Tag Archive: school

What I mean by a “borrowed parallel paradigm” is that a paradigm out of my field of study or biz can help me shape – or reshape- my thinking and my doing.
It broadens my vision, or help me see the world through new lenses.

If I use Apple’s biz paradigm (mainly, a platform, to be studied) to improve my creative musician skills, it’s a win. However, it is not easy to draw parallel lines with those unrelated areas.

To create, to innovate, to shape, call it what you want, you need to borrow or shamelessly steal from unrelated industries, areas, businesses -even if the models are outdated- to make your very own product, be it a symphony or a startup.

That’s what Google does, what Amazon does, what a schmazillion of other successful people do. They succeed at what they aim for.
Success is not a one-size-fits-all word!

A pattern can be transposed successfully if applied in a clever way. If you stay in your area, you are likely to learn nothing. If you go where everyone else goes, you end up doing what everyone does. Is it what you want?

Picasso famously said that great artists steal. Is Picasso a great artist? This up to you to judge. The statement is true, though.

Today, the word artist has a broader meaning. A VP or a CEO can be artists, not because they are hobbyist painters or musicians, but because they -the succesful ones- totally pour themselves into what they do. Stravinsky used to say that a succesful piece of art is 99% work!

As far as I am concerned: I come from a very complex background.

I am a musician. That is the core of my being. 26 years of mayhem, and counting!

I sing, I play snare drum, timpani, vibraphone, drums, cello, viola da gamba, guitar, harpsichord, piano, organ… All those instruments have one thing in common: they require the use of fingers (in this case, parallels are drawn quite easily. Starting small is not a bad thing), and demand a very high degree of commitment.
I also produce, edit, mix and master. I started as a FOH engineer, but moved on to my comfy studio more as my back pain increased with FOH muck work. I am now settled.

However, I read business books, blogs about education, biographies, I love CDs and LPs artwork and do my own, I hang around with TED speakers, I study iOS programming and programming abstractions (courtesy of Stanford University). I read other people Ph.Ds’ stuff, too, no matter the subject.

How does all that relate? How does one model applies to the other to foster creativity? I’m diligently working on it.

Easy is not a word I can use to describe that task. I have to learn critical thinking, which is not taught at school/college.

I have to ask for mentorship, sometimes. I have to ask myself the right questions. It’s exhausting, and I already wanted to throw the towel many times. I didn’t, because I’m passionate about what I do.

Of course, it is easy to get lost into all those unrelated areas. Focus on your primary one and look around. How can you improve or change your existing model?

Borrow paradigms. Shamelessly. The more unrelated, the better.
Get the broadest scope you can get, yet keep in mind that you want to raise the bar of your primary activity, foster creativity and get smarter at what you do.

One last thing: don’t lose sight of your own goals.

I’d love to hear from you. You are encouraged to share your experiences and thoughts. Your personal info will never be shared.

Not even strong enough mentally to write a blog entry each day.

That’s… wimp.

That’s what I am.

I am so jaded. So bored.
No, I don’t whine.

12 years having been trained to be a 1925-like factory worker, to win the race to the bottom.

13 years with a nameless disease which is slowly killing me.

7 years of stubborn tribal behaviour in some lousy Uni (lousy=mediocre teachers. It has nothing to do with rankings, which are just about fame).

25 years stuck in a strict and narrow-minded, retrograde family.

Take it all, shake it well, serve as is.

Wounded. That is what I am.

I need time and perseverance to heal those wounds. This blog will be left for a good while. Who cares, anyway?


Health first. The rest is secondary.

Huge thanks to the french government and the ministry of education for killing all of my dreams.

I may be too old for some jobs (and I’ll never be admitted to MIT at 16 years old like this girl…), even jobs I create, yet it is never too late to unlearn and reshape.

I am weak, diminished. Nonetheless I am preparing some burning mail for all those who gladly participated to my demise.

I told you I’m not easy on people. It’s an understatement. One can argue that blaming others is the easy way out…

Really? Try to convince your enemy that he has lost the battle the war as you’re dying.

Time to retaliate. For good, and on behalf of all the wounded students, victims of their education.

1925, no more. Never.

-Over and out-

Stop stealing dreams.

Seth Godin issued a new powerful manifesto about education. It is his best so far.

Actually, it is a well-thought and well-documented rant.

The question is simple: what is school for?

I thought you would find it interesting:

www.stopstealingdreams.com is ready to read and share –

Find it also here:


I really hope you’ll read it and think deeply. I also hope you’ll share it.

What’s the use of a manifesto if not spread and shared?

I’m fuming.

We (yes, we) are still churning out 1925-like compliant factory workers.

We are in 2012. Time to adapt to the tools we have today (internet, yeah)?

Replaceable cogs are definitively NOT what we need now in a post-industrial era.

Why Trying To Be The Best Is Fooling Ourselves

Borrowed from Seth Godin‘s blog.

Self truth (and the best violinist in the world)

The other day, after a talk to some graduate students at the Julliard School (Alex’s note: the School where Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater learned everything he needed to), one asked, “In The Dip, you talk about the advantage of mastery vs. being a mediocre jack of all trades. So does it make sense for me to continue focusing on mastering the violin?”

Without fear of error, I think it’s easy to say that this woman will never become the best violinist in the world. That’s because it’s essentially impossible to be the one and only best violinist in the world. There might be 5,000 or 10,000 people who are so technically good at it as to be indistinguishable to all but a handful of orchestra listeners. This is true for many competitive fields–we might want to fool ourselves into thinking that we have become the one and only best at a technical skill, but it’s extremely unlikely.

The quest for technical best is a form of hiding. You can hide from the marketplace because you’re still practicing your technique. And you can hide from the hard work of real art and real connection because you decide that success lies in being the best technically, at getting a 99 instead of a 98 on an exam.

What we can become the best at is being an idiosyncratic exception to the standard. Joshua Bell is often mentioned (when violinists are mentioned at all) not because he is technically better than every other violinst, but because of his charisma and willingness to cross categories. He’s the best in the world at being Josh Bell, not the best in the world at playing the violin.

The same trap happens to people who are coding in Java (Alex’s note: the kind of blokes I had to deal with until I decided that I’ll keep OOP for my own purposes, far from competition), designing furniture or training to be a corporate coach. It’s a seductive form of self motivation, the notion that we can push and push and stay inside the lines and through sheer will, become technically perfect and thus in demand. Alas, it’s not going to happen for most of us.

[The flipside of this are the practioners who bolster themselves up by claiming that they are, in fact, the most technically adept in the world. In my experience, they’re fibbing to themselves when they’d be better off taking the time and effort to practice their craft. Just saying it doesn’t make it so.]

Until we’re honest with ourselves about what we’re going to master, there’s no chance we’ll accomplish it.

Well put, Seth.

What School Did Not Teach Me


The “infamous” list of what can be achieved without mind-crushing, creativity-killing, cog-making schooling, and racing for A grades, medals, honors and degrees.


I often asked for mentoring and guidance through hard times, but not for being taught.

• Walking, talking/speaking, reading, drawing, eating, drinking, pooping, peeing, masturbating, getting laid, smoking pot, getting drunk…

• Learning foreign languages such as the 4 killer scandinavian ones: swedish ( I bought a grammar book to start), danish, norwegian, and icelandic.

• Marketing and social/interactive media use. Again, books did half the job. Same goes for all internet services, search engines, etc.

• Learning how to read music and tablature (letters &numbers). Playing a dozen of music instruments (live,studio and rehearsing) and singing, in all styles. Writing CD reviews.

• Using Apple iDevices comprehensively. (Same for computers, but the rebel in me considers computers as quite obsolete devices. They’re just more powerful tools, but not more useful ones).

• Building Lego stuff, then later building furniture.

• Getting in touch with big names in the Music industry and the swedish metal scene.

• Escaping the “grad-job-wife-kids-house-car-debt” paradigm. Escaping the grind and standing defiantly against all form of authority I find unjustified.

• Living with as few money as I can, and not starving.

[To be continued. We learn each day… and the reward is the journey.]