I'm on the Chet Atkins Diet. Pass the BBQ, please. (rik) Mon 28 Jul 03 08:47
Hey, I've got a great idea. Let's have a thrash over wording choice in a topic that's been empty for a month and a half.
Gail Williams (gail) Mon 28 Jul 03 10:34
Love it when guests get interested and post elseWELL... It's good to remember guests only promised to be present in their topics here and be available for converstation for two weeks. Some folks can't sustain the level of interactivity others take for granted, for myriad reasons, so it's only polite be clear that that phase is done. "Closed" isn't the very best term for afterwards, is it?
David Gans (tnf) Mon 28 Jul 03 10:44
That was an inapposite word choice by our interviewer, for sure. The topic remains open, obviously. Matthew Fox is a very busy man, and it was hard to find a time frame for his interview in between his many other commitments. His assistant did some of the posting for him, by the way. So it's unlikely he'll be hanging out here any more. But we can continue to talk about the issues raised in this discussion.
Gerry Feeney (gerry) Sat 2 Aug 03 20:02
WADR, I don't buy the "busy man" bit. I'm not denying that he's busy, but I'm also sure that many of our other guests have been just as busy if not more so. Fox didn't seem interested in interacting with people. He was not conversational. Maybe he just doesn't relate to this kind of medium. Nothing wrong with that. Some of my best friends are people who have absolutely no interest in getting on the WELL, or generally interacting in this type of forum. Let's face it, it's not for everyone. Or maybe he was put off by the dirty laundry that <maya> inappropriately dragged out. Who knows? My sense is that he really wasn't into it at all. His participation seemed perfuctory. Like someone told him, "You gotta do this WELL thing," and he said, "Well, okay, if I have to do it..."
Gerry Feeney (gerry) Sun 3 Aug 03 21:12
OOPS! > ... participation seemed perfuctory... ^^^^^^^^^^ That doesn't sound good at all. May I trust that everyone knew that I really meant "perfunctory?"
Gerry Feeney (gerry) Sun 3 Aug 03 22:33
Actually, this topic has been on my mind a lot in recent weeks, and, I'm sorry to say, for the most unfortunate reasons. I've been very deeply disturbed by a number of trends that I've been observing in our society. It's such a vast contention that I hardly know how to begin with it, yet I feel it's something that urgently - even desperately - needs to be discussed. For starters, I have to say that presenting Fox's message about creativity to artistic/creative people is truly a case of preaching to the choir. I realized that where this message is desperately needed is in the business community - among investors (the latter of which ultimately involves everyone who has any stake whatsoever in a pension fund, mutual fund, retirement system, etc.) To begin with, consider a few positive developments. You know those little yellow "post-it" notes? (Well, at first they were yellow, now they're in a multitude of colors, and sizes...) They are now regarded as a daily necessity in any office I've ever seen. You know how they started? A mistake. That's right, a failure. Some guy at 3-M was trying to develop a certain type of glue, and his effort failed. The result of his effort is the now famous sticky note. Xerox? Another of those great ideas that started in someone's garage, and if you'd been one of the few people willing to take a gamble on that IPO, you'd now be fabulously rich. What were the initial reactions to the idea? Most people couldn't see any value in it all. Harry Potter? Do you know how many publishers passed on J.K. Rowling's first draft? Poor, dumb, stupid bastards. How'd you like to be one those guys now, kicking yourself every day for failing to recognize the opportunity when it came along? Unix, anyone? One of the most brilliant operating systems ever devised - and now, over 30 years later, is still going stronger than ever - was the product of a bunch of guys who had probably never even *heard* the term "bottom line," much less gave a shit about it. Ritchie, Thompson, Weinberg, Aho, Bourne, Kernighan, Lesk, Johnson, et al., just fun-loving dudes who were paid a salary to sit around at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ, and think up goofey shit. They were not subjected to "metrics," "synergy," "fast track," "core competencies," or any of the other mindless drivel that permeates the corporate world today. It was R&D, pure and simple. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. One of the most uplifting and inspiring discourses I've ever heard in my life was when Steve Wozniak addressed the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco in the late '80s. His speech was titled something to the effect of 'Why Apple Computer Could Never Have Been Planned.' Given that no market existed for the personal computer at the time, would *you* have invested money in that idea? I'll be back...
David Gans (tnf) Mon 4 Aug 03 08:00
Thanks for bringing this up, Gerry. I look forward to reading more.
(fom) Wed 6 Aug 03 00:00
yes, it's very interesting.
Gerry Feeney (gerry) Wed 6 Aug 03 08:21
Thanks. Sorry I've not had to time to continue my soapbox rant, but I'm sure I'm not the only one noticing these trends. We've heard a lot of complaints about Hollywood, especially the latest round of summer movies - all sequels. If you're a creative film maker, good luck on finding someone to fund you. Hollywood money is available for films that follow formula. Also, I've been been lamenting the state of radio for about the past decade. For example, San Francisco used to have two outstanding classical radio stations, KDFC and KKHI. KKHI fell by the wayside and KDFC has been taken over by a nationwide system of formula radio. It still calls itself classical, but it's really more like "top 40 classical," and it's certainly no longer excellent. Also we have used to have KAJZ in Alameda, the oldest 24/7 jazz station in the country. That got sold down the river, and now we have no real jazz radio anymore, unless you're fortunate enough to pick up KCSM's signal (which most of the time I am not). The same problem has occurred with other genres. Good rock stations have died out or been replaced by "classic rock" formula radio. In almost any city in the US right now, your choices are very sad if you happen to dislike formula radio. Thank Gopod for the non-profits and internet webcasts.
I'm on the Chet Atkins Diet. Pass the BBQ, please. (rik) Wed 6 Aug 03 08:35
The work you do is no longer a calling, if it ever was. There is no room for labors of love. The work you do is your income generator, and in the current philsophical climate the amount of income is more important than the natrue fo the actual work. If you are not maximizing your income, you are wasting your time. Any questions? A guy named Pirsig wrote an interesting book about 25 years ago about the elusive quality of quality. But it didn't sell enough units to make a difference.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 6 Aug 03 09:06
And at the same time, the ability to get something creative into the pipeline is more and more restricted, and of course the major content providers ahve been monkeying with the law to preserve their access. In theory, those life- plus-eternity copyright laws protect me as well as Walt Disney, but my market is a good deal narrrower.
a monor quibble (chrys) Fri 8 Aug 03 12:20
<The work you do is no longer a calling, if it ever was. There is no room for labors of love. The work you do is your income generator, and in the current philsophical climate the amount of income is more important than the natrue fo the actual work. If you are not maximizing your income, you are wasting your time.> One of the questions that leaves for me is this - what is the evolutionary impact of that over time? <the ability to get something creative into the pipeline is more and more restricted, and of course the major content providers ahve been monkeying with the law to preserve their access.> Ah and look what has happened to our language. The terms in the above (pipeline, content provider, access) though I understand them as useful when trying to get an idea across quickly, I think that speaking like that is a part of the dilemma. We let those who steal our culture re-define the culture and it's rules.
I'm on the Chet Atkins Diet. Pass the BBQ, please. (rik) Fri 8 Aug 03 16:49
Actually, I thought your second quote made perfect sense. The use of what you pobably think of as jargon was really precise speech tailored for a specific audience. Culture shifts over time. Ask the French Academy, who stand bravely with their fingers in the dikes while the waves of new culture break over their heads, ignoring them in their frustration. The first quote was from me, and I don't see how evolution interacts with what I said. Physical evolution works over much longer timescales than cultural evolution. We Americans are, for the time being at least, buying into the idea that an unfettered market is the best way to provide for the gereral welfare. And the majority of us are holding to it in spite of the evidence that the rich few are getting richer while the poorer majority are stalled out or slipping. I hope people will come to their senses in my lifetime, but I see no evidence of it.
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