I’m Chase Reeves. I collect and develop thoughts on how to make and live matterfully. Mostly for men. Make sense? Hmmm... lots of ‘m’s.

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Maya Anglou on Legacy

Oprah: What will my legacy be?

Maya Angelou: You don’t get to decide what your legacy is. That’s not up to you. So do your work.

Recounted by Tom Shadyack

David Foster Wallace on the Value of Education

“[...] this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out.”

David Foster Wallace

Joie de vivre: a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit. […] may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life.”

Wikipedia

And more from an excerpt in Carl Rogers’ book On Becoming a Person:

Mrs. Oak illustrates this trend rather nicely in her thirty-third interview. Is it significant that this follows by ten days the interview where she could for the first time admit to herself that the therapist cared? Whatever our speculations on this point, this fragment in-dicates very well the quiet joy in being one’s self, together with the apologetic attitude which, in our culture, one feels it is necessary to take toward such an experience. In the last few minutes of the inter-view, knowing her time is nearly up she says:

C: One thing worries me and I’ll hurry because I can always go back to it – a feeling that occasionally I can’t turn out. A feeling of being quite pleased with myself. Again the Q technique, I walked out of here one time, and impulsively I threw my first card, “I am an attractive personality”; looked at it sort of aghast but left it there, I mean, because honestly, I mean, that is exactly how it felt – a well, that bothered me and I catch that now.

Carl Rogers in On Becoming a Person, emphasis mine

Maya Angelou on Anger + Bitterness

“You should be angry. But you must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”

Maya Angelou (to Dave Chappell)

If you haven’t seen the Maya Angelou and Dave Chappell episode of Iconoclasts, schedule time for it. A light cocktail and 3-4pm tomorrow would be perfect for you. It’s wonderful.

Here’s another couple quotes I liked:


This is why it’s dangerous to make any person seem larger than life. Because a young person coming up sees this larger than life figure, this outrageously gigantic personality, and has to say, “I can never do that. I can never be that.” You see? When the truth is those men and those women were in the right place at the right time and got hold of something and something caught hold of them.


It’s important if not, in fact, imperative that each knows that there is a line beyond which you will not go. When lots of money is dangled in front of people’s eyes, many times they will tell you ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no!’ Because it’s dangling before their eyes. And they will say, ‘Damn, jack, I’m giving this up? I’m not making this money now because you aren’t.’

But the thing is that you have some place that nobody, kith nor kin, can take you beyond. Somewhere in the bend of your elbow. Nobody.

Play, Rules & Important Work

The sons of Hermes love to play,
And only do their best when they
Are told they oughtn’t;
Apollo’s children never shrink
From boring jobs but have to think
Their work important.

W. H. Auden, Under Which Lyre

The Genius of Brian Eno: Scenius

“The genius of Eno is in removing the idea of genius. His work is rooted in the power of collaboration within systems: instructions, rules, and self-imposed limits. His methods are a rebuke to the assumption that a project can be powered by one person’s intent, or that intent is even worth worrying about. To this end, Eno has come up with words like “scenius,” which describes the power generated by a group of artists who gather in one place at one time.”

Sasha Frere-Jones

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”

Carl Jung

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

Andy Warhol

List of Mac apps to transfer to new computer

I recently got into a new laptop. It’s not like the old days – now I need to be able to spin up the new ‘puter into a big boy professional workhorse as quickly as possible.

So I’ve created this list of apps and data to help me remember what I need to consider so’s I don’t miss anything important. These are roughly in order.

I’m posting it here in case you find it helpful. Also, so I’ll be able to find it next time I get a new ‘puter. (more…)

Orson Welles on Where he Found the Confidence to Direct Citizen Kane

“Ignorance … sheer ignorance. There is no confidence to equal it. It’s only when you know something about a profession that you are timid or careful.”

Orson Welles


This is Orson Welles’ answer when asked “where he got the confidence as a first-time director to direct a film so radically different from contemporary cinema,” namely, Citizen Kane.

Through ignorance he directed a movie that changed the course of storytelling. Some facts from wikipedia:

  • The film was nominated for Academy Awards in nine categories.
  • It won an Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) by Herman Mankiewicz and Welles.
  • Considered by many critics, filmmakers, and fans to be the greatest film ever made.
  • Citizen Kane was voted the greatest film of all time in five consecutive Sight & Sound’s polls of critics.
  • It topped the American Film Institute’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list in 1998
  • It topped AFI’s 2007 update.
  • Citizen Kane is particularly praised for its cinematography, music, and narrative structure, which were innovative for its time.
  • Citizen Kane came after two abortive attempts from Welles to get a project off the ground.
  • Welles was allowed to develop the story without interference, cast his own actors and crew members, and have the privilege of final cut – unheard of at the time for a first-time director.
  • Orson Welles said that his preparation before making Citizen Kane was to watch John Ford’s Stagecoach 40 times. “After dinner every night for about a month, I’d run Stagecoach, often with some different technician or department head from the studio, and ask questions. “How was this done?” “Why was this done?” It was like going to school.”
  • While a critical success, Citizen Kane failed to recoup its costs at the box office.
  • Praise from French critics like Jean-Paul Sartre and André Bazin gave the film an American revival in 1956.

His quote above reminds me of this one from Richard Saul Wurman on selling self discovery instead of expertise.

The scene pictured above is one of my favorites from the movie. So strange to see the main character set completely in shadow like this. Forced me to think about what Welles was saying about the event taking place in this scene.

I wasn’t sure if it would be too old timey to enjoy watching. I was pleasantly surprised.

Ryan Simms on Pixel Perfect Product Design

“One trend I’ve noticed that is a little alarming to me, specifically in product design, is the compulsion to make everything perfect, at any cost. I’m not a big fan of the term “pixel perfect.” I think it fosters an inaccurate view of reality. I believe that good product design is efficient, collaborative, and always evolving. It’s never done and it’s certainly never perfect. Do I think design should be thoughtful and intelligent? Absolutely. I just see an obsession with perfection that feels like it belongs more to the arts than product design.”

Ryan Simms

Aldous Huxley on the Brain’s Primary Function (Maybe)

“… that the primary function of the brain may be eliminative: Its purpose may be to prevent a transpersonal dimension of mind from flooding consciousness, thereby allowing apes like ourselves to make their way in the world without being dazzled at every step by visionary phenomena that are irrelevant to their physical survival. Huxley thought of the brain as a kind of ‘reducing valve’ for ‘Mind at Large.’ In fact, the idea that the brain is a filter rather than the origin of mind goes back at least as far as Henri Bergson and William James. In Huxley’s view, this would explain the efficacy of psychedelics: They may simply be a material means of opening the tap.

[…]

It is one thing to be awestruck by the sight of a giant redwood and amazed at the details of its history and underlying biology. It is quite another to spend an apparent eternity in egoless communion with it.”

Sam Harris