Is your social media addiction changing your perceptions – Jaron Lanier

Here’s the always thoughtful and excellent Jaron Lanier in a 20-minute interview on Channel 4 News, talking about the effect of social media.

Lanier is a fascinating, new-Renaissance man: a writer on computer-philosophy, a computer scientist and programmer of very high regard (one of the fathers of VR), an artist and a musician.

His theme here builds on a point raised in his 2010 book You Are Not A Gadget:  that our perspective on the world is imperceptibly shaped and limited by the tools we use to perceive it: if your spectacles are the wrong prescription, you don’t see things far away; if your search engine tailors results to your tastes, you don’t see what you don’t know. Here, he adds the impact of social media algorithms tailoring your world view based on your response to what you see.

Fascinating.

 

Image: LAVREB University of Siena

1,000 True Fans

All you need is 1,000 true fans.

I originally posted this ten years ago, over on BurningPine.com, but came across it again, today. I think it’s still relevant for creators and sovereign professionals, especially with regard to the discussion on passive income streams. The original posted (as linked) has also been updated  …

1,000 True Fans

What a beautiful concept from Kevin Kelly.  A consequence of all that Chris Anderson talked about in The Long Tail is that it is easier for creators (photographers, musicians, writers, whatever) to reach directly to their audience, their market, their fans.  Cutting out the middle-man, and the middle-man’s filters, has never been easier.  What Kelly offers in this insightful post is something of a bridge or staging post between impoverished artist and mega-star.  Simplistically put, all an artist needs in order to provide a living is “1,000 true fans”.  Kelly defines these as follows:

“someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.”

Crucially, Kelly suggests that the true fan will spend one day’s wage per year on your product, nominally pitched at $100.  Thus, 1,000 x $100 = $100,000 = a reasonable living.  Of course, the real figures will vary by geography, by muse and by the size of the artistic unit: a six-piece rock band will require a higher income (= a bigger number of true fans) than, say, a poet.  However, it’s a great concept.  Simple, elegant and worth pondering.

Kevin Kelly — The Technium

 

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Financial independence in your 40s

Today’s Times has a piece on the so-called Fire (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement that, having taken off in North American is growing in the UK, too.

Here’s the magic formula:

The basic mathematics of Fire are that you need a net worth of 25 times your annual spending, invested sensibly in the stock market in low-cost tracker funds or in buy-to-let property.

Financial independence, whether you  choose to continue working or not, must represent true sovereignty. It’s therefore a worthy goal for the sovereign professional.
“If you can save 50 per cent of your take-home pay, it will take 19 years to go from broke to never needing to work again. If you can save 75 per cent, it will take seven to eight years.”
The basic requirements are a long-term focus and an ability for deferred gratification.
It reminds me of a great book, Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, which is well-worth a read.
Photo by Sonja Guina on Unsplash

Echoes through time: the totality of all Being

Think of the totality of all Being, and what a mite of it is yours; think of all Time, and the brief fleeting instant of it that is allotted to yourself; think of Destiny, and how puny a part of it you are.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (5.24)

I also quite like the Gregory Hays’ translation of this:

Remember:

Matter. How tiny your share of it.

Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it.

Fate. How small a role you play in it.

 

Magic rings, many faces and Joseph Campbell

Steve Layman has a couple of pointers to the work of Joseph Campbell.

Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth.

and

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.

More about Campbell, here.