Earlier this week, musician Neil Young finished raising the third biggest amount ever on crowdfunding website Kickstarter. His Pono music player and downloads store attracted $6.2m of pledges, with plans to launch both later this year.
Pono unites the two key strands of projects that have been most successful on Kickstarter: art and technology. The site has popularised the idea of crowdfunding, where creators or companies go directly to their existing fans or potential customers and ask them for money in return for the finished product – as well as more rewards for those who choose to pay more.
“Walmart’s owners are so absurdly rich that one of them, Alice Walton, spent over a billion dollars building an art museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, 500 miles away from the nearest person who ever would want to look at art. And she said about it, “For years I’ve been thinking about what we can do as a family that can really make a difference.” How about giving your employees a raise, you deluded nitwit? (massive audience cheering and applause)”—Bill Maher’s excellent commentary on America’s disappearing middle class
“If you believe that you have something special inside of you, and you feel it’s about time you gave it a shot, honor that calling in some small way — today. If you feel a knot in your stomach because you can see the enormous distance between your dreams and your daily reality, do one thing to tighten your grip on what you want — today. If you’ve been peering out over the edge of the cliff but can’t quite make the leap, dig a little deeper and find out what’s stopping you — today. Because there is a recurring choice in life, and it occurs at the intersection of two roads. We arrive at this place again and again. And today, you get to choose.”—The Crossroads of Should and Must — Medium, Long — Medium
“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more “successful” people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these needs have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.”—What Is Education For?
“Every single day, I get emails from aspiring writers asking my advice about how to become a writer, and here is the only advice I can give: Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts. Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won’t — and if they don’t notice, I know it’s frustrating. But, ultimately, that doesn’t change anything — because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.”—John Green’s Superb Advice to Aspiring Writers and Creators in the Digital Age | Brain Pickings
ONE OF THE GREAT BEAUTIES OF THE DIGITAL ERA IS TO LIBERATE SPONTANEOUS CREATIVITY - IT MIGHT BE A CHAOTIC SPACE OF FREE ASSOCIATION SOMETIMES BUT THE CONTEMPORARY EXPERIENCE OF DIGITAL RE-MEDIATION IS ENORMOUSLY LIBERATING.
WE DON’T FEEL THE LEAST ALIENATED BY THIS;
APPROPRIATION AND RECONTEXTUALIZATION IS A LONG-STANDING BEHAVIOR THAT HAS JUST BEEN MADE EASIER AND MORE VISIBLE BY THE UBIQUITY OF INTERNET. IN A FEW WORDS:
WE ABSOLUTELY SUPPORT FAIR USE OF OUR MUSIC, AND WE CAN ONLY ENCOURAGE A NEW COPYRIGHT POLICY THAT PROTECTS FAIR USE AS MUCH AS EVERY CREATORS’ LEGITIMATE INTERESTS.
“The allure of youth has culturally shifted from being about innocence to being about achievement. Many a Millennial I know has spent a long night pondering their misspent youth after reading the horrible torture tool that is the “30 Under 30” article. This deep panic is different from what Boomers experienced in their 20s, as many were capable of acquiring the trappings of adulthood early on — thankfully for them the economy made the dream of a house with a white picket fence a reality.”—Here’s Everything That’s Wrong With Our ‘Under 30’ Obsession
“That was just bragging. I wanted to be like Jay. I wanted to be like Puff. Those are their paths. I got my own path. But I didn’t know what my path was. I knew that I was meant to do something different. I knew that I needed to inject purpose in my music. And I thought that was my path. I didn’t realize that like, from ’08 up until now was like, training. Like, keep putting purpose in everything you do. Don’t worry about it; just put purpose in there.”—Pharrell Williams GQ Exclusive: The Making of G I R L
“Think of yourself as a freelancer for life and always nurture your networks, no matter what. Avoid getting lulled into a false sense of security. To stay engaged, take control of your professional development. The alternative is rather feudal.”—Engaged for work | Harold Jarche
WRITER SHERRY TURKLE IS USING SELFIES TO PROMOTE A POPULAR ARGUMENT: THAT TECHNOLOGY HARMS THE WAY WE RELATE TO EACH OTHER. BUT SHE’S WRONG AND OUTDATED—AND LISTENING TO HER MAKES US MISS WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT.