Sunday, June 10, 2007

How To Be Like Me

Forgive me for indulging my narcissistic personality disorder. This Question, and variations on it, is Frequently Asked. It seems weird to me, but then, I spend all my time being me, so it might just be a matter of perspective. But one reason it seems weird, beyond the fact that it's sort of a weird question to begin with, is that all my life people have generally thought of me as weird.

I have no idea why.

The reality is, I don't really know how you can become more like me, because unless the Buddhists are right, I never came to being me from being somebody else. And even if the Buddhists are right, I don't remember who I came to being me from. So I don't know what the path from being anybody else to being me is.

The only useful advice I can give you here comes from Shakespeare:

To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

That's as good an operating philosophy as any.

However, if you decide to use it, it won't really make you anything like me. It'll just make you more like yourself. I think that's what you really want, though. Being more like yourself is a lot more valuable than being like somebody else.

But, if you really want to learn how to be like me, you have a blog right here. Read every post, and then learn to do the things I mention. Code Rails, study acting, learn art and animation and motion graphics. Work in graphic design. Organize raves. DJ at parties and release white label records. Live in New Mexico for a while.

Seriously - go for it. If you really wanted to pattern your life after mine, that would be kind of creepy, but I'd really have no business stopping you, and it'd certainly be interesting to find out what you learned along the way. Unless you started showing up at my house or trying to steal my dog. Then I'd have to kill you.

(Sorry. Nothing personal. I just love my dogs.)

Really though there's only a few steps to becoming like me:

1. Work constantly.
2. Always define your own work.
3. Make sure at least some of that work makes money.
4. Make sure all of that work satisfies some burning curiousity you have.

That's basically it.

Please realize, though, that as much as I've enjoyed the huge ego boost of this bizarre Frequently Asked Question, I'm not actually saying that being like me is necessarily a good idea. I can provide plenty of examples from my own life of why being like me isn't such a great move, and I'm fairly certain there are people who don't like me who can provide you with even more counterarguments. Some of those counterarguments might even be quite compelling.

But it is a FAQ, so there's an answer, of sorts.


  1. I have to admit, that top picture is the best one I've seen yet!

  2. Thank you both! I held this post in draft mode a long time, I was very uncertain about posting it.

  3. How much dj stuff do you do? What was that tool you talked about in one of your seaside screen casts and why was it so powerful?

  4. I don't do much, I used to help out with lots of parties but not so much these days. The tool I mentioned in the screencast, that's probably Ableton Live, which is powerful because it allows you to do a lot of loop manipulation in real-time. It has a lot of other features, too, it's pretty amazing. People have used it to power video mixing and DJing at the same time, and I saw a thing where a drummer had hooked up a foot pedal to the MIDI input for Live to serve as tap tempo, enabling all its looping and electronic music features to be used in conjunction with the more organic tempo of a live drummer. It's a very remarkable, very popular piece of software. I think it's fair to say it's revolutionized electronic music performance in some ways.


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