Pages:

“Regardless of how brilliant and indispensable we think we are, everything we will do today is…”

“Regardless of how brilliant and indispensable we think we are, everything we will do today is categorically dependent upon thousands of other people. Regardless of how menial and rote we think our job is, everything we will do today intersects this immense web of ingenuity and creation. We are all nodes in the network.”

- Why Nobody Knows How to Make a Pencil
Jun 15

“The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is…”

“The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. It is our most precious resource. The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become. The more we blame others or external circumstances, the more negative and compromised our energy is likely to be.”

- The Power of Full Engagement
Jun 14

Two Kinds of People, via Roberto Greco



Two Kinds of People, via Roberto Greco

Jun 13

“The total time taken to respond to an email is often MORE than the time it took to create it….”

“The total time taken to respond to an email is often MORE than the time it took to create it.     Because even though it’s quicker to read than to write, five other factors outweigh this: - Emails often contain challenging, open-ended questions that can’t rapidly be responded to  - It’s really easy to copy and paste extra text into emails. (Email creation time is almost the same. Reading time soars.) - It’s really easy to add links to other pages, or video (each capable of consuming copious gobbets of time) - It’s really easy to cc multiple people - The act of processing an email consists of more than just reading.  There is a) scanning an in-box, b) deciding which ones to open, c) opening them, d) reading them e) deciding how to respond  f) responding  g) getting back into the flow of your other work.   So the arrival of even a two-sentence email that is simply opened, read and deleted can take a minimum of 30-60 seconds out of your available cognitive time.   This means that every hour someone spends writing and sending email, may well be extracting more than an hour of the world’s available attention – and generating a further hour or more of new email. That is not good.”

-

Help Create an Email Charter! - TEDChris: The untweetable

The email charter website is currently down. Another reminder of how impermanent the web is.

I have a “first time” email signature (telephone number, Twitter handle, website and so on), and an email signature that goes out to anyone I’ve emailed more than once. I’m of the opinion that once we’ve been in contact via email, you really don’t need to be reminded of my telephone number, website, various job titles or where you can buy my collections with every new piece of correspondence. I have a sneaking suspicion that we become blind to the information contained in email signatures anyway— the same way we learn to tune out banner ads and billboards.

My everyday signature (the one you get if we’ve already exchanged emails) used to point exclusively to the email charter. Now the charter is down, I’m redirecting to the post above. It’s not as succinct, but hopefully it’ll do a similar job. That said: the email signature blindness I referred to above dictates that only a handful of the people I interact with via email will actually notice. While I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the past by the odd individual who adopted some of the thinking suggested by the charter, or commented on what a good idea it was, or themselves went on to adopt it, I’m guessing that the facts that a) no one else in my contact list picked up on the fact that emailcharter.org is down, and b) in the couple of years for which I’ve supported the email charter, no one has actually called me out for failing any of its proposed edicts, mean that few people will notice the change.

Still, that’s no reason not to try to make my inbox a better place. Or to at least attempt to help people understand why I try to spend as little time there as possible…

Jun 12

Graphic study; page from a notebook (PA/NY/TO 2014)



Graphic study; page from a notebook (PA/NY/TO 2014)

Jun 11

“Any nuance or metaphor gets lost on an engine such as Google: search “sorrow”, for example, and…”

“Any nuance or metaphor gets lost on an engine such as Google: search “sorrow”, for example, and you’ll get pictures of people crying, whereas a human might associate a more varied range of images, such as a foggy seascape or an empty forest. This is because computers use metadata (the data search engines associate with the millions of digital objects out there, from YouTube videos to Instagram pictures) in a completely different way to the human brain. Our human “metadata” tends to be far more symbolic and less literal. But what if an image bank was populated by poems? Can robots learn from our view of the world?”

- Can Google be taught poetry? | Technology | The Guardian
Jun 11

What? That time of year again? Already? ;)



What? That time of year again? Already? ;)

Jun 8

“I do see the poet as someone whose role it is to push back against anti-intellectualism,…”

“I do see the poet as someone whose role it is to push back against anti-intellectualism, anti-activism, and passivity in general. The purpose of this pushing back is to show that there are always infinite sides to a story, amazing unimagined perspectives on any narrative, and no limit to how weird and wild and unexpected our language and its meanings can get.”

- Brenda Shaughnessy
(via poetsorg)
Jun 7

It’s official. I’m a Change Maker, as endorsed by…



It’s official. I’m a Change Maker, as endorsed by London’s Southbank Centre. Just about to share a space with Joelle Taylor, Young Identity and Beat Freeks.

(First person to point out the errant hyphen gets a stern look.)

Jun 6

“This is the year when artists and their fans lay the foundations for the new creative economy.”

“This is the year when artists and their fans lay the foundations for the new creative economy.”

-

The dawn of a new creative economy (Wired UK)

Of course, the foundations of this new creative economy have been in the making for a long time before this. And while there’s gold in these hills, it’s important to remember the relationship between signal vs noise. Perhaps the simple truth remains that however the models evolve, there will always be breakthrough artists (hard work + talent + good fortune + networked connections, amplifiers & enablers) and a much larger mass of other could-have-beens. Your YouTube channel, or Twitter following isn’t the glass slipper— or rather, one glass slipper does not a pair make…

Jun 6

“Today, the dream of the everlasting carrier seems further away than ever. Records may be lasting ok,…”

“Today, the dream of the everlasting carrier seems further away than ever. Records may be lasting ok, but if you leave a CD-r out in the sun for a fortnight, the dye-layer would fade and render it unreadable. It’s been five years since anyone made a dat machine. And as for minidiscs… At a certain point, Prentice concedes, “you have to look the devil in the eye and say, alright, we’ve lost the battle for the everlasting carrier. We just need to concentrate on everlasting content.””

- The Quietus | Opinion | The Quietus Essay | The Utopia Of Records: Why Sound Archiving Is Important
Jun 5

“A good editor must pick out the interesting and meaningful bits and be rather ruthless with the…”

A good editor must pick out the interesting and meaningful bits and be rather ruthless with the rest.

A good editor has to also constantly doubt him or herself, and ask these questions: are my motives clear? Am I open to sparks that don’t fit my pattern matcher for good ideas? How do I get better at recognizing sparks with promise without excluding the possibility of sparks I’ve never seen before?



- Oh, there are hundreds of ways for an idea to die. — Medium
Jun 3

“I think anyone who says that reading isn’t a part of the process is a bit shallow in their sense of…”

“I think anyone who says that reading isn’t a part of the process is a bit shallow in their sense of what it means to be a writer. One needs to feel perpetually humbled and the only way to ‘improve’ is to read those who are greater than you – to surround yourself with writers who seem to say exactly what they want to say. Or, put another way, it’s imperative that you continually expose yourself to work that devastates you because it’s able to capture something about discrete experiences and our collective worries, needs, concerns and hopes.”

- Interview with R. A. Villanueva | Words of Colour Productions
Jun 2

“When confronted by a sour note… the [musician] gets nowhere by forcing. The mistake has to be…”

“When confronted by a sour note… the [musician] gets nowhere by forcing. The mistake has to be treated as an interesting fact; then the problem will eventually be unlocked.”

- Richard Sennett (via ubuwaits)
Jun 1

Venture Award 2015 Shortlist

venturepoetry:

We know you’ve been waiting so we won’t make a fuss. Four women (in ‘surnamical’ alphabetical order):

  • Kittie Belltree for Moon in Scorpio
  • Monika Cassel for Grammar of Passage
  • Isabella David McCaffrey for The Voices of Women
  • Chelsea Lemon Fetzer for What’s Gone Wrong With You

The overall winner of the 2015 Venture Award will be announced before you can blink in meter. The winning poet will receive £1,000 and flipped eye publishing will release a pamphlet of their work within twelve months.

Follow on Twitter: @Venture_Award

Biographies of the Advisory Board can be found online at:http://www.flippedeye.net/venture/

May 27

citiesofsound: “I’m suffering from PDF alibi syndrome. The habit of downloading and saving PDFs in…

citiesofsound:

“I’m suffering from PDF alibi syndrome. The habit of downloading and saving PDFs in the vain hope that one day I will get around to reading them. It’s not a technical problem at all, or one of lack of time, but rather that I’ve been seduced by the lure of information.”

- PDF alibi syndrome, Pat Thomson (2015)

May 25

“I go around giving my students permission to be who they are, and there aren’t enough people doing…”

“I go around giving my students permission to be who they are, and there aren’t enough people doing that,” he said. “You learn to write by believing in who you are.”

- The Six Best Tips From ‘On Writing Well’ — William Zinsser
May 18

“I want to do good in the world not just by sitting at my desk writing”

“I want to do good in the world not just by sitting at my desk writing”

- Sir Andrew Motion
May 17

“Darwin taught us that learning is the survival mechanism we use to adapt to constantly changing…”

“Darwin taught us that learning is the survival mechanism we use to adapt to constantly changing environments. Inside the microenvironment of the brain, that means forging new connections between cells to relay information. When we learn something, whether it’s a French word or a salsa step, cells morph in order to encode that information; the memory physically becomes part of the brain.”

- Miracle Grow for Your Brain
May 17

Many thanks to Katie Hale, New Writing Cumbria and Eden Arts for…



Many thanks to Katie Hale, New Writing Cumbria and Eden Arts for hosting me in Penrith this weekend. Katie’s a former Barbican Young Poet, now heading up New Writing Cumbria as an arts administrator while continuing to push her writing (musical to be produced next month; poetry pamphlet in progress…)

May 17