I often struggle with publishing my talks online. On the one hand, I often feel like they only work when spoken in front of slides, when heard in a dark room full of quiet. On the other, I want to continue to explore the ideas and themes I touch on in my talks, and don't want conversations to be one sided.

In preparing for Eyeo, in addition to Pinboard and Pinterest, I used a text file to pour thoughts and links into. Here's that file, massively culled, fleshed out a little with quotes, and shuffled roughly into themes I tried to touch on in my talk.

The word talent began as a measure of currency,
and only later became associated with a person's ability.

"The time you spend is not your own."
10 Timeframes, by Paul Ford

"This video is an animation of the process of saving an image file in continuously lower file formats over hundreds of times."
Digital Decay, by Claire L. Evans

“A self-awareness of gathering memories . . . a sense of witnessing”
— Lana Wachowski
Beyond the Matrix, by Aleksander Hemon

"The interesting thing about “taking minutes” — which I have been in the habit of doing for sometime now, everywhere I travel — is that it requires you to be perfectly still somewhere for that full minute, without doing anything else but listening."
Cassie Marketos, via Take a Minute, Give a Minute, by Allen Tan

"How easily we forget.
Time expands, time contracts."

"Have you forgotten that we invented time? That clocks did not exist in any real way until the 14th century? That hours and minutes and seconds, to the ancients, were measured in breaths and blinks, sunlight and moonlight, soil fecundity and menstrual cycles, the howls of the coyotes and the migrations of the birds? Of course you have. This is the magic of time. It swallows collective memory."

Hurry up, get more done, and die, by Mark Morford

"We might be caught in the corner of their eye, something sort of fleeting by,
much faster than a hummingbird"

Coraline: Do Puppets Crave Attention?

Parable of the Talents, the start of talent as ability.

"It seems inherently valuable, if desperately sad, for us to visualize a time when we won’t exist. The processes, with which we are making ourselves extinct, are still ongoing, after all."
The Last Pictures, by Trevor Paglen via Bin Chen


"Promote a revolutionary flood and tide in art,
promote living art, anti-art, promote non-art reality
to be grasped by all peoples, not only critics,
dilettantes, and professionals."

Fluxus Manifesto, via Jason Brush

"There are pursuits more worthy
of our problem-solving skills."

First Things First Manifesto 2000 in Emigre
First Things First 1964

"Instead of critiquing capitalist society, bolstering the civic and the public, or ministering to the needs of the impoverished, he justifies the idea that architects,
even if not especially avant-garde, are now free to serve the market."

The Irrational Exuberance of Rem Koolhaas, by Ellen Dunham-Jones

"lately i’ve been thinking about grimes’ manifesto, the knife’s manifesto, savages’ manifesto. three high-profile, critically-respected artists on more or less the same circuit who have chosen to explicitly articulate their politics such that, to one degree or another, you can actually call what they’ve written a “manifesto” without really stretching the truth too much."
Post by Born Gold

The metaphor of "ladders" came from Mike Migurski, referencing Matt Jones's tweet. The phrase "support structures" comes from Habraken's writing on mass housing.

"once you’re “there”: making sure you don’t pull up the ladder, making new, better ladders, admitting there was a ladder."
Matt Jones

"Things don’t move from the core to the gap like water flowing downhill, but quite the opposite. Left alone, innovation and capital accrue to where they are already in highest concentration."
Week 1846, Ladders, by Mike Migurski
See also: The Core and the Gap

Supports: An Alternative to Mass Housing, by N. J. Habraken

"But to be clear: our NeoLucida is not just a product, but a provocation."
NeoLucida, by Golan Levin and Pablo Garcia


"the enormous amount of visual stimuli that plague us every day"
Kapitaal, by Studio Smack

AKQA, Blue State Digital, Ogilvy and Mather, Grey, Landor, Young & Rubicam
WPP Holdings

The Tyranny of Digital Advertising, by Dan Hon

"I do encourage you to become a millionaire, if that’s something that interests you. If it’s billions you’re after, I’m a bit suspicious but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Aspiring to trillions, though, is the domain of the wicked alone and we won’t be able to be friends any more."
"This is not us against them, it’s us for us."
How to Make Trillions of Dollars, by David Cain

Every year TV networks spend about 9-10 billion dollars (about 15 percent of the total spend for the year) in one week at an event people call "the upfronts."
The Upfront's Best Moments, Most Awkward Moments, and Worst Hashtag
Why the Big, Bad Broadcast Upfronts Still Matter


"We have no obligation to make history
We have no obligation to make art
We only have an obligation to make money"

1981 internal memo from Michael Eisner to Paramount
Various sources

"The message is not subtle. Yes, we’ve all been robbing you for years, declares T-Mobile, but at least we’ve decided we’re done with it."
The Oligopoly Problem, by Tim Wu

"However, Mr Schmidt defended the company's legitimate tax arrangements. “We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways,” he told Bloomberg. “I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.”
“It’s called capitalism,” he said. “We are proudly capitalistic.
I’m not confused about this.”"

Google's Tax Avoidance is Called Capitalism
See also: The Double Irish, or Dutch Sandwich

"Even though Facebook reported $1.1 billion in pre-tax profits from U.S. operations in 2012, it will probably pay zero federal and state taxes—and even receive a federal tax refund of about $429 million"
Facebook Gets a Multibillion-Dollar Tax Break

"According to the Senate report, Apple paid $5.3 billion to the Treasury Department in the fiscal years 2009 to 2011. Its worldwide pretax book income over that period was about $65 billion. Thus, Apple’s “true U.S. tax rate,” according to my own calculation, was 8.2 percent."
Calculating Apple’s True U.S. Tax Rate

Google 2.4% Rate Shows How $60 Billion Lost to Tax Loopholes

15 Corporations Paying Taxes At A Lower Rate Than Mitt Romney


"But I will always. Tell you. The truth.” This is McCain’s closer, his last big reverb on the six-string as it were. And the frenziedstanding-O it always gets from his audience is something to see. But you have to wonder: why do these crowds from Detroit to Charleston cheer so wildly at a simple promise not to lie?"
"Well it’s obvious why. ... Because we’ve been lied to and lied to, and it hurts to be lied to. It’s ultimately just about that complicated: it hurts."

Up, Simba by David Foster Wallace
The link is to a collection of essays, the essay is also here.

"People will begin to be as skeptical of the Valley as they are of the government. The meritocratic ideals that tech denizens love to espouse will ring as hollow as a campaign stump speech, and as favoritism and political machination become the preferred modus operandi, the Valley will become increasingly poor at finding and elevating new talent."
The Terrifying Rise of the Political Entrepreneur, by Francisco Dao

"How does a consumer product become so involving that, after 57 hours of using the product, the consumer would rather use the product for one more hour than eat or sleep?"
Superstimuli, by Eliezer Yudkowsky via Jonathan Blow
See also: Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward.

"Why locusts? Because I just learned a fascinating fact about them: they are not a separate species."
The Locust Economy, by Venkatesh Rao

"We don’t just play and experiment. We kill. When you disrupt the stone box, the stone box goes empty. It’s not merely irritated or disturbed – it’s dead, it’s dead media. It’s dead, it’s been killed. And to be a phoenix you have to admit your complicity in the barbecue fire. It’s your fire; it’s not somebody else’s. It’s like, yes, we killed the past. We didn’t pull the trigger on it directly, but it died for our benefit. It died through things we did. Own up to that. Own up to that. Yes, we burned it up. No one is historically innocent. Yes, we are carnivores at this barbecue. Yes it died, we roasted it and we ate it. And the saving grace here is that we eat what we kill. Go on, eat it."
Talk at SXSW by Bruce Sterling

"The baroque unconscious is the force that drives technological evolution: a force whose potential increases faster than it can be exploited."
Technology and the Baroque Unconscious, by Venkatesh Rao


UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident, Four Perspectives, compiled by Andy Baio

Tiananmen, 24 years later

Free Cooper Union

"We are irreversibly politicized."
Engin Ayaz, Capturing Occupy Gezi

"The Wire is angry, and it's dissent."
"Anger is not an irrational response to this if you're a citizen. It's not particularly useful, but it's not useless either. It is worthwhile to pick one or two places that you think you can assert on behalf of a better outcome, and to fight, with whatever means are at your disposal."
"To commit to a righteous cause in the face of overwhelming odds is absurd. To not commit to a righteous cause in the face of overwhelming odds is equally absurd, but only one option allows for human dignity." — Camus

The Audacity of Despair, by David Simon via Tricia Wang, Kevin Slavin

"We have clear ideas of what the exotic underclass looks like because everyone is clamoring to help them. The exotic underclass are people who live in the emerging and third world countries that happen to be in fashion now -– Kenya, Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa."
"On the other hand, the unexotic underclass, has the misfortune of being insufficiently interesting. These are the huddles of Whites – poor, rural working class – living in the American South, in the Midwest, in Appalachia."

The Unexotic Underclass, by C.Z. Nnaemeka

"Why can’t we, the tech community, figure out how to harness our talent and influence to fundamentally change the way our democracy works—not just for us, when it suits our interests, but for everyone?
So that’s what I meant: too much focus from the tech community on issues that only matter to us and not enough on issues that affect everyone and that we have the power to address."

Silicon Valley's Problem, by Catherine Bracy


"The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science,"
"Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly."

Memo Exposes Bush's New Green Strategy
See also: Frank Luntz

"Scientific instruments showed that the gas had reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering."
Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears

Chasing Ice, Documentary

"The environmental movement has failed to capture the public’s imagination or to engage and inspire them"
The climate change sceptics are winning

TIME, GOOGLE AND NASA: Timelapse of the Earth over the last 30 Years

"Everything will change. The climate, our response, and my response to our response will be different in twenty years. It will never be solved."
Politicizing Sandy, by Charlie Lloyd


Seeing Like a State, by James C. Scott

"Turned out to be oddly easy to break into the business. But you just had to meet the business on the business's terms. Ignore that reality, and you could struggle for years. The door is closed and locked, indeed -- yet not a concern at all when you hold the proper key. Hollywood is a place that gives zero reward to the people who are just a tiny bit off, and huge rewards to the people who can provide the product dead on."
That 'Big Break', by Terry Rossio

Places to Intervene in a System (in increasing order of effectiveness)
- Constants, parameters, numbers
- The size of buffers and other stabilizing stocks, relative to their flows
- Structure of material stocks and flows
- Length of delays, relative to the rate of system changes
- Strength of negative feedback loops, the effect they are trying to correct against
- Gain around driving positive feedback loops
- Structure of information flow
- Rules of the system
- Power to add, change, evolve, or self-organize system structure
- Goal of the system
- Mindset or paradigm that the system arises from
- Power to transcend paradigms

Leverage Points, by Donella Meadows
See also: You Can't Fuck the System if You've Never Met One by Casey Gollan


"The word 'Art' was invented in the middle of the Renaissance. Before then the idea of 'Art' didn't exist. The Egyptians, the Indians, the Chinese, none of them had the concept of 'Art'. It was just guys doing things. The concept was invented 350 years ago, and it's been used as a scam. The word I like to use is poetry, a remarkable word which meant originally 'to live'. The word 'Art' is bullshit."
Tinguely on Art, via Jen Lowe

"Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable."
Link via George Oates


"I had a view of the midtown skyline when I moved into my loft in Brooklyn, which was later blocked by an ugly condo building. I protested."
Projection, by Cemre Gungor

"Drawing Water plays a bit upon the 19th-century theory that “rain follows the plow.” At the time of its inception, that theory promoted Westward expansion, under the belief that plowing fields encouraged cloud formation and rainfall. As long as people plowed fields, they believed, water would come to them. Although we recognize climatological reality isn’t influenced by our farming (in the manner hoped), Americans still live with an illusion of resource availability following need."
Drawing Water, by David Wicks

Out of Sight, Out of Mind, by Pitch Interactive
See also: Data Stories That Matter, by Eric Klotz

"Visualizing this information is difficult. It’s painful, it’s almost always incomplete, and it will likely be viewed by some as confrontational. We’re okay with that. As long as it keeps the discussion going, and keeps people thinking about the awful theft of potential we keep propagating against ourselves, the difficulty is surely worth it."
U.S. Gun Murders, by Periscopic
See also: Thoughts on Visualizing U.S. Gun Murders

"While there are a great many papers, scientific studies, meteorological surveys and other things that fall under the rubric of things that normal people accept as true, there remains a persistent and nagging unreality to the idea that, in something like a normal human timescale, we'll see and have to reckon with large-scale changes to the world as we know it."
Surging Seas, Climate Central, by Stamen Design
See also: Eric Rodenbeck on Surging Seas


"What would happen if we stopped acting as if the primordial form of work is laboring at a production line, or wheat field, or iron foundry, or even in an office cubicle, and instead started from a mother, a teacher, or a caregiver? We might be forced to conclude that the real business of human life is not contributing toward something called “the economy” (a concept that didn’t even exist three hundred years ago), but the fact that we are all, and have always been, projects of mutual creation."
A Practical Utopian's Guide to the Coming Collapse, by David Graeber
See also: Debt, the First 5000 Years, by David Graeber

“Fuck concepts. Don’t be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.”
George Saunders on Dubai
See also: NYTimes Profile

"I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
My name is my own my own my own
and I can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this
but I can tell you that from now on my resistance
my simple and daily and nightly self-determination
may very well cost you your life"
Poem About My Rights, by June Jordan
See also: Audre Lorde on Poetry and Activism