“I’ve also thought a lot about the reproduction of these animals. Imagine these Strandbeests making copies of themselves simply by feeding them plastic tubes. I’m sure this is possible, but I need a few more million years to make that a reality.
Today, Strandbeests have an ability to multiply that I wasn’t aware of in 2007. Let me explain. The leg system of the beach animals works because of a combination of certain lengths of tubes. Because of the proportion of lengths, the animals walk smoothly. You could say that this range of numbers is their genetic code. I published this genetic code on my website and since then, hundreds of students, especially in the United States, have been able to produce their own Strandbeests. (Search YouTube for “theo jansen mechanism” and you will find them.)
You may argue that humans do this replication, but I see it differently. The Strandbeest is a self-replicating meme, a brain virus. It infects the student’s brain. In fact, the Strandbeest abuse students for their reproduction. For two years, this reproduction fell into a flow acceleration. Now, 3D printers produce walking mini Strandbeests. They are born, not assembled, and walk on the table, which you can see here.”
Nice Theo Jansen piece in HuffPo.
I start a book and I want to make it perfect, want it to turn every color, want it to be the world. Ten pages in, I’ve already blown it, limited it, made it less, marred it. That’s very discouraging. I hate the book at that point. After a while I arrive at an accommodation: Well, it’s not the ideal, it’s not the perfect object I wanted to make, but maybe—if I go ahead and finish it anyway—I can get it right next time. Maybe I can have another chance.
Experiment with New Habits Regularly: Productivity Tip from Buster Benson
Takeaway: Experimentation is the best (and only) way to learn what habits make you more productive.
The godfather of behavior change apps Buster Benson learned a lot when building quantified self startups like 43 Things, Health Month and 750 Words. He discovered his most productive habit, writing, by trying new habits until he found the productivity hack that worked best for him.
Pay attention to the actions you take during the day to find out what habits make you more or less effective. Buster tracks everything: emails, tweets, photos, meals, exercise, meditation, mood levels, words, etc. He’s still trying out new habits like meditation and running, too. You don’t have track habits as intensely as Buster, but you could learn a lot about what makes you more productive by experimenting with new routines and reflecting on the results.
All of my favorite daily habits include letting some unfiltered stream-of-consciousness to the surface. Walking to and from work, meditating, and taking a picture at 8:36pm all fit this pattern. However, the most valuable of these unfiltered streams has been my habit of writing 3 pages of unfiltered, stream-of-consciousness, brain-dump *BLAH* on 750words.com.
The actual words rarely matter, it’s all about getting them out. It’s the best way I currently know that consistently helps me untangle something that’s bothering me, solve problems that I can’t quite articulate, or get something out of my system so I can move on. I always feel noticeably lighter after writing 750 words.
More productivity tips from entrepreneurs:
Evan Williams: Workout When You’re Least Productive
Erin McKean: Schedule Easy, Small Tasks as Work Breaks
Loïc Le Meur: Meditate - It’s the Productivity Trick People Are Afraid to Talk About
Chris Messina: Build Tiny Habits: They Can Be Surprisingly Powerful
Joel Gascoigne: Optimize Your Daily Routines
Marshall Kirkpatrick: Hack the Science of Behavior Change
There is one thing that all of these entrepreneurs have in common: they’ve all built habits using Lift.
Bayes: How one equation changed the way I think
Bayes’ Rule is a simple formula that tells you how to weigh evidence and change your beliefs. I don’t go around plugging numbers into a formula all the time, but nevertheless, becoming familiar with Bayes has shifted the way I think in some important ways.
via Julia Galef.
I so need this in my life. Seems useful as an analytical adjunct to CBT.
Nice summary of Bayes’ Rule. Which I seem to need to read about 100 times in order to understand.
When we started building Tapestry last fall, our goal was to create a quiet place to read and be swept away by beautiful, great short stories—no interruptions; simply an enjoyable, immersive reading experience.
Touch devices and Tapestry stories evoke emotions in a way other media cannot. It’s…
If Ian Curtis had recorded Unknown Pleasures and Closer, and then lived to create three decades’ worth of half-assed Joy Division songs that made Unknown Pleasures and Closer seem like flukes, he’d be Rivers Cuomo.
Of course this begs to question, do the Blue Album and Pinkerton rock less simply because everything Weezer has released since then sucks? Maybe? When was the last time you thought “Man I want to listen to that awesome Bad Religion song!” probably not since ‘92. But what if No Control was the last record they ever put out? It might be a lot more often. What if Red Hot Chili Peppers broke up after The Uplift Mofo Party Plan? Would you want to die right there on the spot anytime a DJ says he’s playing one of their songs next?
But who’s to say Joy Division would have started release half assed songs? When The Mars Volta and Sparta rose from the ashes of At The Drive In it was pretty damn obvious where the talent was and wasn’t. But New Order’s catalog (especially the first 10 years or so) suggests that the all songwriting genius didn’t die with Ian. We lost his lyrics of course, but he was a pretty morbid fucked up guy to begin with and I think it’s a stretch to suggest if he’d lived he would have cheered up somehow. I mean, Rivers Cuomo is a weird guy too, but come on now, does anyone think there’s a world where Ian Curtis could have written the equivalent to ‘Heart Songs’ or ‘We Are All On Drugs’ or ‘Cold Dark World’ or named an album something like Raditude?
See also: the peak-end rule:
Aka “go out with a bang not a whimper” rule.
Want to communicate with your millennial in college? Then you’d better learn how to text, the younger generation barely e-mails. Talking on the phone? Who’d want to waste so much time!
The oldsters are rarely early adopters. They know the value of money, they’re set in their ways. For all the old bloviators bemoaning the loss of privacy online, it’s the kids who got the memo, that if they post pictures of illicit activity they might not get a job in the future. Kids believe in evanescence, oldsters believe in the permanent record. Ergo, the growth of Snapchat.
Kind of like the Facebook phone. The business media did not stop trumpeting its arrival. But the truth is a kid has no problem employing Facebook on his phone, assuming he wants to use it, it’s only oldsters who have this problem, oldsters who are not about to switch providers who are still lamenting the loss of physical keyboards. Want to know how someone’s technologically toast? If they still use a BlackBerry. You’re wiping out utilization, because it’s all about apps. E-mailing and texting back and forth is for business people who miss the future, as they plot where to have lunch.
The very best theories and analyses of any philosopher, from the greatest, most perceptive sages of ancient Greece to the intellectual heroes of the recent past (Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, John Dewey, Jean Paul Sartre—to name four very different thinkers), can be made to look like utter idiocy—or tedious nitpicking—with a few deft tweaks. Yuck, yuck. Don’t do it. The only one you’ll discredit is yourself.
Daniel C. Dennett, “Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking” (via mrgan)
Such a good book. And I usually try to stay very far away from philosophy.