Steal Like An Artist

A couple of weeks ago, I came across this book. Actually, I can’t even remember how I came across this book or where I saw it.

Regardless, I wanted to read this book, pretty much from the first moment I saw it. The guy that wrote it, is the same guy that came up with the idea of creating poetry by blacking out newspaper articles.

The book came about from a blog post, that just blew up in popularity. But, the book is more than just a long blog post.

There are some really good ideas inside the book, and even though I’m not done with it yet, I can tell you that this is one of my favorite books.

Steal Like An Artist

The first lines in the book are:

Every artist gets asked the question,

“Where do you get your ideas?”

The honest artists answers,
“I steal them.”

Austin Kleon delves into the difference between plagiarizing and copying in such a way that even a middle schooler can understand it. All I can say, is buy the book. It’s worth the time and effort.


Do You Ever Feel Like This?

photo of a train heading straight for you

Like there’s a proverbial train heading straight for you? You can hear it, see it, smell it, feel it and try as you might, you can’t get out of the train’s way? You think it’s a dream, but it’s not.

Yeah, that’s how I feel right now.

Wireless Security, Is It All In My Head?

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Austin, TX as I type this out. I mention that, because looking around this place, I can see several other people on their laptops typing and working away.

Coffee and Wireless Internet
Coffee and Wireless Internet

This particular coffee shop, is one of those places that caters to people that want to work from here. They have nice sturdy tables and plenty of power outlets. They also have free, publicly accessible wifi.

I noticed something when I was looking around, and it’s that I’m the only person here with my own wireless access point. Everyone else that’s here, and appears to be working online, seems to be connected to the shared, unencrypted, public wi-fi that the shop makes available.

I got up to get a refill and noticed that people were typing emails, blogging etc. One person was even doing some online banking, all from the public wi-fi network.  It made me wonder, am I the only person that is paranoid enough to not want to hop on the shared network?

Let me ask you this: Do you have your own access point? Do you tether your computer to your phone whenever you have/need to work remotely? Do you really trust that no one else on the network is doing something malicious? Am I being too paranoid?

I should clarify, that as far as I know, there’s no one here doing anything malicious. I should also mention, that even back when I did connect to the public wifi networks at coffee shops, I never had a problem with anyone doing anything bad to my computer.

Like many of the things that plague me, this too may just be in my head. Regardless, I think that it’s important for people to think about wireless security. Specially, if you’re doing online banking.

Top 10 Complaints Against American Tourists

When I was teenager, well really when I was 15-16, my family relocated to Europe for my dad’s work. We lived in Holland for a couple of years and while there, we pretty much went from being a foreigner to being a somewhat local.

One of the things that I will always remember, is how you could always spot an American tourist from a mile away, because they behaved exactly like in this graphic.

Specially, when it comes to food.

Don’t get me wrong, the Dutch eat some weird stuff, seriously. They love to eat smoked herring, by pretty much swallowing the fish whole. They also eat french fries with mayonaise, but European culinary curiosities are a whole other post.

Also, the sneakers and shorts thing is very true.

Complaints About American Tourists

But, seriously, there’s nothing more comfortable than some cargo shorts and sneakers when you’re going to be walking around all day. Specially since you can hide your wallet in a different pocket and avoid getting it stolen by some dang pick pocket (I hope you rot in hell you bastard!) in Amsterdam.

Top 10 Complaints About American Tourists
Source: Pimsleur Approach