“If you’ve never experienced it, “free” just seems like a lower number on a slider that has “half-price” in the middle. But free is not a number…
“Free” is something different than “less.” And free is not less than cheap. It’s something else entirely.
Instead of education, try thinking about love. There are people who pay for love. Some pay a lot, some pay a little. But let’s be honest: everyone knows that the moment you start paying anything, it’s not just love plus money. It’s something else entirely, and the problems in paying aren’t solved by paying less than others.”
Free is not for Nothing. - Kevin Slavin
My friend, Kevin, is a graduate of the Cooper Union—which provided a tuition free education for 150 years. He wrote something both wonderful and sad about the principles that make a thing a thing as he’s been deeply involved in the fight to try and keep the Cooper Union free.
“Showing up to the party of the year may give you a head full of great memories. But feeling like you are co-hosting this event changes something inside you. Being of service tunes you in to a level of purpose that changes you – or recharges you – in truly profound ways.”
“We’re in this interesting time. With technology, everyone knows everything now. So information has been commoditized, and what’s important now is knowledge. And the difference between information and knowledge is that knowledge is about having a point of view based on what we know.”
“I was born the day after President Kennedy was assassinated — likely the moment the heroism bubble burst — in those primitive days when the power of the media machine was small and centralized and contained, and have been content to make do with admiring small acts of courage and beauty and conviction wherever they’re to be found. Social media has allowed unknown greatness to surface, but has also created a lot of icons better left unknown.”
““Let us not kid ourselves,” Professor Vladimir Nabokov reminds us. “Let us remember that literature is of no practical value whatsoever. … ” But practical value isn’t the only kind of value. Ours is a mixed economy, with the gift economy of the arts existing (if not exactly flourishing) within the inhospitable conditions of a market economy, like the fragile black market in human decency that keeps civilization going despite the pitiless dictates of self-interest.”
“My working theory is that consumer [startup] ideas are both art and engineering. The art component either takes in the mind of the consumer or it doesn’t. Like movies or music, sort of. Lots of great engineering teams can’t get the art to work with high probability, and even the great consumer internet artists swing and miss as often as they hit (eg odeo vs twitter). And if the art doesn’t take, the engineering won’t save you.”
“Why Uber/Lyft market is so much bigger than people think: it’s not a substitute for cabs, it’s a substitute for driving.”