Great comedians like Mitch Hedberg make us feel as though we’re hearing something we’ve known for eternity, yet also experiencing for the first time — revealing obvious truths in surprising ways.
Every brand or product has multiple truths. One of those will be surprising. When you find a surprising truth, people can’t just file it away. It’s psychology. Their minds have to stop and make sense of it.
Like comedy, a creative brief should make you feel uncomfortable. That means it’s working. If it doesn’t make you feel anything, it’s a dead end.
Archives For Quotables
I’m only at 354 of 975 total pages of the digital copy of Cory Doctorow’s new book, Walkway.
Yet I’m highly enjoying the paradox between the haves and have nots, impacted mostly by those who are excited about thinking differently and embracing new technology — and those who are not.
Here’s how one of his characters classifies this natural resistance to change in the book…
“Anything invented before you were eighteen was there all along.
Anything invented before you’re thirty is exciting and will change the world forever.
Anything invented after that is an abomination and should be banned.”
–Excerpt From Cory Doctorow’s “Walkaway.”
To be clear, this isn’t how I think. But it’s how a lot of people think — consciously or not.
As a student of how people are influenced, this topic fascinates me. Looking forward to finishing Walkway soon…
“The AI neither hates you, nor loves you, but you are made out of atoms that it can use for something else.”
–Eliezer Yudkowsky, A.I. theorist
“…All great and honourable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable courages.” – William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, 1621
Good advice here. Talk is cheap. What have you done?
“People who are craftspersons and who have craftsmanship in their work, they will always happen, whether in the early stage or late stage.
When I see a particularly well-designed product, or somebody understands their metrics, I know that person cares.
You have to be able to build something and put it in the world.
People are in this wacky belief system that their idea matters, when it does not. All that matters is what you build.”
I am a futurist, and I am actually pretty good at it, as I am old enough now to know that the things that make me happiest are always surprises. I’ve had a bunch of people work on robots for my entire adult lifetime. I have a robot in my basement, and he is my best pal. I know what he smells like. I am not surprised by him. And I don’t jump up and down for joy because I have a commercial robot in the basement of my lab. It is just reality. What really interests me and surprises me is stuff that’s completely off the wall.
Advanced technology is not always going to seem good the first time, it’s like clouds and silver lining: every silver lining has a cloud. I am a guy in a computerised generation. I know it is not going to be perfect. A tree is not going to grow to the sky. But something else is going to happen.
We waste so many days waiting for weekend. So many nights wanting morning. Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life.
“The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.”
The future is an accident. It’s an accident because you explore. You have to go through with a machete and just hack away and find it. You can’t see it — you just have to go somewhere you haven’t been before. It’s not even about being so far into the future; it’s “How do you say what people want to hear next?” I’m always listening to what the younger kids are doing. The most inspiring stuff is what you find young kids doing online. It’s so raw. It’s, like, the singularity, the way children are interfacing with different technologies so seamlessly. I was in South Africa and went to this township, and the kids there had really cheap smartphones, and they could still build a window into another world, then adapt that to their culture. Some kids had D.J. gear in a little shack, and they were making this hack between house and African, like African house. Kids! Like, 8 years old. That’s where I’m getting ideas. — Skrillex
“I don’t think the imagination is subject to efficiency,” Atwood says. “If anything, daydreaming is very useful for it. In fact, daydreaming is very useful for any kind of productivity because it creates a blank space and allows the mind to come into that. So what people seem to need most coaching about in the area of creativity is not ‘optimizing’ their imaginations—it’s their confidence. And that’s because we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that we are all specialists of some kind, and that you can’t really be a writer unless you’ve got something like a master’s degree. Obviously, we want dentists to be trained, but writing is human storytelling and everybody does it.
“So the problems in creativity are not how do we get humans to be more creative—people are more creative. It’s how creative people can actually make a living doing what they do in an economy such as ours that values money above all else. What is the price, the money value, of John Keats’s ‘Ode To A Nightingale,’ apart from the manuscript, just the poem itself, what is its value? There isn’t one. Because it’s not in that economy.”