This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
At one point in the story, Gulliver encounters a fascinating machine while visiting the Academy of Projectors in the land of Lagando. Gulliver describes the machine, called The Engine: It was twenty feet square, placed in the middle of the room. The superfices was composed of several bits of wood, about the bigness of a die, but some larger than others. They were all linked together by slender wires. These bits of wood were covered, on every square, with paper pasted on them; and on these papers were written all the words of their language, in their several moods, tenses, and declensions; but without any order. This is one of the earliest known mention of a machine that could be considered as a computer in literature, more than a hundred years prior to the first calculating engine designs by Charles Babbage. The Engine might be seen as a computer, but perhaps it’s better thought of as a sort of random-number generator. The machine would create prose and poetry, entirely mechanically. The method of its operation involved turning the frame on which all the words of the language hung and having students read them aloud while capturing the results
advertising is 20 percent idea and 80 percent execution. It’s knowing what ideas are going to be great. It’s knowing how to make those ideas. I always love that great quote, ‘We’re all artists, it’s just that some of us shouldn’t exhibit.’ Just because everybody can do it isn’t to say they should. I get very annoyed when people say to me, ‘We can crowdsource!’ No, we can’t. Anybody can do it? No! I don’t think they can. Everybody can dance, everybody can sing, everybody can play tennis, everybody can kick a football: Are they any good at it? No, not necessarily. I went to art school. I trained, I tried, I had to work at it. I think the idea that you can just pick up a pencil and do it is nonsense. — John Hegarty
This is the extraordinary thing about creativity: If just you keep your mind resting against the subject in a friendly but persistent way, sooner or later you will get a reward from your unconscious.
Think about the traits that creative people possess. Creative people don’t follow the crowds; they seek out the blank spots on the map. Creative people wander through faraway and forgotten traditions and then integrate marginal perspectives back to the mainstream. Instead of being fastest around the tracks everybody knows, creative people move adaptively through wildernesses nobody knows. Now think about the competitive environment that confronts the most fortunate people today and how it undermines those mind-sets…. We live in a culture that nurtures competitive skills. And they are necessary: discipline, rigor and reliability. But it’s probably a good idea to try to supplement them with the skills of the creative monopolist: alertness, independence and the ability to reclaim forgotten traditions.
It’s not just a question of how these “content producers” are supposed to make a living or finance their endeavors, however, or why they ought to allow other people to pick apart their work and filch choice excerpts. Nor is it simply a question of experts and professionals being challenged by an increasingly democratized marketplace. It’s also a question, as Mr. Lanier, 49, astutely points out in his new book, “You Are Not a Gadget,” of how online collectivism, social networking and popular software designs are changing the way people think and process information, a question of what becomes of originality and imagination in a world that prizes “metaness” and regards the mash-up as “more important than the sources who were mashed.