“We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have. In the tradeoff between timeliness and timelessness, choose the latter. The zeitgeist rewards timeliness, but your soul rewards timelessness. Work on things that will last. Inside each of us is a little ten-year-old child, curious and pure, acting on impulse, not yet caring what other people think. Remember what you were doing at ten, and try to get back to doing that thing, incorporating everything you’ve learned along the way.
Jonathan Harris’ essay on Navigating Stuckness is a beautiful summary of what it means to be a maker.
“Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time. This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman, for it’s hard to better capture something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that — a myth — as well as a reminder that our present definition of success needs serious retuning. As I’ve reflected elsewhere, the flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.
Congrats to Maria Popova for seven years of running Brain Pickings. I really loved her birthday post about seven things she’s learned. The above is something that’s very close to my heart as it’s one of the few gripes I have with the fast-moving, short-lived nature that is the web (industry).
“Getting a great deal on a subscription isn’t the reason to get a magazine. But great content is. (…) The measure of a great magazine is how hard it is to throw the darn thing away.
There are lots of other great nuggets in Huit Denim’s Magazine Theories.
No6 on pre-sale here next week.
Photo by Graham Hancock
As you can tell, I’m getting more and more excited about the upcoming launch of issue No6. Here’s another little teaser…
Photo by Michael Shane.
A quick sneak peek of the upcoming issue No6. Going on (pre)sale later this month!
Photo by Steven Stone
Why does a printed magazine or a book feel so good?
I think about books and magazines as objects, and when you have a valuable object at home, whether it’s an artwork or a piece of wood from the forest, the object has a source or origin. If you take a book, we already know that there is an author, a genre, a style – it’s not just a platform for print, but an object with a complex origin. The articles, materials and images in a digital text are, in a sense, abstract – they have origins but those origins are not concrete. (…)
When you are offering high-quality creative materials, people need time to process what they are seeing and take perspectives on it. Print allows that because it is an object. But if you have it in digital form, you treat it according to the laws of the tablet or computer. Designers of touchscreen technology have deliberately eliminated many of the natural aspects of touch – whether it is a hard or soft surface, whether there is any friction – because otherwise it wouldn’t function as well. But it has created a kind of diminutive of human touch.
Some really excellent points about the difference in the reading experience between digital and print in the latest issue of What’s Next. You can read the entire article in PDF form here.
Thanks to Marc Vallée for finding the digital version of this. And no, the irony of it is not lost on me. ;)
A sneak peek at an interview in the upcoming Issue No5. We’ll be sending our files to the printer at the end of the week with the ink hitting paper starting next week. Issue No5 will go on presale very soon! Stay tuned. :)
“The truth about the difference between introverts and extroverts lies in how personal energy is used and gained. Introverts need a lot of recharging time to gain energy. Being out-and-about, especially in social situations, is draining. Alone time is the only way to get that energy back. For me, it’s a lot of alone time. Not sitting in a dark cave staring at the wall, but somewhere comfortable where I can do other activities I enjoy. Laying on a hotel bed catching up on the internet totally counts. At home cooking dinner totally counts. Even reading a book at a coffee shop counts.
Yesterday’s pastry box entry by Chris Coyier mentions and links to an article that had a really big impact on me when I first read it a few years back. Jonathan Rauch’s “Caring for Your Introvert" made me come to the realisation that I too am an introvert. It explains why social events and chatty people make me feel so exhausted. It makes clear that introverted does not equal "weird" or "socially awkward". Just like Chris I felt relief when I discovered that there is nothing wrong with enjoying the company of fewer people, or getting joy out of being alone.
If this sounds like you too, I wholeheartedly recommend reading Jonathan’s article. There is a good chance it will make you feel less anxious about your social skills when hiding behind your screen while others tell you how awesome their night out was.
“As a newbie publisher and art director for Offscreen, one of the biggest inspirations before launching our inaugural issue was the Singaporean “Underscore”. I’ve always been a big fan of compact, book-like magazines and when I came across Underscore at a book store in Melbourne, it just felt instantly “right”. The subtle colour palette printed on high-quality Munken Print Cream paper gives the stories an almost dreamy atmosphere that is solidified through the consistent use of custom-made typography. I have to admit, the beauty of this publication often distracts me from properly engaging with its content. It might be my designer eye, but hey, there are no rules for how to enjoy a magazine. Call me superficial on this one — I’m in love nevertheless.
For a small contribution in the next issue of What’s Next Magazine I was just asked “Which printed publication of the past year has made a bigger impression on you than any other? And how or why did it do so?” My answer is a bit of a fanboy-ish love affair with Underscore.