I want to share something incredibly powerful that I read six months ago and re-read every month or so.

Here’s James Altucher’s whole post on Techcrunch. You should read it. Now. (Unless you’re in a place where a handful of f-bombs appearing on your monitor – or in your speakers – might be inappropriate.)   Even the title is compelling, if misleading: How To Get An MBA From Eminem.

Most of the post is about the cognitive biases that evolution programmed into the human brain over 400,000 years and how they influence decision-making.  In plain English, most of the post is about how Slim Shady uses motivations that have been baked into his audience members’ brains to cause them to react emotionally to his cause, and by extension, how you can do likewise.

It’s remarkably compelling stuff, but it’s not the ultimate payoff.  That doesn’t arrive until the author takes a drastic left turn in the waning moments of the post, where Altucher gives you a three-paragraph Master’s Degree in the art of creativity,  presented in light of his blog posts:

“I don’t hit ‘Publish’ on something unless I’m afraid of how people will react. When you expose yourself there are many many ways for people to attack you…But you can’t create art unless you show how unique you are while being inclusive with others who share your problems. I’m still scared when I hit publish. But I love that final feeling of risk and fear.”

Here’s what we have:

  1. A compelling title:  How To Get An MBA From Eminem,
  2. Followed by a gripping – and useful – intellectual discourse about something only roughly connected to the title,
  3. Followed by a conclusion that is completely non-sequitur, and yet it’s the most riveting part of the whole piece.

It’s a breathtaking read, both for a businessperson and for a creative.

There’s even a lesson to be taken from the structure of Mr. Altucher’s post:  content is never the static, fixed thing it seems to be when we enjoy a “final” product, and sometimes the things that are the most completely disconnected fit together the best.  For further evidence of that, I take my own left turn and leave you with the completely NSFW, and at many points lyrically-offensive, musical work of Girl Talk, as further improved upon by a fan video.  (And if you think that doesn’t open the door to a long discussion about fair use, well…)

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