Best tweets of 2010

Best tweets of 2010

Twitter is where I spend most of my time online. Other than email, it's the closest thing I have to any kind of journal of my ideas and activities. At the end of the year, I go back and re-read my entire Twitter stream for the year as a review. I use BackUpMyNet to archive all my tweets, which makes the process much easier. I find the review to be a really useful tool in taking stock of what has been done over the course of the year and planning the direction of the new year.

What I love best about Twitter is the constraint of trying to fit something worth saying into 140 characters… It reminds me of the precision and concision required when I wrote as a poet. I've experimented more this last year with "long form Twitter," using it as an outline for bigger thoughts in series, like building a geometric proof.

Twitter's largely my notebook for ideas. I get them down, see some feedback and save them for later development when I have the time to actually write or work the ideas into new projects. The brevity constraint forces me to take complex ideas down to the bare bones. Even if sometimes I have to build a partial or full skeleton to get the whole idea across. Twitter has changed the way I use language and the way I think… there's a constant editing loop now in my head that says "how can I make this simpler and shorter without leaving it open to misinterpretation."

Below are the "Best of" tweets from 2010. The ones which either made me laugh, made me think or just struck me as interesting on some level. Hope you enjoy them. I organized them chronologically (oldest to newest) since some were written as a series.

Everyone complains about lack of flying cars, but I don't see any of you BUILDING one. C'mon people, invent your own future! 2010-01-01 17:58:02

I just got ambushed by a paper bag in the dark. It made a lot of noise, but I fought my way out of it. 2010-01-06 05:42:16

Mountains are almost never as close as they look. 2010-01-12 20:06:03

There was a deer at the ATM in Alpine. I pulled up next to it + it just stared into the car like it was wondering if I'd feed it tasty money. 2010-01-13 03:55:31

Soapbox or sandbox? Are you developing ideas or just reiterating them? 2010-01-17 21:46:17

If you think something is impossible it's because you have some assumption that's limiting you. 2010-01-21 21:35:08

You gotta switch horses in a long race. 2010-01-25 03:23:45

First, people tell you "you'll never make a living as an artist." When you do, they tell you you've "sold out." 2010-01-25 16:47:37

Well, I figure the artists job is to: 1. make myths 2. kill myths. The starving artist is a myth that needs killing. 2010-01-25 18:10:27

You're going to die. So what. You get to live (as hard as you want) first. 2010-01-25 22:38:44

An artist should be more concerned with what they themselves say and how clearly it's conveyed, than what people say about them. 2010-01-26 18:29:07

Ideally, an artist is the best communicator on the planet… if we can't teach the value of art, who will? 2010-01-26 18:39:46

When you allow fear to control your language, you may lose access to truths. 2010-01-26 18:50:32

I do not require my truths to be mutually contradictory. 2010-01-26 18:52:52

Context + meaning do not HAVE to be original or empirical. They're just what ties thought together. 2010-01-28 20:11:30

Most of the world may be only in your head. It's outside your head too, but you can really only see the part inside your head. 2010-01-28 20:15:55

For a supposedly "content free" language, numbers are nothing but trouble. 2010-01-28 20:29:36

The nice thing about autobiography is you can write whatever the hell you want. (re: story of your life). 2010-01-30 01:55:00

Someone needs to invent a simplified braille alphabet for people to use when they're blind drunk. 2010-01-30 01:57:56

My life is all pretty much improv around a theme… I don't rewrite, but I edit or emphasize. 2010-01-30 02:32:12

Her: nope, you said you're not hungry… Me: You're putting words in my mouth where there should be ham! 2010-02-03 23:17:57

No one asks if dentistry, plumbing or sweeping is work or inspiration. They can be inspired, but like art they're mostly work. 2010-02-05 17:23:46

When an artist creates, there is always a desire for audience response. Sometimes a specific response, sometimes just attention… 2010-02-07 18:59:33

The more the artist is able to control or direct audience response, the more clearly they have communicated their vision. 2010-02-07 19:00:40

Even with art that is heavily open to interpretation, the artist makes a choice to allow that variability. 2010-02-07 19:01:38

It's easy to get caught up emotionally with words like art or design and their definitions. 2010-02-07 19:35:29

Defining words like art or design is only productive when thinking about their relation to your own work. 2010-02-07 19:36:19

Artists define themselves so strongly by their work that they get emotional about title. Get emotional about your work instead. 2010-02-07 19:38:24

I used to be less comfortable talking about myself as artist, preferring that people just look at the work itself and decide… But part of my art is now being who I am, as theater, as an extension of the artwork, as education, as example. 2010-02-07 20:32:36, 2010-02-07 20:33:26

You're gonna pay for things either way. The question is what currency you choose. Cash is often the cheapest. 2010-02-07 22:04:27

If you really believe "no pain, no gain" what's an acceptable ratio? 2010-02-09 04:23:00

They say "there's no accounting for taste," but I could see huge potential for taste accountants. 2010-02-09 21:47:44

Everybody wants to be a famous artist but nobody wants to die. 2010-02-14 00:48:59

For years as a poet, the musicality of speech was my big thing… rhythm is easy, but melody in plain speech requires effort. 2010-02-15 09:00:41

But if every time you speak to people, you're singing… well, they'll dance. They'll even dance with you. 2010-02-15 09:01:30

So much beauty is a form of economy. 2010-02-17 04:46:16

I'm a big fan of subtlety that smacks you in the face. ie: "DAMN, that's subtle!" 2010-02-21 20:06:45

If you stand still and clam, you learn little about balance. Only when tippy, can you learn to correct + control. 2010-02-24 03:55:23

Plan for contingencies, watch the road for all possible escape routes, be fluid. There's always a way, but often off the path. 2010-02-24 04:14:00

People really liked my clam typo it turns out. Friends: PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE MY TYPOS FOR WISDOM. They just sound zen. like zen does. 2010-02-24 04:24:45

If I'm ever a pirate, I'm gonna wear a nicotine patch over my eye. 2010-02-24 04:50:23

Wanting to *stay* famous hurts creativity more than wanting to *get* famous. 2010-02-24 06:15:06

Once you are famous, people want the same thing again and again. Doubt it? "FREEBIRD!!!!!!!!!" yeah, fame does that. 2010-02-24 06:28:59

If you spend half the week finding clients, and half doing the work, you still work all week. 2010-02-25 21:22:07

Is it weird that when people say "in an ideal world…" I assume it can still be done in this world? 2010-02-26 04:02:46

You can only manage so many connections, so many sales, so many fans. So cherry pick. Choose the very best customers. 2010-02-26 21:54:59

You won't make everyone happy no matter how you play it. Focus on the people who are happiest with what you do best. 2010-02-26 21:55:47

So many things are more interesting if you're interested in people, and what makes them tick. 2010-03-02 03:41:50

You might not be interested in business or marketing, but if you think of these as stories about people, they come alive. 2010-03-02 03:43:03

Most of us who are interested in people, are interested because they are mirrors of ourselves. And we're all interested in ourselves. 2010-03-02 03:44:35

I think people are the most fascinating creatures on earth. Mostly because they create unexpected stories. 2010-03-02 03:46:09

An artistic appeal to people's vanity or self-interest rarely fails. Especially if it is compassionate. 2010-03-02 04:05:30

Good habits are more powerful because they're habits than because they're good. Repetition builds reputation. 2010-03-02 04:46:51

Her: "Have you no shame?" Me, "Well, not inside the house, no." 2010-03-04 02:44:37

I find that the customers are always right, ONLY if you choose the right customers. 2010-03-25 15:41:52

There's no kids in the house, so for Easter I think we'll dye a bunch of white mice festive colors and let the kitties hunt for them. 2010-04-01 19:36:51

Opportunity is the most dangerous distraction you'll ever face. 2010-04-06 04:39:38

Nothing is foolproof if you're really a good fool. 2010-04-06 05:30:47

The easier something looks, the more likely it isn't easy. The harder it looks, the less likely it is. Try it + see. 2010-04-06 05:36:03

Don't put all your eggheads in one basket. 2010-04-11 00:06:22

Small biz often fails when it tries to scale up, big business can fail when it tries to be niche. Scale does matter. 2010-04-14 21:45:35

The idea that "everything's been done" is not particularly original, so it's not surprising that uncreative people repeat it. 2010-04-15 15:04:08

If you take no action because "It's all been done" that just makes it easier for me to find new ideas first. 2010-04-15 16:16:50

Those who are lazy find their greatest creative outlet in making excuses. 2010-04-15 16:20:15

All the winners bite off more than they can chew, which is why I don't look round the table at awards dinners. 2010-04-15 18:39:08

The world is not a blank canvas, but that doesn't mean that you can't turn it into whatever art you desire. 2010-04-21 18:17:54

I was asked why I don't have more art "poor people can afford." Answer: I used to, but I got tired of being poor myself. 2010-04-27 19:55:26

I like it when people pay attention. I like it even better when they pay me, because money is the best kind of attention. 2010-04-29 00:19:28

Um, sleep? I'm generally unfamiliar with it. I hear it's like some kind of powerful sedative. 2010-04-30 06:08:01

In the long run, it's faster to be well read than inventive. You CAN invent the wheel, but you don't have to most of the time. 2010-05-06 06:45:42

Fear is the greatest barrier to creativity. Fear is the No. 1 reason people choose to do "the same old shit." 2010-05-07 15:04:08

Most people are more afraid of failing or being humiliated than they are of death. But that's probably because they don't really believe they're gonna die until it happens. 2010-05-07 16:36:21 2010-05-07 16:36:53

when I get a second wind, it's typically an F5 tornado. Which is not always convenient. 2010-05-13 06:42:55

What I love about scrap yards is it's like shopping the apocalypse. All kinds of cool abandoned treasures! 2010-05-23 00:04:36

How the world began, or how it ends, matters far less than what you do while you're in it. The equator is more vibrant than the poles. 2010-05-23 10:06:13

The art tells me what happened to me, the CV tells me what happened to the art. 2010-05-26 18:04:53

The thing about being self-employed— I have YEARS of vacation time saved up! 2010-05-29 21:08:04

Pro tip: when writing love notes, put them in the font he or she loves most. 2010-05-30 19:14:15

Me "Why does every single container in the house eventually have drywall screws in it?" Her "I guess they call them screws for a reason." 2010-05-30 21:36:52

The best thing about being a leader is that, from the front of the crowd, it is easy to quickly get the fuck out of the way. 2010-05-30 23:35:49

Knowing WHEN to get out of the way is what trips leaders up and is the leading cause of social pileups. 2010-05-30 23:36:37

My art brings new life to dead things. My art is like frickin' ZOMBIES! (But it *probably* won't eat your brains. Probably.) 2010-06-01 04:23:01

When I'm dead, I'm gonna hit snooze for the first millenium or so. 2010-06-02 07:12:41

If the devil is in the details, can I sell my soul not to be troubled by details? 2010-06-02 10:49:06

Coffee is water without the BORING. 2010-06-05 07:52:05

I used to test myself with danger, adversity + craziness. Now I test myself with luck, opportunity + strategy. Same game, better results. 2010-06-15 09:21:40

Honestly, I wish my work were more suited to doing editions… As a sculptor, even if I recreate a work it's always done by hand. No two pieces are ever exactly alike. The only "savings" for me in a series are solving problems over time to work a *bit* faster. So the tenth time I do something, it's just as much work, but less time is spent staring at it and thinking about how to do it. I save time on the engineering when I make multiples, but not on the creativity or fabrication. 2010-06-16 17:23:30 2010-06-16 17:25:05  2010-06-16 17:25:50  2010-06-16 17:27:13

So the thing is… people have become obsessed with avoiding danger these days. Problem is, danger is hard to avoid. The world is just chock full of danger! It's our approach to it that gets us in trouble. People have forgotten that danger should be fun. If the world is already full of danger, doesn't it make more sense to BE danger than to hide from it? That's one reason I make sharp art. As Taelen Thomas once wrote: "I have thrown caution to the winds so many times/ the wind is almost full of caution." You never get bored when you take those words to heart and live them. Trust me. I've done it. It was a good time. Every life threatening situation I've *not* died in I was saved by skills I developed being entirely foolhardy. It's practice. 2010-06-19 22:08:28 2010-06-19 22:09:36 2010-06-19 22:10:49 2010-06-19 22:11:25 2010-06-19 22:11:53 2010-06-19 22:16:30

The more time you spend creating, the less time you have to consume. But for great art, you need to balance these poles. 2010-06-25 05:50:33

If the world ends on your watch, it's because somewhere in your heart, you wanted it to. 2010-06-27 02:40:10

If you don't want me to yank your chain, take off your chains. 2010-06-27 23:35:23

I am so gonna start a band called "Amplified Mimes." If you hold your ear up to this tweet you can hear my first single. 2010-07-08 17:03:57

Why the hell isn't there more mime karaoke? That would rawk. 2010-07-08 17:20:48

I think they use robots for mime sweeping in SF. That's what I've heard anyway.  2010-07-08 18:39:51

I don't care too much about keeping track of trends because I pretty much just do my own thing anyway. 2010-07-19 03:04:44

Protip: If you don't like the #economy make your own. 2010-07-21 02:31:25

THE economy is probably not within your control. YOUR economy probably is. If not, Hack the damn thing. 2010-07-21 04:25:57

Solving external problems are never the first step to creating the life you want. Focus on the internal changes you can make. 2010-07-21 04:26:59

Decadence is in the details. 2010-07-21 04:49:24

Art opens doors to engineering because it often tries to do new things. That tends to be my favorite part of the gig. 2010-07-23 04:30:39

What most sales pitches are missing is a sense of play. Fun sells. If you can't make it fun, why would an audience care? 2010-07-23 04:59:09

I'm not a big fan of live theater that doesn't bring the audience directly onto the stage… We know *our* lines. I like to hear theirs. 2010-07-24 04:32:33

I can't think of any better practice for an artist or entrepreneur than standing on the street selling to strangers. It will kill your fears. 2010-07-24 04:39:59

My favorite game is asking total strangers random questions. The weirder the question, the better the answers. 2010-07-25 05:01:21

You have to mean it and you have to listen… but no one pays attention to most people, so if you really care, they open up. 2010-07-25 05:02:26

I bet there would be better design if more designers played the random questions to strangers game. Seriously. 2010-07-25 05:04:17

No matter what I'm working on, my core skill is problem solving. So I like to hear about the problems people have in any field. 2010-07-25 05:05:39

I want to give full obsessive attention to everything I do, but there aren't quite enough hours in the day for that. 2010-07-27 04:22:36

I think that's what they were getting at when they invented "tomorrow" though. Solve one thing today, get the rest the next. 2010-07-27 04:23:30

No point in being the first one to the end of the world. 2010-07-29 22:29:12

Importing wisdom is one thing, but exporting it is another. 2010-07-31 02:27:05

Making money when you don't need to is like the difference between hunting for food and hunting for sport. 2010-08-01 06:37:14

OH "That threw a real monkey ranch into my plans." SEE how much better?! 2010-08-05 03:22:51

I think they should have pole dancing at the Buck Pole in Mancelona. Since all the hunters are wearing orange, maybe they could strike a co-branding deal with Hooters?  2010-08-07 23:18:59 2010-08-07 23:20:55

Time is not a renewable resource. 2010-08-09 21:16:57

I think the most valuable thing to learn from art history may be the things that DON'T change— how to see, how to think, how to work. 2010-08-17 05:40:11

Also, how to live a life that is suited for people to tell tales about. What stories inspire others? 2010-08-17 05:41:56

Whether accidental or absolutely purposeful, people become legends for a reason. Learn from your heroes how to BE a hero. 2010-08-17 05:43:15

It pays to study technique, to study how they cope with success (which is harder than failure, usually). How to live large. 2010-08-17 05:44:18

Artists: You get exposure for paid gigs just as much as for unpaid. BUT you get exposure to people who expect to pay. Do the math. 2010-08-17 18:02:37

Conventional wisdom tells us we should only try to be known as an expert in one thing, lest we dilute the brand. I guess I'm an expert in telling conventional wisdom to go fuck itself. 2010-08-23 16:33:03  2010-08-23 16:33:33

One reason I got into art is because it can be discussed critically and intelligently, yet still resists definition. 2010-09-03 18:01:19

Like the weekend that a recently disillusioned anthropologist asked me how I define Coyote the trickster god… 2010-09-03 17:44:49

I spent the whole weekend *demonstrating* the trickster, but never defining. In the end, that answered her question. 2010-09-03 17:45:42

Art education is as much about avoiding the accidental copy as it is about knowing how to make art. 2010-09-06 05:45:56

I spent an hour on the phone today with Kevin Chung in the FedEx eCommerce dept. Really fascinating call about global markets + logistics. 2010-09-08 22:26:14

My experiences selling online + talking with key figures at software, ecommerce + shipping companies is such an awesome education… 2010-09-08 22:27:50

I love learning and thinking about how commerce, communication, logistics and networks impact and effect culture. 2010-09-08 22:29:16

My day job as artist + thinker is sometimes like getting an accelerated degree in humanities, history, geopolitics, engineering all at once 2010-09-08 22:30:59

Except that instead of taking out student loans, I'm getting paid. Instead of lectures + books, I get to talk to the people making the world 2010-09-08 22:31:58

How about if we just start printing books + flags on flame-retardant material? I think I'll laser my book on stainless steel. 2010-09-10 04:58:12

Know when to be a badass and when to be gentle. 2010-09-10 23:43:17

Maybe I've been reading too many Punisher comics, but I suddenly want to inscribe my gates with the phrase "front towards enemy" like a land mine. 2010-09-18 17:43:07

Thanks all for the replies about my eye. It will be ok, just smarts a bit. You know what they say… "A picture is worth 1000 eyes." 2010-09-20 22:06:36

One of my favorite descriptions of how I work: "I see lots of things that nobody else sees. Some of them are even real!" 2010-09-20 22:19:40

I was thinking about how differently people interpret art (or the world) + it occurred to me that *everyone* sees things others don't. 2010-09-20 22:20:53

The only real difference is that an artist can turn seeing things into an actual paying gig. 2010-09-20 22:21:20

Rules are just like jokes but without the sense of humor. 2010-09-21 02:39:12

Defeating forces of nature is good practice. Maybe even "best practice." And more fun than going to the gym. 2010-09-21 06:31:43

When you have a vision, it makes more sense to make it true than to try to influence others. They have their own vision. They should. 2010-09-22 03:37:47

truth suffers not a monopolist. 2010-09-26 18:00:44

What I really need is a variety of real terror-inducing alarm clocks. When I say alarm clock, I mean ALARM. Otherwise, I'm hitting snooze. 2010-09-29 04:25:16

OH: "It's not the only thing we talk about in the house— It's just the only thing we talk about that I actually pay attention to." 2010-09-29 05:14:31

I make all major life decisions based mostly on whether they'd make a good screenplay. 2010-09-29 20:21:25

When I started making art, I had very few tools. A tack hammer, a knife, tin snips, a butane torch, a rock and scissors. That was it. 2010-10-05 16:46:14

I just cracked up realizing I once made a piece of art using only rock, paper and scissors. Awesome. 2010-10-05 16:46:57

My life tends towards a state of accidental poetry. 2010-10-05 16:47:26

The poetry is accidental, but designing a life to uncover it is pure intention. 2010-10-05 17:49:21

Ever notice most rules start with the word "no?" 2010-10-13 00:38:32

What people like to refer to as "the real world" is only the thinnest of veneers. There is so much more than anything any of us has seen. 2010-10-13 03:36:55

Study the *mechanics* of manifesting your dreams. Who went before you? How did they get there? 2010-10-13 03:42:07

If you are truly blazing a brand new path, then study others who blazed new trails. Pioneers have much in common. 2010-10-13 03:50:49

I was trying to think of what kind of recycled art I could make of phone books and I thought of doing a giant paper mache phone. 2010-10-14 16:07:22

Then I thought— why not make it a pinata and deliver it to the phone book company. A pinata filled with scorpions! 2010-10-14 16:07:55

Someone just butt dialed me and now I know exactly what their pocket sounds like. Whoa, TMI. 2010-10-14 23:55:35

I want to build a foam rubber model of Tokyo and rent people Godzilla costumes to romp around in the model. 2010-10-15 20:52:42

Nietzsche said: "What does not kill me, makes me stronger." I say: "What events I learn from, make me smarter." 2010-10-22 05:02:21

I mean, seriously, no matter how creative you are, could you invent something as complex as the world we live in? Exactly. Best toy ever! 2010-10-22 06:00:16

I love throwing bricks at inertia. 2010-10-22 06:25:51

When people pick fights, I like to point and laugh, *then* walk away. 2010-10-22 15:23:57

If you want to do the impossible, skepticism will serve you better than faith. 2010-10-28 07:01:39

One of the hardest parts of sourcing recycled materials for art can be explaining what you want and why you want it. 2010-10-28 17:29:26

By definition, you're rarely using things for the intended purpose. So there's always the "This is gonna sound like a weird question" intro… 2010-10-28 17:30:55

A high margin of error in processing signal can be a useful creative tool. 2010-11-01 07:22:56

Grand vision is nothing with the ability to see and attend to details. 2010-11-01 11:01:40

I don't really look to politics for solution but I DO judge them on whether I think their stories are healthy culture. 2010-11-01 14:11:16

Fiction and myth needs writers and models. 2010-11-01 14:28:48

Voting is a form of standardized national intelligence testing. 2010-11-03 05:38:31

Politics is like dating except with politics you almost always get fucked and you almost never have a one night stand. 2010-11-03 05:41:07

What would happen if ballots were essay questions instead of multiple choice? 2010-11-03 05:55:27

What I'll never understand: Artists who accept a 30-50% cut for galleries but whine about 2-3% fees for credit card sales. Do the math, guys. 2010-11-11 19:10:37

Call now: smooth operators are standing by. 2010-11-13 22:06:30

Standing still can be part of a dance. Standing still is also rhythm. 2010-11-14 19:13:30

All open spaces tend towards a market. What people sell there is always contextual. 2010-11-14 19:27:29

Nowhere is the definition between art + design more clear than artist's websites. Navigation is not the place to be creative. 2010-11-15 19:57:10

If I had to get my wisdom teeth out on a budget, I'd do it by chewing Jolly Rancher candies. 2010-11-15 20:00:06

Human testing is the province of mad scientists and good designers. 2010-11-22 23:52:58

Idea for the #TSA. Have everyone walk through a bomb-proof corridor that uses every remote detonation signal possible. One at a time. 2010-11-23 09:08:12

I don't really care if the #TSA touches my junk, but I'm not paying the psych bills for their later feelings of inadequacy. 2010-11-26 22:30:53

I really like math, at least in theory. 2010-11-30 05:18:34

I love science and math for being equally responsible for some of the most beautiful *and* the most awkward words in our language. 2010-11-30 05:20:36

I wish more laws were called things like "Law of the unconscious statistician." THAT is a great name for a law. 2010-11-30 05:53:42

I am juggling so many projects that you can hardly see the sky for the balls in the air. 2010-12-02 04:07:23

Automation of the mundane is modern living. 2010-12-02 06:25:52

Don't live in a hand-me-down world. Make your own. Make a handmade world. 2010-12-04 03:13:41

The best and worst parts of designing a sales page for your art are the 1000's of minute little tweaks to find the optimum display of info. 2010-12-05 07:16:37

When a project matters to me, I tend to obsess over even the most nanodetails. (I don't really do projects that don't matter to me). 2010-12-05 07:18:13

Design should be known as the "Death of a Thousand Tweaks." 2010-12-05 07:32:02

I suppose editing is the "Death of a Thousand Cuts." 2010-12-05 07:32:30

The world is full of needless + meaningless complexity. Sometimes that results in new life, or art, or weather… 2010-12-06 08:00:57

But mostly it's just noise and confusion. And the art is in trying to simplify and add meaning. 2010-12-06 08:01:37

The rest of this tweet is intentionally left blank. 2010-12-12 21:27:44 -0600

The choir can't sing during the sermon… think about that when you're preaching to the choir. 2010-12-15 01:52:01 -0600

Was Thomas Kinkade's career founded on a typo? Should have read, "Painter Lite®." 2010-12-20 22:00:59 -0600

I used to tell people that my recycled art would match their sofa if they just left the sofa outside for a few weeks. 2010-12-20 22:20:11 -0600

I'm thinking about "Cascading Customer Service." I couldn't have made this happen without great customer service from the freight co. also. 2010-12-24 12:45:13 -0600

The world is broken. I like trying to fix parts of it. 2010-12-27 13:10:48 -0600

A truly good sentence carries the weight of a paragraph. 2010-12-30 09:51:40 -0600