Weekly newsletter: Copying is how we learn

Austin Kleon

Weekly newsletter: Copying is how we learn
This week: imitation as education, playing with blocks, checking in with death, and more...

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A newsletter from Austin Kleon
afternoon collage
Hey y’all,

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 
  1. Copying is how we learn.
  2. As you may or may not know, we are tremendous Kraftwerk geeks here at Chez Kleon. Kraftwerk actually won a Grammy this year for 3-D The Catalogue, so I thought I’d read my second Kraftwerk biography of the year, David Buckley’s Kraftwerk: Publikation. It’s extremely hard to write about Kraftwerk because they’re so secretive about their lives and what goes on in the Kling Klang studios, so Buckley focuses more on how incredibly influential they’ve been. (The other Kraftwerk biography I’ve read is Pascal Bussy’s Kraftwerk: Man, Machine and Music, which my 5-year-old spotted at End of an Ear and demanded I purchase.)
  3. Feeling blocked? Play with blocks!
  4. Not sure how David Marchese does it, but these recent interviews with Quincy Jones and Erykah Badu are ridiculously entertaining.
  5. How Facebook is killing comedy. So much good stuff in this interview, a lot of it backing up why I never hang out on Facebook and started daily blogging again on my own website that I control.
  6. Piano music for the left hand alone. (Neat find via great music writer Geeta Dayal, who’s recovering from surgery!)
  7. Eye candy: I finally watched Arrival, which I liked just fine, but after reading the terrific original story in Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others, I have a ton of respect for how screenwriter Eric Heisserer translated it for the big screen. (That piece is a great example of showing your work.)
  8. Ear candy: this Spotify playlist of the DJ set at The Blitz in the late 70s is a fantastic mix of Bowie, Kraftwerk, disco, and more. (For something goofier, but quite danceable, here’s Señor Coconut’s cover of “The Robots.”)
  9. Why you should occasionally check in with death
  10. RIP actor John Mahoney. (I highly recommend him in one of my all-time favorites, Moonstruck. We’ve been binge-watching Frasier on Netflix since he news of his passing.) And RIP John Perry Barlow, who, among many achievements, had some good tips for being an adult.
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Austin Kleon is the author of Steal Like An Artist and other books.

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4301 W. William Cannon Dr.
Suite B 150 #241
Austin, Texas 78749

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