, artistically and emotionally, was terrifying.”—Helen Mirren
“Is saving three months salary and on occasionally going without food to be able to afford a basic Nokia branded mobile phone irrational? What if it’s used to enable a business? Or play games? Or chat with loved ones? Or browse porn? Is spending one month’s salary on a unknown-branded device any more rational? Just how rational is your purchase of your iPhone? That pair of Nike sneakers? Those red high heels? Who is to define what is rational? What was the opportunity cost of your last large purchase? What is the opportunity cost of buying that branded phone versus one where the manufacturer is unknown? And who is to decide what the viable opportunity costs are? Or to loop it around to the design community — are low income consumers duty bound to ignore aesthetics and more superficial elements over more functional choices? And to loop once more — are designers duty bound to make products for these markets aesthetically displeasing? Because that’s where this argument is heading.”—
“In what transaction contexts do we currently appreciate anonymity, or even pseudo-anonymity–and are we willing to pay for it? There are moments in the hotel service industry where knowing who you are is key, and moments when discretion (an implicit agreement that what you do will remain anonymous) is equally if not more valued.”—Jan Chipchase
Of course experience isn’t the only danger. Dogma and ideology are even worse. They provide us with the answers, and put boundaries around our thinking. Ignoring the dogma invites ridicule, or even punishment. I suspect that’s why more ideological societies are less innovative. If we aren’t free to wander outside the realms of conventional thinking, then we won’t happen upon the opportunities that others have missed.
Escaping dogma is hard. From the inside, it simply looks like truth and reality. Watch out for any belief that limits the range of your thinking and exploration. This includes logic and reason. They are useful tools, but just as often work to keep us trapped inside of exclusionary belief systems. If you believe yourself to be a rational person, then you’re in the trap.
“Nothing fools you better than the lie you tell yourself. - David P. Abbott was an Omaha magician who invented the basis of my ball trick back in 1907. He used to make a golden ball float around his parlor. After the show, Abbott would absent-mindedly leave the ball on a bookshelf while he went to the kitchen for refreshments. Guests would sneak over, heft the ball and find it was much heavier than a thread could support. So they were mystified. But the ball the audience had seen floating weighed only five ounces. The one on the bookshelf was a heavy duplicate, left out to entice the curious. When a magician lets you notice something on your own, his lie becomes impenetrable.”—Penn & Teller
“Right now, there are more than a billion regular Android users, and each of their devices looks slightly different. With its material design push, Google wants to create a visual lingua franca, to make sure that every time you tap, swipe, or open an element on an Android phone, it behaves the same way. It’s an attempt to impose a small amount of order on a fragmented mishmash of devices, most of which Google has no immediate control over.”—
“If you’re gonna get a job that’s a little bit of a caper, that isn’t really a job, that under ideal circumstances you get to at least leave the building, find people more interesting than you, learn about something, come back and tell other people about it—that should be hard to get into. No wonder everybody’s lined up, trying to get into it. It beats working.”—David Carr, on journalism
“So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years […]
Trying to learn to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one had only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it.”—T. S. Eliot
“Anomie is a “condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals”. It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community e.g. if under unruly scenarios resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.”—Anomie - Wikipedia.org
“O I see now, flashing, that this America is only you and me,
Its power, weapons, testimony, are you and me,
Its crimes, lies, thefts, defections, slavery, are you and me,
Its Congress is you and me—the officers, capitols, armies, ships, are you and me,
Its endless gestations of new States are you and me,
The war—that war so bloody and grim—the war I will henceforth forget—was you and me,
Natural and artificial are you and me,
Freedom, language, poems, employments, are you and me,
Past, present, future, are you and me.”—Walt Whitman; As I Sat Alone by Blue Ontario’s Shores
“The 23-year-olds I work with are a little over the conversation about how we were the superpower brought low. They think that’s an ‘older person conversation.’ They’re more interested in this moment of crazy opportunity, with the massive economic and cultural transformation driven by Silicon Valley. And kids feel capable of seizing it. Technology isn’t a section in the newspaper any more. It’s the culture.”—Ben Smith
“It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes. I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.”—Homeowner with a keen sense of self-awareness on rising taxes in Austin, TX
“It’s an important interaction that takes place here. It’s not always pretty. It could certainly be better. But to be a part of it is an honor and a joy for me.”—Jay Carney, on the position of White House Press Secretary
“Part of the problem is that the word “consumption” means different things to the two tribes. Ecologists use it to mean “the act of using up a resource”; economists mean “the purchase of goods and services by the public” (both definitions taken from the Oxford dictionary).”—
“Tell me what a man finds a sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life. Show me the women he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself. … He will always be attracted to the women who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the women whose surrender permits him to experience—or to fake—a sense of self esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of women he can find, the women he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer-because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.”—Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
Hi there, I say. “Let me ask you a question.” She giggles and nods. “How would you find a needle in a haystack?”
The first-grader pauses, pensive, tugging on the green yarn around her neck. She’s really thinking this over. Tiny gears are turning; she’s twisting her fingers together, pondering. It’s cute. Finally, she looks up and says gravely, “I would ask the hays to find it.” Then she makes a quiet banshee whine and bounces away on one foot.
“We knew from experience that the essence of communal computing, as supplied by remote-access, time-shared machines, is not just to type programs into a terminal instead of a keypunch, but to encourage close communication.”—Dennis Ritchie, 1979