16 April 2012

Ira Glass on creative work

I think this little piece of advice on creative work is also applicable to those of us in research. Your work at first may not live up to your ambitions. Just keep working. Not all of your work will be good, in fact not all of it will be publishable. But write it all up and keep going.

It's the volume of work, the persistent effort, the 10,000 hours, that makes the difference between someone who tried and someone who succeeded.

01 April 2012

Smartphone Holdouts

In December I bought my first smartphone-- a TMobile MyTouch, an android phone. So, though very recently I had a very hardy flip phone like the folks in this article, I can no longer say I'm a smart phone holdout.

Still, when I got my phone I decided not to get a data plan, and I think that was a smart move (ba-dum ching). When I'm on wifi I can check my email, and this was super helpful when I was traveling in Argentina and still needed to respond within a day or two to some work emails. Plus, if I'm away from wifi and desperate for information, I can always pay $2 per megabyte. But because of that barrier, in four months I haven't once used my phone for data on the cell network.

Another thing I did was enter a $300 bet with my family that I wouldn't use FB on my phone for 2 years. I can guarantee you I will not lose that bet!

My favorite parts of my phone so far are (a) using the hopstop app to get directions in NY, (b) using Ravid to send video messages to my friends and (c) Swype, the coolest touchscreen typing ever invented! Helpful! Fun!

But what I didn't want my smartphone to do was take away my fifteen minutes of daydreaming on the bus every day. I get to people watch and talk to my favorite bus friends, too. And I still read the poems posted, written by local highschoolers. Here's a recent favorite:

Tell a story
Take a chance
Dance around in your underpants
Do whatever you need to do
Listen to the voice inside of you.

-Brieann Robinson, Lafollette HS, Madison Wisconsin.