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My Mixbook for 2012

It’s that time of year again! 2012 is wrapping up, and with it, another mixbook. This is the fourth volume of a series of web anthologies I began creating four years ago. The basic idea: I pick through all the articles I read over the last year and select some of them to be bound together for all eternity in this limited-edition printed volume. You can’t buy this book — that’s how I’ve avoided any potential legal entanglement and kept this safely in hobby territory. I’ve printed a very small number of copies and will be sending them out to some lucky ducks over the coming weeks. More details below…


Mixbook, you say?

Four(ish) years ago, I stumbled upon a blog post by Emmet Connolly about a quick-and-dirty book he made at of all the articles he’d collected in his Instapaper account. I immediately stole the idea. But my first attempt at it wasn’t great, and the picture of it certainly didn’t live up to Emmet’s (his, with its beautiful, matte blue cover, is shown over lovely, distressed wood; mine is glossy and shown in front of my office). So I tried again, with better results. It wasn’t totally there yet, and as they say, the third time was the charm: This time, I shifted from printing stuff I intended to read to the best stuff I had already read. I mean, come on, there’s just not enough curation happening on the web right now, amirite? 😉 Anyway, thus was born A Year of Ideas, Volume 1. Since then, I’ve created three more volumes, in 2010, 2011, and now, one for 2012.

It’s become a thing. I’ve been calling it a “mixbook.” Surely I didn’t invent this.


A Year of Ideas, Volume Four

Volume Four contains an introduction, 21 articles, and a center section of images and other goodies. It’s a perfect-bound, 228-page paperback with a glossy, photographic cover. Covers, I should say. There are two this year! Each features an image taken by the NASA Mars rover, Curiosity. The version shown above uses an image that Curiosity captured upon landing on the surface of Mars on August 6, 2012 near the base of Aeolis Mons. The second cover uses another view of Aeolis Mons captured on August 9, 2012. While the book doesn’t contain any articles about Curiosity, I felt that its mission was such an exciting, high point for 2012 that it needed to be included somehow. I really couldn’t think of a more inspiring cover than these incredible images beamed back to Earth from so far, far away.

Table of Contents:

  1. Happiness Takes a Little Magic, by Brian Lam
  2. Of Time and the Network, by Jeremy Keith
  3. CERN, by James Bridle
  4. World-building 301: Some Projections, by Charlie Stross
  5. What Will Matter in the Future?, by Stowe Boyd
  6. Endings, by Giovanni Tiso
  7. Bloggers and Bowerbirds, by Erin Kissane
  8. Rotary Dial, by Paul Ford
  9. FaceFacts, by Jason Scott
  10. The Internet of Ghosts, by Matt Thompson
  11. Mobile Identity, by Rebekah Cox
  12. Peering into the Future of the Infosphere, by Luciano Floridi
  13. Libraries: Where it All Went Wrong, by Nat Torkington
  14. Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas, by Paul Graham
  15. Don’t Eat Fortune’s Cookie, by Michael Lewis
  16. How Important is it to Enjoy Your Work?, by David Baker
  17. The Busy Trap, by Tim Kreider
  18. Economic Treadmill: Why We Are Destined to Burn Out, by Dyske Suematsu
  19. A Short Lesson in Perspective, by Linds Redding
  20. How to See the Future, by Warren Ellis
  21. Sedimentary, by Phil Boakes

Here’s the alternate cover:

…and here are a few more images of the interior of the book:



Update (11/15/2012): Books Received!

I’m starting to get word that the books are arriving at their final destinations. Some are as close by as Raleigh, others as far away as New Zealand. I’ll post images as I receive them…

“temporary home”
— Brian Russell, Raleigh, NC


“#mixbook has landed! #nofilter”
— Silas Munro, Miami, FL


“The #mixbook parcel is the best thing to arrive here in a long time.”
— Michael Babwahsingh, Bayonne, NJ


“Thanks @chrbutler Great idea! Can’t wait to read.”
— Tim Belonax, Menlo Park, CA


“#Christmas came early: A Year of Ideas, courtesy of one @chrbutler”
— Tema Larter, Chapel Hill, NC


“A Year in Ideas. Awesome stuff. Thanks @chrbutler!”
— Anne Aretz, New York, NY


“better late than never @chrbutler”
— Lauren Clarke, Chapel Hill, NC

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