It is a temptation that we all must resist. It is re-assuring to be jaded about our possibilities, and critical of others for what they do. It is easy — all it requires is to point out everyone else’s faults, and we enlarge our self-worth through their faults. This is not motivated by a desire to improve the work of others, but because some are threatened by the productive creations of others. It threatens to dispel their most important belief: that there is nothing new to explore, nothing to make.
Instead, we should, as Michelangelo said, criticize by creating. Rather than tell others why they are wrong, do whatever they did how you think it should be done. Do precisely what you want to do, not what others think you should, and through your work, show others what you think is the best way. Do not chastise, but live. Create.
Live for yourself. By doing so — by creating things you would be proud of even if you were the only one who ever saw it, and living the same way — you can change the world. This what it means to be American.
I finally got through my Instapaper list enough to read this post from Kyle Baxter. In a long post that weaves it’s way through film, literature, and tradition Kyle echoes many of my main concerns concerning new technology. In short, it’s well worth the read and until I can put my thoughts together in a more developed manner I will let Kyle’s post stand on its own.