A lot of people write me asking for tips on how to be cool. Well, I don’t think being cool is really something that can be learned, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Here are some quick and easy ways to be cooler:
[Context: This is the unedited appeal I submitted to parking services re: the $50 parking ticket I received today for parking at a Brown meter before 4:00pm. The ticket was issued at 3:07pm.]
Some have proposed that the definition of insanity is “attempting the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.” If this definition holds any weight, then I am pleading innocence of this offense on the grounds of insanity.
k so heres my idea for a business tell me if it’s good
1) buy mad chalkboards (or even pieces of wood; better yet dont buy them just FIND them!)
2) buy this compound
3) PAINT THE CHALKBORDS with it
4) sell as whiteboards
do you think this would be legal? lol prob not since obama” —Gizmodo’s resident idiot, ryanbrenner
PROB NOT LEGAL SINCE OBAMA
JUST FIND SOME CHALKBOARDS
PAINT THE CHALKBORDS (via demiadejuyigbe)
It’s easy! Just play some instruments and make music!
»But I can’t play any instruments!
Then get on a computer and make some electronic music!
»But I don’t know music theory!
Then just make mash-ups instead!
»But I don’t understand the software!
Then download a bunch of 320kbps mp3’s and become a DJ!
»But I don’t know how to mix!
Then just play the songs for your friends at parties!
»But I don’t have any friends!
Then blog about new music than you find on SoundCloud!
»But I can’t find any new music!
Then blog about ways people can participate in music creation!
Dear young conservative,
I hope you are reading this. My ideal reader for this piece is an actual person under thirty years old who self-identifies as conservative. I would like it very much if this letter found readers beyond my typical (and beloved) echo chamber of liberal comedians and comedy fans. If you’re reading this and you’re not a young conservative, I’ll bet you’re friends with one on Facebook and I would love it if you could pass this along to them.
First off: I in no way mean for this to be patronizing. I’m not mocking you, young conservative. I know what it is to be a young conservative. I was one.
When I was in high school, in the early part of the first George W. Bush presidency, it seemed kind of cool and punk to me to identify as conservative. I didn’t agree with their social policies, but that wasn’t the point. The point was, what if all my liberal high-school-kid friends were wrong? It was a ton of fun to think of myself as the sole voice of reason among a bunch of wrong-headed young people who hadn’t read the same blogs I had, and hadn’t been introduced to Ayn Rand by their girlfriend last summer the way I had.
Looking back on all that, on the times I argued with my History teacher in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other things, I am deeply ashamed. And this shame comes not from the fact that I now have different political beliefs, different political beliefs shared, in some form, by almost all of my colleagues and friends. I almost always relish having a minority opinion. It’s a stubborn, age-resistant part of my personality. I am still the guy who loves hating the thing everyone else likes, or liking the thing everyone else hates. I didn’t like the movie DRIVE very much. I know. Come at me. So I’d be the first person to want to have a political belief counter to the ones treasured by all my friends. I argue most frequently with people I’m actually in total agreement with. I’m just that asshole. So it’s not that I felt the need to join the herd and now that I have, I’m ashamed to have ever felt differently than I do now.
I am ashamed because I accepted into my heart and head a system of thought I now believe to be, to borrow a term from my old friend Ayn Rand, anti-life: that government should only exist to make it easy for businesses to do business, the idea that it is our civic duty to have no civic duty. I no longer believe that the way to make things better for everyone is to let people with money do whatever they want, whenever they want. I feel I’ve earned the crap out of this belief, given that I used to believe precisely the opposite, and I’ve taken a long journey to the side I stand on now.
And I urge you, before you dismiss me as a long-haired Hollywood goofball liberal, to read on, and to listen to me in every bit the earnest that I am writing to you. Please don’t pull the dismissive ripcord in your mind, the one labeled “You’re just saying that because you’re biased, etc…” that all of us use every day to reject the idea that someone who disagrees with us may have a point. This ripcord is cynicism, plain and simple, and it mars political discourse and if we continue to pull it every time someone starts to say something that doesn’t jibe with what we already think, life on this planet will soon be quite literally impossible.
This is one of the few pieces of media that I have ever felt has had a legitimate shot at changing someone’s mind.
- Song: You would not believe your eyes if ten million fireflies lit up the world as I fell asleep.
- Me: You're absolutely right, that would be ridiculous. Actually, it would probably be the most awe-inspiring thing I've ever seen or ever will see.
- Song: 'Cause they'd fill the open air and leave teardrops everywhere. You'd think me rude but I would just stand and stare.
- Me: Okay, for starters, no, I wouldn't think you rude in the slightest. I've already confessed that the sight of these fireflies would likely be one of the most incredible things imaginable, and now you're acting as if I'd somehow take offense if you took the time to take them in, instead of doing what you were already doing, which was sleeping? What kind of shitty person would I have to be to find that impolite?
- Song: I'd like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly.
- Me: What? Why? What the hell does that have to do with the fireflies? Or anything, for that matter?
- Song: It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep, 'cause everything is never as it seems.
- Me: You alright, dude? Suddenly you sound borderline suicidal.
- Song: 'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs from ten thousand lightning bugs as they tried to teach me how to dance.
- Me: That's quite possibly the single gayest sentence I've ever heard, but it certainly doesn't seem like a reasonable cause for suicidal ideation. Also, how and why did you decide that only one in ten fireflies would opt to hug you?
- Song: A foxtrot above my head, a sock hop beneath my bed, a disco ball is just hanging by a thread.
- Me: Now you've lost me.
- Song: I'd like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly. It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep 'cause everything is never as it seems when I fall asleep.
- Me: Back to this again? Listen, I looked it up: the world is turning at around 1,040 miles per hour at the equator. Hardly a slow speed. And why would you even want it to turn any slower? I imagine the consequences of Earth's rotation slowing by even a fraction would be catastrophic for the ecosystem and all life on the planet. Maybe you'd rather just believe misinformation? Sorry, but I really don't get it.
- Song: Leave my door open just a crack. (Please take me away from here.) 'Cause I feel like such an insomniac. (Please take me away from here.)
- Me: Jesus Christ, did you just ask me to take you away? Are you in trouble? Stop screwing around with this fireflies bullshit - if you need help, please, just say so.
- Song: Why do I tire of counting sheep (Please take me away from here.) when I'm far too tired to fall asleep?
- Me: Okay, I heard that. I'm calling the police.
- Song: To ten million fireflies, I'm weird 'cause I hate goodbyes, I got misty eyes as they said farewell...
- Me: Hello? 911? I've got a guy here and based on the way he's talking it seems as if he may be having a stroke. Yes. No, he just now started asking me to "take him away." I think he's suicidal. Please hurry.
- Song: But I'll know where several are if my dreams get real bizarre. 'Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar.
- Me: It seems as if his hallucinations are getting more serious. I'm gonna get you help, buddy, don't worry. Just keep talking about the fireflies, the ambulance is on the way. The fireflies are probably gonna die in that jar if you don't poke some holes in it, though.
- Song: Why are you still talking to me? I'm over three years old. Maybe you're the one who needs help.
- Me: Those aren't the lyrics. Shut up.
I feel bad for everyone born after 1995. Sure, they’ll more than likely outlive me - assuming, of course, that we don’t reach The Singularity by 2045 as is anticipated - and maybe they’ll get to see some pretty cool things that I won’t. But there’s one thing they were never able to experience that makes me pity them: the early days of the Internet.*
Anyone born after 1995, and maybe even a bit earlier than that, never got to experience the Beta version of the Internet. By the time they were old enough to meaningfully interface with a computer, broadband was beginning to take foot. By then, the Internet was something your parents were probably familiar with. I’d be remiss even now to say that the Internet has been tamed, but by then it was no longer the wilderness it once was. The Internet of my youth was the Louisiana Purchase, the last frontier, an infinite expanse of endless possibilities. By the time people had switched over to dedicated web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, NetScape) and the walled gardens had crumbled, the mystery had been lost.
- Me: u there?
- Paul: ya
- Me: need to come up with an idea for a new product
- Me: what u think of this?
- Me: it's a watch, think made by apple
- Me: bluetooths to your phone
- Me: not a touchscreen or anything... it's just like a dot matrix display almost, maybe a color screen maybe not, but really just a line
- Me: it only has like 1 or 2 buttons
- Me: it always shows the time and u can toggle thru modes where it would scroll whatever data from ur phone
- Me: u get a txt, it shows up
- Me: no games, no apps, no bullshit like that
- Me: it primarily just shows text
- Me: who's calling, what song is playing, maybe twitter feed
- Me: and the time
- Paul: interesting
- Paul: very
- Me: it's primarily a fashion thing, more cool than useful
- Me: $500 is totally reasonable for a fashionable watch
- Me: maybe even more
- Me: good, don't u think?
- Paul: yes
- For the next 15 minutes we talked about this new product and cool ways it could be used. If it was equipped with NFC, hand-to-hand-contact could be the next Bump and Google Wallet would become even easier. If Siri were more sophisticated you could simply query Siri from the watch and she could speak a plaintext answer in response and it would be just like something out of James Bond. We discussed whether it would be a better fit for Apple or Google. Paul began looking for parts from which he could build the first prototype. It was a really good idea and I knew it.
- I didn't know it was ten-million-dollars good, though. It turns out I had independently come up with the Pebble, the most funded Kickstart project of all time with over $10 million in backing. The similarities between it and the product I'd envisioned were so alarmingly great that you'd have to assume I'd stolen the idea. Barring any subconscious knowledge about the Pebble that I'm unaware I had, though, I'd never heard about this product for the five or so months since it's been public.
- I was THIS CLOSE to a ten million dollar idea. Last night I actually lost sleep over the notion that I probably won't have another idea as good for some time, if ever.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’d like to volunteer that at the time of my writing this, I’m a bit drunk. That should come as little to no surprise to you, though, taking into account when last we spoke. I wasn’t as drunk then as I am now, but I’m sure this too will not come as a surprise. I’m hard pressed to believe that I’m the first person you’ve driven to drinking his or her sorrows away on a Thursday night.
I’ve been coming to karaoke semi-frequently for the past two months. You know me and I know you. I was even beginning to think we were becoming friends; I never asked anything of you without a smile or an approving nod. Sure, sometimes I may have slurred my song requests, but I feel that I’ve more than made up for those times on the numerous occassions I’ve had to show you how to operate your own (uncomplicated) software. For someone who presumably spends so much time typing in song titles, you’re surprisingly clumsy at it. And did I ever say anything until now? No!