Helping Creative People Create

YouTube – Power Laces.

I have no words.

It sounds like something out of a Dan Brown novel, but a scholar in Manchester, England, claims to have found hidden code in the ancient writings of Plato. If true, the secret messages would have made the ancient philosopher and mathematician a heretic in his day.

Jay Kennedy tells NPR’s Guy Raz that his discovery was partially luck. Looking at Plato’s works in their original scroll form, he noticed that every 12 lines there was a passage that discussed music. “The regularity of that pattern was supposed to be noticed by Plato’s readers,” Kennedy says.

A Musical Message Discovered In Plato’s Works : NPR.

Talk about a creative way to a) gain more press and b) send a jab to the AP. Awesome.

You see, Woot noticed that the AP covered the story of their sale five days ago. But in doing so, they also noticed that the AP used a number of quotes from CEO Matt Rutledge’s blog post about the sale. According to the AP’s own ridiculous rules for using quotations, Woot figures that the AP owes them $17.50.

Here’s the section from Woot’s Post.

But, hey. We’re all friends here. And invoicing is such a hassle in today’s paperless society, are we right? How about this: instead of cutting us a check for the web content you liberated from our site, all you’ll need to do is show us your email receipt from today’s two pack of Sennheiser MX400 In-Ear Headphones, and we’ll call it even.

Woot To The AP: Nice Story About Our Sale — You Now Owe Us $17.50.

But when tomorrow comes round there’s another pile of emails, phone messages, and to-do list items. If you carry on like this you will spend most of your time on reactive work, responding to incoming demands and answering questions framed by other people. It’s a never-ending hamster wheel. And it will never lead to remarkable work, in Seth Godin‘s sense, “worthy of being remarked on.” We don’t find it remarkable when our expectations are met – only when they are exceeded, or when we are surprised by something completely unexpected.

The Key to Creating Remarkable Things :: Tips :: The 99 Percent.

One of the things he said in his talk that I can’t get out of my mind is this: (I’m paraphrasing) “If you have one cracked tile, it’s a flaw. If you have several pieces of cracked tile, you have a pattern.”

This thought/principle about design makes me exceedingly happy.

It also reminds me of something I (think) I read in Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. She said, (Again paraphrasing) In one particular culture (India?) they intentionally build a flaw into the design of every building they construct. This honors the imperfections of humanity.

Perfect is something we often strive for, but in the end it is hardly more beautiful or wonderful than the imperfect way of real. The gaps in the front teeth, the vulnerable and tender heart that feels hurt, the way that Ben calls blimps “plumps” and we refuse to correct him.

Superhero Journal: the beauty of imperfection*. (via chrisguillebeau)

If you had to rate your content on a scale of 1 to 10, what would you give it? A 6? A 7? That’s what most bloggers say.

But here’s the problem: you can’t really grade content on a scale. You’re either blowing people’s minds or putting them to sleep, and there’s nothing in between.

Put another way, content graded as a 6 or 7 gets the same reaction as a 1. It’s a waste of time to publish it.

This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. The really hard way.

The rest of this article is absolutely fantastic. Well worth the read.

via 20 Warning Signs That Your Content Sucks | Copyblogger.

It’s tough to feel like even your best work is destined to become nothing but a chip wrapper.

via The 7 Essential Steps to Creating Your Content Masterpiece | Copyblogger.

The Glass House served as Johnson’s weekend retreat — during the week, he lived in an apartment above New York’s Museum of Modern Art — and according to our tour guide, when he arrived, he would empty the contents of his pockets into the box so as not to lose track of anything.

Not a bad idea. I hate sitting and working with things in my pocket. I instinctively take them out whenever I sit down at the desk or any other table.

via The box on Philip Johnson’s desk « Quo Vadis Blog.

This may be the most powerful force in the movie, and one of the reasons the Toy Story franchise has made billions. The sole ambition of the group of protagonists was that they love each other, and that they get back to the service of the one who loved them and whom they loved in return. It’s an age-old theme, but it’s powerful and it triggers a remarkably meaningful response in almost all of us.

via Toy Story 3: What We Can Learn From a Great Story Pt. 2 of 3 | Donald Miller’s Blog.

1) Writers are not normal.
E.L. Doctorow calls writing “a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” What he means is that artists and entrepreneurs are a little crazy. They hear music that the rest of us don’t. And sometimes the pursuit of that music carries them apart from their kinder, gentler selves. We must exercise great patience when we love artists. They are driven by forces that they don’t understand and cannot control.

via Loving A Writer | Steven Pressfield Online.

Ask my wife if this is true. Go ahead. Ask her.

:)

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