I was reading an entry on Silicon Alley Insider about the shooting of some photos for Inc. Magazine. The photos & article were about Kevin Rose – essentially a tech celeb – an internet guru-turned media-icon. The photo shoot likened him to the Beatles, riffing on A Hard Day’s Night.
I'd read about Kevin Rose in the past, but didn't really know much about him besides that he podcasts, does Revision3, and is just another in the sea of digerati that I'm just beginning to learn about. I then remembered a recent article I'd read in GQ. I went searching and found this article that someone had shown me in Details titled The Playboys of Tech. The quote I like: "[for] them, aggressive online self-promotion is as natural as text-messaging—and as much a part of the business as software development." It's a fascinating idea. I've been told time & again that I need to step-up my self-promotion. But here at Microsoft the medium is a bit less Web 2.o. But the theory is still sound. What can we learn from these playboys of tech, these kings of self promotion.
I decided to go check out KevinRose.com. I was struck by the first two entries. One gawking at an Audi concept car - bright & shiny - the next an apology for firing old friends from Revision3 due to cost-cuts. Then I came across this blog entry about Buddism. Which only added to the celeb aura - now complete with search for inner peace. I found the juxtaposition of these two things - the self-promotional flair of being compared to the Beatles, and the search for inner peace - both really fascinating as well as just a tad contrived. The excerpt from the book is good though. Go ahead and read.
A friend recently gave me the book “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh (wikipedia). The book originally started out as a letter written to Brother Quang in 1974, which was then later translated and published. While I’m not an active Buddhist, I enjoy studying their teachings and believe there is much we can learn from their way of life. I hope you enjoy this excerpt:
The cup in your hands –
In the United States, I have a close friend named Jim Forest. When I first met him eight years ago, he was working with the Catholic Peace Fellowship. Last winter, Jim came to visit. I usually wash the dishes after we’ve finished the evening meal, before sitting down and drinking tea with everyone else. One night, Jim asked if he might do the dishes. I said, “Go ahead, but if you wash the dishes you must know the way to wash them.” Jim replied, “Come on, you think I don’t know how to wash the dishes?” I answered, “There are two ways to was the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes to wash the dishes.” Jim was delighted and said, “I choose the second way–to wash the dishes to wash the dishes.” From then on, Jim knew how to wash the dishes. I transferred the “responsibility” to him for an entire week.
If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.” What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.” ~The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh