Louis Pasteur is credited with the observation that chance can only help the well-prepared mind. I also think that my long string of lucky breaks can be credited to my mode of paying attention: I look at funny things and never hesitate to ask questions. Most people would not have noticed the dirty blackboard, or looked at the article that my uncle gave me because he was not interested.
via Edge: THE FATHER OF LONG TAILS — Interview with Benoît Mandelbrot by Hans Ulrich Obrist. For extra credit and an exercise in brevity and clarity, link or write in the comments the simplest definition of “fractal” as used by Mandelbrot and Obrist in the interview.
I may be overstating the case, a little bit. Very probably, you’re sick to death of hearing social media disrespected by cranky 51-year-olds. My aim here is mainly to set up a contrast between the narcissistic tendencies of technology and the problem of actual love. My friend Alice Sebold likes to talk about “getting down in the pit and loving somebody.” She has in mind the dirt that love inevitably splatters on the mirror of our self-regard.
Johnathan Franzen’s Liking is for Cowards in the NY Times.
Tomorrow I’m going to be speaking at ZURBsoapbox in Campbell, California at noon. If you’re in the Bay Area please come out and say howdy.
The Internet measures everything. And I am a slave to those measurements. After so many years of pushing much of my life through this screen, I’ve started measuring my experiences and my sense of self-worth using the same metrics as the Internet uses to measure success. I check my stats relentlessly. The sad truth is that I spend more time measuring than I spend doing.
Fantastic read over at Tweetage Wasteland : I Don’t Care if You Read This Article. Or put another way “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Hat tip: Mark Riley.
I believe the mini-bubbles above are different ripples in what might call the surface of a superbubble: an opulence bubble. Here’s what I mean by opulence bubble: our conception of the good life, as I’ve discussed with you, has been centered on what I call hedonic opulence — having more, bigger, faster, cheaper, now. But we might be finding out, the hard way, that the pursuit of lowest-common-denominator industrial age stuff might have been steeply overvalued, in terms of its social, human, and financial value.
The Opulence Bubble by Umair Haque. Hat tip: Tim Bray and Paul Kedrosky.
Went for Napa / Vacaville hot air balloon ride with Janitorial team at Automattic, had dinner at 54 Mint, and caught the end of the symphony masquerade ball in San Francisco. Here are Nick’s pictures from the same day.
I’m honored to be have been chosen alongside some cool folks like Kevin Rose, Dave Morin, Andrew Mason, and Charlie Cheever as one of Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs in 2011. I only have 3 more years before I’m too old for these lists. 🙂
Batters Up: Major League Baseball Now on WordPress.com. MLB’s blogging system used to be powered by Movable Type, and about 15,000 blogs switched over to WordPress.com as part of this. It’s an honor and delight to have so many great bloggers joining the family. They’re also in good company with VIP blogs for the NFL, NBA, NBC Sports…
Bruce Mau Design Incomplete Manifesto for Growth — “Written in 1998, the Incomplete Manifesto is an articulation of statements exemplifying Bruce Mau’s beliefs, strategies and motivations. Collectively, they are how we approach every project.” I dig. Hat tip: Noel.
Nassim Taleb on Living with Black Swans — “During a recent visit to Wharton as part of The Goldstone Forum, he spoke with Wharton finance professor Richard Herring — who taught Taleb when he was a Wharton MBA student — about events in the Middle East, the oil supply, investing in options, the U.S. economy, the dollar, health care and of course, black swans.”