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  • Doug Belshaw 12:38 pm on January 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: culture, ,   

    Culture is the necessary art of perpetuating the disturbing rumor that reality is meaningful. That beneath the pain and the pleasure, the cruelty and the compassion, the estranging and the connecting, the breaking and the making, the ugliness and the beauty, the losing and the winning, the dying and the living, there is Something More.™


    The way you perpetuate the rumor is by making meaning games. These come in many forms, besides the obvious ones like creating a religion or writing a poem. Like being a good middle manager, running for President, or announcing a daring plan to colonize Mars.

    All fall into one of two patterns: redistributing meaning and creating new meaning. There is also a third category, accelerating the destruction of rotting meaning. But since rotting meaning self-destructs naturally anyway, there isn’t much demand for accelerating the process.


    To seek meaning is to believe in truth before virtue, virtue before beauty, beauty before creation, creation before victory. This is the honor code of meaning-seeking. If you follow this code perfectly, you will make exactly no money.


    You must stop believing in this code exactly when you are ready to begin immortality. When your own appetite for meaning is satiated, and you are ready to start making meaning games for others. When you’re ready to play god for your own amusement.

    Venkatesh Rao
  • Doug Belshaw 8:23 am on December 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: culture, , music, simon-reynolds   

    The reason that it feels like nothing happened in the 2010s is that too much happened. Each cultural landmark got instantly effaced by the onrush of the next, and the next. This memory-erosion effect is one reason why it feels like something’s gone awry with our sense of time. While the clock and the calendar continue to plod forward in their steadfast and remorseless way, what you could call “culture-time” feels like it’s become unmoored and meandering.

    Simon Reynolds, ‘Streaming has killed the mainstream’: the decade that broke popular culture
  • Doug Belshaw 1:39 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: culture, , , ,   

    Culture is not an object to be designed and built, despite contemporary efforts to the contrary. Culture is the outgrowth of the independent interactions and decisions of those living within the culture, while efforts to ‘build stronger culture’ in business is a form of coercion or propaganda, intended to impose or justify selected norms. Work culture is bottom up, while company cultures are top-down. As a result work culture is persistent, while company culture falls apart without constant monitoring and manipulation. Work culture is rooted outside any specific company, and represents the shared beliefs and common principles of the community of working people at large, and people bring work culture with them as them move from company to company.

    Stowe Boyd
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