pulling the plug

I once worked in a cubicle across from a really nice guy. He was truly a caring, calm, and level-headed person in all regards, and spent most of his time doing work on his high-end desktop.

Back then, computers made noise when they worked, and you actually had to wait for things to happen when you clicked somewhere. A particularly large project locked the computer up. The fan whirred. His cursor froze, an eternal hourglass.

crippling models

I have spent a good deal of time in the past week speaking with artists about an upcoming book project. After finding a dozen or so artists and designers I liked, I sent inquiries along with specifications. The responses were things like:

  • “I only sell rights for 1-2 years, and after that you must renew in order to keep using the image.”
  • “You must know that I am only a digital artist, I do not design art for covers.”
  • “You must read my terms, and then if you sign my terms agreement, we can move forward to discussing how many revisions and deadlines you will need.”

These are actually portions of responses that I received.

If these methods actually work, it is all well and good. But I suspect things aren’t working quite so well for these artists.

Living to work or working to live

I was in the aisle and met an old friend. “We’re trying to just work to live, not live to work,” she said. It’s a nice sentiment. But behind those words were years of strain, debt, and unemployment. You can’t fix that overnight. When a lack of money negatively affects health, family, and time, more income will undoubtedly improve your quality of life. It is a luxury to be able to choose your work. It is a luxury to be able to work, even. Many in the world are unable – mentally, physically, or economically. We should be careful to not waste our chance to work.

Energy, nonsense & gullibility

A few years ago, I worked with a client who was all about energy.

He had an obsession about something he called “peak state” which involved eating massive amounts of fruit in the morning (he did this instead of caffeine because fruit sugars were supposed to stimulate the brain), pushups, a thumping EDM playlist, and chugging massive amounts of water.


Diogenes, the famous Greek philosopher, was once asked where he was from. He replied “I am a citizen of the world”. The Greek word for this is kosmopolitês. Later on, the Stoic crowd further developed Diogenes’ thought into an entire framework called cosmopolitanism. Essentially, the circle model of identity puts yourself in the middle of expanding concentric circles of importance: immediate family, extended family, friends, neighbors, humanity. This was underscored by an emphasis of the importance of a shared affinity for humanity. I like cosmopolitanism. It seems like a healthy way to view the world. Hierocles outlined how humans can extend their oikeiôsis towards other human beings in widening circles, such as our ethnos and eventually the entire human race. The…