How to Learn Anything
- Decide what you want to learn. But you can’t know exactly, because of course you don’t know exactly how any field is structured until you know about it.
- Read everything you can on it, especially what you enjoy, since that way you can read more of it and faster.
- Grab for insights. Regardless of points others are trying to make, when you recognize an insight that has meaning for you, make it your own. It may have to do with the shape of molecules, or the personality of a specific emperor, or the quirks of a Great Man in the Field. Its importance is not how central it is, but how clear and interesting and memorable to you. Remember it. Then go for another.
- Tie insights together. Soon you will have your own string of insights in a field, like the string of lights around a Christmas tree.
- Concentrate on magazines, not books. Magazines have a far more insights per inch of text, and can be read much faster. But when a book really speaks to you, lavish attentions on it.
- Find your own special topics, and pursue them.
- Go to conventions. For some reason, conventions are a splendid concentrated way to learn things; talking to people helps. Don’t think you have to be anybody special to get to a convention; just plunk down your money. But you have to have a handle. Calling yourself a Consultant is good; “Student” is perfectly honorable.
- “Find your man.” Somewhere in the world is someone who will answer your questions extraordinarily well. If you find him, dog him. He may be a janitor or a teenage kid; no matter. Follow him with your begging-bowl, if that’s what he wants, or take him to expensive restaurants, or whatever.
- Keep improving your questions. Probably in your head there are questions, that don’t seem to line up with what you are hearing. Don’t assume that you don’t understand; keep adjusting the questions till you can get an answer that relates to what you wanted.
- Your field is bounded where you want it to be. Just because others group and stereotype things in conventional ways does not mean they are necessarily right. Intellectual subjects are connected every whichway; your field is what you think it is. (Again, this is one of the things what will get you into trouble if you try to go for degrees.)
questions that are important to me for now:
How can we together weave a mythology where everyone is home?
How might I remember those who are afraid of being left behind? (cf.)
silly and serious things
metacommentary/things that are self aware
sublime unknowable: you are part of something larger, awe and wonder
striking, "scary" stuff
self guided ways of navigating information and making meaning
satire, dumb spoofs and jokes
shock, virality, memes
how to design so that the interaction between audience and object uncovers new insights that are personal? how can the interaction be a sieve?
blends print/digital experiences
using print/digital metaphors: hybridization
typographically: the language of errors and text editors
to be more open source, multiplatform friendly, flexible
juxtaposing type that's commonly associated, so that the relationship between the two draws new connections and inspires reflection & critique
research as a performance, as an artistic process
 The feeling of stumbling across a MSCHF product in the wild is a little like discovering a TV show you love and then realizing you still have four perfect seasons left to watch. It’s magical and maybe even a little secret, a place where you might even find some community. “It’s not necessarily marketing. We’re just creating experiences that people end up sharing,” says Whaley. “I think it’s definitely made for a generation that is more online than any other.”
“What I’ll say to that is that whenever someone sees a MSCHF project, they should see what is hopefully a refreshingly new take on storytelling that defies what platforms dictate they should be,” Whaley tells me months later. “All of a sudden, the word content is almost synonymous with quick bites of video content that bigger richer people try to come in and capitalize on. And that’s why what MSCHF does is it’s almost like a punch up at the powers that be to tell stories in a way that’s more human and less platform dependent.”
In a way, he says, everyone’s creating their own MSCHF.
/ “Everything is just, ‘How do we kind of make fun of what we’re observing?’” Whaley said. “Then we have as much fun with it as possible and see what happens.”
/ observational comedy & commentary
 “Newsletters meet people in their habits,” said Sam Ragland, a faculty member at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank. “If you can meet people where they are, you’re more likely to retain them to get their attention.”
What if I wrote a novel that is so fractured—so in pieces—that it becomes the epicenter of the break itself? As if to say, “I’m going to refuse to create a whole finished product, but [make] the phantom of a product—the shards in the dirt. Art exists there, too.” Even though a life is broken, it’s still worthy and capable of a complete story if we look at it in the ground zero, to the point where we can not even imagine what it looked like before the fracture.
I’m creating a text that they will probably never understand, or even encounter. What does that mean in the context of erasion and survival? Perhaps is it worth it to utter it anyway—just to be a mind speaking.
I don’t have that border between art and life. I don’t want a border. This is how I want to live, and I get to choose. I get to attend to it with care and to make decisions with my own agency. Just like how I choose which words go on the page, I get to sit here and choose this time spent with you to create these ideas. Then, actually, my thoughts are enhanced towards books too. I don’t think anything is a sacrifice for the art. I think it enhances it, if we tend to it.
RERO release early release often — hm
F.A.T. Lab open source activisim
O-R-G is now a small software company. O-R-G designs, programs, publishes, and sells apps, websites, screensavers, and other small chunks of code. [on vimeo]
W.H. Auden on writing — [and enchantment] —
A poet must never make a statement simply because it sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true. This does not mean, of course, that one can only appreciate a poet whose beliefs happen to coincide with one’s own. It does mean, whoever, that one must be convinced that the poet really believes what he says, however odd the belief may seem to oneself.
What the poet has to convey is not “self-expression,” but a view of a reality common to all, seen from a unique perspective, which it is his duty as well as his pleasure to share with others. To small truths as well as great, St. Augustine’s words apply.
“The truth is neither mine nor his nor another’s but belongs to us all whom Thou callest to partake of it, warning us terribly, not to account in private to ourselves, lest we be deprived of it.”
It’s tricky to write a manifesto about something that’s constantly in change. Also, we are evolving. We’ve found out new things along the way, and sometimes we prefer to work less rigidly.
— TCI: Luna Maurer on being a designer — conversation with Brandon Stosuy
Robert Glennon, a water-law expert at the University of Arizona’s Rogers College of Law, said some of the distrust of private-sector control of water supplies may stem from misunderstandings of what customers pay for and where most fresh water goes. “Water may be a gift from God, but God doesn’t give us pipes, and pipes are expensive,” he said.
“With blogging, you’re talking to a large audience; with digital gardening, you’re talking to yourself. You focus on what you want to cultivate over time.”