Wells Baum is a Futurist, Creator, and Music Explorer. Always connecting the dots on screen.

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Too Much Information

Google provides the information you need right when you need it, for better and for worse.

Googling your symptoms displays what you have and recommends what to take to help treat it. But having instant access to a world of information produces unnecessary anxiety.

How many times have you looked up your symptoms and identified with a disease? We’re convinced that we always have something. This exaggeration creates a fear of imminent risk so urgent we rush to the emergency room to find an solution.

People Google themselves into the hospital even though it’s the last place they want to go. Maybe it’s even beneficial to check in once in a while. But as truth seekers, we risk turning the non-emergency into an emergency. Sometimes the best solution is just time, and maybe a little bit less anxiety.

The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.

Good Tips

People pay for curation today, not the content. The content is cheap and mostly free.

Apple just have away a U2’s new album. You can already stream any track you want on Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud. Unless you’re reading the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal, there’s no paywall preventing you from getting free news. Meanwhile, Amazon is pushing for an all you can eat books model as part of their Prime service.

Free content means that what people are really paying for are the quality of recommendations thy get in return. Peer recommendations don’t suffice.. You only want to consume the good stuff that master curators spend the time to find.

What made Songza different than the rest of the music streaming networks was its handpicked, contextual playlists based on time of day. Echo Nest plans to turn Spotify into a recommendation engine. What makes Amazon so good at recommending books is its smart algorithm.

The wisdom of crowds theory that said that the best result is the summary of what everyone is looking for is dead. People don’t want to be manipulated by mainstream culture. The best services will find out what niche genres a person likes and make long-tail recommendations around those. Make the users feel like they found it first.

Content and curation are BFFs. The two go hand in hand. The act of curation gives content it’s true value. People just want to hear about the good stuff and ignore the rest.

Good health. Interesting work. Satisfying personal relationships. It’s worth checking every now and then.
Simplicity is a response to a world that appears to be changing uncomfortably quickly.

Deyan Sudjic

He continues:

"A generation that never handled a photographic negative, used a landline phone, or typed a letter has rediscovered the qualities of vinyl records, and the charms of Polaroid film."

Tunes of the week

1. Nathan Fake - Black Drift
2. John Beltran - Faux
3. Memotone & Soosh - Roofwalker
4. Clark - Unfuria
5. Throwing Shade - ODC

And then some.

Sunday Social Roundup

  1. Facebook is following in the footsteps of Snapchat and exploring expiring content. Finally, Facebook realizes that competing against Snapchat with Slingshot is a waste of time. People just want additional popular features in the existing Facebook, not entirely new apps.

  2. Apple introduced the iPhone 6, 6+, and it’s Smart watch this week. I went ahead and ordered the 6+ because I’m still running with the inferior camera of the iPhone 5. Bigger is better, I hope. Oh, and Apple also introduced Apple Pay, which plans to replace the physical credit card and turn your phone into a digital wallet. Finally. Is the TV next?

  3. Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter plan to take on YouTube in the bid to attract video stars. I finally realized why these YouTube video stars have more fans than brands on YouTube, because they act like they’re your friend.

  4. Will Ferrell is challenging gamers to raise money for charity. Donators will be able to win the opportunity to play with the actor which to be broadcasted on Twitch. What I love about this is using a recognizable face and a new platform (Twitch) to support a good cause.

  5. You’ll never win an argument on social media because it’s too democratic a platform (everyone has a microphone) and its too fast. The only good news is that the arguments are ephemeral as people quickly look for the next chance to opine.

Is it worth pursuing in the first place?  The insane lament.


Is it worth pursuing in the first place? The insane lament.


Discovery and invention are identical.

Kevin Kelly

Columbus discovered America. Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb. See what I mean?

Miami Vice

That Miami is an interesting place. I can’t say I could live there but the beaches are beautiful and the water is warm like a sauna. We just jumped right in.


The first day I walked from our hotel downtown to the Wynewood district. Like most of downtown, the streets were deserted which made every sound a little bit creepier. I almost turned around fearing for my life. But I kept going captivated by the street art on the way.

I recommend hitting up the Wynewood Walls when you get there, a neat and publicly protected graffiti museum with artists from around the world.

There’s also an excellent coffee shop on the strip called Panther Coffee. I didn’t have enough money to buy a cup but the place had a variety of gourmet flavors and the vibe looked straight out of a trendy coffee shop in Venice, CA. The $6 I did have I used for a cab ride back to the hotel. There was no way I was walking back, especially when the cop I bumped into advised against it.

South Beach

We went to South Beach two days in a row. The first day I ran the beach and got my feet wet with the area, literally and figurately. I asked a hotel concierge where the Art Deco district was and she actually directed me back to downtown when it was only a few blocks down the road. Not sure what she was smoking.

Ocean Boulevard or 7th street is the start of the Art Deco district. Along the way you’ll see a bunch of neat hotels and restaurants, even Gianni Versace’s old home. If you walk beyond Ocean Boulevard and into Collins Avenue you’ll see a wider strip with more hotels and restaurants.

I walked all the way to the Delano hotel to have a peek. The inside is modern, the work of architect/designer Ian Schrager. Lenny Kravitz’s piano is one of the pieces of furniture. Again, it could easily be mistaken for any of the hip hotels in Los Angeles.


The Starbucks barista told me that living in Miami is rather boring. She did grow up there. But after a few days in Miami I can see her point. There’s no sign of a middle class; you’re either rich or poor. The rich even have their own islands. The people are a bit reckless too, at least in their driving.

I’d go back to Miami again but for a short trip and primarily for the sun and beach. In the meantime, I’m glad to live in New York.

For more Miami pics, check out the VSCO Grid.

7 articles to read this weekend

Ground Zero

You won’t read a better 9/11 tribute than this piece by Rex Sorgatz. It sheds light on the contradictions of rebuilding the “Freedom” Tower in the age of extreme surveillance and commercialization. Everything is back to normal at Ground Zero, but not really.

Get Sinicized

You can say whatever you want on the Internet in China as long as you don’t act on it nor organize protest in the real world. Again, China reminds us that ‘controlled democracy’ is a paradox

+ Hypebeast: The Chinese are allowed to use Instagram but not Facebook nor Twitter. Aren’t pictures more powerful than words?

Polemical Tweets

As Nick Bilton discovers you’ll never win an argument on social media. It’s too fast and too accessible of a medium. Once everyone has their own microphone, the room becomes overly noisy.

+ New York Times: Like anything else used in moderation, there’s a time and a place for technology use. Even Steve Jobs limited how his kids used Apple devices. But what happens when we’re always on?

Internal Reflection

How can a yellow dot on a canvass mean anything? Abstract art confuses people it’s seemingly boring and unsophisticated, to the mind’s eye. But what is represents is more visceral. Abstract art reflects inner mood.

+ Business Week: Apparently it doesn’t pay to be weird but weirdos are the exact people companies should hire for their outlandish ideas and maniacal control. Would anyone hire Steve Jobs based on his personality alone? Speaking of Steve, here’s Apple’s CEO Tim Cook talking about Steve’s untouched Apple office: “His office is still left as it was.”

Last Works

As Roger Grenier explains, artists have always struggled with death. Should they create one last work and call it quits while they’re still alive or should they keep creating to the very last moment. What happens when they unexpectedly die mid-way through a project? Who knows what’s going to happen. Just hope it all ends with some work and successes to show for it.

Coffee Naps

It’s too bad we can’t take “coffee naps” until the weekend. Research shows that if we drink coffee and then take a 20 minute nap we’ll have double the boost.

+ YouTube: here’s your brain on coffee

Meditation Dribble

You can laugh now but meditation is going to become a daily habit just like brushing your teeth, predicts Dan Harris in the video below. It’s almost impossible to be bored and get a peace of mind in today’s distraction digital economy. Keep in mind that meditation doesn’t require a fancy chant or weird posture. You just need to sit there and do nothing. The brain will wander and worry which is natural. Just bring it back to being aware.

Here’s a good app for guided meditation: Calm app