Listen for follow-up questions, because when those dry up, that means your companion’s interest usually has, too.

Quaker Mode – The Pastry Box Project | 22 April 2013, baked by Mike Monteiro

The incredibly great thing about Quaker meetings is that everyone just sits there. Silently. And they talk only if the spirit moves them to talk. They only open their mouths if it improves on the silence. I’m gonna repeat that phrase because I love it so fucking much: “if it improves on the silence.”

When we were staying over at grandma’s house, when me and my brother and sister were getting annoying, we knew fun time was over when Grandma would say firmly, “Okay. Let’s play Quaker.” The three of us then groan and sigh and collapse on the floor, mortally wounded, sulky, resentful. Quiet time had begun. I hated that “game” so much. Mike Monteiro’s idea sounds good, though.

Quaker Mode – The Pastry Box Project | 22 April 2013, baked by Mike Monteiro

Advice for Boys – The Bygone Bureau

My readers taught me as much about listening and taking people’s problems seriously as anything I have ever done. They taught me the value of what kindness and generosity can do, not only for the person receiving it but for you who give. Of what happens when you give people the space to talk about themselves, and of how much guys will start to talk about their feelings if we give them space to do so.

Advice for Boys – The Bygone Bureau

It seems to me that the ears that are listening make more difference than the way the music sounds.

Will Oldham aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy. This notion applies outside of music, too. Also? He put on one of my favorite concerts of all time a few years ago here in Atlanta. Brilliant dude. Excited to read this new book. (via Austin Kleon)

When people bypass simple solutions to write to someone like me, that tends to mean there’s an ulterior motive on board.

Caroyln Hax. Ha! Awesome.

Wall of Sound: The iPod has changed the way we listen to music. And the way we respond to it. – By Nikil Saval – Slate Magazine

As certain foodies score points by having eaten everything—blowfish, yak milk tea, haggis, hot dogs—so the person who knows and likes all music achieves a curious sophistication-through-indiscriminateness.

Somewhat guilty as charged. See also Tyler Cowen on the internet and eclecticism.

Wall of Sound: The iPod has changed the way we listen to music. And the way we respond to it. – By Nikil Saval – Slate Magazine

I think painters and sculptors react to music, more naively, in a sense, because their politics are a lot different from our politics. It’s very hard for one composer to listen to another composer without somehow bringing his own mind-set to the music he’s listening to. It’s not that it’s impossible. And that’s only natural, whereas someone in another art field is going to listen to it very naively, in a sense (you hope), and that’s a worthwhile, unbiased opinion. Ultimately, it’s a naive opinion that rules the roost.

The New Inquiry – SEO & the Disappearing Self

Social media structures communication between friends so that the responsibility for listening — inescapably built into earlier mediums that structured talk between friends as person-to-person — is modulated into a vaguer injunction to respond if and when you feel like it. Because status updates and the like are not addressed to anyone specific, they don’t generate an obligation in anyone specific to pay attention.

The New Inquiry – SEO & the Disappearing Self

I can’t believe that people really prefer to go to the concert hall under intellectually trying, socially trying, physically trying conditions, unable to repeat something they have missed, when they can sit home under the most comfortable and stimulating circumstances and hear it as they want to hear it. I can’t imagine what would happen to literature today if one were obliged to congregate in an unpleasant hall and read novels projected on a screen.

Milton Babbitt