“He said his intent was neither to mock nor glamorize Wall Street. “I do not have an agenda to paint the people or this culture one way or the other,” he said, adding that he was “always a cynical banker” when he worked on Wall Street but “I loved it. We did a lot of crazy stuff. It’s not like I had a great epiphany along the way.” Still, he said that working on Wall Street was an eye-opener. “I went into investment banking and I saw a group of people that aren’t as impressive as I thought they were — or as impressive as they thought they were. They defined themselves as human beings by their jobs.””
“What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing: you wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought. I am constantly preoccupied with how to remove distance so that we can all come closer together, so that we can all begin to sense that we are the same, we are one.”
David Hockney adds to history’s finest definitions of art and echoes Tolstoy’s timeless assertion that "a real work of art destroys, in the consciousness of the receiver, the separation between himself and the artist."
(via Austin Kleon)
“Essayists like to examine — or, to use an essayist’s favorite term, consider — topics from various perspectives. To consider is not necessarily to conclude; the essayist delights in a suspension of judgment and even an inconsistency that usually annoys the ‘so what’s your point?’ reader. The essayist, by and large, agrees with Robert Frost that thinking and voting are two different acts.”
“As I reflect on this era now in full swing in 2014, my wish is to disconnect from this overtly present present and live in the moment more. My 28 year old self is speaking to my 39 year old self. I have seen its effect in my own life. I am guilty of connecting too much and sharing too much. I am going to live more quietly. I am going to spend more time face-to-face with my friends and family. I am going to unplug more. And by disconnecting I am going to feel more connected.”
Money = Power. Our society has done a spectacular job of creating enormous amounts of wealth. At the same time, wealth is associated with power, and not having wealth can feel like not having power. So going to someone who has money and saying, “You have the resources, please give some of them to me” doesn’t feel like a conversation between equals.
How about this instead: “You are incredibly good at making money. I’m incredibly good at making change. The change I want to make in the world, unfortunately, does not itself generate much money. But man oh man does it make change. It’s a hugely important change. And what I know about making this change is as good and as important as what you know about making money.
"So let’s divide and conquer — you keep on making money, I’ll keep on making change. And if you can lend some of your smarts to the change I’m trying to make, well that’s even better. But most of the time, we both keep on doing what we’re best at, and if we keep on working together the world will be a better place."”
How much is your time worth? Start at the low end: if, instead, you had worked at a big company or started your own company or worked at an investment bank or a consulting firm, how much money would the world pay you for your skills? A few hundred thousand dollars? A few million dollars?
That’s your baseline. Now ask yourself: how important is the problem you’re trying to solve? Are you trying to make sure that women have a safe, affordable place to give birth? Creating a way for people to have clean drinking water so they and their children don’t fall ill? Protecting refugees from genocide? Providing after school tutoring for at‐risk kids? Giving people with chronic disease a place to come together and support one another?”
“Things seem to be coming to a head, if evidence of our social circles are anything to go by. Some friends need booking - literally - months in advance, while others end up flaking at the last minute because they probably didn’t want to come in the first place. Half the time, we’d rather they were just honest with us. Susie says that as part of this new shift, honesty is something that will be more commonplace. “People do feel a stronger sense of contentment when they can say ‘no’ as easily as ‘yes’,” she says.”
“My own resolute idleness has mostly been a luxury rather than a virtue, but I did make a conscious decision, a long time ago, to choose time over money, since I’ve always understood that the best investment of my limited time on earth was to spend it with people I love. I suppose it’s possible I’ll lie on my deathbed regretting that I didn’t work harder and say everything I had to say, but I think what I’ll really wish is that I could have one more beer with Chris, another long talk with Megan, one last good hard laugh with Boyd. Life is too short to be busy.”
“We’re talking all the time, in person as well as in texts, in e-mails, over the phone, on Facebook and Twitter. The world is more talkative now, in many ways, than it’s ever been. The problem, Turkle argues, is that all of this talk can come at the expense of conversation. We’re talking at each other rather than with each other. Conversations, as they tend to play out in person, are messy—full of pauses and interruptions and topic changes and assorted awkwardness. But the messiness is what allows for true exchange. It gives participants the time—and, just as important, the permission—to think and react and glean insights. “You can’t always tell, in a conversation, when the interesting bit is going to come,” Turkle says. “It’s like dancing: slow, slow, quick-quick, slow. You know? It seems boring, but all of a sudden there’s something, and whoa.” Occasional dullness, in other words, is to be not only expected, but celebrated. Some of the best parts of conversation are, as Turkle puts it, “the boring bits.” In software terms, they’re features rather than bugs.”