Five Links #053
Pete's tweets; sitting alone in an empty room
The noisiest birdcage ..
I’ve had an on again off again relationship with Twitter. Sometimes I’m committed to giving it a red-hot go. Other times, I think the whole thing is stupid.
This article suggests the real problem is not so much the people who, like me, rarely add to the noise. But rather the bigger problem is with those who have developed a following and who regularly preach to it.
Why it matters: The rising power and prominence of the nation's loudest, meanest voices obscures what most of us personally experience: Most people are sane and generous — and too busy to tweet.
No Matter What, You’re In Sales ..
I’m a big fan of the television series Mad Men. Most of the attention is understandable on Don Draper. Sometimes, its about Peggy Olsen. And every once in a while Roger Stirling gets a chance to be endearing. But Pete Campbell never really hits it off with the viewer. He starts out damn right slimy, and then transitions into a something of a pitied pathos.
Until the back half of the series, where Pete stops trying to be a womanising creative man and makes peace with being a womanising sales man.
He makes a bunch of bad decisions throughout the show. He blows up his life and the audience never really sees a rewarding conclusion. But it was nice to see him start to be recognised for what he brought to the team - even if that wasn’t the success he set out to achieve at the beginning.
The first step is admitting it ..
I confess - I have a thing for infographics. And so this article about their allure — and the danger they present, like fast food or trash tv — hits deep.
I confess. I’m guilty. I’m a data fetishist. I can’t look past the attractive charts and clever graphics. I ignore the effort required to think more deeply. I take what I can from the pretty pictures and move on.
But I’m committed to being a better person. I will strive for something more meaningful. It’s clear I have a long way to go in my journey, but I hope that with your support I will be a better person. Thank you.
Data fetishism — the endowment of data with powers that extend well beyond its intrinsic utility —is the crucial link between the erotics and economics of infographics. This is not to say that the creation or dissemination of any particular flashy chart or graph is driven by a direct attempt to cash in – though one can certainly point to examples, such as Tableau’s dashboard demos or Amazon Web Service’s flashy infographics that appear on live NFL broadcasts in order to advertise the company’s analytics services. Rather, when taken as a phenomenon writ large, the erotics of infographics not only extends the seductive promises of data’s power that underpin data fetishism but also further entrenches the lucrative industries of data analytics and artificial intelligence within our daily lives. The end result of the erotics is to undress us, exposing more and more aspects of our existences to monetizable data-driven “solutions.”
What to do when getting rid of the unwanted no longer sparks joy ..
There are many articles floating around regarding the benefits that come with owning less and giving away unnecessary clutter. But there aren’t many articles that actually help you achieve that aim.
This one goes a little of the way there. Though I still think there is room for a more step-by-step guide. That might sound a little silly - surely the answer is to get a box and put your things in it - but as this article demonstrates, sometimes it’s just not that easy.
TIP No. 5: A major perk of death is that you don’t have to clean up after yourself. If you can’t muster the courage to deal with your three storage units, leave the contents to your heirs. Mention in the will that there’s something valuable in one of them.
Getting deep on sitting alone ..
I enjoyed this piece, which argues that while the infinite scroll has made us more comfortable with sitting alone, we are shit-scared of the boredom we might face without our precious black mirrors.
Let me know what you think.
There is enough thought-provoking material in it to quote, and it attacks human nature from a variety of different angles, but one of its most famous thoughts aptly sums up the core of his argument:
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
According to Pascal, we fear the silence of existence, we dread boredom and instead choose aimless distraction, and we can’t help but run from the problems of our emotions into the false comforts of the mind.
The issue at the root, essentially, is that we never learn the art of solitude.