On Pessimism

This lecture by Alain de Botton is inspiring, entertaining and even mindblowing. Have you ever thought that sometimes embracing sadness and pessimism could help you achieve better things in life? It may seem a little odd but it does make sense. If you have half an hour to spend, I suggest you listen to this.

“In this secular sermon, Alain challenges the great bourgeois promise that everyone can find happiness in love and work and suggests that we take on the joys of pessimism instead. He argues that the chances of anyone succeeding in both areas (let alone in one) are extremely remote – and that it is therefore peculiar, and deeply cruel, to base our societies around these values. Indeed, in denying a place for misery and despair, the modern world denies us the possibility of collective consolation, condemning us instead to solitary feelings of shame and persecution. ”

3D printers as teleporters

Anil Dash has some great ideas about 3d printing and teleporting:

“Every 3D printer should seamlessly integrate a 3D scanner, even if it makes the device cost much more. The reason is simple: If you set the expectation that every device can both input and output 3D objects, you provide the necessary fundamentals for network effects to take off amongst creators. But no, these devices are not “3D fax machines”. What you’ve actually made, when you have an internet-connected device that can both send and receive 3D-printed objects, is a teleporter. I know that sci-fi nerds will point out that this is hardly teleportation, since you’re cloning the shape of the original object rather than actually sending the original object somewhere. But sci-fi correctness is not nearly as useful for the 3D printing industry as a totally futuristic concept that can get normal people excited. Imagine a simple television ad with a clean, well-designed (not a kit!) device saying “when you lose the wheel for your kid’s toy car, her friend can teleport her a replacement”.

Full article here.

[via boing boing]

Fake Holidays

Fake Holidays is a photography project by Reiner Riedler:

“When wishes are out of reach, simulation is taking over our leisure time and our holidays. Imaginary worlds are created, often under massive technological exertion, in order to offer us experience as reproducible merchandise. Although the quality of these adventures on demand sometimes proves to be rather dubious, the boom does shed light on one thing: the yearnings and dreams underlying people’s daily lives.”



Francis Ford Coppola Predicts YouTube in 1991

“Suddenly, one day some little fat girl in Ohio is gonna be the new Mozart…and make a beautiful film with her father’s little camera-corder, and for once this whole professionalism about movies will be destroyed, forever, and it will really become an art form.” – Francis Ford Coppola

The excerpt comes from Hearts of Darkness, the documentary about Coppola’s 1979 cult-classic Apocalypse Now.

(via Brain Pickings)

Random Book Giveaway on Facebook

Niente di speciale, solo un regalino di Natale. Se ti interessa ricevere una copia gratis del mio libro “Random” e hai un account di Facebook, clicca qui, compila la form e aggiungi una motivazione.
Sceglierò due vincitori tra tutti i partecipanti.


Nothing special, just a Christmas Gift from me. If you’re interested in receiving a free copy of my book “Random” and you have a Facebook account, click here, fill in the form and add a motivation.
I’ll choose two winners among all the participants.


Malcolm McLaren: The Quest for Authentic Creativity

This is possibly the best speech I heard about creativity and authenticity in years. Try to watch it entirely, it’s worth it:

Quoting from Open Culture‘s website:

In early October of 2009, Malcolm McLaren was nearing death but didn’t know it yet. He showed up at the 2009 Handheld Learning conference feeling fatigued, but managed to deliver a provocative and heartfelt speech titled, ‘Never Mind the Bullocks, Here’s the Txt Pistols,’ in which he reflects on his life growing up in post-World War II England and expresses dismay over the rise of what he called ‘karaoke culture.’

‘All popular culture today,’ said McLaren, ‘goes to great lengths to promote the idea that it’s cool to be stupid.’ He championed instead the ‘messy process of creativity’ in which struggle, failure and the acquisition of skill and knowledge are valued above instant fame. You can watch the complete speech above. A few days after it was given, McLaren went into the hospital and learned that he had cancer. He died six months later, on April 8, 2010.”

[via Open Culture]