I'm a bit of a sap for inspirational stuff that is actually inspirational, as opposed to all of the purely inane crap out there masquerading as inspiration that just makes my teeth itch --like this tripe. In fact, I collect aphorisms, apothegms, adages, axioms, quotes, and all manner of humorous or intriguing inspirational sayings, taglines, and rules for life. Many of my favorites appear as random quotes at the top of my webpages, or as the titles of some of my essays, or in the occasional placard I print and pin to the wall where I work.

     Of course, most really clever, original, and thought-provoking stuff is found only rarely, usually buried in the detritus and dross of larger works or collections, but a long time ago I read an article in Wired magazine in which eleven pretty decent 'rules' were offered up all at once (shown here in a copy of the original poster). I've kept a modified and occasionally added-to copy of the rules ever since I first read them, and I came across them again recently while writing about Desiderata. Although I did remember finding the rules in Wired, I didn't remember when, or anything about the authors of the rules, so I did some research to see what I could (re)learn.

     The article was published in 1994, and the rules were described as being part of the OSC Manifesto, which articulated the basic business philosophy of a small West Coast music tech company that literally revolutionized the digital music industry. I didn't care for all of the rules, so I kept what I liked and created my own poster, which I've added to whenever I've felt the urge. I've also played around with fonts for the pure fun of it. My version, based on the foundation laid by the fine anarchists at OSC is below. Enjoy.

Click for a larger version of this poster

A .pdf version is here, a .tif version is here (large file, 1.75Mb)


Information Sources:

- The Wired article about the people who created the OSC Manifesto (OSC = Our Stinking Company) and the revolution in music production that it inspired is well worth reading. It can be found at:

Links updated 11 Oct 20.
SangerMPermalinkEthos[Back to Top]