“Some folks believe that hardship breeds artistic creativity. I don’t buy it. One can put up with poverty for a while when one is young, but it will inevitably wear a person down. I don’t romanticize the bad old days. I find the drop in crime over the last couple of decades refreshing. Manhattan and Brooklyn, those vibrant playgrounds, are way less scary than they were when I moved here. I have no illusions that there was a connection between that city on its knees and a flourishing of creativity; I don’t believe that crime, danger and poverty make for good art. That’s bullshit. But I also don’t believe that the drop in crime means the city has to be more exclusively for those who have money. Increases in the quality of life should be for all, not just a few.”—If the 1% stifles New York’s creative talent, I’m out of here | David Byrne
“The first time I tasted durian was when I was posted in Kuala Lumpur 15 years ago. Trucks piled high with the fruit would come in from the Malaysian countryside, and I would spend evenings sitting with friends on plastic stools by the roadside sampling different varieties. Unlike the Thais, who cut durians down from trees, Malaysians usually wait for them to fall. The result is a much riper and stronger-tasting durian, sometimes slightly fermented. Durian farmers in Malaysia have been known to wear helmets: No one wants to be on the receiving end of a five-pound spike-bomb. Malaysians also believe that durian is an aphrodisiac. When the durians fall, the sarongs go up, goes a Malaysian saying.”—A Love Letter to a Smelly Fruit - NYTimes.com (via alexanderbasek)
“Nowitzki sat in front of the fire, strumming his guitar and sipping his whiskey straight from the bottle. He had stopped shaving days ago and didn’t know when he would bathe next. He had been in Australia for a week and a half, even though it was May, and by all accounts he should have been somewhere else. He should’ve been on a basketball court, leading the Dallas Mavericks deep into the NBA Playoffs. He should’ve been winning a championship. But for the second year in a row, the season had ended in disappointment. Once again people were questioning his mental toughness.”—
We are having dinner in Fes, Morocco. We are here with two of my six children, Leo (7) and Tom (19). Dinner is taking time to arrive and Leo has become a non stop asking machine. Fes puzzled him. He is shocked that Fes is so different from any other city he’s visited. That there are no cars and…
I think the new Flickr photopage is pretty much baked in now, but I can’t tell if these ‘beta’ views are permanent or not. I suspect it’s pretty much the way it is going to be now. I wrote a long post a couple months ago when I saw the first public iterations, but deleted it. (I wipe my tumblr…
“Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is ‘Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.”—Nick Miller, Isn’t It Pretty to Think So? (via ethereally)
“For adults, social graphs are stable, sources of inertial drag as much as dynamism, and explicit; society demands that we abandon secrecy and high-school politics at some point. Snapchat seems slightly cognitively strange to me, in much the way that the various stages of interrelation between today’s high school students do.”—(331) Meta is Murder
Today is one of those days I wanted to listen more and talk less. And listening more made me realize how my environment was shaping me. In SF, and the tech world, sometimes I fall into this rut where every time I’m talking to people, I automatically place them in a bucket of “useful or not”. It’s a shitty way to behave.
When I was in NY in my twenties, I remembered just sitting at bars and talking to people just because they had interesting lives or experiences. It’s kind of like being on the road. Long term travel has a way of opening you up to the world and letting humanity in. Not out of any transactional motivations but just because you’re just a person floating on, gathering knowledge and wisdom and perspective.
It’s a little early for Thanksgiving, but here’s my “thanks” post: it’s a reminder of how many people have helped me along and influenced me for the better. And they’re all good friends now — who would’ve thought that would happen? :)