links for 2009-10-28


  • Handy career advice from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert:
    "If you want an average successful life, it doesn’t take much planning. Just stay out of trouble, go to school, and apply for jobs you might like. But if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths:
    1. Become the best at one specific thing.
    2. Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things."
  • A commentary on the social experiment conducted by Washington Post.
    "…the young man finally started playing his violin. He was quite good … He played continuously for 45 minutes and during that time few, pitifully few people actually stopped and payed attention to the stranger. Some not sure of what they should do gave him some coins and walked away in a hurry.
    After playing a total of 6 musical pieces, he paused and looked at his money case. Inside there was a small pile: All he had made was 32$. He picked up his pride, packed his violin and with a quick gait, he exited the L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station.
    He then did something bizarre: He took a cab.
    The real reason behind his decision to spent his money like that, was his violin's price-tag: A staggering 3.5 million dollars. … Joshua Bell is one of the finest classical musicians on this planet and to get a seat at one of his violin concerts, would cost you at least 100$ given that your seat was in the back of the concert hall."
  • An interesting social experiment. How many people do you think recognize true talent in the mad rush of our lives? Not many it seems as one of the top violin players found out a couple of years back. Not to forget that he played a $3.5 million violin to make $32 in 45 minutes.
    "No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made. His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities — as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?"
  • Bogus copyright and trademark complaints have threatened all kinds of creative expression on the Internet. EFF's Hall Of Shame collects the worst of the worst.
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