Eric's Bookmarks

Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics,+Black+Holes+and+Quantum+Foam&source=gbs_navlinks_s%22

John Archibald Wheeler

"It from bit symbolises the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — at a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that what we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe."

Tags: physics

User Friendly

In User Friendly, Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant reveal the untold story of a paradigm that quietly rules our modern lives: the assumption that machines should anticipate what we need. Spanning over a century of sweeping changes, from women’s rights to the Great Depression to World War II to the rise of the digital era, this book unpacks the ways in which the world has been—and continues to be—remade according to the principles of the once-obscure discipline of user-experience design.

In this essential text, Kuang and Fabricant map the hidden rules of the designed world and shed light on how those rules have caused our world to change—an underappreciated but essential history that’s pieced together for the first time. Combining the expertise and insight of a leading journalist and a pioneering designer, User Friendly provides a definitive, thoughtful, and practical perspective on a topic that has rapidly gone from arcane to urgent to inescapable. In User Friendly, Kuang and Fabricant tell the whole story for the first time—and you’ll never interact with technology the same way again.

Tags: to-read, design, user-experience, ux

Artist Checklist For Success

Artist Checklist For Success
December 18, 2019

My art journey began in 2002 after an emotional crisis pushed me to enrol into a portfolio preparation course at a small art school at the age of 32. The next year I was accepted into a 5 year MA Fine Art programme split between Edinburgh College of Art & Edinburgh University proving that you’re never too old to follow your dreams. I was 38 when I graduated so I was well aware that I did not have time on my side. Below is a list of things I’ve learned over the years that helped me to eventually become a full time artist in 2015 and then to my cryptoart adventure in 2017/18. I apologise now that this list does not promise the secrets to becoming rich and famous quickly.

I believe that many of the lessons I’ve learned about how to survive in the traditional art world through long hours and long days, taking risks, creating unique work, reading and researching, trial and error and mostly out right stubbornness are transferable to the NFT/digital art space.

It’s not an exhaustive list and I’ll add to it as I continue to learn. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule. Everyone is different. Have a look over it, take what you like and ignore the rest.

Continue to study & learn. Artists never retire and they never stop exploring.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new mediums – physical and digital.
Develop/investigate new ways to push your artistic limits and always be open to new ideas.
Try to work with artists who are more skilled and experienced than you.
Don’t be precious about your work. Get comfortable destroying a piece (digital or physical) to find new ways to ‘bring it back’.
You learn the most from your mistakes.
Focus your work on themes (ideally for years) or at the very least make art in a series. Successful artists have something important to say and it’s much more effective to get complex and meaningful messages across through multiple pieces, solo exhibitions, and life long investigation, exploration and creation.
Continuity is important as otherwise you may confuse potential buyers/patrons.
Develop your own style that is recognisable throughout your work but continue to experiment and expand your visual language.
Create an exciting and relevant USP.
Learn from other artists, past and present, but don’t simply copy. Create your own style that is relevant and meaningful for today. Your work needs to shout, “I’ve learned from and am inspired by great artists but this is now and I’m creating artwork for today and the future!”.
Watch the HBO documentary ‘The Price of Everything’.
Build an awesome website. True, most people will discover and admire your art on your social channels but your website is curated specifically for people to visit to quickly get to know you and your story. It adds another level of professionalism.
Find other artist websites that you like and learn from them.
Only put your best work on your website. Less is more.
Quality over quantity.
Don’t mint every single thing you produce. Yes, I know, Picasso created over 50,000 artworks and he did alright but unless you’re the reincarnation of the genius Picasso with the backing of the entire art establishment then I would suggest being a bit more selective in what you create with the intent to sell.
Just because there is a lot of hype around the digital and NFT space at the moment don’t discount the lessons and knowledge you could learn from traditional artists and the institutions of the legacy art world.
Don’t try to write about your artwork in an art historical context if you’re not an art history major.
Don’t make up an ‘ism’ to describe your art. Leave that to the art critics and historians after you become famous.
Feel free to write about your creative processes and your inspirations.
Drink wine.
Study other successful artists of various disciplines.
Study other successful people in general.
Define what success means to you. If being a full time artist isn’t the long term goal, still write down what your goals are and aim for them. You never know where a series of individual achievements may take you.
Take constructive criticism with grace but ignore that which isn’t relevant to you… but be honest with yourself when processing the criticism, even if it hurts.
Don’t take art advice from your friends or family if they aren’t artists or involved in the art world.
Be aware that just because your latest artwork you posted on social media attracted a lot of likes doesn’t means that it’s actually any good and vice versa.
It’s not always possible but you should aim to improve in one or more ways with each and every work/series of works you create – be conscious of these changes, write them down if you like and revisit them in the future to see how much you’ve grown as an artist and/or as an individual.
Organise a solo or group IRL exhibition as you’ll learn important lessons; organisational skills, management, advertising and marketing etc.
Work with honesty and integrity.
Always give credit where credit is due.
Dedicate your free time to artistic pursuits.
visit galleries – commercial and national museums
read artist biographies
study the history of art
Study the great masters.
Study what the more successful artists are doing in the NFT space and really contemplate why you think their work is popular. Try to be objective. Don’t copy these artists’ styles but study what they do, how they work on social media, what themes they focus on, what is their background and education?
Always be true to yourself when you’re creating your art. Don’t make art simply because you think a particular ‘style’ will be more popular and will sell. This isn’t true creativity, this is production. Saying that, it’s still possible to be true to yourself and to be flexible enough in your processes that you can shape your work, that which is important to you as a creative individual, in such a way that it will attract more attention. Think deeply about this.
Find a mentor but remember it’s not a one way street, mentoring can be time consuming, so what can you offer in return as the ‘apprentice’?
Collaborate with other artists especially artists with completely different styles and skills sets than you have.
Treat your art career like a business.
Make intelligent and strategic decisions, think long term but be ready to adapt if necessary.
Be efficient with your time. Make lists and tick off at least a couple things every day.
Spend less time on social media and more time developing ideas and skills.
Set achievable goals and write them down: daily, monthly, annually and so on.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve every goal. Re-evaluate and continue.
Remember that almost every successful artist has built their career on mostly one step forward and two (or three) steps back days.
Use rejection to drive you to work harder. There will be a lot so don’t give up!
Use social media negativity to drive you to work harder. People can be mean online and it hurts but if you can embrace these feelings and turn them into fuel to motivate you to work even harder you will always win.
Don’t blame others when you think you’ve failed. Life can be cruel. We all have privileges AND disadvantages (Some people have more privilege but it is what it is) and at the end of the day, the buck stops with you.
If your recent NFT drop wasn’t as successful as you had hoped try to be as objective as possible to understand what really happened. Write down all the things that you could have improved on as well as the things that could have affected the sale that were out of your control. Re-evaluate, try not to be overly distraught but do your best to learn from the experience. Have a glass of wine or two, reread these tips, and get back to work tomorrow.
At the end of the day, if you put absolutely everything into your art and you’re exceptionally proud of what you’ve created and how your piece(s), concepts and themes have developed it doesn’t matter if the drop didn’t achieve the financial success you’d hoped for. You will always have something beautiful and meaningful that no one can take away from you.
Be aware that the vast majority of successful (financially independent) artist’s careers have taken decades rather than a couple of years to achieve. To be honest, there is no guarantee of financial success as an artist so you do it and you sacrifice because this is who you are. I know this is difficult to hear especially in this crazy NFT space right now but prepare for the long term and keep learning, building, growing, and creating, regardless. Your time will come if you’re ambitious and disciplined, dedicated and patient.
As you become more successful be prepared to take shots from those who aren’t as enthusiastic about your success as you are. Jealousy sucks regardless of whether it’s your own jealousy of other artists or that of others’ aimed towards you. In most cases, the best thing you can do is keep your mouth shut, your head down and focus on your work.
Don’t let jealousy override you from learning from other artists.
Build your brand.
Build a community around your work and your brand.
Set up a Discord and find a couple people who would like to help you as Mods/Admins.
Host or participate in productive and engaging Twitter Spaces.
Don’t get involved in online bitchfests. They’re very rarely productive and it’s not good for the soul.
Research marketing skills and apply them even if you hate this part.
Generate publicity whenever possible.
Network whenever you can.
Go to NFT and crypto conferences. I completely understand that this can be very difficult if you’re shy and introverted but it’s incredibly important to meet other artists and collectors IRL. Everything is difficult at first but it does get easier with time and practice.
Don’t slide into collectors’ DMs only to shill your work.
Nurture your relationships with collectors. Have honest conversations with them. Find out what they’re looking for in art, NFTs, collecting, investing, artist/collector relationships, friendships etc. It’s not all about you.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone whenever you can. For example, not that many years ago I would never, ever speak in public. It frightened me to death. It’s still not easy for me but I’m much better at dealing with it now and I know that this part of the ‘job’ is important.
Build a crypto media email contact list.
Get to know some crypto journalists.
Learn how to write a good press release.
Invest as much time and money as possible into your art practice and your education.
If you won’t invest everything you can into yourself and your art career then why should someone else invest in you?
Show your work at crypto conferences.
Learn how to speak about your art. Admittedly, I really don’t like this part but if you can speak about your work effectively it puts you at an advantage over others because most artists hate this as well. Practice talking about your art with your family or friends.
Organise an exhibition for charity.
Creating artwork in return for ‘exposure’ is fine if you’re just starting out. At some point though you’ll need to put your foot down and say ‘no more’.
Support other hardworking, honest artists regardless of how successful you become.
Prepare yourself for years of hard work and long days.
Prepare yourself for huge sacrifice and single mindedness.
Ideally you will have a very supportive, understanding partner as being an artist is, in general, a selfish career path.
No one ever became great at anything by practicing a day or two a week. If you want to be the absolute best artist that you can be, at some point you’ll need to take that leap of faith and go full time.
Don’t let new ‘flash in the pan’ trends affect your work, themes and direction. Do your best to keep on top of what’s happening in the NFT/digital/art space but if you’re always chasing what’s ‘hot’ to try to reproduce it you’ll never create what is uniquely you.
Aspire to be more like Alotta_Money


Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we’re better off without them. In Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Lanier, who participates in no social media, offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online platforms.

Tags: to-read, nonfiction, social-media

Truth and Reality

Rank’s development of will psychology led him to a philosophy of the psychological, outlined in Truth and Reality. Here he explores the psychological determinants of the relationship of inner world to outer reality.

Anticipating one of the central findings of post-Freudian psychiatry, he argues that “truth” is irrelevant to the work of therapy. He contrasts the negative externalization of will, which leads to denial and guilt, with the creative power of will, tracing this conflict in both the individual and the history of human society.

Tags: to-read, otto-rank

Art and Artist: Creative Urge and Personality Development

Otto Rank, an Austrian psychoanalyst and one of Sigmund Freud's early colleagues, had a unique perspective on the artist's role in society and their psychological makeup. In his works, especially in "Art and Artist" (1932), Rank explores the psychological processes involved in creativity and the artist's struggle with artistic expression.

Rank proposed that there are three types of people concerning their approach to life and creativity:

The Average Person: This type conforms to societal norms and expectations, often suppressing their personal creative impulses to maintain social harmony and personal security.

The Neurotic: According to Rank, neurotics are individuals who feel the impulse to create or express themselves but are overwhelmed by the anxiety it causes. They may retreat from their creative impulses due to the fear of the unknown and the potential disruption to their sense of self and their societal roles.

The Artist: The third type, the artist, manages to harness their creative impulses in a way that both expresses their personal vision and communicates universally relatable truths to others. Unlike the neurotic, the artist confronts and integrates their anxieties into their work, using creativity as a form of therapy and self-realization. Artists are able to live with the tension between their individual needs and the demands of society, transforming personal conflicts into expressive and often socially accepted artistic creations.

Rank's theory highlights the artist as someone who not only produces art to satisfy personal needs but also transforms personal suffering into something that has universal appeal. This transformation is a key aspect of what Rank saw as the therapeutic value of art, both for the artist and for those who engage with the artist's work.

Understanding Rank's view helps to appreciate how he saw the artist as a pivotal figure in bridging inner psychological realities with external social expressions, contributing deeply to the cultural and emotional life of their communities.

Tags: to-read, art, artist, personality, otto-rank, creativity

Personality and the realization of creative potential

In view of this earlier exposure to Rank, it is
hard to realize that when a few years ago I turned
my attention to the problem of creativity I did so
without once thinking of the implications of Rankian theory for the work I was about to undertake.
Insofar as I thought about what psychoanalytic theory or the theories of derivative schools of psychoanalysis had to say about creativity, my thoughts
turned to Freud's theory of primary and secondary
process and his concept of sublimation, to Kris's
notions concerning regression in the service of the
ego, and to Kubie's emphasis on the role of preconscious processes in creative thought and action.
I recalled vividly Jung's ideas on the reconciliation
of the opposites: the dichotomies of consciousunconscious, rational-irrational, sensation-intuition,
thinking-feeling, extraversion-introversion, personaanima, the individual versus the collective, and the
archetypal images and the processes of individuation. And, of course, I thought of Maslow's notion
of the self-actualizing person, of Rogers' concept of
the fully functioning individual, and of Allport's
description of becoming. I was aware of the influence of all these ideas on my own thought as I
planned and undertook my research on creativity.
I even vaguely recalled Adler's concept of a creative instinct, but found not much help in that. But
not once did I consciously think of Rank's theories

Tags: otto-rank, creativity, donald-w-mackinnon

Thinking Strategically: Power Tools for Personal and Professional Advancement

Professionals today, whether scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, or managers, need to maximize their effectiveness. Real world problems are complex and must be tackled with adequate conceptual tools. Hard work and motivation are not enough. Professionals need to think strategically in order to choose the right problem to solve, to solve it in a cost-effective way, to use resources efficiently, and to be innovative and productive. Written in a concise, accessible style, Thinking Strategically goes beyond brainstorming motivational books to provide the power tools needed to dissect problems and to find innovative solutions. These tools are based on an understanding of the power of bottlenecks, paradox, scale and perspective constraints, and feedback as leverage points for getting a grip on the problem. The result is a practical book for managers and other professionals about the strategic use of effort that can lead to astonishing levels of productivity.

Tags: to-read, problem-solving, PFQ, problem-finding, PSQ

The Turbulent Years: A History of the American Worker, 1933-1940

Tags: to-read, labor-history

Contents hide (Top) Overview Reception References Further reading External links The Making of the English Working Class

Tags: to-read, labor-history

Texas Rangers have a history of ‘good, young players’ like Wyatt Langford

“There is going to be a learning curve,” he said. “I hope he kills it. But you’ve got to go through that. You’ve got to experience it. It’s a mental grind.”

“Nothing prepares you for playing in this league,” he said. “You have to stick to your process. Use the resources around you and don’t let yourself get distracted. It’s not about how much you fail. It’s about succeeding a little more each time. What you are good at, do that more.”

“Occasionally, you run into these really advanced players that carry themselves in a nearly perfect way,” Young said. “They know they belong. They know they have big goals. They know they haven’t arrived yet. But they know they can compete here. Those are the biggest similarities between them.”

Tags: baseball-quotes, inspiration, wyatt-langford

Mistaken Ancestry: The Jacquard and the Computer

Mistaken Ancestry: The Jacquard and the Computer
Davis, Martin ; Davis, Virginia
Textile : the journal of cloth and culture, 2005-01, Vol.3 (1), p.76-87

Tags: jacquard, computing, martin-and-virginia-davis

Remembering Martin and Virginia Davis

Authors of Mistaken Ancestry

Tags: martin-and-virginia-davis

Revisiting the jacquard loom: threads of history and current patterns in HCI

In the recent developments of human computer interaction, one central challenge has been to find and to explore alternatives to the legacy of the desktop computer paradigm for interaction design. To investigate this issue further we have conducted an analysis on a fascinating piece of machinery often referred to as one of the predecessors of the modern day computer, the Jacquard loom. In analysing the Jacquard loom we look at qualities in design and interaction from some different perspectives: how historical tools, crafts, and practices can inform interaction design, the role of physicality, materiality, and full-body interaction in order to rethink some current conceptions of interaction and design of computational devices.

Tags: jacquard, computing

DR. BILLINGS SELECTED: Named for Superintendent of the New-York Public Library. NOW WITH PENNSYLVANIA UNIVERSITY Regarded as an Excellent Selection for the Position -- His Career in the Army and Fame as a Bibliographer.

Tags: billings, nyt, 1896

The development of punch card tabulation in the Bureau of the Census (1965)

- 4 matching terms
...THE ORIGINATORS OF THE SYSTEM 31 7 a way of doing this job, something on the principle of the Jacquard; loom,? whereby holes in a card regulate the pattern to be woven.” The seed fell on good ground. His companion was a talented young engineer in the office who first convinced himself that the idea was practicable and then that Billings had no desire to claim or use it....

...I have since received a letter from the daughter of Dr. Billings, Mrs. K. B. Wilson, in which she writes “I do not remember hearing of Father's remarks to Herman Hollerith about these machines (the Jacquard; loom] being applied to census tabula- tions, but I do remember the first little wooden model which Herman Hollerith brought to our library many evenings while they were puzzling their brains over its adaptation.”...

...That the data collected by the census for each living person, or, in systems of death registration, for each decedent, might be recorded on a single card or slip by punching small holes in different parts of it, and that these cards might then be assorted and counted by mechanical means according to any selected groupings of these perforations, was first suggested by Dr. Billings in 1880. (Italics added.) with me. ? No reference is made in any of the available early (pre-1890) records to the Jacquard; loom as a prece- dent for the use of punched cards in the operation of machinery; but in a lecture given at the University of Pennsylvania in 1896, as recorded in a paper on file in the New York Public Library, Dr. Billings said "My original idea was to use a punched slip of paper as a guide to rods and labors (levers?), which would operate on the principle of the Jacquard; loom, but Mr. Hollerith has made use of the power of electricity." This indicates that Dr. Billings not only had in mind the general problem of machine tabulation (what it should do), but had given some thought to the mechanics of a possible solution. • Reported to the writer by James L....

Tags: jacquard, hollerith, billings

Herman hollerith: data processing pioneer

eing 19 years of age and a bachelor when he arrived in Washington to begin his new job, Hollerith became active in Georgetown social circles. He met Dr. John Shaw Billings at the Billings home one Sunday evening in 1880 through a supper invitation from Billings’ daughter. Although not trained as such, Billings was an cstablishcd expert in analyzing vital statistics, and the Census Bureau had appointed him Director of Vital Statistics for the 1880 census.2 That first encounter was the occlision for the famous but, ambiguously interpreted Billings-to-Hollerith transfer of the idea for a punched card machine to tabulate U. S. Census data. Interpreta- tions of Billings’ influence vary from “suggested the need for” to “suggested using cards with the description of the individual shown by notches in the edge of the card and a device something like a type distributing ma- chine.”

The material published in this sketch is extracted and edited from John Blodgett’s thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the Degree of Master of Science in Information Science at Drexel Insti-tute of Technology School of Lihrary Science, Phila., Pa., June, 1968. The original 234 pp. typescript is available on loan from the Drexel Library. Blodgett’s work began as a term paper and grew into a thesis because he gained access to hitherto withheld Hollerith family resourccs and was diligent enough to tap publicly available resources not previously consulted--to learn more of Hollerith’s personal story and to elucidate the controversial record of John Shaw Billing’s part in the development of the first punched card sorter.

Tags: jacquard, hollerith, billings, john-blodgett, thesis

Chapter 8. Billings, Hollerith, and the Census

The Computer from Pascal to von Neumann, 1993, pp. 65-71 (7 pages)

While the returns of the Tenth (1880) Census were being tabu-
lated at Washington, Billings was walking with a companion
through the office in which h ~ ~ n d r e d sof clerks were engaged in
laboriously transferring items of information from the schedules
to the record sheets by the slow and heartbreaking method of
hand tallying. As they were watching the clerks he said to his
companion, "There ought to be some lnechanical way of doing
this job, something on the principle of the Jacquard loom, whereby
lloles in a card regulate the pattern to be woven." The seed fell
on good ground. His companion was a talented young engineer in
the office who first convinced himself that the idea was practicable
and then that Billings had no desire to claim or use it.3

One Sunday evening at Dr. Billings' tea table, he said to me
there ought to be a machine for doing the purely mechanical
work of tabulating population and similar statistics. We talked
the matter over and I remember. . . h e thought of using cards
with the description of the individual shown by notches punched
in the edge of the card. . . . After studying the problem I went
back to Dr. Billings and said that I thought I could work out a
solution for the problem and asked him if he would go in with
me. The Doctor said h e was not interested any further than to
see some solution of the problem worked
In reading over various speeches and papers by Billings on the
subject it seems to the author clear that Hollerith was the real
implementor of Billings' basic idea. Dr. Raymond Pearl, who was
for many years one of the world leaders in biology and biostatistics
and who was professor of biology and public hygiene at Johns
Hopkins, analyzed the situation in 1938 and concluded that "In
all essentials the case seems clear. Billings was the originator, the
discoverer, who contributed that which lies at the core of every
scientific discovery, namely, an original idea that proved in the trial
to be sound and good; Hollerith built a machine that implemented
the idea in practical performance, the accomplishment here, as
always of the successful inventor."
It is difficult to say more about the allocation of credit than Pearl
did. We will have occasion to see other examples of the difficulties
of allocating credit among men all of whom are deeply immersed
in a common project. Let us then agree with Pearl that Billings had
the basic idea and that Hollerith implemented it.
More importantly let us consider what the system was and what
use was made of it. Hollerith, proceeding on Billings' suggestions,
used a system of holes in a punch card to represent various charac-
teristics such as male or female, black or white, native or foreign-
born, age, etc. H e first designed his system using a continuous
roll of paper instead of individual cards. The card or roll of paper
then ran under a set of contact brushes which completed an elec-
trical circuit if and only if a hole was present. The completed
circuits activated counters which advanced one position for each
'Truesdell, p. 31. Truesdell, p. 33.

Tags: jacquard, hollerith, billings


Then came the
census of 1880. As that vast process went on, month after month, entirely
by hand, Billings at some point recalled a prototype device that might, with
adaptation, meet the needs of tabulating census results. In a conversation with
a young engineer, Herman Hollerith, Billings said ". . there ought to be
some mechanical way of doing this job, something on the principle of the
Jacquard loom, whereby holes in a card regulate the pattern to be

Tags: jacquard, hollerith, census, tabulation

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About Eric

I'm an award-winning artist who's been innovating in Web3 since 2019. Prior to that I was a program manager at Twitter and consultant at Google, where I specialized in operationalizing service design and customer experience. Read more