Friday Finds (Logic, Messaging, Cities, Mumford)

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Hi friends,

Greetings from Austin!

I recently hosted the Grammy-award nominated rapper, Logic, for a private interview with my writing students. Today is the day that I finally get to share it with you!

Here's what I want to share this week:

  1. My Three Principles of Writing: A short description of the three core principles I teach in Write of Passage: (1) write from abundance, (2) write from conversation, and (3) write in public.
  2. Podcast with Eric Jorgenson: This is the kind of podcast I could've only recorded with a friend. I spoke about the virtues of extreme intellectual openness, synthesizing information in unique ways, and what my intellectual heroes have in common. (Listen here: iTunes | Spotify)
  3. The Conversation with Logic: This conversation is all about his creative process. In it, he shares unreleased music, discusses his creative blocks, and to the best of my knowledge, opens up his notebooks for the first time ever in public.

Today's Finds

Jacob Collier: To be honest, I don't even know if I like Collier's music. But man, I could listen to him talk about music all day. I discovered him through an interview he recorded with Porter Robinson about the mechanics of music theory. You might also like this masterclass on harmony and rhythm.

Lewis Mumford and The Magnificent Bribe: So much of what we know about how technology shapes society originates with Mumford. He argued that people mistakenly assume that what's good for the technological system is good for individuals, which isn't always true. Thus, people need to be bribed with a shiny object that looks appealing in the short term, even if the long term consequences are harmful.

Free Parking: Speaking of Lewis Mumford, he once wrote: “The right to access every building in a city by private motorcar in an age when everyone owns such a vehicle, is actually the right to destroy the city.” To that end, I joke that Americans travel to Europe to visit the kinds of cities they’ve made illegal to build in their home country. For now, we’ll focus on the high costs of parking. Making parking free drives up the cost of housing, increases pollution, and reduces urban density. This statistic stands out. The Walt Disney Concert Hall cost $274 million to build. Of that total, the first $100 million went to pay for the underground parking structure, which is not a cultural landmark.

How Instant Messenger Shapes Thinking: The most meta interview you'll ever read because it's an interview about instant messenger which takes place on instant messenger. The best part of the interview centered around writing as a technology for thinking, as opposed to speech. When we're talking, we hop from thought to thought. But writing asks us to freeze our thoughts, which is why it's such an effective way to improve your thinking. The lesson is simple: Writing is useful precisely because it's difficult.

The Imitation of Christ: This is the most widely-read Christian devotional book outside of the Bible. It was published in the 15th century, and by 1650, it was one of the most published books in existence with a grand total of… 745 copies. The book was published anonymously. With humility and inspired by Christian teachings, the author wrote: “One should love to be unknown… Do not let the writer’s authority or learning influence you, be it little or great, but let the love of pure truth attract you to read. Do not ask ‘Who said this?’ but pay attention to what is said.”

Have a creative week,

David Perell Logo 2x

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