If you go [with a break], you can either win or not win. If you don’t go for it, you definitely won’t win.
– Jens Voigt, cyclist
Image: Alex Anlicker
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As I crossed the finish line of my practice marathon, this song kicked in and I shouted out to the bemused shoppers on Ealing High Street:
I never sleep, cos sleep is the cousin of death!
– Nas, NY State Of Mind
I love this line because this is how I used to think. Then I had a kid, and I learnt the true value of sleep…
Richard Ashcroft on recording The Verve’s second album, A Northern Soul, in Guitar Magazine from July 1995:
If we don’t reach that level of inspiration then we don’t play… This record was a story of three days working up to that level and three days to come down from it.
I know a lot of bands that can bash out an album in a few days, but that’s cutting out, like, 90 per cent of human emotion. That’s machine-like.
If you take a photograph of four people, the chances that all four are going to look good at that single moment in time are a million to one. And it’s the same when four people pick up instruments at the same time.
I love this because it encapsulates that amazing feeling of creating something really incredible together with a team.
In my last company, we made the first ever online video gameshow, the first ever Facebook game+show combo, and one of the first ever TV shows you could play along with using a native app. And now I get to create new stuff every day with an electrifying team on Candy Crush Saga.
Those moments of creation – those little Big Bangs – are the absolute greatest.
On Robben Island, the prisoners had a contraband copy of Shakespeare’s Collected Works. Nelson Mandela marked this as his favourite passage:
Cowards die many times before their deaths:
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I have yet heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
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The more the antagonisms of the present must be suffered, the more the future is drawn upon as a source of pseudo-unity and synthetic morale.
— C. Wright Mills, quoted in David Hesmondhalgh’s The Cultural Industries (2007, Sage: London)
The best way to predict the future is to invent it
— Alan Kay, Wired 06.12
I think this applies both the grand, world-changing things, and personally too.
Also – Alan Kay has the greatest tech CV of all time. He worked for Xerox PARC, Stanford, Atari, Apple, Disney, UCLA, MIT and HP.