A world of comparisons and trade-offs

Following up from last night, I want to hammer home an important point: We live in a world of limitations. That means that the comparative value of your time spent doing certain activities is more important than an absolute value. Practicing scales will improve your guitar technique, but will it improve your technique as much as spending the same amount of time practicing actual musical pieces? The idea that students should practice music rather than scales isn’t exactly anathema to the orthodox music education practitioner; the traditionalist would say, “Practice both!” We don’t have unlimited time on this earth to…

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Writing Groups

By “Writing Groups,” I mean a group of writers that read and give feedback to each others works. Are these sorts of groups useful? They can be, but compared to other things you could be doing, I think their utility is minimal or possibly a negative, depending on what sort of people are in the group. I’ll give an example to spring-board this discussion: Before I go further, this is a reminder that I never endorse piling on anyone I link in this blog. Heather wants to be a writer and improve her craft. I want anyone with that desire…

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A Book For All Creative types

Pre-order it now on Amazon, coming in March! Here’s some of the things I go over in this book: How to self-assess your life priorities and decide where your focus should be How to design a creative process that will allow you to meet your goals, over and over again How to adjust your mindset so you can complete the projects you begin and become a prolific artist How to stay inspired and keep yourself from burning out. Pre-order it now!

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Nostalgia Chronicles: Gen Y

It’s a hot day, and it isn’t helped by the thirty-five pounds of books in your backpack. You walk steadily away from the chaos that is the end of the school day; the swarms of cars and kids move steadily behind you, and the quiet of the deserted streets sets in, interrupted only by the occasional quip from one of your walking companions. One by one the friends of mutual direction peel off, and you’re by yourself, walking through the empty suburbs to your house. There’s never enough trees, and you begin to accumulate a layer of sweat under your…

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It’s about dunking on you

I didn’t watch the super bowl. I haven’t in some time; Even if I wanted to, I lack the means, but as time goes on I’m ever more thankful for this. The halftime show, as usual, was a debacle of sorts. Two (middle-aged) women went on stage in skimpy attire and danced erotically for the biggest TV audience of the year. I saw some clips after the fact; I won’t link them here for reasons that will be clear. As usual, most people are missing what such a display is really about. It’s about dunking on you. It’s also about…

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The Parable of the Wise and Lazy Farmers

There were once two grape growers, who each had plots handed down to them from their fathers. One of the farmers was a diligent, wise man, who followed the teachings of his father and was prosperous with his craft. The other man heeded little the gifts of his father, and was prone to vice and laziness. It happened that one year, as the winter was receding, the lazy farmer neglected to prune the old growth from his vines. The wise farmer, who went out to the fields with his children to prune the vines, noticed this and grumbled to himself,…

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The Diversity War never Ends

It doesn’t matter how much you shut out men. It doesn’t matter how concentrated alternative lifestyle adherents are in your industry. They will always call for more. You are in an eternal state of sin for the color of your skin. Take note of this. Not only are the goalposts shifting, there were never any goalposts to begin with; or rather, the goals are different than what they say they are and aren’t actually on the field. The point of pretending there are goalposts is to get you to play the game they want you to play. If your industry…

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5 Minute Abs

If you grew up watching 80s and 90s commercials, you undoubtedly have seen countless devices for getting abs for “only 5 minutes a day!” Rational, experienced people know this is bullshit. If you could get abs in only five minutes a day, we’d all have them, right? In truth, you can get abs for five minutes a day – five minutes planning your diet to lose the fat covering the ab muscles you already have. This is the perfect metaphor for anyone looking to accomplish something difficult. Everyone wants to sell you some special method for getting what you want…

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Jealousy among artists

At the age of 36 I’ve been involved for multiple years with several big artistic “scenes,” including authors of various genres, classical musicians (particularly guitarists), flamenco musicians, and peripherally visual arts scenes such as comic artists. In all of these, there is a character flaw that seems to occur at much higher levels than the background (and I have personal points of comparison – I’ve been lots of other things besides an artist). That flaw is jealousy. Artists are insanely jealous of one another. The worst is probably in the visual arts, but certain music scenes are simply intolerable once…

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The Death Cult

I’ve been talking about the Death Cult for a while now, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see others coming to similar conclusions on their own. What is the death cult? It is a developing secular religion that is dedicated to death, of course, but this is not a religion of suicide, at least as you normally know suicide. Here’s what I mean: Is your own death the worst thing that can happen? Only a sociopath would say “yes.” What is worse, your death, or the death of your family? The death of your city? Country? Your country and yourself?…

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