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The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People

The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People:

  1. Attribute bad intentions. Whenever you can, attribute the worst possible intentions to your partner, friends, and coworkers. Take any innocent remark and turn it into an insult or attempt to humiliate you. For example, if someone asks, “How did you like such and such movie?” you should immediately think, He’s trying to humiliate me by proving that I didn’t understand the movie, or He’s preparing to tell me that I have poor taste in movies. The idea is to always expect the worst from people. If someone is late to meet you for dinner, while you wait for them, remind yourself of all the other times the person was late, and tell yourself that he or she is doing this deliberately to slight you. Make sure that by the time the person arrives, you’re either seething or so despondent that the evening is ruined. If the person asks what’s wrong, don’t say a word: let him or her suffer.

It’s KD’s Fault

Craig Fehrman, writing at Slate:

The NBA has been bad for two years, and it’s Kevin Durant’s fault.

If the Warriors beat the Cavaliers on Friday night, they’ll clinch a second straight title, compiling a playoff record of 32–6 along the way. This team has erased two seasons of potentially exciting basketball as thoroughly as Ted Williams’ military service erased several years of his prime.

The Warriors aren’t the ’96 Bulls. The Warriors were the ’96 Bulls—a 70-plus-win team with a superstar and a championship-level supporting cast. Then they added the second-best player in the league. It’s as if David Robinson decided to join Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in Chicago and coast his way to some mid-’90s titles.

I love the NBA and have hated this year’s playoffs and finals. It’s not fun to watch. This article really gets to the why and how an un-competitive league is bad for basketball.

Second Life: Rethinking Myself

Federico Viticci, writing at MacStories:

I used to be obsessed about not being “behind” and being one step ahead of everyone in terms of tweets and news and emails. Now I understand that’s a battle I can’t win and a fight I don’t want to participate in. It wasn’t healthy and it prevented me from enjoying everything else happening around me. I went on vacation multiple times over the past few years and all I could think about was work and todos piling up in my task manager. That’s absurd, and it’s not a job I enjoy. Perhaps it’s one of the common pitfalls of being self-employed and working from home. I want to work at my own pace; even during the busiest periods of the year, I won’t let the anxiety of being “productive” get in the way of spending time with my family and enjoying everyday life.

God damn can I relate to this.

The World Still Spins Around Male Genius

Megan Garber, writing for The Atlantic:

The added tragedy of all this — kicked, climbed, son, gun, months — is the fact that Karr was not, specifically, making allegations. As Jezebel’s Whitney Kimball pointed out, “The fact that [Wallace] abused [Karr] is not a revelation; this has been documented and adopted by the literary world as one of Wallace’s character traits.” D.T. Max’s 2012 biography of Wallace, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story, documented those abuses: Wallace, Max alleges, once pushed Karr from a vehicle. During another fight, he threw a coffee table at her. Karr, in her tweets, was merely repeating the story she has told many times before. A story that has been treated — stop me if this sounds familiar — largely as a complication to another story. In this case, the story of the romantically unruly genius of one David Foster Wallace.

A Conversation Adam Silver

Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, talked with Strategy Business:

We promote the posting of our highlights. The highlights are identified through YouTube’s software, and when ads are sold against them, we share in the revenue. We analogize our strategy to snacks versus meals. If we provide those snacks to our fans on a free basis, they’re still going to want to eat meals — which are our games. There is no substitute for the live game experience. We believe that greater fan engagement through social media helps drive television ratings.

This is a really good interview that dives into how the NBA is using data and the internet to grow their product. Very forward thinking.

Download Streaming Media

This question was originally answered in the Q&A Thread in the forums.

ECV asked:

How do you rip audio from YouTube? I’ve been meaning to rip a Bellows acoustic session from YT for a while now but I want to make sure the audio quality is good, I figured you know the best way of doing this haha.

So there’s the easy way, and then the way I do it.

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Getting Out of a Creative Funk

This question was originally answered in the Q&A Thread in the forums.

David Parke asked:

Jason how do you get out of a creative funk? I’m working on a project I can’t motivate myself to finish. Always looking for new ways to cope.

Most of the time when I find myself in a creative funk it boils down to me not feeling inspired. There are times where there’s just something I don’t really feel like doing, and so I end up procrastinating.

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How Do You Use Drafts?

This question was originally answered in the Q&A Thread in the forums.

Deanna asked:

[D]o you have any sort of organizational system in Drafts? My issue seems to be putting something in there and never remembering to go back to it/act on it. Also, do you have it open a new draft every time you open the app? I can’t decide if I like that or if I want it to just go to the last used/opened one.

And what type of stuff do you usually put in there? I’m hoping to mainly use it for when I get recs from someone, article ideas, and things like that.

So by and large what Drafts is for me is the starting place for everything, and not the end. Where things end up and how I store most of my text files/notes is a much longer post (combo of flat text files and Ulysses). But what I use Drafts for is a way to quickly get things down and then do something with it. I’ll dive into that process a little more.

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What Did the Stoics Think About Fame?

Daily Stoic:

Much of Stoicism has to do with reacting to what comes at us with equanimity and poise. But this, too, is important: Quelling and quieting that voice in your head that becomes seduced by the desires for accolades and applause. You don’t need them. You think you want them but that’s because you don’t actually understand what they are. In truth things are nothing by themselves. In practice, they are liabilities and not assets.

A Gentleman’s Guide to the NBA: When Players Agree to Take Plays Off

Bleacher Report:

Thanks to Jokic, Bell learned earlier than most this important lesson about NBA life: In a sport in which games can last nearly three hours and seasons almost nine months, it becomes essential to save strength for the more important moments. After all, 100 percent effort on 100 percent of plays would sap even the greatest of deities of their godly gifts and transform contests into stumbling slogs.

And so to avoid this descent into the mud, many players strike unofficial pacts with their opponents. Possessions are punted, secrets are traded, game plans are passed along. It’s not that these players don’t care about the outcomes of games. Think of it, instead, as a sort of gentleman’s pact between players, one governing action across the NBA.

I found this article fascinating.

Sponsor

Watch MLB TV in Picture in Picture on a Mac

Six Colors:

It’s baseball season again, and there’s some good news for people who use MLB TV to watch out-of-market games on their Mac: This is the year that Major League Baseball has finally ditched Flash or Silverlight or whatever they were previously using for desktop streaming. This is nice, because it means I can use Safari (my preferred browser) rather than Chrome (which I keep around for sites that aren’t compatible with Safari or require Flash). But there’s a great side effect: It finally gives Macs the ability to do what iPads have been able to do for a couple of years, namely pop a baseball game into Picture in Picture mode, so it floats above other windows on your screen without any browser chrome getting in the way. […] Still, I was able to enable the Picture in Picture mode by using PiPifier, an app in the Mac App Store that adds a picture-in-picture button to the Safari toolbar.

You can grab the extension here. It works great.

Clueyness: A Weird Kind of Sad

Tim Urban:

At the time, my dad didn’t think much of it—pretty normal day in their lives. But later on, he found himself remembering that day, and he always felt bad about it. He pictured his father sitting there at the table, now alone, with all the cards and pieces laid out. He pictured him waiting for a little while before accepting that it wasn’t gonna happen today, then collecting all the pieces and cards he had laid out, putting them back in the box, and putting the box back in the closet.

Pretty random story for my dad to tell me, right? The reason he did was because it was part of a conversation where I was trying to articulate a certain thing I suffer from, which is feeling incredibly bad for certain people in certain situations—situations in which the person I feel bad for was probably barely affected by what happened. It’s an odd feeling of intense heartbreaking compassion for people who didn’t actually go through anything especially bad.

I do this all the time.

The Intellectual We Deserve

Nathan J. Robinson:

Jordan Peterson appears very profound and has convinced many people to take him seriously. Yet he has almost nothing of value to say. This should be obvious to anyone who has spent even a few moments critically examining his writings and speeches, which are comically befuddled, pompous, and ignorant. They are half nonsense, half banality. In a reasonable world, Peterson would be seen as the kind of tedious crackpot that one hopes not to get seated next to on a train.

But we do not live in a reasonable world.

If You Truly Care About Speech, You Will Invite Me to Your Office to Personally Call You a Dipshit

Alex Pareene, writing at Splinter:

Bari Weiss, an editor for the Times opinion section, has written a column about the incident, arguing that these students, who asked that Sommers not address their school, then heckled and insulted her (as she insulted them), and then finally let her speak and engaged in dialogue with her, fundamentally don’t understand how “free speech” works.

“Yes,” Weiss says, “these future lawyers believe that free speech is acceptable only when it doesn’t offend them. Which is to say, they don’t believe in it at all.”

I couldn’t agree more: If you think offensive speech shouldn’t be aired in certain contexts and venues, you don’t believe in free speech. Which is why it is incumbent on Weiss, and her bosses, to ask me to come to the offices of the New York Times and give a talk to the editors and columnists of the opinion page about how stupid they are.

It is absolutely necessary, for the sake of democratic ideals, that the staff attend my talk, and they must listen politely (and quietly) as I condescendingly dismiss their idiotic worldviews and personally insult them. They cannot yell at me or express indignation in any way. For them not to allow this to happen would be an alarming sign of the decline of liberalism in the West.

This whole piece if fantastic.

Everyone Is Going Through Something

Kevin Love, writing for The Player’s Tribune:

On November 5th, right after halftime against the Hawks, I had a panic attack.

It came out of nowhere. I’d never had one before. I didn’t even know if they were real. But it was real — as real as a broken hand or a sprained ankle. Since that day, almost everything about the way I think about my mental health has changed.

I’ve never been comfortable sharing much about myself. I turned 29 in September and for pretty much 29 years of my life I have been protective about anything and everything in my inner life. I was comfortable talking about basketball — but that came natural. It was much harder to share personal stuff, and looking back now I know I could have really benefited from having someone to talk to over the years. But I didn’t share — not to my family, not to my best friends, not in public. Today, I’ve realized I need to change that. I want to share some of my thoughts about my panic attack and what’s happened since. If you’re suffering silently like I was, then you know how it can feel like nobody really gets it. Partly, I want to do it for me, but mostly, I want to do it because people don’t talk about mental health enough. And men and boys are probably the farthest behind.

What to Bring to a Gun Fight

Dan Pfeiffer:

The fatal flaw in the Democratic strategy is a failure to heed one of the key lessons of twenty first-century American politics: Democrats never win when they fight on Republican terms.

Republicans have defined the terms of the debate on guns and instead of trying to change those terms, we have resigned ourselves to playing on their turf. The Democratic approach to guns is one of the last vestiges of the mushy strategic applesauce that dominated 1990s DLC-style centrism—the only way to beat Republicans is to try to sound more like them. It is a defensive posture borne of a defeatist mindset that is more a product of Democratic psychology than of political reality. Democrats speak softly and carry a small stick to the gun fight because they have convinced themselves that Republicans have the law, politics, and a presumption of victory on their side. The truth is less daunting, but unless Democrats come around to that truth, the presumption of Republican victory will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Everything Easy is Hard Again

Frank Chimero, writing on his blog:

This past summer, I gave a lecture at a web conference and afterward got into a fascinating conversation with a young digital design student. It was fun to compare where we were in our careers. I had fifteen years of experience designing for web clients, she had one year, and yet some how, we were in the same situation: we enjoyed the work, but were utterly confused and overwhelmed by the rapidly increasing complexity of it all. What the hell happened?

Great post.

Your Twitter Followers are Probably Bots

Elaine:

The New York Times had an interesting feature over the weekend in which it calls out various social media influencers for follower fraud. Many people who appear to have huge Twitter followings actually don’t, and their fans are in fact paid-for bots. Oooh, busted! Apparently there’s a class of people who make a career out of being popular on Twitter, and it is terribly scandalous that they are not as cool as they might seem. […]

The NYTimes analysis is compelling, but their target account selection was awfully limited. So I reproduced their Twitter tool to continue the investigation.

This is pretty cool. I’ve told this story before, but a few years back we ran a story on AbsolutePunk.net about how a certain band member in a certain band had most certainly paid for followers on Twitter. His (very mature) response was to buy a bunch of followers on my account. To this day I don’t really know how many were part of that (I tried to block and report a bunch of them at the time), but I do know that once my account got “verified” I see random, clearly bot, accounts start following me all the time.

Jason Tate’s Top Albums of 2017

Best of 2017

Well, 2017 happened. I think that’s about the best thing I can say for the entire damn year: it happened. While I’ll look back at 2017 as a bullshit year full of bullshit people doing bullshit things at a rate that can only be described as a national emergency, I’ll also remember the year for its pretty impressive musical output. I hope, in time, my love for the music that came from 2017 and my relationship with it, will be what I remember most. Below I cataloged my favorite albums from 2017, some of the albums I enjoyed but couldn’t really find a place in my top thirty, and some movies, TV shows, books, and apps that discovered for the first time this year.

There is also an episode of Encore all about my end of the year list and thoughts on music in 2017 — you can check that out here.

Thank you to everyone that visited the website this year, everyone that supports us, and for another extremely successful year of Chorus.fm. We’ll be extremely lucky if 2018 brings us even a fraction of what 2017 did music-wise. I wouldn’t mind a whole lot less of chaotic hellscape on a daily basis, but that’s just me.