Tag Archive for 'internet'

season finale

In the opening scene of the season finale of Mad Men last night, Betty Draper goes to visit Roger Sterling in a freshly mowed hay field wearing a huge white wedding dress and gets shot in the head with a rifle by an off-screen Jane. She was aiming for Roger, but the first bullet missed and he hit the deck like a good soldier. As the second bullet entered the back of Betty’s head, the camera swung around 180-degrees in a Matrix-like way and we see the bullet exit her neck about two inches below the ear. A ray of light shines through the hole as the bullet exits, as if Betty is made of pure light. (not really)

But seriously, folks, it was a good episode, no?

Cult of Done

So since I’ve been writing about getting things capital-D Done, it makes sense to post the Cult of Done manifesto here:

The Cult of Done Manifesto

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more

I can’t say that I follow all these rules, nor that I want to. I’m a graduate student, a planner, I like to think things through and make sure that I’m picking the right course of action (which is especially important when making decisions about other people’s lives and environments!), but keeping all this in mind is really helpful. Especially if thinking is doing (it is), and writing is doing, and telling other people about your idea is doing.

My favourite is point 8: the anti-perfection declaration. That’s how I felt in quilt class; while I was impressed that people were taking their blocks apart and re-doing them because pieces were a quarter-inch wider than they wanted, that’s not my style. I’d rather do, work, make more. I don’t like to agonize.

I guess I just mean to say that the Cult of Done doesn’t apply in all circumstance, and you have to know when it works and when it doesn’t. I probably need to focus more on NOT following these rules and I’d be prouder of some of the papers I’ve written and sweaters I’ve knit, but I’d rather be a doer who makes some mistakes than deliberate forever and have one perfect thing to show for it after 15 years.

friends in high places

marty on facebook
Either Marty Markowitz is really on Facebook, or this is a cute joke, like when I was friends with Coffee on Friendster. Given the mutual friends, I’m venturing it’s real…

New Bicycles

Just like Barack Obama is Your New Bicycle, but more exciting: When Obama Wins!

Following Instructions

I’m looking up scone recipes on the internet this morning, and they all suck. They all say things like “2 cups of bisquick” (bisquick? seriously? if was into using premade stuff I wouldn’t be looking up recipes!) or “spray pan with non-stick cooking spray” (that stuff is scary and gross!). Maybe it’s my own cooking up-bringing, raising myself on vegan cookbooks that all say things like “your choice of sweetener” to accommodate all the folks who don’t eat sugar/honey/agave nectar/whatever, but I want these recipes to say things like “do what you need to do to prevent these from sticking to the pan.”

If these recipes were in cookbooks, there’d be a whole intro section on nonstickage (or on sweeteners, or about substitutions, or whatever), and the recipes can refer you back to the what-cooking-is-all-about pages. But with the dumb internet, recipes are not part of a collection of anything, they’re one-offs. They’re hit singles with no album.

This makes me sort of sad–I feel like all these awesome skills, like the ability to curate or edit or collect or compile are slipping away. We get things totally disjointed and discrete.

I know that there are plenty of people curating all the stuff that’s on the internet–that’s what all those lovely blogs like CRAFT or Swissmiss or Kottke do. And I like them, but sometimes the endlessness of them feels tiresome. ESPECIALLY with the CRAFT blog–if anyone does anything crafty on the internet, it gets reposted there. And just as a link. It’s pointing: “look at this!” “look at that!” and most of it sucks. I know I shouldn’t get all righteous about something that is so clearly a promotional marketing tool for an overpriced magazine ($15 an issue!), but somehow it’s positioned itself at the head of the internet craft world.

Now I’m actually going to go make some scones.