inspiration

Moonshot thinking

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Just keep making

just_keep_making_frame_white_2_lo_grande

Amen. You can buy this poster here.

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Ira Glass: The gap

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The Holstee Manifesto

The Holstee Manifesto

The Holstee Manifesto. Get it here.

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We built it for ourselves

We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.

When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

Steve Jobs, 1985 (via)

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Pessimism/optimism

Pessimism/optimism

Posters by Alain de Botton and Anthony Burrill (on sale here).

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Rilke: “The Man Watching”

I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend,
I can’t love without a sister.

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestler’s sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.

Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.

Rainer Maria Rilke. Translation by Robert Bly.

This is how writers grow, too: by being defeated, decisively, by constantly greater challenges.

Image: detail from Léon Bonnat, “Jacob Wrestling the Angel,” 1876. Pencil and black chalk on paper. 20¾ x 14½ in. (via)

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Quote of the Day

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Albert Einstein (via)

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Quote of the Day

The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.

Arnold Bennett (via)

Chuck Close: Inspiration is for amateurs

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”

Chuck Close (via)

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Churchill: On risk

Play the game for more than you can afford to lose … only then will you learn the game.

Winston Churchill (via)

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Quote of the Day

There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein (via)

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is … Pippi Longstocking?

Stieg Larsson’s detective character, Lisbeth Salander, the “girl with the dragon tattoo,” was apparently inspired by Pippi Longstocking. According to a former work colleague,

Stieg got the idea for the character Lisbeth Salander after a discussion during a break from work. They were talking about how different characters from children’s books would manage and behave if they were alive and grown up. Stieg especially liked the idea about a grown up Pippi Longstocking, a dysfunctional girl, probably with attention deficit disorder who would have had a hard time finding a regular place in the “normal society,” and he used … those characteristics when he created Lisbeth Salander.

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