People who know they’re being watched change their behaviour. In a world awash in surveillance devices, hoodies are an element of fashion driven by an architectural condition. They are a response to the constant presence of cameras overhead. People who don’t want to be watched wear them. People who want to be the kind of people who don’t want to be watched wear them. People who want to look like the kind of people who don’t want to be watched wear them.
The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us; it’s about what can be done by us together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self- government. That’s the principle we were founded on.
This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth, the belief that our destiny is shared — that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.
… And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope.
I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the road blocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunities and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.
I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.
President Barack Obama
November 7, 2012
David Rakoff in “This American Life: The Invisible Made Visible” (by officialtal)
…But the story is essentially the same. You go along the road as time and the elements lay waste to your luggage, scattering the contents into the bushes. Until there you are, standing with a battered and empty suitcase that frankly, no one wants to look at anymore. It’s just the way it is. But how lovely those moments were, gone now except occasionally in dreams, when one could still turn to someone and promise them something truly worth their while, just by saying “hey, watch this.”
Some part of all of us wants to be credited and enjoys the acclaim. And a big part of all of us likes getting answers. But we now live in a world where counter-intuitive bullshitting is valorized, where the pose of argument is more important than the actual pursuit of truth, where clever answers take precedence over profound questions. We have no patience for mystery. We want the deciphering of gods. We want oracles. And we want all of it right now.
What we write about when we write about those whose apparent talents were too good to be true…
Source: The Atlantic
My fear is not death; my fear is spending my last years slurping blueberry, whey and soy powder shakes in a rock star hospital in Houston, surrounded by strangers. No. My daily regimen begins with half a medical marijuana cookie in my oatmeal, and ends with dinner at a fancy restaurant with friends or family. And before bed, ice cream.
The trick to fostering collective creativity, Catmull says, is threefold: Place the creative authority for product development firmly in the hands of the project leaders (as opposed to corporate executives); build a culture and processes that encourage people to share their work-in-progress and support one another as peers; and dismantle the natural barriers that divide disciplines.
I like talking to people and the opportunity to learn something; or if I have a natural curiosity about somebody, I really look forward to that. Or if I have something that I know is gonna be silly and stupid and I want my authorship out there on this something silly and stupid, then I get eager about that. But in the old days, we just were going 20 hours a day. We’d be out on the streets, we’d be going to New Jersey, we’d be up all night shooting, and there would be contests. I can’t do that show anymore.
I am a big supporter of David Letterman, flaws and all, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard him talk so long and so candidly about himself before, and by the end of this conversation with Alec Baldwin I only wished their chat could have gone on for a few hours more.
My wife and I make a point of watching every episode of Letterman’s show now, just because we realized we don’t want to take him for granted while he’s there. It probably won’t be too much longer before Dave just stops and goes away like Johnny did (and he’s earned the right to do it just like Johnny), though maybe he’ll crop up now and then like Dick Cavett with some writing or on casual web shows and podcasts. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
When “The Late Show with David Letterman” goes away it will be the end of a unique perspective in late night comedy that is matched only by SNL (and their quite literal overlap at NBC for years) for innovation and creativity that built and defined what variety show broadcasting would be for the first real TV generation.
I only hope that enough of the next generation appreciates that.
The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.