Friday, March 07, 2008

"Men count up the faults of those who keep them waiting." French proverb

"The net of the sleeper catches fish." Greek proverb

"The silent dog is always the first to bite." German proverb

Today's image: Hot Club lead guitar by slambo 42. Cool shot. Thanks for sharing.

Started The Craftsman, the new book by Richard Sennett. Richard is professor of sociology at NYU and The London School of Economics.

"The carpenter, lab technician, and conductor are all craftsmen because they are dedicated to good work for its own sake. Theirs is a practical activity, but their labor is not simply a means to another end. The carpenter might sell more furniture if he worked faster; the technician might make do by passing the problem back to her boss; the visiting conductor might be more likely to be rehired if he watched the clock. It's certainly possible to get by in life without dedication. The craftsman represents the special human condition of being engaged."

"All craftsmanship is founded on skill developed to a high degree. By one commonly used measure, about ten thousand hours of experience are required to produce a master carpenter or musician. Various studies show that as skill progresses, it becomes more problem-attuned, like the lab technician worrying about procedure, whereas people with primitive levels of skill struggle more exclusively on getting things to work. At its higher reaches, technique is no longer a mechanical activity; people can feel fully and think deeply what they are doing once they do it well. It is at the level of mastery, I will show, that ethical problems of craft appear.

The emotional rewards craftsmanship holds out for attaining skill are twofold: people are anchored in tangible reality, and they can take pride in their work. But society has stood in the way of these rewards in the past and continues to do so today. At different moments in Western history practical activity has been demeaned, divorced from supposedly higher pursuits. Technical skill has been removed from imagination, tangible reality doubted by religion, pride in one's work treated as a luxury. If the craftsman is special because he or she is an engaged human being, still the craftsman's aspirations and trials hold up a mirror to these larger issues past and present."

The Craftsman, Chapter One, The Troubled Craftsman. Amazon info. My thanks to radio programming ace Tom Teuber for the tip on professor Sennett.

Bonus: Charlene Li, a Forrester researcher, has written an interesting post, The Future of Social Networks: Social networks will be like air. Read her post here. Related slides from her talk are here. She suggests in future business models "Each person will have their own 'personal CPM'" endorsing a notion put forward by JWT's rock star of trendspotting Marian Salzman - my sense is Charlene and Marian are exactly right. Kudos, Charlene! Well done.

Closed circuit to Sean McManus: Now that you've decided to look for a new EP for The Early Show, you and Rick Kaplan should take a meeting with Michael Rosenblum. My suggestion is any further attempts to "get better" in order to close the gap on NBC and ABC will not be productive. Think "get different" and reinvent the breakfast show. Michael can help. P.S. He once worked at CBS.

Congrats & cheers: Dan Mason leading CBS Radio in joint streaming venture with AOL, CBS will manage ad sales across the combined 350 audio channels. Smart, innovation via creative collaboration. Steve Friedman and Nanci Ross launch consulting firm Vir2L Media.

Charlie Rose interviews Chris Anderson curator of TED

Charlie Rose interviews Chris Anderson of WIRED Magazine

Charlie Rose interviews Michael Arrington of TechCrunch


Anonymous said...


Quick comment to thank you for your killer blog. Been meaning to comment for some time to express my appreciation. The pics and quotes alone are worth the daily stop, the links and your original writing is priceless.

Your suggestion for CBS to stop chasing the same old talking head morning shows is totally on the mark.