robertogreco + constraints   88

Laurel Schwulst, "Blogging in Motion" - YouTube
"This video was originally published as part of peer-to-peer-web.com's NYC lecture series on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at the at the School for Poetic Computation.

It has been posted here for ease of access.

You can find many other great talks on the site:
https://peer-to-peer-web.com

And specifically more from the NYC series:
https://peer-to-peer-web.com/nyc "

[See also:
https://www.are.na/laurel-schwulst/blogging-in-motion ]
laurelschwulst  2019  decentralization  p2p  web  webdesign  blogging  movement  travel  listening  attention  self-reflection  howwewrite  writing  walking  nyc  beakerbrowser  creativity  pokemon  pokemonmoon  online  offline  internet  decentralizedweb  dat  p2ppublishing  p2pweb  distributed  webdev  stillness  infooverload  ubiquitous  computing  internetofthings  casygollan  calm  calmtechnology  zoominginandout  electricity  technology  copying  slow  small  johnseelybrown  markweiser  xeroxparc  sharing  oulipo  constraints  reflection  play  ritual  artleisure  leisurearts  leisure  blogs  trains  kylemock  correspondence  caseygollan  apatternlanguage  intimacy 
15 days ago by robertogreco
The Black Outdoors: Fred Moten & Saidiya Hartman at Duke University - YouTube
"The Black Outdoors: Humanities Futures after Property and Possession seeks to interrogate the relation between race, sexuality, and juridical and theological ideas of self-possession, often evidenced by the couplet of land-ownership and self-regulation, a couplet predicated on settler colonialism and historically racist, sexist, homophobic and classist ideas of bodies fit for (self-) governance.

The title of the working group and speaker series points up the ways blackness figures as always outside the state, unsettled, unhomed, and unmoored from sovereignty in its doubled-form of aggressively white discourses on legitimate citizenship on one hand and the public/private divide itself on the other. The project will address questions of the "black outdoors" in relationship to literary, legal, theological, philosophical, and artistic works, especially poetry and visual arts.

Co-convened by J. Kameron Carter (Duke Divinity School/Black Church Studies) and Sarah Jane Cervenak (African American and African Diaspora Studies, UNC-G)"



[Fred Moten (31:00)]

"Sometimes I feel like I just haven't been able to… well, y'all must feel this… somehow I just can't quite figure out a good way to make myself clear when it comes to certain things. But I really feel like it's probably not my fault. I don't know that it's possible to be clear when it comes to these kinds of things. I get scared about saying certain kinds of stuff because I feel like sometimes it can seem really callous, and I don't want to seem that way because it's not because I don't feel shit or because I don't care. But let's talk about it in terms of what it would mean to live in a way that would reveal or to show no signs of human habitation.

Obviously there's a field or a space or a constraint, a container, a bounded space. Because every time you were saying unbounded, J., I kept thinking, "Is that right?" I mean I always remember Chomsky used to make this really interesting distinction that I don' think I ever fully understood between that which was bounded, but infinite and that which was unbounded, but finite. So another way to put it, if it's unbounded, it's still finite. And there's a quite specific and often quite brutal finitude that structures whatever is going on within the general, if we can speak of whatever it is to be within the general framework of the unbounded.

The whole point about escape is that it's an activity. It's not an achievement. You don't ever get escaped. And what that means is whatever you're escaping from is always after you. It's always on you, like white on rice, so to speak. But the thing about it is that I've been interested in, but it's hard to think about and talk about, would be that we can recognize the absolute horror, the unspeakable, incalculable terror and horror that accompanies the necessity of not leaving a trace of human inhabitation. And then there's the whole question of what would a life be that wasn't interested in leaving a trace of human habitation? So, in church, just because my friend Ken requested it, fuck the human. Fuck human inhabitation.

It's this necessity… The phrase I use sometimes and I always think about specifically in relation to Fannie Lou Hamer — because I feel like it's me just giving a spin on a theoretical formulation that she made in practice — is "to refuse that which has been refused to you." That's what I'm interested in. And that doesn't mean that what's at stake is some kind of blind, happy, celebratory attitude towards all of the beautiful stuff we have made under constraint. I love all the beautiful stuff we've made under constraint, but I'm pretty sure I would all the beautiful stuff we'd make out from under constraint better.

But there's no way to get to that except through this. We can't go around this. We gotta fight through this. And that means that anybody who thinks that they can understand how terrible the terror has been without understanding how beautiful the beauty has been against the grain of that terror is wrong. there is no calculus of the terror that can make a proper calculation without reference to that which resists it. It's just not possible."
fredmoten  saidiyahartman  blackness  2016  jkameroncarter  fredricjameson  webdubois  sarahjanecervenak  unhomed  unsettled  legibility  statelessness  illegibility  sovereignty  citizenship  governance  escape  achievement  life  living  fannielouhamer  resistance  refusal  terror  beauty  cornelwest  fugitives  captives  captivity  academia  education  grades  grading  degrading  fugitivity  language  fellowship  conviviality  outdoors  anarchy  anarchism  constraints  slavery  oppression  race  racism  confidence  poverty  privilege  place  time  bodies  body  humans  mobility  possessions 
december 2017 by robertogreco
crap futures — counter-constraints
"In recent posts, starting with ‘how the future happens’, we have been exploring the factors that keep us to established paths or limit the potential for preferable futures. But as we aim in this blog (and in life generally) to go beyond mere critique, the next batch of posts will outline the concept of counter-constraints.

Counter-constraints take the identified constraining factors and invert, work around, or ignore them entirely to propose fresh perspectives and possibilities. The resulting new ways of thinking about technological futures may be more inclusive, imaginative, socially-orientated, non-corporate, or they might simply facilitate a more meaningful relationship between science and society.

For example, open-source everything can be seen as a series of counter-constraints to restrictive infrastructure such as copyright laws, gated knowledge systems, and complex production lines. Back in the 1970s, Italian designer Enzo Mari sought to democratize furniture construction with autoprogettazione?, a DIY approach to ‘making easy-to-assemble furniture using rough boards and nails’. Mari wrote:

In my job as designer, or rather as an intellectual who contradicts the actual state of things, I try within the network of commissions and projects to ‘smuggle in’ moments of research and ways of creating the stimulus to free oneself from ideological conditioning, standard norms, behaviour and taste.
The book is full of beautiful stuff - we’ve already made two ping-pong tables and a couple of chairs from his instructions. Taking Mari’s lead, it is possible for anyone - without sophisticated tools or machinery - to sidestep the usual trip to Ikea.

Well, almost anyone - you still need basic building skills. The Enzo Mari example also relates to another constraint we’ve discussed, that of education. We’ve used his book to teach students the kinds of skills that are becoming rarer these days thanks to over-digitalisation, the consequential focus on 3D printing and laser-cutting, and the rapid shift toward sealed-box design.

Time for coffee and toast. In our next post we’ll look at how to ‘counter-constrain’ progress dogma.

note: apologies to the Mari purists. We used screws rather than nails for dismantleability."
constraints  counter-constraints  enzomari  2016  diy  furniture  autoprogettazione  inversion  futures  future  design  crapfutures  democratization  1970s  science  society  technology  knowledgesystems  perspective  possibilty 
february 2016 by robertogreco
crap futures — constraint no. 2: legacies of the past
"We are locked into paths determined by decisions or choices made in previous eras, when the world was a much different place. For various reasons these legacies stubbornly persist through time, constraining future possibilities and blinkering us from alternative ways of thinking.

Here, sketched as usual on a napkin over coffee and toast, are some thoughts on legacies of the past that exercise power over our future.

Infrastructure. Take energy, for example. Tesla’s invention of alternating current became the dominant system - rather than Edison’s direct current - essentially because it allowed electricity generated at power stations to be capable of travelling large distances. Tesla’s system has, for the most part, been adopted across the world - an enormous network of stations, cables, pylons, and transformers, with electrical power arriving in our homes through sockets in the wall. This pervasive system dictates or influences almost everything energy related, and in highly complex ways: from the development of new energy generation methods (and figuring out how to feed that energy into the grid) to the design of any electrical product.

Another example is transportation. As Crap Futures has discovered, it is hard to get around this volcanic and vertiginous island without a car. There are no trains, it is too hilly to ride a bike, buses are slow and infrequent, and meanwhile over the past few decades the regional government - one particular government with a 37-year reign - poured millions into building a complex network of roads and tunnels. People used to get to other parts of the island by boat; now (and for the foreseeable future) it is by private car. This is an example of recent infrastructure that a) perpetuated and was dictated by dominant ideas of how transportation infrastructure should be done, and b) will further constrain possibilities for the island into the future.

Laws and insurance. There is a problematic time-slip between the existence of laws and insurance and the real-life behaviour of humans. Laws and insurance are for the most part reactive: insurance policies, for example, are based on amassed data that informs the broker of risk levels, and this system therefore needs history to work. So when you try to insert a new product or concept - a self-driving car or delivery drone - into everyday life, the insurance system pushes back. Insurance companies don’t want to gamble on an unknown future; they want to look at the future through historical data, which is by nature a conservative lens.

Laws, insurance, and historical infrastructure often work together to curb radical change. This partly explains why many of the now technologically realisable dreams of the past, from jetpacks to flying cars, are unlikely to become an everyday reality in that imagined form - more likely they will adapt and conform to existing systems and rules.
"No great idea in its beginning can ever be within the law. How can it be within the law? The law is stationary. The law is fixed. The law is a chariot wheel which binds us all regardless of conditions or place or time." — Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays (1910)

It is true that laws sometimes outstay their welcome or impede progress. The slow pace at which laws change becomes more and more apparent as the pace of innovation increases. But there are positive as well as negative constraints, and laws often constrain us for good (which of course is their supposed function). At best, they check our impulses, give us a cooling off period, prevent us from tearing everything down at a whim.

So the law can be a force for good. But then of course - good, bad, or ineffectual - there are always those who find ways to circumvent the law. Jonathan Swift wrote: ‘Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.’ With their shock-and-awe tactics, companies like Uber manage to overcome traditional legal barriers by moving faster than local laws or simply being big enough to shrug off serious legal challenges.

Technology is evolutionary. (See Heilbroner’s quote in the future nudge post.) Comparisons between natural and technological evolution have been a regular phenomenon since as far back Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859). Darwin’s revolutionary work inspired philosophers, writers, and anthropologists - Marx and Engels, Samuel Butler, Augustus Pitt-Rivers - to suggest that technological artefacts evolve in a manner similar to natural organisms. This essentially means that technological development is unidirectional, and that radical new possibilities do not happen.

Viewing technology in evolutionary terms would appear to constrain us to only the possibilities that we could reasonably ‘evolve’ into. But this does not have to be the case: natural evolution works by random mutation and natural selection with no ‘plan’ as such, whereas technological innovation and product design are firmly teleologic (literally ‘end-directed’). In other words, the evolutionary model of technological change ignores basic human agency. While natural organisms can’t dip into the historical gene pool to bring back previous mutations, however useful they might be, innovators and designers are not locked into an irreversible evolutionary march and can look backward whenever they choose. So why don’t they? It is a case - circling back to constraint no. 1 - of thinking under the influence of progress dogma."
2015  crapfutures  constraints  darwin  evolution  innovation  future  progress  progressdogma  transportation  infrastructure  law  legal  time  pace  engels  friedrichengels  technology  californianideology  emmagoldman  anarchism  insurance  policy  electricity  nikolatesla  thomasedison  systems  systemsthinking  jonathanswift  samuelbutler  karlmarx  longnow  bighere  augustuspitt-rivers 
january 2016 by robertogreco
crap futures — constraint no. 1: progress dogma
"Despite the name, Crap Futures is not all gloom and doom. We may view notions of progress with a sceptical eye, but we still subscribe - heartily, even - to the pursuit of a better world, however small our contribution might be.

In that spirit of improvement - and to introduce the first in our new series on constraints - let us turn for a moment to Ray Bradbury, the presiding Crap Futures muse. In his short story ‘A Sound of Thunder’ (1952), the protagonist, Eckels, travels back to the Late Cretaceous period to track and kill a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The slogan of the company that organises these tours, Time Safari, Inc., is straightforward: ‘Safaris to any year of the past … we take you there, you shoot it.’ Time Safari’s main job, aside from organising tours, is making sure each hunter leaves no footprint, literally or figuratively, in or on the past (or future - whatever, it’s confusing).

The spark in Bradbury’s cautionary tale is Time Safari’s meticulous treatment of the prehistoric ecosystem. With the vast timeframes involved, minute changes to a particular point in the past - increasing exponentially through time - can lead to dramatic differences in everything proceeding from that point. To avoid contaminating the past and altering the future, an ‘anti-gravity metal’ path hovers above the prehistoric jungle, from which hunters are instructed never to stray in even the slightest. The possible impact of any deviation from the path is conveyed in dramatic terms by the tour guide: ‘Step on a mouse and you crush the Pyramids. Step on a mouse and you leave your print, like a Grand Canyon, across Eternity.’ The hunters even wear special ‘oxygen helmets’ to avoid introducing ‘bacteria into the ancient atmosphere’.

Naturally enough, however, Eckels panics at the sight of the Tyrannosaurus and accidentally steps off the path. This leads to a typically Bradburyesque climax - which we won’t spoil here for those of you who haven’t read it.

The key message of Constraint No. 1 is that unlike Time Safari, most of those with a hand in ‘how the future happens’ have no motivation to think about long term consequences of their actions. So blinded are they, in fact, by the bright lights of progress and its successor innovation that any potentially negative impact is ignored. This positivistic message about technology is endemic, and is only being exacerbated by the ‘thumbs up’ and ‘like’ culture of the social network. Unfortunately, as we know, life is complicated and unforeseen negative outcomes happen.

Progress dogma keeps us on the current technological trajectory - it is belief as a motivational force of change. It gives this trajectory huge momentum, meaning that is is virtually impossible to change course. If you’ll pardon the bleak image, it’s a bit like the Titanic sailing directly into potentially fatal waters without a care in the world.

Once we remove the constraints of positive thinking, it becomes possible to more realistically apprehend the future in (some of) its complexity, helping us to figure out what to avoid as well as where to aim. So, how can we rethink progress to identify possible implications? How can we disconnect from the utopian mantra and twentieth-century mindset of positivist corporate culture?'
crapfutures  raybradbury  design  titanic  dinosaurs  sciencefiction  scifi  innovation  constraints  progress  technology  systemsthinking  time  longnow  bighere  skepticism  timesafari  implications  consequences  caution  positivism  future  duediligence  diligence  change  ecosystems  californianideology  2015 
january 2016 by robertogreco
DIGITAL-MATERIALITY-OF-GIFS
HI, my name is Sha.

I love gifs.

Some of my best friends are gifs. One of my sideprojects is GifPop, a site where people upload gifs to print animated cards.

But that's a longer story.

What I do want to talk about is animated gifs as a design material.

But first off, a quick reminder: no one owns language.

People argue about gif or jif, but it doesn't matter. No one owns language, and even if anyone did no one is a jraphic designer or jraffiti artist.

What i love about gifs are their history and their materiality.

First specified in 1987, the creators later stated in their 1989 revision that "the graphics interchange format is not intended as a platform for animation, even though it can be done in a limited way."

And what a gloriously, gloriously limited way it is.

Animated gifs, whether you are hypnotized by them or nauseated by them, have become a visual language unto themselves, an emotive vocabulary made out of culture.

Gifs are now a medium, and their portability and accessibility to anyone allows for endless remixing and reinterpretation.

Gifs weren't always this way.

We all remember the various under construction or dancing baby gifs from the 90s, and all the bedazzled backgrounds on myspace pages.

The gif spec limits color palettes to 256 colors, and must store the pixels that have changed for every frame of animation.

This makes them very inefficient for rendering or storing entire movies, but has made them nicely equipped to capture the most delicate of moments.

Because gifs can specify an infinite loop, they both break time and increase legibility, creating the beauty we call a reaction gif.

But gifs aren't just about cutting up bits of media.

The inefficiency of the file format and the upload limits of the social networks themselves have created a whole ecosystem of experimentation and juggling around constraints.

In Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg's work, they realized that by isolating movement they could make gifs at a much higher quality than most, and still fit Tumblr's strict upload requirements, creating the style they call cinemagraphs.

Sports editors like @dshep25 have taken this technique even further, taking advantage of controlled camera angels to collapse and collage many similar shots into a single gif, like this one of Lebron James.

Artists of course are leading this exploration.

The work of dvdp and 89-a both explore extremely limited color palettes while using tight loops and large swaths of black to reduce file size.

The work of Nicolas Fong explores this dense looping to a ridiculous extreme, creating hyperintricate animations that evoke the phenakistoscopes of the 1800s.

And we even see the seams of the network in the content that's posted.

On Tumblr, where upload limits are small but multiple side-by-side gifs are permitted, people collage snippets of dialogue together.

On Imgur, the preferred uploader for redditors, upload limits are much higher, enough for entire scenes to be remixed.

Here on Newhive, artists like molly soda take advantage of the support for transparency and collaging to make pieces like this, displaying messages from her Okcupid inbox.

Content like this just explodes, and with attention comes money.

Newer networks like Vine have popped up, creating their own medium of looping video.

These days for every Vine THERE are a dozen competing looping apps trying to capitalize on this meme economy.

But while these advances are exciting, the mainstreaming of gifs is not without its losses.

Tumblr now has a minimum resolution size.

Imgur is now promoting its own videogif format.

Facebook and Twitter have started converting gifs to video by default.

While individually these decisions to decrease file sizes or stop gifs from autoplaying make sense, this desire to optimize as well as commercialize gifs ends up siloing these animations from each other, removing the portability and ease of remixing that makes gifs exciting at all.

Gifs are a dumb, limited file format, and in the end this is why they are important:

They do not belong to anyone.

Because of their constraints they become a design material, to be played with, challenged, and explored. to try and domesticate them would be missing the point.

This was written BY SHA HWANG For a Pecha Kucha talk in Brooklyn and made into a remixable newhive. The ideas are from the internet.

Thank you to animatedtext for creating the amazing title gif. more detailed sources are INLINE ON THE PAGE to the right >>>>>>>>>

[Also at this URL: http://newhive.com/shashashasha/digital-materiality-of-gifs ]
shahwang  gifs  animatedgifs  internet  web  facebook  vine  twitter  fileformats  constraints  art  webart  tumblr  memes  remixing  portability  video  animation  emotions  imgur  okcupid  redit  newhive  phenakistoscopes  dvdp  89-a  @dshep25  cinemagraphs  jamiebeck  kevinburg  history  media  legibility  resolution  reactiongifs  accessibility  1987  1989  gifpop  culture  remixculture  multiliteracies 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Sha Hwang - Keynote [Forms of Protest] - UX Burlington on Vimeo
"Let’s close the day by talking about our responsibilities and opportunities as designers. Let’s talk about the pace of fashion and the promise of infrastructure. Let’s talk about systematic failure — failure without malice. Let’s talk about the ways to engage in this messy and complex world. Let’s throw shade on fame and shine light on the hard quiet work we call design."
shahwang  2015  design  infrastructure  fashion  systemsthinking  complexity  messiness  protest  careers  technology  systems  storytelling  scale  stewartbrand  change  thehero'sjourney  founder'sstory  politics  narrative  narratives  systemsdesign  blame  control  algorithms  systemfailure  healthcare.gov  mythmaking  teams  purpose  scalability  bias  microaggressions  dignity  abuse  malice  goodwill  fear  inattention  donellameadows  leveragepoints  making  building  constraints  coding  code  programming  consistency  communication  sharing  conversation  government  ux  law  uxdesign  simplicity  kindness  individuals  responsibility  webdev  web  internet  nava  codeforamerica  18f  webdesign 
january 2016 by robertogreco
The Art Of Not Working on Vimeo
"The artist Ignacio Uriarte was stuck at a dead-end office job. Until one day he started to experiment with this concept—doing office work but without the actual work.

Episode two looks at art, office life and the freedom of zoning out.

Notes for this Episode:
I first heard about Ignacio’s work on Benjamen Walker’s podcast Theory of Everything: http://goo.gl/MYirOQ
You can see more of Ignacio’s art on his website: http://ignaciouriarte.com/ "
igniaciouriarte  art  work  labor  officework  productivity  2015  freedom  constraints  repetition 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Anthony Ptak: Solving Problems Within Constraints - LocateFlow - YouTube
"An interview with Anthony Ptak, theraminist, artist, and educator. We explore the definition of creativity, how to move past creative blocks and we perform a creative exercise."
creativity  constraints  anthonyptak  2013  interviews 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Web Design - The First 100 Years
"Today I hope to persuade you that the same thing that happened to aviation is happening with the Internet. Here we are, fifty years into the computer revolution, at what feels like our moment of greatest progress. The outlines of the future are clear, and oh boy is it futuristic.

But we're running into physical and economic barriers that aren't worth crossing.

We're starting to see that putting everything online has real and troubling social costs.

And the devices we use are becoming 'good enough', to the point where we can focus on making them cheaper, more efficient, and accessible to everyone.

So despite appearances, despite the feeling that things are accelerating and changing faster than ever, I want to make the shocking prediction that the Internet of 2060 is going to look recognizably the same as the Internet today.

Unless we screw it up.

And I want to convince you that this is the best possible news for you as designers, and for us as people."



"So while Moore's Law still technically holds—the number of transistors on a chip keeps increasing—its spirit is broken. Computers don't necessarily get faster with time. In fact, they're getting slower!

This is because we're moving from desktops to laptops, and from laptops to smartphones. Some people are threatening to move us to wristwatches.
In terms of capability, these devices are a step into the past. Compared to their desktop brethren, they have limited memory, weak processors, and barely adequate storage.

And nobody cares, because the advantages of having a portable, lightweight connected device are so great. And for the purposes of taking pictures, making calls, and surfing the internet, they've crossed the threshold of 'good enough'.

What people want from computers now is better displays, better battery life and above all, a better Internet connection.

Something similar happened with storage, where the growth rate was even faster than Moore's Law. I remember the state-of-the-art 1MB hard drive in our computer room in high school. It cost a thousand dollars.
Here's a photo of a multi-megabyte hard drive from the seventies. I like to think that the guy in the picture didn't have to put on the bunny suit, it was just what he liked to wear.

Modern hard drives are a hundred times smaller, with a hundred times the capacity, and they cost a pittance. Seagate recently released an 8TB consumer hard drive.

But again, we've chosen to go backwards by moving to solid state storage, like you find in smartphones and newer laptops. Flash storage sacrifices capacity for speed, efficiency and durability.

Or else we put our data in 'the cloud', which has vast capacity but is orders of magnitude slower.

These are the victories of good enough. This stuff is fast enough.

Intel could probably build a 20 GHz processor, just like Boeing can make a Mach 3 airliner. But they won't. There's a corrollary to Moore's law, that every time you double the number of transistors, your production costs go up. Every two years, Intel has to build a completely new factory and production line for this stuff. And the industry is turning away from super high performance, because most people don't need it.

The hardware is still improving, but it's improving along other dimensions, ones where we are already up against hard physical limits and can't use the trick of miniaturization that won us all that exponential growth.

Battery life, for example. The limits on energy density are much more severe than on processor speed. And it's really hard to make progress. So far our advances have come from making processors more efficient, not from any breakthrough in battery chemistry.

Another limit that doesn't grow exponentially is our ability to move information. There's no point in having an 8 TB hard drive if you're trying to fill it over an AT&T network. Data constraints hit us on multiple levels. There are limits on how fast cores can talk to memory, how fast the computer can talk to its peripherals, and above all how quickly computers can talk to the Internet. We can store incredible amounts of information, but we can't really move it around.

So the world of the near future is one of power constrained devices in a bandwidth-constrained environment. It's very different from the recent past, where hardware performance went up like clockwork, with more storage and faster CPUs every year.

And as designers, you should be jumping up and down with relief, because hard constraints are the midwife to good design. The past couple of decades have left us with what I call an exponential hangover.

Our industry is in complete denial that the exponential sleigh ride is over. Please, we'll do anything! Optical computing, quantum computers, whatever it takes. We'll switch from silicon to whatever you want. Just don't take our toys away.
But all this exponential growth has given us terrible habits. One of them is to discount the present.

When things are doubling, the only sane place to be is at the cutting edge. By definition, exponential growth means the thing that comes next will be equal in importance to everything that came before. So if you're not working on the next big thing, you're nothing.



A further symptom of our exponential hangover is bloat. As soon as a system shows signs of performance, developers will add enough abstraction to make it borderline unusable. Software forever remains at the limits of what people will put up with. Developers and designers together create overweight systems in hopes that the hardware will catch up in time and cover their mistakes.

We complained for years that browsers couldn't do layout and javascript consistently. As soon as that got fixed, we got busy writing libraries that reimplemented the browser within itself, only slower.

It's 2014, and consider one hot blogging site, Medium. On a late-model computer it takes me ten seconds for a Medium page (which is literally a formatted text file) to load and render. This experience was faster in the sixties.

The web is full of these abuses, extravagant animations and so on, forever a step ahead of the hardware, waiting for it to catch up.

This exponential hangover leads to a feeling of exponential despair.

What's the point of pouring real effort into something that is going to disappear or transform in just a few months? The restless sense of excitement we feel that something new may be around the corner also brings with it a hopelessness about whatever we are working on now, and a dread that we are missing out on the next big thing.

The other part of our exponential hangover is how we build our businesses. The cult of growth denies the idea that you can build anything useful or helpful unless you're prepared to bring it to so-called "Internet scale". There's no point in opening a lemonade stand unless you're prepared to take on PepsiCo.

I always thought that things should go the other way. Once you remove the barriers of distance, there's room for all sorts of crazy niche products to find a little market online. People can eke out a living that would not be possible in the physical world. Venture capital has its place, as a useful way to fund long-shot projects, but not everything fits in that mold.

The cult of growth has led us to a sterile, centralized web. And having burned through all the easy ideas within our industry, we're convinced that it's our manifest destiny to start disrupting everyone else.

I think it's time to ask ourselves a very designy question: "What is the web actually for?"
I will argue that there are three competing visions of the web right now. The one we settle on will determine whether the idiosyncratic, fun Internet of today can survive.



Vision 1: CONNECT KNOWLEDGE, PEOPLE, AND CATS.

This is the correct vision.



Vision 2: FIX THE WORLD WITH SOFTWARE

This is the prevailing vision in Silicon Valley.



Vision 3: BECOME AS GODS, IMMORTAL CREATURES OF PURE ENERGY LIVING IN A CRYSTALLINE PARADISE OF OUR OWN CONSTRUCTION

This is the insane vision. I'm a little embarrassed to talk about it, because it's so stupid. But circumstances compel me.



There's a William Gibson quote that Tim O'Reilly likes to repeat: "the future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet."

O'Reilly takes this to mean that if we surround ourselves with the right people, it can give us a sneak peek at coming attractions.

I like to interpret this quote differently, as a call to action. Rather than waiting passively for technology to change the world, let's see how much we can do with what we already have.

Let's reclaim the web from technologists who tell us that the future they've imagined is inevitable, and that our role in it is as consumers.

The Web belongs to us all, and those of us in this room are going to spend the rest of our lives working there. So we need to make it our home.

We live in a world now where not millions but billions of people work in rice fields, textile factories, where children grow up in appalling poverty. Of those billions, how many are the greatest minds of our time? How many deserve better than they get? What if instead of dreaming about changing the world with tomorrow's technology, we used today's technology and let the world change us? Why do we need to obsess on artificial intelligence, when we're wasting so much natural intelligence?


When I talk about a hundred years of web design, I mean it as a challenge. There's no law that says that things are guaranteed to keep getting better.

The web we have right now is beautiful. It shatters the tyranny of distance. It opens the libraries of the world to you. It gives you a way to bear witness to people half a world away, in your own words. It is full of cats. We built it by accident, yet already we're taking it for granted. We should fight to keep it! "
technology  web  webdesign  internet  culture  design  history  aviation  airplanes  planes  2014  constraints  growth  singularity  scale  webdev  siliconvalley  technosolutionism  boeing  intel  microsoft  cloud  raykurzweil  elonmusk  williamgibson  inequality  mooreslaw  timoreilly  software  bloat  progress  present  future  manifestdestiny 
july 2015 by robertogreco
To Count for Nothing: Poverty Beyond the Statistics by Professor Ruth Lister - YouTube
"The lecture, chaired by Professor Sir John Hills CBE FBA, London School of Economics, was held at the British Academy in Carlton House Terrace in London on February 5th 2015.

Beyond the statistics that tend to dominate much public debate, a focus on the experience of poverty reveals its relational as well as material nature. The lecture explored this understanding of poverty with reference to the impact of the discourses that shame 'the poor' as 'the other' who 'count for nothing'. It argued that acknowledgement of the agency of people in poverty and the structural constraints and insecurity within which it is exercised together with a focus on human rights can frame counter discourses. The lecture ended with some brief reflections on political and policy implications.

About the speaker:
Ruth Lister is a Member of the House of Lords and Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, Loughborough University. She is also Honorary President and former Director of the Child Poverty Action Group, and Member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights. Baroness Lister has served on various independent Commissions, and she has published widely on poverty, social security, citizenship and gender."

[via somewhere I have forgotten a while ago and now via: https://twitter.com/josiefraser/status/581437348082249729 ]
ruthlister  poverty  resilience  policy  economics  agency  dignity  humanrights  2015  constraints  shame  benefits  dehumanization  humanism  sanctioning  statistics  welfare  wages 
march 2015 by robertogreco
GODARD MONTAGE: Chris Marker's Camera-Stylo / "Notes On Filmmaking"
"To return to Astruc, tonight's film Sans Soleil is an example of "La Camera-Stylo" par excellence. An entire book could be dedicated to Marker's editing in the film, so I will not focus on it in particular at the moment; suffice to say the montage would not have been as effective if the footage itself was not shot with such patient and active framing and movement, by a true camera-writer. I am also choosing not to mention the text, which is of course essential to the film – my focus is solely on the creative independence offered by the small camera, which Astruc so presciently predicted.

The majority of the footage was shot by Marker himself, using a silent 16mm Beaulieu film camera to capture his own compendium of "things that quicken the heart." Although notes on the production are scare if existent at all due to Marker's public reclusiveness, we can assume a number of basic qualities that tie back to Astruc's ideas. Marker's footage seems to have been shot as the events and subjects were discovered and unfolding, and the lightweight Beaulieu provided the discreet ability to write with motion anywhere at any time during Marker's travels. Here we can note the uncanny clarity and purpose with which Marker investigates and focuses on his subjects. Early in the film at the cat cemetery in Tokyo, we have reason to suspect the man behind the camera is not an amateur but truly an auteur cameraman, as Marker moves to reframe the woman praying to the cat shrine.

[image]

Some of my other favorite stills from the film – needless to say a pretty difficult task to choose. Note the care in framing and composition:

[images]

Serving as the film's editor as well as the fictional narrator and fictional cameraman Sandor Krashna (Krashna's friend Hayao Yamaneko is also Marker, the name translating to "Mountain Cat" or "Wild Cat," cats being of course a favorite animal [of the filmmaker]) Marker creates a work that the term "essay film" only begins to describe. Indeed, this type of filmmaking seems a direct extension of Astruc's idea of the roles of screenwriter and director losing their distinction as new technology permits the evasion of the industrial mode of filmmaking that had so far codified into the classical Hollywood system and its worldwide exponents.

Marker's process is not unlike writing a novel or essay, wherein the author is alone with his stylus, writing an excess of ideas and musings which will ultimately be edited into its final form. Except with Marker, the writer is out engaging with the events of the world. Watching the film I feel as I am discovering cinema's potential for the first time – Sans Soleil gives lie to the notion that a fledgling filmmaker must be follow some arbitrary industrial production procedure in order to produce a work that is personal, affective, complex and sincere. As Abbas Kiarostami notes on his masterclass 10 on Ten, in regards to the small DV camera he used on Ten, small cameras "allow the artist to work alone again." Here the distinction between documentary and fiction loses its relevance in the same way it did for Godard in 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her. As Sam mentioned following the screening, it's simply because Marker and Godard choose to simply make a film and do not worry about the categories and genres which are ascribed after the fact.

Below is an excerpt from Marker's text I transcribed from the Criterion box set for Sans Soleil/La Jetee. I cannot help but take Marker's point that technology today could allow for anyone to create something extremely personal and exploratory, free from the restraints of capital. Although his reference to Vertov is certainly appropriate, Astruc could have been evoked just as easily. The real question is: with the advent of incredibly cheap HD video cameras (this generation's Beaulieu), why aren't there more films produced in kindred spirit with Sans Soleil? Why are there virtually no other camera-writers and most importantly:

"Will there be a last letter?"

- Ian

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes On Filmmaking
by Chris Marker

Working on a shoestring, which in my case is more often a matter of circumstance than of choice, never appeared to me as a cornerstone for aesthetics, and Dogme-type stuff just bores me. So it's rather in order to bring some comfort to young filmmakers in need that I mention these few technical details: The material for La Jetee was created with a Pentax 24x36, and the only "cinema" part (the blinking of the eyes) with an Arriflex 35mm film camera, borrowed for one hour. Sans Soleil was entirely shot with a 16mm Beaulieu silent film camera (not one sync take within the whole film), with 100-foot reels – 2'44" autonomy! –and a small cassette recorder (not even a Walkman; they didn't exist yet). The only "sophisticated" device – given the time – was the spectre image synthesizer, also borrowed for a few days. This is to say that the basic tools for these two films were literally available to anyone. No silly boasting here, just the conviction that today, with the advent of computer and small DV cameras (unintentional homage to Dziga Vertov), would-be directors need no longer submit their fate to the unpredictability of producers or the arthritis of televisions, and that by following their whims or passions, they perhaps see on day their tinkering elevated to DVD status by honorable men."
chrismarker  budget  constraints  filmmaking  lajetée  sanssoleil  audio  film  tools  howwework  cinematography  cameras  editing  framing  composition  dzigavertov  technology 
march 2015 by robertogreco
80 Days at GDC (with images, tweets) · laurajnash · Storify
"Recaps and Livetweets of Meg Jayanth's (@betterthemask) presentation."

Taking Risks

"On #80Days, @betterthemask: "my job was to tempt players into making bad choices." Oh, and also writing those 500,000 words ;)

.@betterthemask: "our goal was to teach players that making a bad strategic decision can lead to a better story" omg I'm in love

.@betterthemask talking about tricking players into making foolish decisions "because it's more fun winning by the skin of your teeth"

"It's the near-misses, the catastrophes, the daring escapes that players remember." This 100%. via @betterthemask http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/237810/Narrative_and_design_insights_from_80_Days_writing_lead

The Dark Stuff

.@betterthemask: Don't avoid sensitive topics, but do think ethically and politically about what you're saying. #GDC2015

.@betterthemask: Slave-catching expedition is not a mechanics punishment. It's a narrative consequence for a narrative decision. #GDC2015

.@betterthemask: 80 Days deliberately deconstructs the classism, racism, and sexism of Verne's novel and steampunk in general. #GDC2015

Playing the Sidekick

.@betterthemask: The world of 80 Days turns, but it doesn't turn around you. Not being the most important person is liberating. #GDC2015

I liked the idea of the world not revolving around the main characters in the 80 days talk #GDC

Props to @betterthemask for that - playing as a minor hero was a refreshing bit of humility from the god complex of too many games n gamers.

Romance

.@betterthemask: Romances in 80 Days are important to players, but those narratives are unpredictable. Can't game the romance. #GDC2015

#gdc .@betterthemask on the value of romances that aren't skill checked and cannot be gamed

Behind-the-Scenes

I love @betterthemask’s description of approaching 80 Days as “a machine for telling stories”.

It's about READING #gosh #gasp @betterthemask

"Talking about mechanics and narrative as oppositional completely misses the point."
#80Days
- @betterthemask

@betterthemask, wonderful talk about building a strong narrative foundation while embracing constraints and collaboration. #GDC2015

On getting lost in research - 80-90% of the research @betterthemask did never made it into the game; rabbit-holes not avoided on 80 Days.

.@betterthemask: In games, you have to create your own editing process. Find a first reader & redraft. Protect redrafting time. #GDC2015

Writers: think ethically about your game writing, what you leave out is as critical as what you put in. seek criticism- @betterthemask

.@betterthemask: Hire writers early and involve them in the process! (I couldn't agree more.) Use each other's strengths. #GDC2015

.@betterthemask: Make efficient design choices; figure out how to be as lazy as possible. It's a necessity. #GDC2015

Things I didn't know about 80 Days:

.@betterthemask: 80 Days has more text than the LOTR trilogy (but not as much as the first five ASOIAF books). :) #GDC2015

.@betterthemask: Europe is all introductory. Asia adds complexity. Americas ramps up the tension. #GDC2015

So it turns out you can die tragically in @betterthemask's 80 days. Kinda stunned here http://www.inklestudios.com/80days/journeys/?id=7qwvUJqmv4&playerName=@john_brindle

Recaps

Narrative and design insights from 80 Days' writing lead
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/237810/Narrative_and_design_insights_from_80_Days_writing_lead.php

ICYMI @_shortgame on 80 Days, we pile on praise, mock “evocative”, fail at French and hype camels, drag, romance… http://www.theshortgame.net/36-80-days/ "
via:robinsloan  80days  games  gamedesign  videogames  gamedev  gaming  storytelling  writing  megjayanth  edg  srg  research  process  howwework  reading  howweread  text  interactivefiction  collaboration  constraints  tension  complexity  gamedevelopment  if 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Sasha Frere-Jones: Brian Eno’s Quiet Influence : The New Yorker
"In January, 1975, the musician Brian Eno and the painter Peter Schmidt released a set of flash cards they called “Oblique Strategies.” Friends since meeting at art school, in the late sixties, they had long shared guidelines that could pry apart an intellectual logjam, providing options when they couldn’t figure out how to move forward. The first edition consisted of a hundred and fifteen cards. They were black on one side with an aphorism or an instruction printed on the reverse. Eno’s first rule was “Honour thy error as a hidden intention.” Others included “Use non-musicians” and “Tape your mouth.” In “Brian Eno: Visual Music,” a monograph of his musical projects and visual art, Eno, who still uses the rules, says, “ ‘Oblique Strategies’ evolved from me being in a number of working situations when the panic of the situation—particularly in studios—tended to make me quickly forget that there were other ways of working and that there were tangential ways of attacking problems that were in many senses more interesting than the direct head-on approach.”

Eno is widely known for coining the term “ambient music,” and he produced a clutch of critically revered albums in the nineteen-seventies and eighties—by the Talking Heads, David Bowie, and U2, among others—but if I had to choose his greatest contribution to popular music it would be the idea that musicians do their best work when they have no idea what they’re doing. As he told Keyboard, in 1981, “Any constraint is part of the skeleton that you build the composition on—including your own incompetence.” The genius of Eno is in removing the idea of genius. His work is rooted in the power of collaboration within systems: instructions, rules, and self-imposed limits. His methods are a rebuke to the assumption that a project can be powered by one person’s intent, or that intent is even worth worrying about. To this end, Eno has come up with words like “scenius,” which describes the power generated by a group of artists who gather in one place at one time. (“Genius is individual, scenius is communal,” Eno told the Guardian, in 2010.) It suggests that the quality of works produced in a certain time and place is more indebted to the friction between the people on hand than to the work of any single artist.

The growing influence of this idea, ironically, makes it difficult to see clearly Eno’s distinct contributions to music—his catalogue of recordings doesn’t completely contain his contribution to the pop canon. When someone lies on the studio floor and sings at a microphone five feet away, Eno is in the air. When a band records three hours of improvisation and then loops a four-second excerpt of the audiotape and scraps the rest, Eno has a hand on the razor blade. When everybody except for the engineer is told to go home, Eno remains. Behind Eno stand John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, and Erik Satie, but those guys didn’t make pop records.

It feels odd to call Eno’s new album, “High Life,” released this week, a collaboration. Credited to Eno and Karl Hyde, of the electronic duo Underworld, “High Life” is indeed the work of several people. But deciding that any one project of Eno’s is a collaboration seems off, because collaboration is Eno’s primary mode. Eno’s first recorded work was the sound of a pen hitting a lamp. Who deserves credit for that—Eno, the pen, or the lamp?"



"What became increasingly clear in the seventies was that Eno’s embrace of possibility and chance wasn’t as free-form as it seemed—it was a specific aesthetic. His name shows up on very few records you would describe as hard or aggressive, and his love of the perverse has never been rooted in hostility. Eno fights against received wisdom and habit, but rarely against the listener.

In fact, as Eno found more ways for technology to carry out his beloved generative rules, his music became less and less like rock music and closer to a soundtrack for meditation. The same year that he released “Another Green World,” he also put out “Discreet Music.” The A side was a thirty-minute piece that was written as much by machines as by Eno. In the liner notes, Eno wrote, “If there is any score for the piece, it must be the operational diagram of the particular apparatus I used for its production. . . . Having set up this apparatus, my degree of participation in what it subsequently did was limited to (a) providing an input (in this case, two simple and mutually compatible melodic lines of different duration stored on a digital recall system) and (b) occasionally altering the timbre of the synthesizer’s output by means of a graphic equalizer.”

The result is an area of sound without borders or time signature. There is no rhythm track, just layers of monody, lines programmed into a synthesizer and playing over each other. It is hypnotic, and fights your attempts to focus on it. In 1978, he started to use the term “ambient music”: the concept stretched back to describe “Discreet Music” and the work of earlier composers, like Satie, who coined the term “furniture music,” for compositions that would be more functional than expressive. In the liner notes of “Ambient 1: Music for Airports” (1978), Eno wrote, “Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.”

But “Music for Airports” was not nearly as docile as Eno wanted it to be. Though the music is gentle enough to be background music, it is too vocal in character and too melodic to be forgotten that easily. I can recall entire sequences without much difficulty. As much as Eno wanted his music to recede, and as potent as the idea was, he failed by succeeding: the album is too beautiful to ignore. But, in some ways, history and technology have accomplished what Eno did not. With the disappearance of the central home stereo, and the rise of earbuds, MP3s, and the mobile, around-the-clock work cycle, music is now used, more often than not, as background music. Aggressive music can now be as forgettable as ambient music."



"“I have a trick that I used in my studio, because I have these twenty-eight-hundred-odd pieces of unreleased music, and I have them all stored in iTunes,” Eno said during his talk at Red Bull. “When I’m cleaning up the studio, which I do quite often—and it’s quite a big studio—I just have it playing on random shuffle. And so, suddenly, I hear something and often I can’t even remember doing it. Or I have a very vague memory of it, because a lot of these pieces, they’re just something I started at half past eight one evening and then finished at quarter past ten, gave some kind of funny name to that doesn’t describe anything, and then completely forgot about, and then, years later, on the random shuffle, this thing comes up, and I think, Wow, I didn’t hear it when I was doing it. And I think that often happens—we don’t actually hear what we’re doing. . . . I often find pieces and I think, This is genius. Which me did that? Who was the me that did that?”"
2014  brianeno  sashafrere-jones  music  johncage  marcelduchamp  eriksatie  scenius  collaboration  notknowing  uncertainty  constraints  rules  obliquestrategies  art  process  howwework  happenings  bryanferry  improvisation  generative  possibility  chance  genius 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Material world: how Google discovered what software is made of | The Verge
"We’re hardwired to comprehend physical things, Duarte says, and software all too often behaves in ways that break with our models and expectations. Wiley thinks of it as breaking the suspension of disbelief, as when something happens in a sci-fi movie that doesn’t follow its own internal logic. Duarte is a little more direct, with a subtle dig at Apple’s iOS and its flying software layers: "We’re not hurtling you through space at high speeds," he says. "We’re not puncturing your hand with invisible, impossible surfaces."

"Design is all about finding solutions within constraints," Duarte says, "If there were no constraints, it’s not design — it’s art."

Google’s designers steadfastly refuse to name the new fictional material, a decision that simultaneously gives them more flexibility and adds a level of metaphysical mysticism to the substance. That’s also important because while this material follows some physical rules, it doesn’t fall into the old trap of skeuomorphism. The material isn’t a one-to-one imitation of physical paper, but instead it’s "magical," as Duarte puts it.

It can do things that physical paper can’t, like grow and shrink with animations. Those animations were important to Google, because they help users understand where they are inside an app. "A lot of software … kind of feels like television or film in terms of jump cuts," Wiley says, causing you to lose your sense of time and place. For apps, you want something more akin to a stage play. "It’s going from one moment to the next," he says, "that scene change, and what’s happening onstage is choreographed and transitioned, and there’s meaning.""
design  android  google  materialdesign  constraints  rules  2014  dieterbohn  xeroxparc  objects  predictability  matiasduarte 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Education’s war on millennials: Why everyone is failing the “digital generation” - Salon.com
"Both reformers and traditionalists view technology as a way to control students — and they're getting it very wrong"



"In addressing the hundreds of thousands who watch such videos, students aren’t the only ones in the implied audience. These videos appeal to many nonacademic viewers who enjoy watching, from a remove, the hacking of obstreperous or powerful systems as demonstrated in videos about, for instance, fooling electronic voting booths, hacking vending machines, opening locked cars with tennis balls, or smuggling contraband goods through airport x-ray devices. These cheating videos also belonged to a broader category of YouTube videos for do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts— those who liked to see step-by-step execution of a project from start to finish. YouTube videos about crafts, cooking, carpentry, decorating, computer programming, and installing consumer technologies all follow this same basic format, and popular magazines like Make have capitalized on this sub-culture of avid project-based participants. Although these cultural practices may seem like a relatively new trend, one could look at DIY culture as part of a longer tradition of exercises devoted to imitatio, or the art of copying master works, which have been central to instruction for centuries."



"Prior to the release of this report, Mia Consalvo had argued that cheating in video games is expected behavior among players and that cheaters perform important epistemological work by sharing information about easy solutions on message boards, forums, and other venues for collaborations.

Consalvo also builds on the work of literacy theorist James Paul Gee, who asserts that video game narratives often require transgression to gain knowledge and that, just as passive obedience rarely produces insight in real classrooms, testing boundaries by disobeying the instructions of authority figures can be the best way to learn. Because procedural culture is ubiquitous, however, Ian Bogost has insisted that defying rules and confronting the persuasive powers of certain architectures of control only brings other kinds of rules into play, since we can never really get outside of ideology and act as truly free agents, even when supposedly gaming the system.

Ironically, more traditional ideas about fair play might block key paths to upward mobility and success in certain high-tech careers. For example, Betsy DiSalvo and Amy Bruckman, who have studied Atlanta-area African-American teens involved in service learning projects with game companies, argue that the conflict between the students’ own beliefs in straightforward behavior and the ideologies of hacker culture makes participation in the informal gateway activities for computer science less likely. Thus, urban youth who believe in tests of physical prowess, basketball-court egalitarianism, and a certain paradigm of conventional black masculinity that is coded as no-nonsense or—as Fox Harrell says—“solid” might be less likely to take part in forms of “geeking out” that involve subverting a given set of rules. Similarly, Tracy Fullerton has argued that teenagers from families unfamiliar with the norms of higher education may also be hobbled by their reluctance to “strategize” more opportunistically about college admissions. Fullerton’s game “Pathfinder” is intended to help such students learn to game the system by literally learning to play a game about how listing the right kinds of high-status courses and extracurricular activities will gain them social capital with colleges."



"However, Gee would later argue in “The Anti-Education Era” that gamesmanship that enables universal access and personal privilege may actually be extremely counterproductive. Hacks that “make the game easier or advantage the player” can “undermine the game’s design and even ruin the game by making it too easy.” Furthermore, “perfecting the human urge to optimize” can go too far and lead to fatal consequences on a planet where resources can be exhausted too quickly and weaknesses can be exploited too frequently. Furthermore, Gee warns that educational systems that focus on individual optimization create cultures of “impoverished humans” in which learners never “confront challenge and frustration,” “acquire new styles of learning,” or “face failure squarely.”"



"What’s striking about the ABC coverage is that it lacked any of the criticism of the educational status quo that became so central for a number of readers of the earlier Chronicle of Higher Education story—those who were asking as educators either (1) what’s wrong with the higher education system that students can subvert conventional tests so easily, or (2) what’s right with YouTube culture that encourages participation, creativity, institutional subversion, and satire."



"This attitude reflects current research on so-called distributed cognition and how external markers can help humans to problem solve by both making solutions clearer and freeing up working memory that would otherwise be tied up in reciting basic reminders. Many of those commenting on the article also argued that secrecy did little to promote learning, a philosophy shared by Benjamin Bratton, head of the Center for Design and Geopolitics, who actually hands out the full text of his final examination on the first day of class so that students know exactly what they will be tested on."



"This book explores the assumption that digital media deeply divide students and teachers and that a once covert war between “us” and “them” has turned into an open battle between “our” technologies and “their” technologies. On one side, we—the faculty—seem to control course management systems, online quizzes, wireless clickers, Internet access to PowerPoint slides and podcasts, and plagiarism-detection software. On the student side, they are armed with smart phones, laptops, music players, digital cameras, and social network sites. They seem to be the masters of these ubiquitous computing and recording technologies that can serve as advanced weapons allowing either escape to virtual or social realities far away from the lecture hall or—should they choose to document and broadcast the foibles of their faculty—exposure of that lecture hall to the outside world.

Each side is not really fighting the other, I argue, because both appear to be conducting an incredibly destructive war on learning itself by emphasizing competition and conflict rather than cooperation. I see problems both with using technologies to command and control young people into submission and with the utopian claims of advocates for DIY education, or “unschooling,” who embrace a libertarian politics of each-one-for-himself or herself pedagogy and who, in the interest of promoting totally autonomous learning in individual private homes, seek to defund public institutions devoted to traditional learning collectives. Effective educators should be noncombatants, I am claiming, neither champions of the reactionary past nor of the radical future. In making the argument for becoming a conscientious objector in this war on learning, I am focusing on the present moment.

Both sides in the war on learning are also promoting a particular causal argument about technology of which I am deeply suspicious. Both groups believe that the present rupture between student and professor is caused by the advent of a unique digital generation that is assumed to be quite technically proficient at navigating computational media without formal instruction and that is likely to prefer digital activities to the reading of print texts. I’ve been a public opponent of casting students too easily as “digital natives” for a number of reasons. Of course, anthropology and sociology already supply a host of arguments against assuming preconceived ideas about what it means to be a native when studying group behavior.

I am particularly suspicious of this type of language about so-called digital natives because it could naturalize cultural practices, further a colonial othering of the young, and oversimplify complicated questions about membership in a group. Furthermore, as someone who has been involved with digital literacy (and now digital fluency) for most of my academic career, I have seen firsthand how many students have serious problems with writing computer programs and how difficult it can be to establish priorities among educators—particularly educators from different disciplines or research tracks—when diverse populations of learners need to be served."



"Notice not only how engagement and interactivity are praised and conflated, but also how the rhetoric of novelty in consumer electronics and of short attention spans also comes into play."
education  technology  edtech  control  reform  policy  power  2014  traditionalism  traditionalists  plagiarism  pedagogy  learning  schools  cheating  multitasking  highered  highereducation  politics  elizabethlosh  mimiito  ianbogost  jamespaulgee  homago  betsydisalvo  amybruckman  foxharrell  geekingout  culture  play  constraints  games  gaming  videogames  mckenziewark  janemcgonigal  gamesmanship  internet  youtube  secrecy  benjaminbratton  unschooling  deschooling  collaboration  cooperation  agesegregation  youth  teens  digitalnatives  marshallmcluhan  othering  sivavaidhyanathan  digital  digitalliteracy  attention  engagement  entertainment  focus  cathydavidson 
june 2014 by robertogreco
RSA - The App Generation: identity, intimacy and imagination in the digital era
"Professor Howard Gardner explores the challenges facing today's young people as they navigate three vital areas of adolescent life - identity, intimacy and imagination - in a digital world. How can we ensure that new technologies act as a springboard to greater creativity and higher aspiration?"

[Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTqY-a2kvk8 ]
howardgardner  education  generations  digital  digitalage  2013  creativity  imagination  writing  technology  identity  intimacy  texting  openstudioproject  lcproject  gettinglost  vulnerability  visual  text  graphicarts  empathy  constraints  freedom 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Ian Bogost - Shit Crayons
"Chaim Gingold gave us the useful concept of the Magic Crayon… a tool that facilitates creativity in a way that wouldn't otherwise be possible… lets its users breathe life into things.

…has a shadow side…

Inspirations like that are not magic crayons, but shit crayons…

Shit stinks. When forced to root in it, we wretch and cower. It strips us of our pride. And yet, despite it all, we rise above. We find tiny crevasses in the slippery stone walls of our cells and we climb up out of the filth. We overcome.

How resilient is the human spirit that it withstands so much? No matter what shit we throw, nevertheless people endure, they thrive even, spinning shit into gold.

Minecraft is a game about that resilience rather than one that just incites it, a masterful magic crayon made of shit crayons. A ludic prisonette.

Even if creativity comes from constraint, there's constraint and there's incarceration. A despot in a sorcerer's hat does not deserve praise for inciting desperate resilience."
poetry  williamblake  fanfiction  videogames  gaming  games  ingenuity  constraints  cowclicker  inspiration  making  resilience  wolesoyinka  chaimgingold  shotcrayons  2011  ianbogost  creativity  from delicious
december 2012 by robertogreco
Wired 7.01: The Revenge of the Intuitive
"The trouble begins with a design philosophy that equates "more options" with "greater freedom." Designers struggle endlessly with a problem that is almost nonexistent for users: "How do we pack the maximum number of options into the minimum space and price?" In my experience, the instruments and tools that endure (because they are loved by their users) have limited options.

Software options proliferate extremely easily, too easily in fact, because too many options create tools that can't ever be used intuitively. Intuitive actions confine the detail work to a dedicated part of the brain, leaving the rest of one's mind free to respond with attention and sensitivity to the changing texture of the moment. With tools, we crave intimacy. This appetite for emotional resonance explains why users - when given a choice - prefer deep rapport over endless options. You can't have a relationship with a device whose limits are unknown to you, because without limits it keeps becoming something else.

Indeed familiarity breeds content. When you use familiar tools, you draw upon a long cultural conversation - a whole shared history of usage - as your backdrop, as the canvas to juxtapose your work. The deeper and more widely shared the conversation, the more subtle its inflections can be.

This is the revenge of traditional media. Even the "weaknesses" or the limits of these tools become part of the vocabulary of culture. I'm thinking of such stuff as Marshall guitar amps and black-and-white film - what was once thought most undesirable about these tools became their cherished trademark."

"Since so much of our experience is mediated in some way or another, we have deep sensitivities to the signatures of different media. Artists play with these sensitivities, digesting the new and shifting the old. In the end, the characteristic forms of a tool's or medium's distortion, of its weakness and limitations, become sources of emotional meaning and intimacy.

Although designers continue to dream of "transparency" - technologies that just do their job without making their presence felt - both creators and audiences actually like technologies with "personality." A personality is something with which you can have a relationship. Which is why people return to pencils, violins, and the same three guitar chords."
howwework  thetoolsweuse  intuition  intuitive  via:vruba  1999  familiarity  limitations  mediation  experience  toolmaking  features  featurecreep  options  freedom  seams  distortion  software  design  creativity  technology  culture  tools  constraints  tradition  art  intimacy  brianeno  music  seamlessness  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Don't Worry About Your Gear: Casey Neistat's Guide to Getting Started on Vimeo
"Do you yearn to express your creative vision, but don’t have access to the latest and greatest gear? Don’t despair! Casey Neistat shows you how to capture the story you want to tell while maximizing the equipment at your immediate disposal. If you’re just getting into the world of video, this highly practical workshop is the perfect launchpad for your ideas."

[Related: http://www.thefader.com/2010/11/17/explorers-series-casey-neistat/ OR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZeWsELwTK4 ]

[Also related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs2JAyEdmXA ]

[Another two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBrs3LxsruA AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5skYdSWiHyM via http://constructingmodernknowledge.com/cmk08/?p=1286 ]

[And Van Neistad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEOSt1vN4es AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpXDzL-h7cI AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INCNXyc1NOw ]

[Studio: http://nymag.com/news/features/all-new/53362/ + http://nymag.com/news/articles/09/01/week3/nestiatbros/ ]
neistatbros  vanneistat  caseyneistat  deschooling  unschooling  constraints  limitations  process  howwework  experience  experiences  srg  edg  creativity  howto  video  film  2012  storytelling  filmmaking  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Tom La Farge, fabulist
"Reading and travel — twin vectors of escape — have formed me as a writer by exciting a love of strangeness and an impatience with exclusive concepts (adult/​child, male/​female, human/​animal) and proprietary domains (realism/​fantasy, serious fiction/​genre fiction). I have always written to readers as a reader."
reading  travel  strangeness  books  constraints  oulipo  writers  writing  nyc  brooklyn  tomlafarge  from delicious
october 2012 by robertogreco
Designing Culture | Jacobin
“Design is one of the linchpins of capitalism, because it makes alienated labor possible.”

"My main beef with that definition is that after a year in a postgraduate design program and too many hours spent between stacks of anthropology textbooks, I still can’t figure out what “form” and “culture” even mean.

design is subject to the same limitations as any other so-called creative practice, and designers are no more authors than, well, authors are.

Yes, everyone buys too much shit and poor people get exploited in the process, but forty-two years after Baudrillard’s Consumer Society we know it’s not that simple. The ideas of waste and need are monumentally more complicated than a lot of leftists are willing to admit. Who can I trust to tell me which of my needs are real? How can I know whether I’m wasting money or investing in symbolic capital?

Design’s real power is that it makes relationships and divisions between people concrete. Without physical stuff to remind us of how we supposedly differ from one another, our hierarchies would be awfully ramshackle; stripped of our possessions, categories like “class” start to look like just a bunch of learned behaviors and confused ideas.

The point would not be lost on a five-year-old, who would realize immediately that compared to her brother’s LEGOs, hers look like they were made for an idiot.

Spatial arrangements of objects in the home, for example, or the use of different farming tools at different times of year, come to stand for intangible relationships between genders, social strata and the like, thereby anchoring abstract ideas about social organization to the physical world.

Homewares companies started designing extra-low-quality furniture and crockery and marketing them to the rich as items for their servants to use, the idea being that anyone who ate and slept on stuff that bad couldn’t help but know their place.

But it wasn’t particularly important whether the servants were savvy to the situation or not, because their employers had fulfilled their real goal: they’d successfully created material environments that reassured them that they were better than the people who worked for them, which enabled them to keep acting like they actually were better.

Once you realize that all designed objects carry this sort of encrypted information about the organization of society, something amazing happens: you suddenly stop feeling bored in home furnishings stores.

Maybe the problem with designers who boast that they are “giving form to culture” is that they don’t realize how big a responsibility they’re claiming. …

That’s not to say that designers are powerless. Far from it. They occupy a nodal position in the capitalist mode of production, and they’ll be important for getting out of it. Stuff – objects, spaces, images, technologies – play just as critical a role in restructuring relations between people as they do in maintaining them, and a solar cooker or a free software application requires way more design work than a Philippe Starck lemon squeezer. But any kind of progressive work is difficult if we’re deluded about what we actually do. As designers, we’d do well to abandon preoccupations with our own ability to generate solutions, and start being more aware of the ways that we participate in the problems."
society  influence  power  history  pierrebourdieu  lego  industrialdesign  constraints  purpose  colinmcswiggen  via:litherland  2012  opinion  culture  politics  capitalism  consumerism  design  baudrillard  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
Photo by caseyneistat • Instagram ["How To Be A Filmmaker. an abridged essay from 2007."]
"12.14.2007
Mexico City
Casey's Space (Righty)
Mexico City, Mexico

If you want to be a filmmaker. really want to be filmmaker, give it everything you've got. Your excuses are your own, everybody's got them. Too busy with your job? Quit. Don;t have a camera? Steal you mom's. Can't afford a computer? get 2 VCR's.

Doing what you want in life is hard but you're definitely going to die at some point in time so you should at least try."
2007  wantingit  motivation  howwecreate  constraints  excuses  life  filmmaking  caseyneistat  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
The Rumpus Interview With Francis Ford Coppola - The Rumpus.net
"I wanted a clean slate so I decided to embark on a series of “student films” for myself to begin anew. I thought, “How do you be like a student?” Easy, you have no money. If you have no money to pay for everything, that’s when things get interesting. The films I make now have to be inexpensive enough that I can finance them myself. This was how I made a new beginning for myself. There’s a scene in a Kurosawa movie where they get this guy, & they practically kill him, & he’s in a box. He just has this knife, & these leaves are blowing, & he throws the knife & tries to get the knife to go through a leaf, & that’s how he builds himself up. I had to do that: be broken in a box & have a second life. To do that I needed to be a student. I thought I should try to make movies w/ nothing. No money, just whatever I have. So I made Youth without Youth, then Tetro, which was very personal, then this wacky film TWIXT. I really wanted to make this last film to have fun, but even that got personal."
purity  minimalviableproduct  thebasics  glvo  creativity  2012  money  constraints  filmmaking  francisfordcoppola  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
naffidy: Andrea Zittel -----"These things I know for sure"
"1. It is a human trait to organize things into categories. Inventing categories creates an illusion that there is an overriding rationale in the way that the word works.

2. Surfaces that are "easy to clean" also show dirt more. In reality a surface that camouflages dirt is much more practical than one that is easy to clean.

3. Maintenance takes time and energy that can sometimes impede other forms or progress such as learning about new things.

4. All materials ultimately deteriorate and show signs of wear. It is therefore important to create designs that will look better after years of distress.

5. A perfect filling system can sometimes decrease efficiency. For instance, when letters and bills are filed away too quickly, it is easy to forget to respond to them.

6. Many "progressive" designs actually hark back towards a lost idea of nature or a more "original form."

7. Ambiguity in visual design ultimately leads to a greater variety of functions than designs that are functionally fixed.

8. No matter how many options there are, it is human nature to always narrow things down to two polar, yet inextricably linked choices.

9. The creation of rules is more creative than the destruction of them. Creation demands a higher level of reasoning and draws connections between cause and effect. The best rules are never stable or permanent, but evolve, naturally according to content or need.

10. What makes us feel liberated is not total freedom, but rather living in a set of limitations that we have created and prescribed for ourselves.

11. Things that we think are liberating can ultimately become restrictive, and things that we initially think are controlling can sometimes give us a sense of comfort and security.

12. Ideas seem to gestate best in a void--- when that void is filled, it is more difficult to access them. In our consumption-driven society, almost all voids are filled, blocking moments of greater clarity and creativity. Things that block voids are called "avoids."

13. Sometimes if you can't change a situation, you just have to change the way you think about the situation.

14. People are most happy when they are moving towards something not quite yet attained (I also wonder if this extends as well to the sensation of physical motion in space. I believe that I am happier when I am in a plane or car because I am moving towards an identifiable and attainable goal.)

15. What you own, owns you.

16. Personal truths are often perceived as universal truths. For instance it is easy to imagine that a system or design works well for oneself will work for everyone else."

[Also (only 1-14) printed here: http://books.google.com/books/about/Andrea_Zittel.html?id=-uZiQgAACAAJ ]
andreazittel  criticalspace  progressive  human  humans  sorting  dichotomy  dichotomies  categorization  patternfinding  patterns  generalizations  generalization  surfaces  maintenance  time  art  learning  filingsystems  design  rules  constraints  personaltruths  universaltruths  truths  happiness  movement  progress  attainability  goals  perspective  comfort  security  clarity  creativity  freedom  creation  choice  polarization  ambiguity  function 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The Line Sitters – Jack Cheng
"I wrote and posted this story in the span of four hours, while waiting in line for a ramen event in the East Village. The only changes I made after the event were copy edits to fix typos, grammatical errors, and formatting issues."
constraints  writing  2012  jackcheng  storytelling  stories 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Jack Cheng waits for ramen, uses time wisely. (with images, tweets) · maxfenton · Storify
"Since I have four hours to kill, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to write a short story while I'm waiting. #ivanramen



First written draft is done. Water break, and then it's time to type! #ivanramen http://pic.twitter.com/ZM9AYyGF



Here it is! http://blog.jackcheng.com/post/27433804293/the-line-sitters Time to eat. #ivanramen



My hands are shaking from the adrenaline right now.



#ivanramen http://instagr.am/p/NMu71-xt0v/ "
constraints  classideas  howwewrite  howwework  robinsloan  writing  storytelling  stories  food  jackcheng  ramen  storify 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The Disrupters: Working Outside The Business Norm | Fast Company
[From 3. Joi Ito]

"The Japanese government once asked me to be on a committee about taxes and information technology. The first thing I said was, 'Let's figure out a way to use resources more efficiently to lower taxes.' And they said, 'No, no, no--this committee is about using computers to collect more tax.' So I asked, 'How do we reduce costs?' And they said, 'Oh, there's no committee for that.' [Laughs] That's the problem with large organizations. They create roles and constraints, and sometimes people forget why they're there."
creativity  innovation  business  leadership  2012  joiito  committees  scale  roles  bureaucracy  constraints  organizations  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
TOC 2012: Tim Carmody, "Changing Times, Changing Readers: Let's Start With Experience" - YouTube
Notes here by @tealtan:

"unusual contexts in writing / reading text

“In a hyperliterate society, the vast majority of reading is not consciously recognized as reading.”

“What readers expect is more important than what readers want.”

Bill Buxton: “every tool is the best at something and the worst at something else”

skills, path-dependency, learning effects

“…we actually like constraints once we're in them.”"

And notes from @litherland:

"11:40: “I do things like … just obsess about weird little details. So, for instance … like, how do you do text entry in a Netflix app on the Wii? You know? I think about this a lot.” Your many other talents notwithstanding, Tim, you may have missed your calling as a designer. /

18:30: “I think it’s a tragedy that we have not been able to figure out a good interface for pen and ink on reading devices.” Holy grail. My dream for years. I would give anything. I would give anything to be smart enough to figure this out."
design  reading  writing  journalism  history  timcarmody  toc2012  via:tealtan  constraints  billbuxton  bookfuturism  ebooks  stéphanemallarmé  paper  2012  media  mediarevolutions  sentencediagramming  advertising  photography  change  books  publishing  printing  modernism  context  interface  expectations  conventions  skills  skeuomorph 
february 2012 by robertogreco
MAKE | Zen and the Art of Making
"Some of the most talented and prolific people I know have dozens of interests and hobbies. When I ask them about this, the response is usually something like “I love to learn.” I think the new discoveries and joys of learning are the crux of this beginner thing I’ve been thinking about. Sure, when you’ve mastered something it’s valuable, but then part of your journey is over — you’ve arrived, and the trick is to find something you’ll always have a sense of wonder about. I think this is why scientists and artists, who are usually experts, love what they do: there is always something new ahead. It’s possible to be an expert but still retain the mind of a beginner. It’s hard, but the best experts can do it. In making things, in art, in science, in engineering, you can always be a beginner about something you’re doing — the fields are too vast to know it all."
philliptorrone  making  learning  unschooling  curiosity  education  experts  generalists  creativegeneralists  2011  zen  knowledge  expertise  lewiscarroll  makers  electronics  art  artists  science  scientists  tinkering  tinkerers  lifelonglearning  deschooling  mindset  beginners  invention  arduino  fear  risktaking  riskaversion  teaching  lcproject  failure  stasis  yearoff  openminded  children  interestedness  specialists  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  exploration  internet  web  online  constraints  specialization  interested  beginner'smind  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Developing Your Creative Practice: Tips from Brian Eno :: Tips :: The 99 Percent
"1. Freeform capture. Grab from a range of sources without editorializing…

2. Blank state. Start with new tools, from nothing, and toy around…

3. Deliberate limitations. Before a project begins, develop specific limitations…

4. Opposing forces. Sometimes it’s best to generate a forced collision of ideas…

5. Creative prompts. In the ‘70s Eno developed his Oblique Strategies cards, a series of prompts modeled after the I Ching to disrupt the process and encourage a new way of encountering a creative problem. On the cards are statements and questions like: “Would anybody want it?” “Try faking it!” “Only a part, not the whole.” “Work at a different speed.” “Disconnect from desire.” “Turn it upside down.” “Use an old idea."…

In the end, don’t underestimate your personal feelings about a project. Eno states: “Nearly all the things I do that are of any merit at all start off as just being good fun.” Amen to that."
art  creativity  music  productivity  brain  neuroscience  via:preoccupations  brianeno  2011  jonahlehrer  ideation  classideas  innovation  noticing  limitations  constraints  making  doing  glvo  howwework  process  idleness  boredom  thinking  ideas  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero’s Blog: Everything you ever needed to know about design, answered in five minutes by Charles Eames.
"Everything you ever needed to know about design, answered in five minutes by Charles Eames.

The video was produced for the exhibition “Qu’est ce que le design?” (or What is Design?) at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais de Louvre in 1969. A full transcript of the interview can be found here, and the video is available as part of The Films of Charles & Ray Eames DVD set."
design  art  eames  charleseames  definition  frankchimero  action  creation  designethic  constraints  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
The Auteur Myth | Wired Science | Wired.com
"…it’s also important to remember that nobody creates Vertigo or the iPad by themselves; even auteurs need the support of a vast system. When you look closely at auteurs, what you often find is that their real genius is for the the assembly of creative teams, trusting the right people with the right tasks at the right time. Sure, they make the final decisions, but they are choosing between alternatives created by others. When we frame auteurs as engaging in the opposite of collaboration, when we obsess over Hitchcock’s narrative flair but neglect Lehman’s script, or think about Jobs’ aesthetic but not Ive’s design (or the design of those working for Ives), we are indulging in a romantic vision of creativity that rarely exists. Even geniuses need a little help."
jonahlehrer  creativity  collaboration  alfredhitchcock  stevejobs  johngruber  design  film  decisionmaking  auteurs  howwework  constraints  support  making  business  teamwork  leadership  2011  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Weekend At Kermie's: The Muppets' Strange Life After Death | The Awl
"A character without specificity is not one."

"To demonize is to become the demon."

"When I say that the Muppets’ art direction is makeshift, I don’t mean that it’s shoddy. But it celebrates human limitation. As we watch one of these movies, we never lose our awareness that these scenes were made by men and women. Craftmanship, the game of how good any one artist can be, is presented—not hidden—and as such it can inspire others."

"What matters in the Muppet universe isn’t perfection, but expression. Dancing across the screen, they embody the philosophy that it is not what you look like that matters, but what you do."
art  creativity  film  copyright  muppets  puppets  perfection  human  humanism  specificity  makeshift  making  craft  limitations  constraints  via:rushtheiceberg  doing  meaning  purpose  glvo  jasonsegel  jimhenson  remix  remixing  remixculture  craftsmanship  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Animated GIFs Triumphant - Anil Dash
"The facts about animated GIFs are stark. They only support a palette of 256 colors. No current browser lists support for animated GIF as a codec for the HTML5 <video> tag. That omission is understandable, as GIF compression of animation isn't particularly efficient. They even lived under an unfashionable cloud of patent uncertainty during the web's formative years. And those are just some of the traits I love about the format…

But to my eye, GIF is the most popular animation and short film format that's ever existed. It works on smartphones in millions of people's pockets, on giant displays in museums, in web browsers on a newspaper website. It finds liberation in constraints, in the same way that fewer characters in our tweets and texts freed us to communicate more liberally with one another. And it invites participation, in a medium that's both fun and accessible, as the pop music of moving images, giving us animations that are totally disposable and completely timeless."
culture  history  web  animation  anildash  animatedgifs  gifs  2011  kickstarter  constraints  technology  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Less Is More: Using Social Media to Inspire Concise Writing - NYTimes.com
"How can online media like Twitter posts, Facebook status updates and text messages be harnessed to inspire and guide concise writing? In this lesson, students read, respond to and write brief fiction and nonfiction stories, and reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of “writing short.”"

[Related: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/opinion/20selsberg.html AND http://www.pdscompasspoint.com/?p=4466 ]
writing  literature  twitter  facebook  brevity  classideas  fiction  stories  storytelling  socialmedia  summary  texting  constraints  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
David Byrne's Journal: 03.18.10: Collaborations [updated]
"why collaborate if one doesn’t have to? … one big reason is to restrict one’s own freedom in the writing process. There’s a joy and relief in being limited, restrained. … But one might also ask: Is writing ever NOT collaboration? Doesn’t one collaborate with oneself, in a sense? Don’t we access different aspects of ourselves, different characters and attitudes and then, when they’ve had their say, switch hats and take a more distanced and critical view — editing and structuring our other half’s outpourings? Isn’t the end product sort of the result of two sides collaborating? Surely I’m not the only one who does this?"
music  collaboration  creativity  davidbyrne  writing  constraints  limits  tcsnmy  classideas  editing  via:preoccupations  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Uncleftish Beholding - Wikipedia
"Uncleftish Beholding (1989) is a short text written by Poul Anderson. It is written using almost exclusively words of Germanic origin, and was intended to illustrate what the English language might look like if it had not received its considerable number of loanwords from other languages, particularly Latin, Greek and French.

The text is about basic atomic theory and relies on a number of word coinings, many of which have analogues in modern German. The title "uncleftish beholding" calques "atomic theory". The text begins:

"For most of its being, mankind did not know what things are made of, but could only guess. With the growth of worldken, we began to learn, and today we have a beholding of stuff and work that watching bears out, both in the workstead and in daily life.""
language  history  english  linguistics  via:migurski  uncleftishbeholding  1989  poulanderson  theory  german  germanic  constraints  classideas  writing  literature  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Does a strict upbringing make you a better designer?: Observatory: Design Observer
Coment from pboy: "Oh, barf! Even the Tiger Mom has expressed some ambiguity about the outcomes of her parenting philosophy, but to use the current craze over her as the excuse for yet another reification of the moldy-oldie of graphic design 'Modernism' is just pathetic. Beirut was lucky to have experienced the Kalman corrective to Vignelli's moribund fake discipline. ... romanticize the intolerant and didactic daddies all you want, it's the generation that finally walked away from what had devolved into a rigid and phony stance that let the 'discipline' grow. And that includes Beirut, even if he's too traumatized by his own experience with tough love to be able to recognize it, or to be able admit more clearly, and without the unnecessary flattery to Vignelli, that he learned to think for himself, and move on."
design  typography  modernism  michaelbierut  via:migurski  parenting  amychua  rigidity  graphicdesign  massimovignelli  authoritarianism  creativity  criticalthinking  toughlove  teaching  education  learning  identity  unschooling  deschooling  discipline  tiborkalman  rules  constraints  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
space clearing (15 Jan., 2011, at Interconnected)
"Constrained walks and the dérive both reveal the city's psychogeography, and force the city to give up more of itself. It's funny to find, right on my doorstep, the streets I didn't know that I didn't know, the ones I'd got the unknown habit of avoiding. The city grows.

Space clearing makes visible and disrupts the psychogeography of my home. By standing in far corners, I find new perspectives. I strengthen rarely visited spots in my own mental map. Later, I find myself noticing the corners more. My house looks larger. The changed shape of my rooms encourages me to walk differently about the space. I stand in slightly unfamiliar spots, look at my bookshelves with a new-found unfamiliarity, and this prompts new combinations of titles to come to my attention, and new ideas.

I wonder if I could make something to do this for me? Maybe a robot vacuum cleaner programmed to find rarely visited corners and play an attention-grabbing sample, hey, over here, over here."
space  perspective  mattwebb  situationist  dérive  psychogeography  robots  constraints  flaneur  cities  homes  spaceclearing  mentalmaps  mapping  maps  attention  2011  derive  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Film History 101 (via Netflix Watch Instantly) « Snarkmarket
"Robin is absolutely right: I like lists, I remember everything I’ve ever seen or read, and I’ve been making course syllabi for over a decade, so I’m often finding myself saying “If you really want to understand [topic], these are the [number of objects] you need to check out.” Half the fun is the constraint of it, especially since we all now know (or should know) that constraints = creativity."

[See also Matt Penniman's "Sci-fi Film History 101" list: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6492 ]
film  netflix  history  cinema  movies  timcarmody  snarkmarket  teaching  curation  curating  constraints  lists  creativity  forbeginners  thecanon  pairing  sharing  expertise  experience  education  learning  online  2010  frankchimero  surveycourses  surveys  web  internet  perspective  organization  succinct  focus  design  the101  robinsloan  classes  classideas  format  delivery  guidance  beginner  reference  pacing  goldcoins  surveycasts  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
The 101 « Snarkmarket
"Some of the teachers I remember most from college are the ones who would say something like: “Listen. There are only two movies you need to understand to understand [whole giant big cinematic movement X]. Those two movies are [A] and [B]. And we’re gonna watch ‘em.” (I feel like this is something Tim is extremely good at, actually.) It’s a step above curation, right? Context matters here; so does sequence. So we’re talking about some sort of super-sharp, web-powered, media-rich syllabus. I always liked syllabi, actually. They seem to make such an alluring promise, you know? Something like:

Go through this with me, and you will be a novice no more."
curation  curating  robinsloan  frankchimero  lists  organization  experience  expertise  teaching  learning  online  web  classes  classideas  format  delivery  guidance  beginner  forbeginners  reference  2010  pacing  goldcoins  surveys  surveycourses  the101  education  internet  perspective  succinct  focus  design  history  constraints  creativity  thecanon  pairing  sharing  surveycasts  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - The Two Best Things on the Web 2010
"My top two choices, however, stood tall as perhaps the best stock I’ve had the pleasure of reading on the web, both in terms of their scope, but more interestingly about how they treated their content and audience. There’s a pattern here that I enjoy. I’d like to introduce you to them, and hopefully in the process make a bit of a point about the direction I want the web to take in the next year."

"I suppose I’m hungry for curated educational materials online. These are more than lists of books to read: they’re organized, edited, and have a clear point of view about the content they are presenting, and subvert the typical scatter-shot approach of half the web (like Wikipedia), or the hyper-linear, storyless other half that obsesses over lists. And that’s the frustrating thing about trying to teach yourself things online: you’re new, so you don’t know what’s important, but everything is spread so thin and all over the place, so it’s difficult to make meaningful connections."
education  learning  online  lists  2010  frankchimero  surveycourses  surveys  teaching  forbeginners  web  internet  curating  curation  perspective  organization  succinct  focus  design  history  constraints  creativity  thecanon  pairing  sharing  expertise  experience  the101  robinsloan  classes  classideas  format  delivery  guidance  beginner  reference  pacing  goldcoins  surveycasts  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
The Cognitive Cost Of Expertise | Wired Science | Wired.com
"Now for the bad news: Expertise might also come with a dark side, as all those learned patterns make it harder for us to integrate wholly new knowledge. Consider a recent paper that investigated the mnemonic performance of London taxi drivers. In the world of neuroscience, London cabbies are best known for their demonstration of structural plasticity in the hippocampus, a brain area devoted (in part) to spatial memory. Because the cabbies are required to memorize the entire urban map of London – it’s the most rigorous driving test in the world – their posterior hippocampi swell and expand, leading to permanent changes in the brain. Knowledge shapes matter."
neuroscience  psychology  constraints  jonahlehrer  perception  brain  chess  thinking  science  expertise  memory  plasticity  generalists  specialization  mindchanges  permanence  specialists  mindchanging  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Institute for Advanced Study - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Richard Feynman on the place: "When I was at Princeton in the 1940s I could see what happened to those great minds at the Institute for Advanced Study, who had been specially selected for their tremendous brains and were now given this opportunity to sit in this lovely house by the woods there, with no classes to teach, with no obligations whatsoever. These poor bastards could now sit and think clearly all by themselves, OK? So they don't get any ideas for a while: They have every opportunity to do something, and they're not getting any ideas. I believe that in a situation like this a kind of guilt or depression worms inside of you, and you begin to worry about not getting any ideas. And nothing happens. Still no ideas come.

Nothing happens because there's not enough real activity and challenge: You're not in contact with the experimental guys. You don't have to think how to answer questions from the students. Nothing!"
education  princeton  science  thinking  ideas  richardfeynman  teaching  explaining  constraints  freedom  challenge  motivation  instituteforadvancedstudy  freemandyson  alberteinstein  paulerdos  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Is Consumerism Killing Our Creativity? :: Articles :: The 99 Percent
"Have you ever fallen into a black hole of comparison shopping? You’re looking for a new digital camera, for instance. You head over to Cnet.com and read some reviews of various cameras, watch the video demos, identify the model you want. Then perhaps you employ Google’s shopping search to price out the options and find the best deal. All of the sudden, it’s four hours later. You’ve found the perfect camera, but your purchasing triumph is tainted by a creeping feeling of, well, disgust. Couldn’t that time have been used better?…

“Highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship. Hardship by itself doesn’t lead to creativity, but it does force kids to become more flexible—and flexibility helps with creativity.”

When we have less to work with, we have to be more creative. Think about that the next time the consumerist impulse is threatening to encroach on your creativity."
consumerism  addiction  marketing  neuroscience  creativity  productivity  consumption  constraints  hardship  pobronson  annieleonard  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Jugaad: Questions for Santosh Ostwal | The Economist
"SANTOSH OSTWAL, husband and father of two, lost his apartment in 2001 after quitting his job in Pune to solve an engineering problem he’d been thinking about for twenty years. Today his solution – a mobile-phone adaptation that triggers irrigation pumps remotely – is saving water in India and helping more than 10,000 farmers avoid several taxing, dangerous long walks a day. I talked to Mr Santosh for a podcast earlier this year, but it’s worth digging back into the transcript now to help explain the Indian concept of jugaad, an inspired kind of duct-taped ingenuity that employs only the tools at hand."
via:blackbeltjones  jugaad  santoshostwal  india  hacking  hardware  constraints  makedo  localsolutions  theadjacentpossible  engineering  chimericthinking  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Design Thinking: Dear Don . . . - Core77
"Design thinking harnesses the power of intuition. It is a process, evolved gradually by designers of all kinds, which can be applied to create solutions to problems. People of any background can use it, whether or not they think of themselves as designers. It uses the subconscious as well as the conscious mind, subjective as well as objective thinking, tacit knowledge as well as explicit knowledge, and embraces learning by doing. I like the analogy of an iceberg that has just a little ice above water level, with a vast mass submerged. Rigorous explicit thinking, of the kind encouraged in institutions of higher learning, limits people to conscious thinking and hence to using just a tiny proportion of the potential in their minds - like the ice above the water. The design thinking process allows us to follow our intuition, valuing the sensibilities and insights that are buried in our subconscious - like the ice below the water..."
architecture  core77  designthinking  industrialdesign  graphicdesign  process  constraints  tcsnmy  evaluation  criticalthinking  prototyping  visualizaton  slection  uncertainty  iteration  iterative  synthesis  framing  ideation  envisioning  learning  making  doing  handsonlearning  learningbydoing  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  methods  design  billmoggridge  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
eXpO fotos: an exhibition based on photos taken with XOs - OLPC News
"The cool thing is that all of the photos were taken by pupils from four different schools here in Montevideo. The pupils had participated in a workshop organized by a museum which focused on how to use their XOs to capture impressions from their lives and environment... When first heard about the exhibition I was admittedly a little skeptical about the quality of the print-outs. Because even though the XO's camera is actually quite good the quality of the saved images leaves something to be desired. However after actually seeing the photos I have to say that the quality isn't distracting at all, in fact it's actually part of the charm of the whole thing (reminding me of scanner photography in many ways)... in many ways the exhibition served as a reminder of how versatile the XO is. Yes, it's an educational tool but at the same time it definitely also has a lot of potential as an artistic tool."
olpc  xo  photography  exhibits  uruguay  montevideo  perspective  art  constraints 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Chris Vognar: Twitter's character limit sparks new style of short-form writing | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Latest News
"Clark, Ebert, Poniewozik and Karr all agree on one thing: Long writing isn't necessarily good writing. And Twitter doesn't allow for bloat. I've found that paring down my tweets has made my prose leaner. I chop out more adverbs than I used to.

"Having that calculator of characters really drives you to certain strategies which are probably good for writing in general," Clark told me. "You're more inclined to use nouns and verbs rather than adjectives and adverbs. You're more inclined to make sure every single word works. If I had written what I'd just said I would take out the word 'single,' because it doesn't do any work."

No one argues that Twitter will replace the novel. The point is that good writers find ways to adapt to and play with available technology. That's been happening since before the printing press. Whether you're just tightening your prose or creating a new genre of fiction, Twitter is another fun tool for the toolbox."
twitter  writing  socialmedia  constraints  short-form  chrisvognar  rogerebert 
july 2010 by robertogreco
dy/dan » Blog Archive » TEDxNYED Metadata [Forgot to bookmark this—thanks to Basti for making it resurface. Also, see the comment from Michael Wesch.]
"I'm not saying that the only people capable of describing or critiquing classroom teaching are classroom teachers. There are people who don't work in a classroom who know a lot more about my business than I do. I'm saying it's difficult, as one of public education's foot soldiers, to do much with inspiration. I don't have many places to put inspiration, certainly not as many as the edtechnologists walking away from TEDxNYED minds buzzing, faces aglow, and so it tends to settle and coagulate around my bile duct. It's too hard to forget that tomorrow I and three million others will have to teach too many standards of too little quality to too many students with too few resources. What can you do with this?"
danmeyer  education  tedxnyed  curriculum  math  reflection  reform  theory  practical  doingvsimagining  wcydwt  teaching  schools  doing  inspiration  doingvsinspiring  edtech  hereandnow  now  implementation  constraints  frustration  flexibility  constructivecriticism  power  control  jeffjarvis  michaelwesch  georgesiemens  davidwiley  andycarvin 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » The Week Ending 050310
"Why little movies? Why small little films? Well — the rough thinking is to communicate differently to engage good folks who are perhaps optimized for being talked to via PowerPoint. *Death by PowerPoint, is what one might say. And *Death by CAD renderings. The death of the imagination. What we want are things that start conversations — a clever idea, something that compels a discussion and encourages a new way of doing what needs to be done. It’s also, despite the pain of production which presumably gets better with practice, quite a good way to think and design and not just a means of communication. The process of being forced to tell a small, momentary story about a thing or an experience — it gives you special language powers and new perspectives, and visual metaphors to help shape and smooth and refine the thinking. Clearly — it’s not just the film itself which is the outcome of all that work."
julianbleecker  film  video  communication  thinking  tcsnmy  powerpoint  presentations  storytelling  conversation  constraints 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Design Under Constraint: How Limits Boost Creativity
"The idea of operating within constraints—of making more with less—is especially relevant these days. From Wall Street to Detroit to Washington, the lack of limits has proven to be a false freedom. With all the economic gloom, you might not be blamed for feeling that the boundless American frontier seems a little less expansive. But design teaches us that this is our hour of opportunity. In the following pages, we explore a few of our favorite constraints. In each case, the imposition of limits doesn't stifle creativity—it enables it."
design  creativity  innovation  culture  constraints  tcsnmy  problemsolving  lcproject 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Thinking in Mind: Questioning "Student Centered Learning"
"important tension w/in this approach to structuring learning; the space must be governed by the authority of the discipline, but open to the possibilities that emerge from the students’ prior knowledge & experience. When designing learning around these “liberating constraints” the teacher must strike a balance btwn the authentic constraints put on the task from within the discipline itself, yet carve out the space for students to participate in the experience through their own creativity & individual voices & experiences. There’s a danger at both ends of the balance – a structure too limited removes potential for possibilities to emerge within the study – a structure too loose removes disciplined constraints that actually create possibility for student creativity...the ‘control’ or ‘power’ in the classroom is no longer something once held by the teacher, that is now handed over the students, but rather a measure of control power resides in the discipline."
neilstephenson  education  constraints  teaching  control  disciple  student-centered  inquiry-basedlearning  inquiry  creativity  learning  tcsnmy 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Michael Bierut: 5 Secrets from 86 Notebooks on Vimeo
"Pulling from his collected notes and sketches from over three decades, renowned graphic designer Michael Bierut shares five simple secrets for doing great creative work."
pentagram  michaelbierut  design  creativity  constraints  wisdom 
october 2009 by robertogreco
LRB · Bridget Riley: At the End of My Pencil
“For me, drawing is an inquiry, a way of finding out – the first thing that I discover is that I do not know. This is alarming even to the point of momentary panic. Only experience reassures me that this encounter with my own ignorance – with the unknown – is my chosen and particular task, and provided I can make the required effort the rewards may reach the unimaginable.”

[via: http://anti-mega.com/antimega/2009/10/18/whatever-diminishes-constraint-diminishes-strength ]
design  learning  art  drawing  painting  inquiry  writers  constraints  ignorance  cv  process  freesom 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Unprofessional Development | Interface | a-n
"McLuhan suggested that the professional tends to ‘accept uncritically the ground rules’, remaining ‘contentedly unaware’ of the all-pervasive environment in which these have been established. By contrast, the amateur is not constrained by the prevailing purview, and so is potentially able to operate beyond such norms....an amateur ‘need not be a genius to stay out of ruts he has never been trained in’, but this kind of benign ignorance need not be the only rationale for such a position: instead it could be that amateurs are able to risk doing things differently, to think in alternative ways to the acceptable mainstream, because they can afford to fail - after all, their professional ‘career’ isn’t on the line. Of course, just because amateurs can do this, it doesn’t mean they will: many unpaid contributors to blogs or zines are simply wannabe professionals, their output mirroring existing conventions and essentially indistinguishable from mainstream publishing of various species."
marshallmcluhan  amateur  writing  risk  rules  outsiders  convention  risktaking  gamechanging  constraints  creativity  innovation  criticism  art  outsider  shrequest1 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Relevant History: Fred Kaplan on creative freedom
"Lots of creative moments combine prep & training w/ serendipity or the creativity that emerges out of responding to in-the-moment challenges or opportunities...Other creative acts are grounded in, or push the boundaries of, the nature & limits of the media you're working w/ (applies equally to crayons, Lie groups or reinforced concrete). The tinkering movement recognizes the fundamental materiality of most creative work & puts engagement with stuff at its center...as Matthew Crawford & Richard Sennett argue in their books, the creativity of everyone from machinists to musicians is tested & tempered by the demands that their materials make & the traditions in which they work. In other words, thinking of "creativity" as mainly an expression of a psychological gift– a capacity to be creative– is wrong. Or it's incomplete. People aren't creative when they're free to do whatever they want. They're creative when they're free to experiment, to try out new things, to fail at the boundaries."
alexsoojung-kimpang  creativity  constraints  tinkering  serendipity  materiality  innovation  cultofyouth  risk  jazz  experimentation  milesdavis 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Stand There And Do Nothing - edublogs
"read so many fewer educational blogs now...not because I'm less interested in learning & formal, schools-based education, but because so many educators' blogs are overwhelmingly samey...concentrating on tools of social media...then...how these tools are the solution to a problem that has only been waiting for this tool to show up" AND "beauty was hidden in that block of stone, needing someone to come along & break that spell, remove the covers of rock that hid the creativity underneath. If we were to take this as our direction it would be at loggerheads w/ constraints of curriculum & 5-year structures. Curricula, school buildings & "creative processes" have generally been designed on spreadsheets and therefore look like spreadsheets. They have the same unresponsive, inflexible formulae as spreadsheets or, at the very least, require a master's hand to change them (hardly the stuff to inspire the masses in our organisations to take the creative lead and bend those spreadsheet columns)."
ewanmcintosh  change  education  technology  reform  schools  teaching  pedagogy  problemsolving  constraints  flexibility  curriculum  lcproject  tcsnmy  gamechanging 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Brian Eno - interview with the producer of U2's No Line On The Horizon - Telegraph
"I’m very opinionated. When I was at art college, the teachers who helped me were not the ones I agreed with, or the ones who encouraged me, but the ones who took very strong positions. Because if someone does that, you can find your own position in relation to it: what is it that I don’t agree with? In the studio I want to articulate a position clearly enough so that other people can use it – or chuck it away if they don’t want it...In modern recording one of the biggest problems is that you’re in a world of endless possibilities. So I try to close down possibilities early on. I limit choices. I confine people to a small area of manoeuvre. There’s a reason that guitar players invariably produce more interesting music than synthesizer players: you can go through the options on a guitar in about a minute, after that you have to start making aesthetic & stylistic decisions. This computer can contain a thousand synths, each with a thousand sounds. I try to provide constraints for people."

[via: http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/1601-im-very-opinionated-when-i-was-at-art-college ]
constraints  brianeno  music  art  computers  creativity  opinion 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Derek Powazek - Programmers are Tiny Gods
"Like designers, if you give a programmer a problem with parameters, they’ll apply every bit of genius they have to solve it in the best possible way. If you tell them how to do it, you’ll suffer the wrath of an angry God."
design  constraints  coding  wisdom  derekpowazek  programming  software  management  nerd  humor  psychology  business  process 
january 2009 by robertogreco
ed4wb » Insulat-Ed
Applying Clay Shirky: "A scribe [school], someone [an institution] who has given his life over [whose mission is] to literacy [education] as a cardinal virtue, would be conflicted about the meaning of movable type [free-forming educational networks]. After all, if books [information/teachers/experts] are good, then surely more books [information/teachers/experts] are better. But at the same time the very scarcity of literacy [information/teachers/experts] was what gave scribal [school/institutional] effort its primacy, and the scribal [school/institutional] way of life was based on this scarcity. Now the scribe’s [institution’s/school’s] skills [information/teachers/expertise] were [are] eminently replaceable, and his [its] function–making copies of books [educating]–was [is] better accomplished by ignoring tradition than by embracing it.” (p. 67)
education  learning  tcsnmy  networks  constraints  filtering  insulation  rules  regulation  clayshirky  control  change  reform  school  schooling  policy  networkedlearning  administration  leadership  management  connectivism  21stcenturyskills  networking  learning2.0  future 
december 2008 by robertogreco
so ive been reading (3 September 2002, Interconnected)
"What if you didn't know all the rules when you started? ... what if the only win-state was that your opponent agreed you'd won? ... in the real world it is possible to break the rules, and the fact that's done changes the nature of the game. ... there are certain rules that can't be broken in the real world ... But there are rules ... which are more mutable. ... It seems to me that rules are an approximation of pushes and pulls; that if this was linguistics then the real world would be optimality theory. Rules are just the bottom of potential wells. ... How to make a game ... that has no rules except geography and a mutable incentive space that changes based on past moves, and no win-state except your opponent agreeing you've won? And how to make a game which uses present-day technology effectively to change the axis we can play along, one that has a mutable morality?"
via:preoccupations  videogames  gaming  games  constraints  rules  time  ethics  mattwebb  2002 
december 2008 by robertogreco
COPE: James Wallis levels with you » A Thing of Beauty is a Stout Green Toy
"My talk, ‘A Thing of Beauty is a Stout Green Toy’, a description of how a large percentage of the modern games industry can trace its roots directly to one three-page piece of experimental French writing from the mid-1960s, seemed to go down well. Judge for yourself: I’ve uploaded it here, interspersing the slides with the text. Slideshare seems to have done something odd with several of the fonts, but I’m sure you’re big enough to get past that."
oulipo  literatura  literature  france  french  poetry  language  writing  play  constraints  books  philosophy  fiction  games  gaming  art  culture  linguistics  reading  creativity  community  structure  math  pataphysics  crossdisciplinary 
november 2008 by robertogreco
A Thing of Beauty is a Stout Green Toy - SlideShare
"My talk, ‘A Thing of Beauty is a Stout Green Toy’, a description of how a large percentage of the modern games industry can trace its roots directly to one three-page piece of experimental French writing from the mid-1960s, seemed to go down well. Judge for yourself: I’ve uploaded it here, interspersing the slides with the text. Slideshare seems to have done something odd with several of the fonts, but I’m sure you’re big enough to get past that."
oulipo  literatura  literature  france  french  poetry  language  writing  play  constraints  books  philosophy  fiction  games  gaming  art  culture  linguistics  reading  creativity  community  structure  math  pataphysics  crossdisciplinary 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Oulipo - Wikipedia
"Oulipo (pronounced oo-lee-PO) stands for "Ouvroir de littérature potentielle", which translates roughly as "workshop of potential literature". It is a loose gathering of (mainly) French-speaking writers and mathematicians, and seeks to create works using constrained writing techniques. It was founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais. Other notable members include novelists like Georges Perec and Italo Calvino, poets like Oskar Pastior or Jacques Roubaud, also known as a mathematician."

[via: http://rooreynolds.com/2008/11/01/playful-2/ ]
oulipo  literatura  literature  france  french  poetry  language  writing  play  constraints  books  philosophy  fiction  games  gaming  art  culture  linguistics  reading  creativity  community  structure  math  pataphysics  crossdisciplinary 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Tim Brown on creativity and play | Video on TED.com
"At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play -- with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn't)."

[see also: http://blog.ted.com/2008/11/the_story_of_se.php (more info about the Serious Play Conference) ]
play  creativity  innovation  education  design  learning  psychology  process  ted  ideo  games  exploration  art  workplace  lcproject  drawing  children  tcsnmy  rules  risktaking  risk  constraints  materials  eames  experimentation  tinkering  timbrown  prototyping  make  making  roleplaying  davidkelley  constructionplay 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Big Contrarian → Divide.
"I’ve seen it both ways. Working in a teams where the vast majority of the staff were multi-disciplined, and in teams where each section was clearly its own echo chamber to the point where it felt like the considerations of one team would always be ignored by the other. I can tell you that the former was not only infinitely more productive, but that the results were exponentially better....The idea of there being these two separate things has to be forced away from our thinking. They are one team, which produce one product."
design  engineering  multidisciplinary  productivity  creativity  constraints  process 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Tom Hume: Going mobile - "Yes, the iPhone and iPod Touch are ways to access the Internet, but every mobile device has two states: online and offline...
"..And you either take offline into account, or you’re forgetting 50% of possible use cases."..."Battery life, intermittent connectivity, input constraints, context of use... all different, all unavoidable, all vital to consider when going mobile."
via:rodcorp  iphone  mobile  location  interaction  mobility  constraints  offline  online  internet  design  context 
july 2008 by robertogreco
A Brief Message: No Resistance Is Futile
"Six(1) words(2) can(3) tell(4) a(5) story(6) (while five is too small). Constraints (write without the letter “e”; use only one-syllable words; make every sentence exactly N words [see Oulipo and Georges Perec]) can force me (and you!) out of windbaggery and make certain things possible. Not long ago, tasked to review 763 songs at a swoop, I cut the review length to six words and suffered not at all.

Now when I face a new writing project, I open a spreadsheet. I want a grid to keep track of sources and dates, or to make certain that the timeline of a story makes sense. The grid imposes brevity. Relationships between sentences are exposed. Editing becomes a more explicit act of sorting, shuffling, balancing paragraphs. In this spirit, I'm rewriting some blog software to read directly from Excel. We'll see how that goes.

Socialist writer and textile artist William Morris said, “You can't have art without resistance in the materials.” Blessed and burdened with the most malleable medium in human history, we are overwhelmed by a surfeit of dross, battered by chatter. There are benefits to gain by adding, in the form of constraints, some resistance to the materials."

[Wayback: https://web.archive.org/web/20080327183946/http://abriefmessage.com/2008/03/24/ford/ ]
paulford  minimalism  howwework  simplicity  constraints  excel  productivity  writing  spreadsheets  2008  williammorris 
march 2008 by robertogreco
99-cent fine dining (kottke.org)
"Henry Alford prepared all his meals for a week using ingredients purchased from 99-cent stores...Trader Joe's shoppers are already accustomed to those constraints."
cooking  food  traderjoes  creativity  shopping  constraints 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Social Times SXSW - General Theory of Creative Relativity - Brightcove
"Jim Coudal on the General Theory of Creative Relativity" - "Coudal is like a Montessori preschool" "6, 7, 8 people is a really nice non-political size"
coudal  creativity  cv  sxsw  theory  art  design  wordplay  fun  work  generalists  constraints  creative  literature  writing  howwework  thinking  process 
march 2008 by robertogreco
k-punk: Can't stay long
"Moving from one rented property to another, from one job (and ‘skill set’) to another, it’s unlikely that I will ever have a ‘home’ in the sense that my parents have one. This provokes ambivalent feelings: I’m well aware that keeping on the move revivifies at least as much as it drains, that the old, limited horizons were constraining, but the thought that there could come a point when I won't move again is increasingly alluring."
mobility  neo-nomads  nomads  moving  possessions  stability  furniture  future  change  society  life  constraints  homes  psychology  work  jobs  careers  place  identity  memory  digital  books  k-punk  markfisher 
february 2008 by robertogreco
collision detection: Is text-messaging the new word processor?
"But if you think of the phone as a new type of word processor, then a different picture emerges. The reason all these young people are writing novels is that they've discovered, quite by accident, that they're carrying typewriters around in their pockets
writing  trends  texting  youth  japan  literature  mobile  phones  tools  society  technology  constraints  clivethompson 
january 2008 by robertogreco
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