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Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

#2: like how chemicals make stuff

This week Robin & Justin talk about influences, synthesizing your life into your creative work, and why it's worth picking up where your heroes left off. Sven had to cut out hours of talk about glutens, which are bad for you.

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Show Notes

Back to Work with Merlin Mann & Dan Benjamin on 5by5

Back to Work is easily the single biggest influence on this show for us both. You should listen to it.

Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen by Larry McMurtry

Using as a springboard an essay by the German literary critic Walter Benjamin that he first read in Archer City's Dairy Queen, McMurtry examines the small-town way of life that big oil and big ranching have nearly destroyed.

The Anxiety of Influence by Harold Bloom

Bloom's central thesis is that poets are hindered in their creative process by the ambiguous relationship they necessarily maintained with precursor poets.

Stanford Presidential Lectures: The Anxiety of Influence

"Influence," Bloom insists, "is Influenza - an astral disease," and against its threat, strong poets learn to protect themselves by "misreading" their predecessors."

Everything is a Remix: The Elements of Creativity

In which Kirby Ferguson talks about the myth of "completely original" and the beauty of creative influence. Also, all of your favorite artists are copycats.

Love and Theft (Bob Dylan Album)

From barroom blues to gentle swing, the 12 songs here cover a huge geographical territory: from the Deep South to Appalachia, from Florida to the Iron Range.

"Love and Theft: An Interview with Eric Lott" @ Gadfly Online

Fiona Apple - "Across the Universe"

This is the fantastic Fiona Apple cover that Robin mentioned in the show, with a fantastic music video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. You should watch it and be convinced that copies of things are still very good things.