Sunspots: The fourth wall edition 37signals 11 Jul 2006

21 comments Latest by Mark Priestap

God or No God, by Kevin Guilfoile
"Cast of Shadows" author (and ex-Coudal wordsmith) spoofs Deal or No Deal. "One of these suitcases contains an infinite and meaningless void. The rest contain deities of increasing benevolence, leading up to the grand prize -- the aforementioned all-good, all-powerful God who punishes evildoers, grants everlasting life to the good, and responds to the well-intentioned petitions of the Christian faithful!"
How many del.icio.us bookmarks can $100 buy you? (A: 2500+)
"On July 14th at 3pm EST, I will randomly choose one del.icio.us user who bookmarked this page, and send him or her this check for $100, no strings attached."
The Evolution of "Crazy"
"You all have heard Gnarles Barkley's 'Crazy' (it's pretty much impossible to get away from at this point), but have you heard 'Nel Cimitero Di Tucson', which is essentially a raw instrumental form of Crazy." A commenter at one blog wrote, "And here I thought gnarls were just really inventive and creative. bummer." That's one way to look at it. On the other hand, taking a sample like that and spinning it into a brand new piece of work is a neat example of embracing constraints (i.e. How can you transform this fixed chord progression and bassline into something new?)
Steve Jobs will help create ad campaign for Al Gore's climate protection group
"Tipper and I are giving 100 percent of all the profits we get from both the movie and the book to a new bipartisan alliance for climate protection. It will run ads about the nature of the crisis and the way we can solve it...Steve Jobs is helping to design the ad campaign."
Vicious 2001 exchange of emails between Judd Apatow, the creator of 40-Year Old Virgin and Mark Brazill, creator of That '70s Show
"I know it's hard to believe that your rock band TV idea, which every writer in this town has thought of at one point, was not on my mind half a year after you told it to me. Yes, you thought of breaking the fourth wall. Groucho and George Burns stole it from you. Why don't you sue the guys who have that new show 'How to Be a Rock Star' on the WB? I must have told them your idea. Nobody has ever goofed on rock bands, not 'Spinal Tap' or The Rutles or 800 'Saturday Night Live' sketches. I should have told everyone on the show, no rock band sketches, that's Brazill's area."
Listen/watch TEDTalks with Al Gore, David Pogue, Tony Robbins, etc.
"Each year, TED hosts some of the world's most fascinating people: Trusted voices and convention-breaking mavericks, icons and geniuses. The talks they deliver have had had such a great impact, we thought they deserved a wider audience. So now, for the first time, we're sharing them with the world at large."
Google News was built by a team of 3-5 people
Marissa Mayer: "Google News took a team of 3-5 people. If you take a pool of engineers and put them in teams of three, you can actually do 100 projects. Small teams can self-organize quickly, they can finish projects quickly, and they can move onto new projects quickly." Another good quote from her (on what Apple Computer and Madonna can teach about launching stuff): "Nobody remembers the Sex Book or the Newton. Consumers remember your average over time. That philosophy frees you from fear."
List of Apple Mac OS X tips
"Two Seconds to Sleep," "Create Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts," "Move All Your Stuff to a New Mac - Quick," etc.
Video clip of Stevie Wonder and band funking up Sesame Stree song
Stevie Wonder, Sesame Street, talk box, & funky horns. Verdict = cool.

21 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Jeff Croft 11 Jul 06

I remember the sex book.

Laura Moncur 11 Jul 06

I remember The Newton. When are they going to bring it back? That thing wasn’t a failure! It practically catapulted Palm into existence.

I remember The Newton…

Scott 11 Jul 06

That Judd Apatow email exchange is a riot!

Greg 11 Jul 06

Holy crap, those emails were awesome. My favorite part was when Brazil closed with “Get cancer”. Classy!

Mark Gallagher 11 Jul 06

The vicious email exchange is excellent.

Reminds me of the email exchange that was widely circulated among hedge fund managers last year and published in the Financial Times.

Enjoy this one:

European Ideas email exchange between hedge fund managers

Keep up the good work, 37s. Mark

nickd 11 Jul 06

Don’t know if this has already been posted, but Fortune tore into Jack Welch’s rules today… the ideas there seem very 37s to me.

Sam 11 Jul 06

not sure I buy the ‘crazy’ thing as embracing constraints. Constraints implies they are forced upon. Electing to just take another song and add a beat and lyrics to it doesn’t really count as being constrained, even self-imposed. Just seems a little lazy to me, that’s all.

shane 11 Jul 06

“the aforementioned all-good, all-powerful God who punishes evildoers, grants everlasting life to the good, and responds to the well-intentioned petitions of the Christian faithful!”

God doesn’t grant everlasting life to the good. The scriptures say that no one is good not even one. Meaning no one is good in light of God’s standard of what “good” is. This is why we, all of us, have need for a savior, namely Jesus Christ the Son of God who is a substitute for the elect. Substitute in terms of suffering God’s full wrath in our (those that have faith in Christ) place so that we are forgiven. The scriptures also say while we were yet sinners Christ died. Meaning He died for the ungodly not the “so called” good. God said He rejects the proud (those that think they are good) and gives grace to the humble. Sorry for the clarification but Christianity gets so misrepresented in these areas. Again, God saves sinners who humble themselves by repenting from sin and trusting in the righteousness of Jesus Christ to save them.

errr... 12 Jul 06

Shane, get out much?

shane 12 Jul 06

@ errr…

No sir. I’m in a monastery with a fat WiFi connection, a G5, and dual 20” plasmas… I usually send Father Barbarito to get me things like bread, water, and toiletries. ;)

Kevin Guilfoile 12 Jul 06

God doesn’t grant everlasting life to the good. The scriptures say that no one is good not even one. Meaning no one is good in light of God’s standard of what “good” is. This is why we, all of us, have need for a savior, namely Jesus Christ the Son of God who is a substitute for the elect. Substitute in terms of suffering God’s full wrath in our (those that have faith in Christ) place so that we are forgiven. The scriptures also say while we were yet sinners Christ died. Meaning He died for the ungodly not the “so called” good. God said He rejects the proud (those that think they are good) and gives grace to the humble. Sorry for the clarification but Christianity gets so misrepresented in these areas. Again, God saves sinners who humble themselves by repenting from sin and trusting in the righteousness of Jesus Christ to save them.

I appreciate that Shane, but you understand how the comedy there would have been considerably less efficient.

shane 12 Jul 06

@ Kevin

You mean you couldn’t have written “the aforementioned all-good, all-powerful God who punishes evildoers, grants everlasting life to the *(import my huge clarification here)*, and responds to the well-intentioned petitions of the Christian faithful!” without losing the humor ;)

I totally understand and great read by the way!

I am to theological clarification as Jason is to taking poos on functional specs and poisonous meetings :)

Don Schenck 12 Jul 06

Shane, while you’re at it, be sure to include a discussion of dispensations (cf. any work by Clarence Larkin).

:-)

Kevin Guilfoile 12 Jul 06

Thanks Shane.

And I hope you didn’t take the piece as an attack on religion. My mail is about equally split between people who claim I misrepresented their faith and those who are upset that I didn’t accurately capture the excitement of Deal or No Deal game play.

Tony 12 Jul 06

Kevin,

Can I send you my drycleaning bill after the “nose-coffee” incident caused by your writings?
They’re all for brevity and succinctness here at 37s, and the subtle comedic power of the “bumper sticker” line absolutely stole the show for me.
Gold!

shane 13 Jul 06

Kevin,

I don’t mind people attacking religion because religion is man’s attempt to save themselves whereas Christianity is God doing the saving through Jesus Christ. So I’ll join you in mocking religion, although it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God and I would be slow to include Him in mockery.

Kevin Guilfoile 13 Jul 06

Thanks Tony!

Now Shane, you said,

So I’ll join you in mocking religion, although it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God and I would be slow to include Him in mockery.

I have to bring it up because this is something that interests me. (Let me add that I’m a Catholic myself so I have no animosity toward Christianity.) When Christians and others talk about the fear of God it can mean the awe at the unfathomable nature of omnipotence. But then occasionally someone will say something like what you just said, which makes God sound like an abusive husband. It seems to be an obvious case of man creating God in man’s image. People ascribe to God all of man’s worst qualities and then try to imagine what it would be like if one of us were jealous and petty and defensive and insecure AND we also controlled the weather. That dude would be one bad—shut your mouth!.

I think I once wrote somewhere that when I hear someone talking about their love of a wrathful God it makes religion sound like the most widespread case of Stockholm Syndrome in history.

The hardest task of a Christian, I know, is reconciling the Bible with itself. Which is why, I’m pretty sure, we Catholics pretty much treat it like the stories grandpa told in the nursing home. There’s some wisdom in between the lines there but I don’t think Uncle Mike really blew up The Maine with one of his cheap cigars and a bottle of Boones Farm.

I apologize to Jason et al for hijacking the comments to talk about religion. Let me try to bring it on topic. The Bible is a little like The Leona’s menu. There’s a lot of good stuff in it but there’s a real cost to usability in having so many pages. I mean jalapeno poppers aren’t really Italian anyway, are they?

shane 13 Jul 06

@ Kevin,

“When Christians and others talk about the fear of God it can mean the awe at the unfathomable nature of omnipotence.”

True, the fear of God in that context can mean, awe, reverence, or even respect.

“But then occasionally someone will say something like what you just said, which makes God sound like an abusive husband.”

Those weren’t my words they are from the scriptures.

Hebrews 10:31, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

“The hardest task of a Christian, I know, is reconciling the Bible with itself.”

It’s been easy for me but I’m sure it would be quite hard to understand if it was only read to me in latin.

Kevin Guilfoile 13 Jul 06

It’s been easy for me but I’m sure it would be quite hard to understand if it was only read to me in latin.

Ha! Touché.

Michael Chui 14 Jul 06

*chimes in* Kevin also never said that true Christianity was in that last suitcase. Just sayin’.

Mark Priestap 21 Sep 06

@Shane

Amen. When God says we should fear Him, it is precisely because it would glorify Him to justly throw us into Hell. Thinking that we can attain the goodness required to stand in before Him is like thinking that we can stand on the sun and not be consumed.

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