This is a surprisingly great interview with Jason Segel (via Austin). My favorite bit:

I had two friends in high school who sort of showed me how a piano works. And I just spent two years being terrible at it until I was good at it. That’s just me. There’s no way I’m actually intrinsically talented at writing, acting, playing music, puppeteering. It’s that I’m willing to be shit at them for a while, until I’m good at them.

Most intellectual failures, people who are smart but still don’t succeed, tend to be underspecialized.

That’s Andy McKenzie summarizing 11 main points from Colin Marshall’s interview with Robin Hanson. This point from their talk struck home for me. No, I don’t consider myself a Failure, but I know very well how endless curiosity doesn’t necessarily make you productive. Constraint is liberating, etc.

David Foster Wallace, on success


Bookselling This Week: What has been the most satisfying part about all your success?

David Foster Wallace: What do you mean by success?

BTW: Being accepted by a major publisher, all the acclaim.

DFW: Well there’s no better feeling than working hard at something and having it come out good, even before you put the stamp on it. But with all the public stuff… it’s sort of how you like people to be nice to your child. There’s so much bullshit to trying to get accepted – reading a mean letter from someone you don’t even know, getting rejected. I think you need to invest way more into how it feels when you are in a room writing by yourself.

Full DFW interview with American Booksellers Association