Bryan Tuk

Drummer | Producer | Arts Entrepreneur

Filtering by Tag: writing

Resolutions vs. Goals

Somehow the idea of New Year's resolutions and career goals became conflated on social media, particularly so this year.  You don't have to look far to see people posting their 2017 marketing plan on FB in the guise of being reflective. 

Separating the two concepts is important, because they are distinct.  You can't be a brand all the time, and you can't sell to your friends/audience all the time either.  I think the idea of personal branding can easily be taken too far and have the opposite of the intended effect.  If you post a constant stream of your professional achievements, goals, advertisements, pep talks, elevator pitches and the like, then you inadvertently cause people to tune out.  Some intentional scarcity is a good thing. 

On a personal note, my New Year's resolution is simple: be more present and focused in the moment.   I have a great family situation now and am ever aware of that, and I'm going to do everything I can to continue to take care of my people: Jenny, Sarah, Connor, Olivia, Ella and Colin.

As tumultuous as 2016 was, then hopefully 2017 is a year of peace on many fronts. 

As for my career goals, I'll keep to myself without public declaration and just DO them.  You'll know when they happen.  Believe me, you'll know. 

Build the future. 

To all, a safe, happy and prosperous 2017.  


Creative Life in Interesting Times

There is a saying “may you live in interesting times.”  It is erroneously attributed to being an ancient Chinese proverb.  However, a little bit of research will quickly reveal that the purported Chinese origin of this saying is totally apocryphal.

With that said, this phrase has gained a place inAmerican culture. Whether this saying is intended to be a blessing or a curse is up to you.

I’m a big believer in the idea that your attitude determines your reality.  I’ve known people who were materially wealthy and professionally successful and absolutely miserable people to be around because they hated their lives.  There are people in precisely the opposite circumstance – flat broke by modern society’s standards – who are engaging and happy, fully realized people.

Earlier this week, I had an interesting time that could have been catastrophic. 

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Social Entrepreneurship In Days of Avarice

Social entrepreneurs can and should change the world.

A friend of mine, when he found out I was teaching a college course on entrepreneurship, asked how I defined the term "entrepreneur".

My answer?  One who takes risk to create a pathway to value.  

That sentence can launch many questions.

What do you value? Money? Time? The well being of others?

There is an old saying in the legal profession: Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. The subtext of this little gem of wisdom is that it's ok to be a little greedy, but don't go nuts. Moderate greed is acceptable, beneficial even, but excessive greed kills. (I don't ascribe to this, incidentally).

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Rendering Ourselves Obsolete

Words really escaped me when I first read this article on The Verge about how musical pieces composed by artificial intelligence software were being performed by real live human players in a jazz club in London.  It wasn't the fact that software composed music.  Music is, after all, mathematics by another name.  It is not by itself a shocking idea in the abstract that AI can compose music that emulates the conventions of music theory that human students took years to learn.

What is disturbing to me, however, is how the article, and the persons interviewed therein, exude such a sense of accomplishment. Every day we are rendering ourselves obsolete and not one person seems to be outraged enough to stop it.  It's baffling.

I won't reproduce the Soundcloud links to the software-composed music, but it if you visit The Verge story you'll find them easily.  Take a listen.  Read the article.  Why are the scientists so giddy?  They are contributing to the creation of a force that is going to take more work from people.  This will make the economically viable professional music industry contract even more severely and more quickly.

Can a union or organized labor stop this?  No.  I wonder if the tide is irreversible.

There are things in this world that should remain mysterious and magical.  Not everything needs to be dissected.  I think musical creation in particular is one of those magical things.