This is Water. David Foster Wallace Commencement Speech

In this moving and inspirational talk, David Foster Wallace puts forward that the freedom awareness provides is the freedom to decide how to interpret your surroundings. The freedom not to be a slave to the default settings forced on us by what is around us.

This is water. I am learning.

David Foster Wallace Speech – This Is Water.

2005 graduating class of Kenyon College.

Nicolas Jaar Live At The Boiler Room, NYC – Mix Of The Week

Since being introduced to the music of Nicolas Jaar some months back off the coast of Nicaragua, I’ve been listening to his releases fairly steadily.

Recently, he performed at a Reb Bull Music Academy party in New York City, where he laid down a live performance made up of (what sounds to be) all new material.

The set lasts about 47 minutes and is a bit of a slow starter, but once Mr. Jaar gets some momentum, it’s an absolute stomper.

Also, the entire time I was listening to this set, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like if James Blake had crashed the party…

This set made me homesick, missing the Cape Town music scene.

What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work

Dan Ariely gave a TED talk on the effects of motivation and rejection and the effect that this has on how we feel about the work we do.

It turns out that people feel a sense of ownership over pretty much anything they do, regardless of how menial the task is. Using some interesting experiments, Ariely is able to provide some very easy to understand insight on how people work and the value they assign to the things they do.

Here is the Youtube link to the talk:

Dan Ariely – What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work

Another interesting take-away is that when something is too simple or easy, people have no sense of ownership. An example he provides dates back to the invention of cake mix, or what he calls the Ikea Effect.

“It turns out, they were very unpopular.[…] What they figured out was there was not enough effort involved. It was so easy nobody could serve cake to their guest and say ‘here is my cake.’ […] It didn’t really feel like their own.

So they took out the eggs and the milk. Now it was their cake.”

If you enjoy this talk, you should read Predictably Irrational, a book by Dan Ariely.