43 Folders

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Knowledge Workers

My Faith in Nerds: Stronger Than Any Gelatinous Cube

dConstruct 2010: Merlin Mann - "Kerning, Orgasms & Those Goddamned Japanese Toothpicks" (NSFW)

ME - Kerning, Orgasms And Those Goddamned Japanese Toothpicks on Huffduffer

Download the audio | Huffduff it

Let's be honest. I don't go...mmmm...places very often.

I sit in this chair. I go to the Safeway with my daughter. Sometimes, I take the train downtown to get a haircut. I check the mail.

But, by and large, like most nerds, I'm without question, a bit of a shut-in.

Which makes it more than a little ironic that my first trip off the North American continent brought me all the way to Brighton, England's wonderful dConstruct Conference.

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Watching the Corners: On Future-Proofing Your Passion

On May 16, 2010, at 10:02 AM, "Xx" wrote:

You mentioned you gave a talk at Rutgers about future proofing your passion. Is this available as a podcast? I'd love to listen!

This poor kid emailed me to ask a really simple question. And I went and saddled him with the world's most circuitously long-winded answer. Surprise, surprise.

Hey, Xx,

Thanks for the note, man. No I'm sorry its not up as audio AFAIK.

FWIW, it's a talk I'm asked to do more often lately so I wouldn't be surprised if it turns up sooner or later.

Since you were kind enough to ask, the talk—which comes out super different each time I do it— consists of a discursive mishmash of advice I wish I'd had the ears to hear in the year or five after graduating from college: primarily, that we never end up anywhere near where we'd expected, and that most of us would have been a lot happier a lot faster if we'd realized that we were often obsessing over the wrong things—starting with how much the world should care about our major.

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Technology for smarter ignoring

Cory Doctorow has a short piece in Internet Evolution called "The Future of Ignoring Things" that really resonated with me. Excerpt:

Take email: Endless engineer-hours are poured into stopping spam, but virtually no attention is paid to our interaction with our non-spam messages. Our mailer may strive to learn from our ratings what is and is not spam, but it expends practically no effort on figuring out which of the non-spam emails are important and which ones can be safely ignored, dropped into archival folders, or deleted unread...

Figuring out what you can afford to ignore in life is starting to seem like an art form to me. Since failure to filter incoming stuff properly over time has consequences way beyond annoyance, I'm starting to think that getting it right may be another one of those emerging knowledge worker skills.

It's definitely one I'm working on (and struggling with).

[via: BB]

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

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This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »