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Wow. Those three books. My fantasy mashup: I'd love to have, say, Scott McCloud create a comic-book (ahem: "graphic novel") narrative of the story of The Mezzanine, with detailed footnotes diagrammed by Edward Tufte.

Great meeting you in person on Saturday, Russell. See you next time in Portland.

Here is another.... a speaker I heard once said it...

Listen with your toes.

Most of your suggestions involved sight or sound... that's only 2 out of 5 senses... listening with your toes lets you immerse yourself in the world... which leads to all kinds of interesting insights.

What about helping someone once a week?

I'd add "buy a new record every month from somebody you never heard before just because you like the cover or the name".

I remember feeling like a fraud when I was asked to teach in the advertising degree at RMIT Uni in Melbourne.

I'd built my copywriting career on what felt like little more than an ability to know something about almost everything.

In essense I was an overpaid Trivial Pursuit player who also seemed to be able to use his useless trivial knowledge to produce ads.

I tried to instil this thirst for the seemingly insignificant into my students.

To borrow a phrase from the launch of the iPod Shuffle, I told them to randomise their lives.

To get off a stop earlier on the tram or bus. To listen to a different radio station everyday. To pick a book at random from the school library shelves.

My aim was to get them to broaden their minds and also their thinking.

Little did I know back then that I was helping to create a generation of creative generalists.

These kids have their graduate exhibition next week. I can't wait to see how they've turned out.

I was on a sales training course once (being in the marketing department we were required to know how hard the sales team worked, how tough their job was etc etc). Anyway the trainer said the way to appear interesting was to keep asking people questions about themselves, no matter how intrusive – first result is that they will never get tired of talking (and most of sales is just keeping the conversation going) and the second result is that you always leave them with the impression that you are the most fascinating person they have ever met.

It’s a bit manipulative, but most of the time it works.

Following on from Andrews point, I'm reminded of something I read about job interviews, according to some research the best interviewees are those who are able to get the interviewer to talk. The more they talk the more favourable they look upon the interviewee.

Anyway the original point I was going to make is that the enemy of interesting is apathy and routine. Edward DeBono likened the way the brain worked as water flowing over a rock, the more the water flowing along a particular route the more entrenched that route became, the same with thinking. So, breaking patterns is always a great thing to do, and very simple. I have about 20 variation on my way to work, all take the same amount of time, they’re just different. Forcing yourself to break routine can be very empowering. As can striking up conversations with strangers.

I'd add that sometimes just doing the opposite to what you usually do can be extremely eye-opening. Taken to extremes, it can be highly amusing too

I think there's definitely a thing about talking to people who you don't usually talk to. Talking to my Granddad is more interesting than talking to my mates. I don't see him that much these days, but he thinks differently to me and my peers, so I always get something new aand/or unexpected.

Talking to strangers is good - I talked to man in a cafe last week and he ended up giving me good tips for selling our drinks in Germany (he was from Austria).

So, talk to the sort of person you don't usually talk to. Could be a stranger, could just be someone you've been avoiding or don't see very often. Talking is good.

I want one of those certificates. See you in February.

sit next to the grad/intern for a day. get them to take you out to the 'exciting' bit of London they've just found (even if it is Waxy O'Conners)talk to there mates. It does make you feel old BUT you learn loads. Plus they will value all the time your spending with them.

look for tiny strands of text. especially interesting are the words that always go together but aren't quite idiom yet:

attitudes are changing

don't be nervous

lift and seperate (collected by Barbara Glauber in 1993.)

it's okay because you'll meet lots of nice new people.

I think these fragments work as samples from the cultural bloodstream. They are very good at evoking specific frames of reference as to what the speaker could be talking about (see also: Hemmingway's shortest story.). They're not too hard to find as long as you don't feel silly about obsessing over them.

Also, talk to your parents.

As a music fiend I like the "buy a new album" idea. So to extend that I would also suggest to grab a weekly, pick a random show and just go. Even better-take a friend.

I use to very opposed to taking people to shows outside of their musical taste the same way Morpheus in the Matrix warns about unplugging people who aren't ready. However, I've come to enjoy the conversations we have afterwards because of their "outsider" perspective...as painful as they might be sometimes.

I absolutely love The Mezzanine. If you're a fan I'd recommend a book called American Purgatorio:


American Purgatorio is almost like a post-prozac version of the Mezzanine. The neuroses are just as evident, but they've been slightly morphed...

If you liked McCloud's Understanding Comics I predict you'll love his latest: Making Comics.

on from what philip mention- pull up a chair and have a sandwich with the guy on a weeks work experience. listen to their take on the company, comments on work, it's effect on them, likes/don't likes, why this company, what's appealing, their passion & drive, spend 5mins looking at somethng they have produced, get back to them with thoughts, it's doesn't take a sec and will be so rewarding to the individual.

I have a weird fascination will travelling and seeing the different ways in which people do things in other countries.

I have travelled through US, UK, SE Asia, West and Eastern Europe. Seen the usual sites there.

But the most interesting things I remember come from sitting in coffee shops and watching how people do small things differently. I once watched a bunch of old french guys play boules for hours. Watching them interact and still have passion after all the years of playing together, was awesome. Then 6 years later I was in a small town in the Czech Republic and in a hostel bar there was a photo of the same french guys in the same park. I guess someone else also found it interesting

I wholeheartedly endorse the "listen to other people's conversations" tip. I've found reading a book (while listening) a really good way to avoid any risk of violence while you're eavesdropping. People automatically presume you've transported yourself to another location if you're reading.
And you kill two birds with one stone as far as doing what's on the list is concerned.

Just ordered The Mezzanine, thanks.

Being interested is interesting! Yes! I like this sentiment, and heartily agree.

However. This list strikes me as pretty conformist-- add t-shirts to your list of things to write about in #8 and you've defined "10 things to do to be a hipster."

The list is skewed hard towards consumption and production of media, though, and I define "interesting" as more than "working in modern media," so maybe that's my problem.

Here is one thing I might add to the list, for balance.

Flirt with someone. You can flirt to make romance, make friends, do business, or something else. It's good practice for communication, perception, creativity, and courage. And you'll meet people-- that makes you more interesting.

Being funny doesn't hurt either.

Terrific post.

I recently found a very interesting website:
There you can purchase ad space for your Blog etc.

Do activities that everybody thinks it's a crazy thing to do.

Recently, I cycled half island in Singapore. Not once, but twice. When I shared this experience with a bunch of friends, and some of them didn't believe that I just did it. Actually, not a difficult thing to do, yet it's very fulfilling. And next time I meet a stranger, I can share this story with him.

What a wonderful post.

At the best job interview I ever went to, I asked the guy 'what are you looking for?' - he said 'interesting people, but more than that, interested people.' This stayed with me for many years, and it is nice to be reminded of it! Thanks.

Learn to ride a big motorbike.

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