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My Mixbook for 2013

2013 is dying, and so it’s time to commemorate it again in the form of giftable pulp. That means another mixbook! This one makes number five in a row (see: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). Each one has been an experiment, and so there are a few new details in this one that I’m excited for you to discover. You can’t buy this book, though. It’s a gift, not a product. I’ve printed a limited number of copies and will be solemnly distributing it to the members of our secret cabal in the next few weeks. If you’d like to join us, contact me and we’ll begin initiation rites. More details below…



This little thing has become something of a tradition.

For the last five years, I’ve collected a variety of interesting things as I’ve encountered them on the web, and then mashed them up with ink and paper and glue. Well, I don’t do the ink, paper and glue part personally. I’ve got some robots that help me with that. But what we make together is something that I’ve been calling a mixbook.

If you ever made a mixtape, you’ll know what I’m trying to get at. It wasn’t just the songs that made a mixtape special. It was the order in which you recorded them. The space between them. The liner notes. The cover you made by hand. The person for whom you made it. You wanted to give them more than a mix. You wanted to give them a feeling — something intangible made real, in the form of this little thing you cut and pasted together with love in your room at night.

If I had made you a mixtape, you probably wouldn’t be able to play it. Who’s got a tape player lying around? Your chances might have been slightly better if I had made you a mix-CD, but in 2013, still not good enough. What about a playlist? Sure, but let’s face it: Where’s the fun in that? So no mixtape.

Instead, here’s a mixbook. I made it because I wanted you to feel some of the things I felt this year, and I think an object makes that possible in a way that a list of links just can’t.

Maybe next year I’ll make a mixtape, too, and let you figure out how to play it 😉


Table of Contents:

  1. Closing Remarks, by Bruce Sterling
  2. You Are Committing a Crime Right Now, by Robert Graham
  3. Connections, by Robert W. Lucky
  4. The Searchers, by Nicholas Carr
  5. We Are Indeed Less Willing to Agree On What Constitutes Truth, by Clay Shirky
  6. State of Cinema, by Steven Soderbergh
  7. The Creativity Compass, by Joi Ito
  8. You Lookin’ at Me?, by Jan Chipcase
  9. The Google Glass Feature No One Is Talking About, by Mark Hurst
  10. Being Dumb, by Kenneth Goldsmith
  11. Automation Anxiety, by Daniel Akst
  12. Douglas Englebart, by David Plotnikoff
  13. Advice to Graduates, by George Saunders
  14. Things My Kids Have Said…, by Brian Doyle
  15. Eleven Things I Wish Every Parent Knew, by Dr. Stephen Cowan
  16. Rules of Survival, by Al Kennedy
  17. On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs, by David Graeber
  18. Such a Long Journey, by Avi Solomon and Kevin Kelly
  19. The Power of ‘I Don’t Know’, by Tim Kreider
  20. The Ladybird Book of Progress, by Phil Boakes

…and more. This book is packed with images and references to art, video and sound.


Here are a few more images of the interior of the book:


Update (11/19/2013): Books Are Arriving!

I’m starting to get word that the books are arriving at their final destinations. Some near (Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, etc.), some far (New York, San Francisco, Chicago) and some very far (Kaslo, London, Australia, etc.). I’ll post images as I receive them…

“Five years of ideas, courtesy of @chrbutler”
Emmet Connolly, San Francisco, CA


“@chrbutler in good company”
— Elias Jones, Charlottesville, VA


“Thanks for the mixbook, @chrbutler. Looking forward to spending time with it.”
Able Parris, Brooklyn, NY


“This year’s #mixbook is here! (w/ special delivery by interoffice mail dog, Oscar) // cc: @chrbutler @Newfangled_web ”
— Tema Larter, Chapel Hill, NC


“Sick days require light reading”
Anne Aretz, Brooklyn, NY


“@chrbutler AYOI has arrived!”
Michael Babwahsingh, Bayonne, NJ


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