Category: culture

  • Popular blogs, Amazon reviews, and cults of personality

    Watching big-time bloggers put out books really is something else. Case in point: yesterday, Mark Sisson, a huge paleo blogger, released a book called the 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Naturally, he was trying to hit the New York Times bestseller list, and offering bonuses for buying multiple books, etc, as many people have before. The […]

  • A Quick Thought About Anti-Social Douchebags

    You’ll often notice guys in airports, washrooms, cafés, etc., talking loud on their phones, disrupting conversations everywhere. You’ll also often notice that these are often powerful-looking guys: business-types, tall maybe, expensive phones, etc. In fact, you might even have a situation in mind. I know I can think of a few. Sometimes, these scenes go […]

  • You Cannot Die

    Have you ever thought about how difficult it is to actually hurt yourself? I don’t mean a paper cut. I mean something that’s disgusting to look at, where you’re at risk for death. What would it take? In this society, it’s very difficult. We are safe. And even if we are hurt, plastic surgery, free […]

  • Future Kings and Paupers: Why Making $1,000,000 is Only the Beginning

    This post will probably be ignored. It isn’t about Twitter and it doesn’t include an infographic. It’s complex, not easy, which is why it’s kind of a mess. Skip it if you think you can’t handle it, no problem. But first, a question. Do you think you’re a good judge of character? Most people do. […]

  • The Smiley Becomes the Feeling

    A family friend just called me to explain she needed a lesson in text messaging. “My clients are younger people now,” she said, “and they text all the time. I need to learn how to do this.” She’s getting an iPhone. For communicators, it’s inevitable. They must adapt to all media in order to compete. […]

  • The Privatization of Culture and the Illusion of Depth

    An MP3 used to be a concert. A Kindle used to be a bookstore. Is this you? You listen to music personally on your MP3 player. You read books by yourself and watch your TV on your laptop or iPad. You eat alone at least 50% of the time, rarely go to concerts, and watch more […]

  • Where the Poor Go

    I was checking out some graffiti in my neighbourhood the other day and thinking about gentrification. It seems natural that those that are poor would be able to see opportunity in places (neighbourhoods) where the rich are not looking yet. This is how startups get profitable and why artists move into sketchy areas of a […]

  • Choose Your Web Wisely

    Voting, food, career, spending, success– all of these and more are political acts. We don’t realize it while we’re doing them, but all are meaningful in terms of who they help– ourselves, our families and communities, or the world at large. The mere act of paying rent to the stranger who owns your apartment building, […]

  • A story about prisoners and a guard

    Imagine a prison with a hundred inmates and one guard. All the inmates want to escape. Of course the guard does not. He stands up on a wall with a rifle and fires at anyone trying to climb it to take him down. If one prisoner tries it, he fails and dies. If they all do, […]

  • Why We Say “Because”

    “Because” is the place where experience ends and faith begins. Children have two ways of discovering how the universe works: one is to experiment, and the other is to ask “why.” The result is a complex series of if-then conditions that tell a child what can be done, and what can’t, creating flags that are used […]