Links from Around the Web

Quick thoughts and links:

  • There’s nothing like reading about a personal experience that supports an age-old aphorism like "Try one new thing every day." To me, tired wisdom such as "work hard" only resonates if there’s a compelling personal example under it. My friends Paul Berberian and Seth Levine both recently blogged about doing something for the first time. For Paul, it was flying his plane through clouds for the first time. For Seth, it was kick-boxing with his wife. Have you accumulated an interesting and new experience this week?
  • Hail casual attire! The official Neck Tie Association recently closed…after a particularly telling sign: members showed up to their annual meeting without wearing a tie.
  • Awesome list of questions any sales exec should ask him/herself about revenue projection numbers.
  • Megan McArdle on the ridiculous notion spread through European poltiical circles that American neo-cons got Ireland to vote down the Lisbon treaty:

    Canada and Europe, particularly, seem to be prone to the illusion that we spend all of our time thinking up ways to make them feel bad, when in truth we barely think about them at all. Probably we should, more. But it’s hard to imagine a situation in which our first thought would be: "Let’s make Irish voters reject the . . . what was the name of that treaty again?"

  • Felix Salmon with a wise line on what makes a person’s writing/thinking valuable, via Walt Mossberg rarely saying anything new but re-stating known ideas in interesting ways:

    This is a powerful idea, I think, and one which the best politicians understand intuitively: if you say something which everybody already knows, that doesn’t automatically make you boring.

  • Bill Flagg identifies two popular business models for internet companies: the profit model or the popularity model. Should a web company charge for their service (aka or become really popular (aka YouTube) and generate profit via ads and sponsorship from that scale?
  • An interesting assessment of David Foster Wallace’s voice:

    Wallace has the vocabulary. He has the energy. He has the big ideas. He has the attitude. Yet too often he sounds like a hyperarticulate Tin Man. Maybe this is concentrated version of how we all sound lately. Data-dazed. Cybernetic. Overstimulated. Maybe this is the voice of the true now. Or maybe genius, like language, can’t do everything, and maybe the Wizard should give the guy a heart.

  • Tyler Cowen on how to overcome book fatigue: read books in a category you wouldn’t normally touch.

    The reality is this: the best popular book on geology, gardening, or basketball is very very good, whether or not you like or care about the topic. Try to find those books and read them.

  • A deliciously devastating take-down of Sex and the City movie in the New Yorker. One of the best movie reviews I’ve read.
3 comments on “Links from Around the Web
  • @ The assessment of David Foster Wallace’s voice by Walter Kern.

    Long passages of physical description will put me to sleep quicker than any pill.

    That sort of thing is all right in its place– in tales of travel and adventure, where it advances the story, but it’s an unholy bastard child in a work of literature written as ‘art’.

    What could be more boring than long strings of lists, in microscopic detail, of everything the author’s eyes apprehend, for God’s sake?

    There’s nothing wrong with being witty and virtuoso, but an overreaching, self-consciousness anxiety about performing as an artist is unattractive.

    An author should show consideration for his readers, rather than feeding his vanity, if he intends to have any followers besides those impressed by meaningless tricks.

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