Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.
Holding on to an old title gives you satisfaction without action. But success comes from doing, not declaring.
By using a title without still doing the work, you fool yourself into thinking future success is assured. (“This is who I am!”) That premature sense of satisfaction can keep you from doing the hard work necessary.
I recently stopped referring to myself as an “amateur photographer”. I do still enjoy taking and sharing photos, but I haven’t been practicing the craft like I used to. This is in part because I no longer own a decent camera other than my iPhone 6 — I gave my old DSLR to my young sister-in-law so she could learn for herself — and also because I rarely make a point these days of taking photos for artistic reasons rather than personal ones.
It’s one of those hobbies I intend to pick back up someday, but for now, it doesn’t feel right to refer to myself as a “photographer” any more than someone who mainly uses their phone to snap selfies.
+ I found this article via one of Sivers’ more recent posts: “Actions, Not Words, Reveal Our True Values”
Those of us who watched the Animaniacs cartoon back in the day will remember the brilliant “Yakko’s World” song, which taught the names of countries around the world to a tune that sounds a lot like the Mexican hat dance.
Anyway, Ross Thompson of the Unusual Suspect YouTube channel made a brilliant version of the song “sung” by various movie characters. Love it.
Sam Sifton, editor of the New York Times’ excellent Cooking newsletter — which we featured in our list of great email newsletters back in March — announced the other day that while the newspaper wishes they could continue offering the “Cooking” section of the site for free, they simply cannot:
It is a core belief of The New York Times that we produce journalism good enough that people are willing to pay for it. That journalism includes our recipes and instruction here on Cooking, and the digital features we use to support them on all your devices, same as it does our reporting from the nation’s capital and around the world.
The work we do is expensive, and we want to do more of it. We travel ceaselessly, and cook every day. We test our recipes relentlessly. We photograph and make videos about them, we think beautifully. And we build features that help make cooking, and planning, and shopping for meals easier, more enjoyable, even fun. Your subscription will help us continue to do that, and better, and more.
$5 a month for quality food writing and advanced recipe-management features? Not a bad deal, I’d say. Read their FAQ page for more info on what you get with a Cooking subscription.
Paul Ford was asked by a friend to do an artistic theater piece where he merely had to sit in silence on a stage for ten minutes. He had some interesting takeaways from the experience (bold emphasis mine):
What this experience did is make me think through the number of defensive systems that I have around me related to speaking, and how utterly they failed in silence: My little pre-talk rituals, my ability to make a joke, echoed by the sound of laughter and the murmurs of recognition from an audience—all of these collapsed. As a writer and speaker, and a seller of services, I rely on self-deprecation, knowing exchanges, changes in tone, a whole lot of rhetorical jazz-hands stuff that can help sail an idea across a sea of people (or, if I’m not careful, be used to obscure a lack of substance). I don’t have tools for silence and never thought to make them.
- Carbonara from Master of None
- Cubano sandwiches and pasta aglio e olio (garlic & oil pasta) from Chef
- Ratatouille from…er, Ratatouille
- Strudel from Inglourious Basterds
- Fish tacos from I Love You, Man
(via Myke Hurley)
Laura Olin, who writes the “Everything Changes” newsletter for The Awl, gave readers a mission this week: Notice people doing tiny kindnesses for each other.
My husband and I were having lunch together at a deli. A woman two tables over from us was eating by herself and received a phone call on her bluetooth. She began crying from what appears to have been bad news. She was fairly quiet about it and kept it to herself, but she was obviously crying. Another patron in the restaurant stopped, patted her shoulder and mouthed “Are you OK?”. She nodded through her tears and continued with her phone call. He and a few other patrons continued to monitor her out of the corner of their eyes, but gave her her privacy. It seemed a small gesture – but I felt all of us in the restaurant sending her strength through the man’s small pat on the shoulder.
Via Jason Kottke, who adds:
I think if we all “did what a family member would do” more often, the world would be a better place.
Our own editor-in-chief Shawn Blanc — pictured above-center, alongside Nathan Barry and Sean McCabe — recently got back from the first-ever Craft + Commerce Conference and wrote a post about what he took away from the experience:
If someone were to dig a hole, plant a copy of The War of Art, and water it, and then if it sprouted and grew into a conference, then this would be that conference.
I took voracious notes during many of the sessions, and wanted to share them here with you. Below are my notes and takeaways from a few of the main stage presentations. Enjoy.
Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.