Step inside the Wild Beasts‘ transfixing music video for the falsetto lilting song Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants. The video employs the droste effect, an Escher-esque immersive technique in which similar smaller images appear spiraling deeper and deeper within the shot, to the nth degree.
Well aware of the culinary devotion and rigor of analysis that recreational diners on such sites as Chowhound and Zagat possess, I hesitate to call myself a foodie. But my experiences last week at three of the finest and most innovative restaurants in the US – Zenkichi, moto, and Alinea – probably say otherwise. That I would plan a trip around the chefs’ (and sommeliers’) tours leaves no doubt that I’m dedicated to this generalist thing, even on a taste level. 😉
The first outing, Zenkichi, was a pleasant accident. In New York with friends, one of us received a random text message recommending an obscure modern Japanese brasserie in Brooklyn’s hip Williamsburg area.… more
The diversity of skills, expertise, and interest is especially useful when people of different “walks of life” can collaborate with one another. Tolerance, collegiality, dialogue. When people share ideas, the potential is much greater if their ideas are in fact different. Very simple principle, which runs through anthropology as the study of human diversity (through language, time, biology, and culture).
The problem, though, is that people from different “fields” tend not to respect one another’s work. For instance, a life scientist and a social scientist often have a hard time understanding one another because they simply don’t respect their interlocutor’s discipline.… more
Several nuggets of insight and good advice for Creative Generalists in this article – The Never-Ending Debate of Specialist v. Generalist – about computer technology, catch-all Craigslist job postings, and that “the more you know, the more you find out you don’t know.”… more
…[H]ere’s the real crux of it, the thing that puts bounce in the step of the ones already on this path – there is the chance to be part of possibly the greatest project in the history of civilization, to be at the forefront of the generation that confronted the worst conflagration the world had ever seen – and sorted it out. Scientific American calls climate change “arguably the most imposing scientific and technical challenge that humanity ever faced”; a veteran British politician warns of “an ecological time bomb ticking away”; and the former chief economist of the World Bank predicts “major disruptions on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the twentieth century.” To look back, perhaps half a century from now, to say to our children – to our grandchildren – that we took all this on, fought and thought, worked our asses off, tried and failed and tried again, and finally got this wondrous new contraption moving down a clear path toward the sustainable city on a hill – what could be better, more worthwhile, more flat-out balls-to-the-wall exhilarating, than to be part of that?… more
One other interesting development during this job search was my realization that I have become more comfortable with my personal brand as a generalist. I can admit to myself that I am better at thinking across disciplines and considering the big picture than I am at specializing and making sure all the details are right, instead of trying to be good at everything. …
The really brilliant people, the deep thinkers, are the ones who are able to identify useful separations between the general and the specific.… more
I knew what I was getting myself into. While in London several weeks ago I caught one of the two big Radiohead concerts in Victoria Park. I think there were something like 60,000 people there on that beautiful summer’s night and the show was great but the crush of people and long lines to exit were not. Sometime during that evening I swore off attending anymore ultra big shows like that – except for the same one in Montreal yesterday for which I already had tickets.
Drizzly weather, muddy grounds, a different and closer vantage point, and a little more space.… more
There was an article in the National Post earlier this week describing how The Black Knight’s immense popularity is helping to lift the fortunes of beleaguered Canadian 3D theatre operator IMAX. Not only is the box office moola spilling over to IMAX’s screens, Batman seems to be reintroducing movie-goers to an experience they left years ago – not because it wasn’t impressive but because the films themselves (usually of the nature documentary variety) were stuck in a bit of a rut. But nothing quite beats a caped vigilante jumping off a Gotham skyscraper or a disheveled joker (masterfully!) robbing banks and blowing stuff up.… more
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was an inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician, poet, cosmologist one of the great American visionaries of the 20th century. Best-known as the inventor of the geodesic dome, Fuller devoted much of his life to resolving the gap between the sciences and the humanities, which he believed was preventing society from taking a comprehensive view of the world. His theories and innovations traversed the worlds of architecture, visual art, literature, mathematics, molecular biology, and environmental science and have had a deep impact on all of those fields. (Description via the Buckminster Fuller Institute)