Archive for March, 2005
I can’t remember now where I ran across the online comic Questionable Content, but I’ve been enjoying it recently and have added it to my list of comics that I read regularly. I’m still having a hard time telling some of the characters apart, but I like the sense of humor.
If only Cryptozoa were regularly updated online. Then again, maybe Cryptozoa is more of a one-panel illustrated ultra-short-story, rather than a comic.
I just finished reading a copy of Daniel H. Pink’s “A Whole New Mind,” which the author gave out for free at the close of his session at SXSW Interactive. I now wish I’d made it in for the entirety of Pink’s presentation, rather than only catching the tail end.
I really enjoyed the book and found it inspirational. The book presents a compelling case that in order to thrive in this age of abundance, automation, and Asia (i.e., Asian outsourcing) — we will need to build a new skill set of six right-brained thinking tools: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning.
Though there is more to it, “A Whole New Mind” gives the most compelling game plan I’ve seen for thriving in an era of Asian outsourcing. Until now, the only solution I’d seen was a hollow call to get creative. Pink mentions creativity, especially in his chapter on “Symphony”, but he includes five additional skills which also tie into the equation.
The book synthesizes a wide variety of things I’ve been reading or hearing recently. In particular, it reminded me of a presentation by Doug Rushkoff that I listened to from the IT Conversations website. Rushkoff makes the case that we are entering a new Renaissance. If that’s true, “A Whole New Mind” is the equivalent of “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci” for the new Renaissance.
The book could be the basis for an excellent Informal Class. I could even see it being a whole series of classes, potentially tying a variety of my own interests, suc as improv, creativity techniques, board games, and tours of local labyrinths. Maybe that would give me an excuse to finally get a copy of the MicroExpression Training Tool, which I’ve been interested in ever since reading Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent article The Naked Face.
I downloaded the 2005 crop of MP3s from the SXSW music festival. Since the festival begins soon, I used an old WinAmp plugin called Winamp Intro Player Plugin to skip to the middle of tracks and listen to 25 seconds (or less) of each, while going about my usual business. I used a hotkey program called HoeKey to skip between tracks when I couldn’t stand the full 25 seconds of a song.
Based on the preview, I collected the 65 songs I thought were worth listening to again. Listening to such a short clip isn’t a foolproof method, but it did root out some good stuff. I’m still making my way through the full version of the songs, but I can recommend both The Ditty Bops and Bedouin Soundclash pretty highly.
In case anyone’s interested, I also made a winamp playlist of my (admittedly subjective) favorites. The playlist links directly to the files on the SXSW site, so you don’t have to download the tracks ahead of time, just queue the playlist and listen away.
While I’m on the subject, if anyone knows of a better Winamp plugin for playing snippits of tracks (ie, one that’s more up-to-date and easier to switch on and off), I’d be interested in it.