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Category: quotes

  • The danger in technology is not the power the technology has, which can be misused by a person, but that the natural flow of the use of technology argues for banality and conformity and the mundane. And it argues against the unexpected and the accidental and the perverse. So my only advice to music technology people is to be very careful when you automate the process of making something prettier, or regulating something. It’s now kind of normal for people to tune their vocals in the studio to the extent that one vocalist is just as good as another; for a lot of utilitarian tasks, it could be anybody. And as tools become more powerful, you run the risk of reducing essentially everyone to interchangeable elements, because the quirks and the idiosyncracies and the oddities that make us able to discern the difference between one person and another, those disappear. (…) The natural utility of [these tools] argues against the irregularities and the perversities that make music brilliant rather than delivering what is expected.”

  • “(…) to affirm life without lying about it.”

  • The point (…) isn’t to imagine a parallel universe in which things were easy, but to raise the possibility that they might in fact be easy, here and now.

    (…) the irony of what’s going on here is that this prospect – that something meaningful might prove easier than you imagined – can itself be a source of discomfort. Many of us were apparently raised to believe not just that important things can feel difficult (they can!) but that they must feel difficult; that the measure of accomplishment is how much effort it took. And, moreover, that effort is a measure of self-worth — that if an achievement comes easily to you, you must somehow be cheating, or that you just got lucky.

    It feels somehow illicit to consider the alternative: that you might already have all it takes (…)

    Oliver Burkeman

  • What can be done? Say who you are, really say it in your life and in your work. Tell someone out there who is lost, someone not yet born, someone who won’t be born for 500 years. Your writing will be a record of your time. It can’t help but be that. But more importantly, if you’re honest about who you are, you’ll help that person be less lonely in their world because that person will recognise him or herself in you and that will give them hope. It’s done so for me and I have to keep rediscovering it. It has profound importance in my life. Give that to the world, rather than selling something to the world. Don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way the world must work and that in the end selling is what everyone must do. Try not to.

    (…) Do you. It isn’t easy but it’s essential. It’s not easy because there’s a lot in the way. In many cases a major obstacle is your deeply seated belief that you are not interesting. And since convincing yourself that you are interesting is probably not going to happen, take it off the table. Agree. Perhaps I’m not interesting, but I am the only thing I have to offer, and I want to offer something. And by offering myself in a true way I am doing a great service to the world, because it is rare and it will help.

    Charlie Kaufman


  • “You have to move from facility to something else.”

    Zadie Smith


  • Disregard what other people may think (but not what they may feel).

    Lydia Davis

    (from “Thirty Recommendations for Good Writing Habits”)

  • One common mistake – the belief that to draw a cartoon is to draw someone sillier than oneself – must be avoided at all costs.

    Hayao Miyazaki

    from the Porco Rosso director’s statement

  • It is high time for writers — and especially true artists — to admit that it is impossible to explain anything.

    Anton Chekhov

    (letter to Alexei Suvorin, 1888)