“But how can you be so disciplined?” friends always ask when I tell them my job is to get up every day at 6 AM Monday to Friday and think up insane stuff. Easy. If I didn’t work this hard for myself, I’d have to go work for somebody else. Plus, I can go to my office one room away from my bedroom in my own house dressed in my underpants if I want to.
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We live between despair and hope. No one knows why we are here, and nothing makes sense. Don’t forget that. You could ask yourself, “What is the point?” until you go crazy, literally. So, the starting point is to not know. And then to proceed.
Work on what you love. This is such an easy thing to say, and it seems so obvious. What else should we work on? What else could we work on? And yet the problem of aligning our passion and our production, our love and our work, remains one of the great life challenges that we face as artists, as designers, and as citizens.
We have to be aware that when you create magic or occult things, when they go wrong they become horror. Because we create technologies to soothe our cultural and social anxieties, in a way. We create these things because we’re worried about security, we’re worried about climate change, we’re worried about threat of terrorism. Whatever it is. And these devices provide a kind of stopgap for helping us feel safe or protected or whatever.
I often try to tell people that Google is not providing information retrieval algorithms, it’s providing advertising algorithms. And that is a very important distinction when we think about what kind of information is available in these corporate‐controlled spaces.
This quote’s from Andy Warhol. He was looking at America and saying America’s different. He’s saying, “Well, Elizabeth Taylor’s drinking Coke and I’m drinking Coke and the bum on the street’s drinking Coke, and it’s all the same thing.” For the first time in history, mass market culture has allowed us all to enjoy the same thing. This is not champagne. The bum on the street can’t afford champagne.
You have to think with your users, with your customers, what is your actual relationship? Are they your gods? Are they your guests? Are they a nuisance to you? Because you know where the power is.