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swearitwasntme

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swearitwasntme  ·  2106 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A new discovery about prime numbers and what it means for the future of math

The phenomenology of making art and doing math are pretty different, but the lifetime trajectories of our output in these areas might not be. In both fields, when we look in as outsiders to some particular body of work, we tend to see the semi-magical work of geniuses who we don't think we could ever be... but my experience brushing up against artists and mathematicians suggest that they both attain creative productivity through similar processes. Before producing really creative work, they have to get enough experience with their tools that they can say what they mean to without having to think much about it - they just paint, or just shuffle symbols on a page, and it gets them where they want to go. It makes sense that lots of people would only arrive at that kind of fluency later in life.

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swearitwasntme  ·  2134 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The end of Big Twitter

Twitter takes the idea that "if the service is free, you're not the customer, you're the product" to the extreme. Where you might complain about reddit or facebook that they're time-wasters or that the content quality is not as good as you might like, their purpose for end users is clear enough on its own. There are Twitter users who seem to enjoy it without it occurring to them to constantly question its purpose though: they're the users who enjoy feeling plugged into... other users who want to feel plugged into users who feel plugged into... It's sort of the online informational equivalent of bland pop music and summer blockbusters that no one takes in for the artistic merit but that you can reliably make conversation about.

I'll bet there's a spectrum from reddit to facebook to twitter users that maps pretty directly to how much extraversion is a part of someone's personality. Reddit is there for those of us who want to hyper-rationally compartmentalize, analyze and dissect everything at length, while those of us that are more concenred about cultivating a presentable real-life persona can take in quick sound bites and easily stay plugged into whatever the mass media machine and popular sentiment thinks is hot on Twitter.

There's probably a kernel of human nature supporting this kind of behavior stretching into prehistory, but in the modern take on it, it's exactly what Big Data-based marketing is designed to support. If you've got a big enough database of consumer behavior to catch every trend that's too small or isolated ever to catch the eyes of the people in charge otherwise, you can have a computer do the search for you. Oh, look, RX7 exhausts and C-mags are hot right now. Maybe we can drop gaming blogs and move the company in that direction.