robertogreco + kottke   103

Blogging is most certainly not dead
"A few weeks ago, I asked the readers of the Noticing newsletter to send in links to their blogs and newsletters (or to their favorite blogs and newsletters written by others). And boy, did they! I pared the submissions list down to a representative sample and sent it out as last week’s newsletter. Here’s a smaller excerpt of that list…you can find the whole thing here.

Several people wrote in about Swiss Miss, Subtraction, Damn Interesting, Cup of Jo, sites I also read regularly.

Ted pointed me towards Julia Evans’ blog, where she writes mostly (but not exclusively) about programming and technology. One of my favorite things about reading blogs is when their authors go off-topic. (Which might explain why everything on kottke.org is off-topic. Or is everything on-topic?)

Bruce sent in Follow Me Here, which linked to 3 Quarks Daily, a high-quality blog I’d lost track of.

Marcelo Rinesi blogs infrequently about a little bit of everything. “We write to figure out who we are and what we think.”

Futility Closet is “a collection of entertaining curiosities in history, literature, language, art, philosophy, and mathematics, designed to help you waste time as enjoyably as possible”. (Thx, Peter)

Michael Tsai blogs about technology in a very old school way…reading through it felt like a wearing a comfortable old t-shirt.

Sidebar: the five best design links, every day. And Nico Lumma’s Five Things, “five things everyday that I find interesting”.

Pamela wrote in with dozens of links, among them visual blog But Does It Float, neuroscience blog Mind Hacks, the old school Everlasting Blort.

Elsa recommends Accidentally in Code, written by engineer Cate Huston.

Madeleine writes Extraordinary Routines, “sharing interviews, musings and life experiments that explore the intersection between creativity and imperfection”.

Kari has kept her blog for the last 15 years. I love what she wrote about why she writes:
I also keep it out of spite, because I refuse to let social media take everything. Those shapeless, formless platforms haven’t earned it and don’t deserve it. I’ve blogged about this many times, but I still believe it: When I log into Facebook, I see Facebook. When I visit your blog, I see you.

Social media is as compelling as ever, but people are increasingly souring on the surveillance state Skinner boxes like Facebook and Twitter. Decentralized media like blogs and newsletters are looking better and better these days…"

[See also:
Noticing Newsletter's "Blogging Is Most Certainly Not Dead" edition:
https://mailchi.mp/kottke/blogging-is-not-dead-edition-2575912502?e=9915150aa0

Noticing Newsletter's "The Best Kottke Posts of 2018 B-Sides" edition
https://mailchi.mp/kottke/noticing-the-best-kottke-posts-of-2018-b-sides-edition-12212018?e=9915150aa0 ]
blogs  blogging  jasonkottke  kottke  2018  writing  web  web2.0  internet  online  rss 
february 2019 by robertogreco
The Ubiquitous Collectivism that Enables America’s Fierce Individualism
"Forbes recently released their 2019 “30 Under 30” list of “the brashest entrepreneurs across the United States and Canada” who are also under 30 years old. A persistent criticism of the list is that many of the people on it are there because of family or other social advantages. As Helen Rosner tweeted of last year’s list:
My take is: all 30 Under 30 lists should include disclosure of parental assets

In a piece for Vox, Aditi Juneja, creator of the Resistance Manual and who was on the 30 Under 30 list last year, writes that Forbes does ask finalists a few questions about their background and finances but also notes they don’t publish those results. Juneja goes on to assert that no one in America is entirely self-made:
Most of us receive government support, for one thing. When asked, 71 percent of Americans say that they are part of a household that has used one of the six most commonly known government benefits — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, or unemployment benefits.

And many people who benefit from government largesse fail to realize it: Sixty percent of Americans who claim the mortgage-interest deduction, which applies to homeowners, say they have never used a government program. If you’ve driven on public roads, gone to public school, or used the postal service as part of your business — well, we all rely on collective infrastructure to get ahead.

And then she lists some of the ways in which she has specifically benefitted from things like government programs, having what sounds like a stable home environment, and her parents having sufficient income to save money for her higher education.
I went to public schools through eighth grade. My parents were able to save for some of my college costs through a plan that provides tax relief for those savings. I stayed on my parent’s health insurance until I was 26 under the Affordable Care Act. I have received the earned income tax credit, targeted at those with low or moderate income. I took out federal student loans to go to law school.

Juneja’s piece reminds me of this old post about how conservatives often gloss over all of the things that the government does for its citizens:
At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the national institute of standards and technology and the US naval observatory, I get into my national highway traffic safety administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the environmental protection agency, using legal tender issed by the federal reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US postal service and drop the kids off at the public school.

And also of mayor Pete Buttigieg’s idea of a more progressive definition of freedom:
Or think about the idea of family, in the context of everyday life. It’s one thing to talk about family values as a theme, or a wedge — but what’s it actually like to have a family? Your family does better if you get a fair wage, if there’s good public education, if there’s good health care when you need it. These things intuitively make sense, but we’re out of practice talking about them.

I also think we need to talk about a different kind of patriotism: a fidelity to American greatness in its truest sense. You think about this as a local official, of course, but a truly great country is made of great communities. What makes a country great isn’t chauvinism. It’s the kinds of lives you enable people to lead. I think about wastewater management as freedom. If a resident of our city doesn’t have to give it a second thought, she’s freer.

Lists like 30 Under 30 reinforce the idea of American individualism at the expense of the deep spirit & practice of collectivism that pervades daily American life. America’s fierce individuals need each other. Let’s celebrate and enable that."
kottke  us  individualism  collectivism  aditijuneja  resistance  culture  government  publicgood  helenrosner  petebuttigieg  politics  30under30  class  society  delusions  myths  entrepreneurship  privilege  infrastructure 
november 2018 by robertogreco
How the Sears Catalog Undermined White Supremacy in the Jim Crow South
[See also:
https://twitter.com/louishyman/status/1051872178415828993
Every time a black southerner went to the local store they were confronted with forced deference to white customers who would be served first. The stores were not self-service, so the black customers would have to wait. And then would have to ask the proprietor to give them goods (often on credit because…sharecropping). The landlord often owned the store. In every way shopping reinforced hierarchy. Until Sears.

The catalog undid the power of the storekeeper, and by extension the landlord. Black families could buy without asking permission. Without waiting. Without being watched. With national (cheap) prices!

"Sears’s ‘radical’ past: How mail-order catalogues subverted the racial hierarchy of Jim Crow"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/10/16/searss-radical-past-how-mail-order-catalogues-subverted-the-racial-hierarchy-of-jim-crow/

"Back When Sears Made Black Customers a Priority
In this week’s Race/Related, an interview about Jim Crow capitalism and Sears."
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/20/us/sears-jim-crow-racism-catalog.html

"Remembering the Rosenwald Schools
How Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington created a thriving schoolhouse construction program for African Americans in the rural South."
https://www.architectmagazine.com/design/culture/remembering-the-rosenwald-schools_o
sears  jimcrow  history  whitesupremacy  access  2018  mail  education  inequality  louishyman  antonianoorifarzan  kottke  us  south  music  tedgioia  business  jerry  hancock  race  racism 
october 2018 by robertogreco
The 23 best films of the 2000s
[actually points to four lists, all worth looking at]
film  towatch  kottke 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Old memories, accidentally trapped in amber by our digital devices
"Part of what humans use technology for is to better remember the past. We scroll back through photos on our phones and on Instagram & Flickr — “that was Fourth of July 5 years ago, so fun!” — and apps like Swarm, Timehop, and Facebook surface old locations, photos, and tweets for us on the regular. But sometimes, we run into the good old days in unexpected places on our digital devices.

Designer and typographer Marcin Wichary started a thread on Twitter yesterday about “UIs that accidentally amass memories” with the initial example of the “Preferred Networks” listing of all the wifi networks his computer had ever joined, “unexpected reminders of business trips, vacations, accidental detours, once frequented and now closed cafés”.

[image: screeshot of macOS wi-fi panel]

Several other people chimed in with their own examples…the Bluetooth pairings list, the Reminders app, the list of alarms, saved places in mapping apps, AIM/iChat status message log, chat apps not used for years, the Gmail drafts folder, etc.

John Bull noted that his list of former addresses on Amazon is “a massive walk down memory line of my old jobs and places of residence”. I just looked at mine and I’ve got addresses in there from almost 20 years ago.

Steven Richie suggested the Weather app on iOS:
I usually like to add the city I will be travelling to ahead of time to get a sense of what it will be like when we get there.

I do this too but am pretty good about culling my cities list. Still, there are a couple places I keep around even though I haven’t been to them in awhile…a self-nudge for future travel desires perhaps.

Kotori switched back to an old OS via a years-old backup and found “a post-breakup message that came on the day i switched phones”:
thought i moved on but so many whatifs flashed in my head when i read it. what if i never got a new phone. what if they messaged me a few minutes earlier. what if we used a chat that did backups differently

Similarly, Richard fired up Google Maps on an old phone and was briefly transported through time and space:
On a similar note to both of these, a while ago I switched back to my old Nokia N95 after my iPhone died. Fired up Google Maps, and for a brief moment, it marked my location as at a remote crossroads in NZ where I’d last had it open, lost on a road trip at least a decade before.

Matt Sephton runs into old friends when he plays Nintendo:
Every time my friends and I play Nintendo WiiU/Wii/3DS games we see a lot of our old Mii avatars. Some are 10 years old and of a time. Amongst them is a friend who passed away a few years back. It’s always so good to see him. It’s as if he’s still playing the games with us.

For better or worse, machines never forget those who aren’t with us anymore. Dan Noyes’ Gmail holds a reminder of his late wife:
Whenever I open Gmail I see the last message that my late wife sent me via Google chat in 2014. It’s her standard “pssst” greeting for me: “aye aye”. I leave it unread lest it disappears.

It’s a wonderful thread…read the whole thing. [https://twitter.com/mwichary/status/996056615928266752 ]

I encounter these nostalgia bombs every once in awhile too. I closed dozens of tabs the other day on Chrome for iOS; I don’t use it very often, so some of them dated back to more than a year ago. I have bookmarks on browsers I no longer use on my iMac that are more than 10 years old. A MacOS folder I dump temporary images & files into has stuff going back years. Everyone I know stopped using apps like Path and Peach, so when I open them, I see messages from years ago right at the top like they were just posted, trapped in amber.

My personal go-to cache of unexpected memories is Messages on iOS. Scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the list, I can find messages from numbers I haven’t communicated with since a month or two after I got my first iPhone in 2007.

[image: screenshot of Messages in iOS]

There and elsewhere in the listing are friends I’m no longer in touch with, business lunches that went nowhere, old flames, messages from people I don’t even remember, arriving Lyfts in unknown cities, old landlords, completely contextless messages from old numbers (“I am so drunk!!!!” from a friend’s wife I didn’t know that well?!), old babysitters, a bunch of messages from friends texting to be let into our building for a holiday party, playdate arrangements w/ the parents of my kids’ long-forgotten friends (which Ella was that?!), and old group texts with current friends left to languish for years. From one of these group texts, I was just reminded that my 3-year-old daughter liked to make cocktails:

[screenshot]

Just like Sally Draper! Speaking of Mad Men, Don’s correct: nostalgia is a potent thing, so I’ve got to stop poking around my phone and get back to work.

Update: I had forgotten this great example about a ghost driver in an old Xbox racing game.
Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together — until he died, when i was just 6.

i couldnt touch that console for 10 years.

but once i did, i noticed something.

we used to play a racing game, Rally Sports Challenge. actually pretty awesome for the time it came.

and once i started meddling around… i found a GHOST.

See also this story about Animal Crossing. (via @ironicsans/status/996445080943808512)"
digital  memory  memories  2018  jasonkottke  kottke  traces  animalcrossing  videogames  games  gaming  flickr  wifi  marcinwichary  death  relationships  obsolescence  gmail  googlhangouts  googlechat  iphone  ios  nostalgia  xbox  nintendo  messages  communication  googlemaps  place  time  chrome  mac  osx 
may 2018 by robertogreco
The respect of personhood vs the respect of authority
"In April 2015, Autistic Abby wrote on their Tumblr about how people mistakenly conflate two distinct definitions of “respect” when relating to and communicating with others.
Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”

and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”

and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.

This is an amazing & astute observation and applies readily to many aspects of our current political moment, i.e. the highest status group in the US for the past two centuries (white males) experiencing a steep decline in their status relative to other groups. This effect plays out in relation to gender, race, sexual orientation, age, and class. An almost cartoonishly on-the-nose example is Trump referring to undocumented immigrants as “animals” and then whining about the press giving him a hard time. You can also see it when conservative intellectuals with abundant social standing and privilege complain that their ideas about hanging women or the innate inferiority of non-whites are being censored.

Men who abuse their partners do this…and then sometimes parlay their authoritarian frustrations & easily available assault weapons into mass shootings. There are ample examples of law enforcement — the ultimate embodiment of authority in America — treating immigrants, women, black men, etc. like less than human. A perfect example is the “incel” movement, a group of typically young, white, straight men who feel they have a right to sex and therefore treat women who won’t oblige them like garbage.

You can see it happening in smaller, everyday ways too: never trust anyone who treats restaurant servers like shit because what they’re really doing is abusing their authority as a paying customer to treat another person as subhuman."
culture  diversity  language  respect  personhood  authority  jasonkottke  kottke  status  hierarchy  patriarchy  gender  race  racism  sexism  lawenforcement  humanism  humans 
may 2018 by robertogreco
My social media fast
"Social media, mostly through my phone, has been an important way for me to stay connected with friends and goings on in the wider world. But lately I’d noticed an obsessiveness, an addiction really, that I didn’t like once I became fully aware of it. When I wasn’t working, I was on my phone, refreshing Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook repeatedly in an endless series, like a little old lady at Caesar’s Palace working several slot machines at the same time. And I couldn’t stop it — my phone was in my hand even when I was trying to concentrate on my kids, watching a movie, or reading a book. So, I quit for a week to see what would happen. It’s not a super-long time period, but here’s what I noticed:

- Once I’d set my mind to it, it was pretty easy to go cold turkey. Perhaps my Twitter usage and keeping up with the news for kottke.org acted as a nicotine patch, but I don’t think so. Instagram was the toughest to stay away from, but I didn’t crack once.

- As the week went on, it was more and more evident that it wasn’t so much social media as the phone that was the problem. Even now, a few days after the conclusion of my experiment, I’m leaving my phone at home when I go out or across the room when I’m doing something. I’m going to try hard to keep this up.

- Buuuut, when you have kids, there is no such thing as giving up your phone. There’s always the potential call from their school or their mom or their doctor or another parent regarding a playdate or or or. I spend enough time online at my computer for work that I could mostly do without my phone, but with kids, that’s not really an option.

- Not a single person noticed that I had stopped using social media. (Not enough to tell me anyway.) Perhaps if it had been two weeks? For me, this reinforced that social media is actually not a good way to “stay connected with friends”. Social media aggregates interactions between loved ones so that you get industrialized communication rather than personal connection. No one really notices if a particular person goes missing because they’re just one interchangeable node in a network.

- My no-social week, for a variety of reasons, was probably the shittiest week I’d had in more than a year. Total emotional mess. Being off social media didn’t make it any better, but I doubt it made it worse. Overall, it was probably a good thing I wasn’t subjecting my friends and followers to self-subtweets and emo Instagram Stories…I was already scoring enough own goals without social media’s help.

- So, what did I do instead? I wish I could say that I had loads of extra free time that I used to learn Spanish, clean my house, catch up with old friends, cook delicious meals, and finish a couple work projects. Perhaps if shittiest week ever hadn’t been happening, I would have done some of that. Still, I did end up going to bed early every night, read a couple books, and had more time for work and dealing with kid drama.

After the week was up, I greedily checked in on Instagram and Facebook to see what I had missed. Nothing much, of course. Since then, I’ve been checking them a bit less. When I am on, I’ve been faving and commenting more in an attempt to be a little more active in connecting. I unfollowed some accounts I realized I didn’t care that much about and followed others I’ve been curious to check out. Swarm I check a lot less, about once a day — there was a lot of FOMO going on when I saw friends checked in at cool places in NYC or on vacations in Europe. And I’m only checking in when I go someplace novel, just to keep a log of where I’ve been…that’s always fun to look back on.

Mostly, I’ve resolved to use my phone less. Being on my phone was my fidget spinner…this thing that I would do when there was nothing else to do or that I would use to delay going to bed or delay getting out of bed in the morning. Going forward, I’m going to be more mindful about its use. If nothing else, my hands and thumbs might start feeling better."
kottke  smartphones  socialmedia  via:lukenff  2017  fomo  balance  twitter  instagram  social  presence  sleep 
june 2017 by robertogreco
The Weird Thing About Today's Internet - The Atlantic
"O’Reilly’s lengthy description of the principles of Web 2.0 has become more fascinating through time. It seems to be describing a slightly parallel universe. “Hyperlinking is the foundation of the web,” O’Reilly wrote. “As users add new content, and new sites, it is bound into the structure of the web by other users discovering the content and linking to it. Much as synapses form in the brain, with associations becoming stronger through repetition or intensity, the web of connections grows organically as an output of the collective activity of all web users.”

Nowadays, (hyper)linking is an afterthought because most of the action occurs within platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and messaging apps, which all have carved space out of the open web. And the idea of “harnessing collective intelligence” simply feels much more interesting and productive than it does now. The great cathedrals of that time, nearly impossible projects like Wikipedia that worked and worked well, have all stagnated. And the portrait of humanity that most people see filtering through the mechanics of Facebook or Twitter does not exactly inspire confidence in our social co-productions.

Outside of the open-source server hardware and software worlds, we see centralization. And with that centralization, five giant platforms have emerged as the five most valuable companies in the world: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook."



"All this to say: These companies are now dominant. And they are dominant in a way that almost no other company has been in another industry. They are the mutant giant creatures created by software eating the world.

It is worth reflecting on the strange fact that the five most valuable companies in the world are headquartered on the Pacific coast between Cupertino and Seattle. Has there ever been a more powerful region in the global economy? Living in the Bay, having spent my teenage years in Washington state, I’ve grown used to this state of affairs, but how strange this must seem from from Rome or Accra or Manila.

Even for a local, there are things about the current domination of the technology industry that are startling. Take the San Francisco skyline. In 2007, the visual core of the city was north of Market Street, in the chunky buildings of the downtown financial district. The TransAmerica Pyramid was a regional icon and had been the tallest building in the city since construction was completed in 1972. Finance companies were housed there. Traditional industries and power still reigned. Until quite recently, San Francisco had primarily been a cultural reservoir for the technology industries in Silicon Valley to the south."

[See also:

"How the Internet has changed in the past 10 years"
http://kottke.org/17/05/how-the-internet-has-changed-in-the-past-10-years

"What no one saw back then, about a week after the release of the original iPhone, was how apps on smartphones would change everything. In a non-mobile world, these companies and services would still be formidable but if we were all still using laptops and desktops to access information instead of phones and tablets, I bet the open Web would have stood a better chance."

"‘The Internet Is Broken’: @ev Is Trying to Salvage It"
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/20/technology/evan-williams-medium-twitter-internet.html]

[Related:
"Tech’s Frightful Five: They’ve Got Us"
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/technology/techs-frightful-five-theyve-got-us.html

"Which Tech Giant Would You Drop?: The Big Five tech companies increasingly dominate our lives. Could you ditch them?"
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/10/technology/Ranking-Apple-Amazon-Facebook-Microsoft-Google.html

"Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are not just the largest technology companies in the world. As I’ve argued repeatedly in my column, they are also becoming the most powerful companies of any kind, essentially inescapable for any consumer or business that wants to participate in the modern world. But which of the Frightful Five is most unavoidable? I ponder the question in my column this week.

But what about you? If an evil monarch forced you to choose, in what order would you give up these inescapable giants of tech?"]
alexismadrigal  internet  2017  apple  facebook  google  amazon  microsoft  westcoast  bayarea  sanfrancisco  seattle  siliconvalley  twitter  salesforce  instagram  snapchat  timoreilly  2005  web  online  economics  centralization  2007  web2.0  whatsapp  evanwilliams  kottke  farhadmanjoo 
may 2017 by robertogreco
On technology, culture, and growing up in a small town
"Rex Sorgatz grew up in a small and isolated town (physically, culturally) in North Dakota named Napoleon.
Out on the prairie, pop culture existed only in the vaguest sense. Not only did I never hear the Talking Heads or Public Enemy or The Cure, I could never have heard of them. With a radio receiver only able to catch a couple FM stations, cranking out classic rock, AC/DC to Aerosmith, the music counterculture of the '80s would have been a different universe to me. (The edgiest band I heard in high school was The Cars. "My Best Friend's Girl" was my avant-garde.)

Is this portrait sufficiently remote? Perhaps one more stat: I didn't meet a black person until I was 16, at a summer basketball camp. I didn't meet a Jewish person until I was 18, in college.

This was the Deep Midwest in the 1980s. I was a pretty clueless kid.

He recently returned there and found that the physical isolation hasn't changed, but thanks to the internet, the kids now have access to the full range of cultural activities and ideas from all over the world.
"Basically, this story is a controlled experiment," I continue. "Napoleon is a place that has remained static for decades. The economics, demographics, politics, and geography are the same as when I lived here. In the past twenty-five years, only one thing has changed: technology."

Rex is a friend and nearly every time we get together, we end up talking about our respective small town upbringings and how we both somehow managed to escape. My experience wasn't quite as isolated as Rex's -- I lived on a farm until I was 9 but then moved to a small town of 2500 people; plus my dad flew all over the place and the Twin Cities were 90 minutes away by car -- but was similar in many ways. The photo from his piece of the rusted-out orange car buried in the snow could have been taken in the backyard of the house I grew up in, where my dad still lives. Kids listened to country, top 40, or heavy metal music. I didn't see Star Wars or Empire in a theater. No cable TV until I was 14 or 15. No AP classes until I was a senior. Aside from a few Hispanics and a family from India, everyone was white and Protestant. The FFA was huge in my school. I had no idea about rap music or modernism or design or philosophy or Andy Warhol or 70s film or atheism. I didn't know what I didn't know and had very little way of finding out.

I didn't even know I should leave. But somehow I got out. I don't know about Rex, but "escape" is how I think of it. I was lucky enough to excel at high school and got interest from schools from all over the place. My dad urged me to go to college...I was thinking about getting a job (probably farming or factory work) or joining the Navy with a friend. That's how clueless I was...I knew so little about the world that I didn't know who I was in relation to it. My adjacent possible just didn't include college even though it was the best place for a kid like me.

In college in an Iowan city of 110,000, I slowly discovered what I'd been missing. Turns out, I was a city kid who just happened to grow up in a small town. I met other people from all over the country and, in time, from all over the world. My roommate sophomore year was black.1 I learned about techno music and programming and photography and art and classical music and LGBT and then the internet showed up and it was game over. I ate it all up and never got full. And like Rex:

Napoleon had no school newspaper, and minimal access to outside media, so I had no conception of "the publishing process." Pitching an idea, assigning a story, editing and rewriting -- all of that would have baffled me. I had only ever seen a couple of newspapers and a handful of magazines, and none offered a window into its production. (If asked, I would have been unsure if writers were even paid, which now seems prescient.) Without training or access, but a vague desire to participate, boredom would prove my only edge. While listlessly paging through the same few magazines over and over, I eventually discovered a semi-concealed backdoor for sneaking words onto the hallowed pages of print publications: user-generated content.

That's the ghastly term we use (or avoid using) today for non-professional writing submitted by readers. What was once a letter to the editor has become a comment; editorials, now posts. The basic unit persists, but the quantity and facility have matured. Unlike that conspicuous "What's on your mind?" input box atop Facebook, newspapers and magazines concealed interaction with readers, reluctant of the opinions of randos. But if you were diligent enough to find the mailing address, often sequestered deep in the back pages, you could submit letters of opinion and other ephemera.
I eventually found the desire to express myself. Using a copy of Aldus PhotoStyler I had gotten from who knows where, I designed party flyers for DJ friends' parties. I published a one-sheet periodical for the residents of my dorm floor, to be read in the bathroom. I made meme-y posters2 which I hung around the physics department. I built a homepage that just lived on my hard drive because our school didn't offer web hosting space and I couldn't figure out how to get an account elsewhere.3 Well, you know how that last bit turned out, eventually.4"
jasonkottke  kottke  rexsorgatz  2016  rural  internet  web  isolation  connectivity  change  subcultures  media  culture  childhood  youth  teens  socialmedia  college  education  universities  highered  highereducation  midwest  cv  music  film  television  tv  cable  cabletv  cosmopolitanism  worldliness  urban  urbanism  interneturbanism  1980s  northdakota  minnesota  homogeneity  diversity  apclasses  aps  religion  ethnicity  race  exposure  facebook 
april 2016 by robertogreco
LOTR's One Ring explainer
"Here's a good explanation of what the One Ring from Lord of the Rings actually is and what it can do:

[video: “The One Ring Explained. (Lord of the Rings Mythology Part 2)”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKU0qDpu3AM ]

I transcribed a short passage from the video:
First, the ring tempts everyone (well, almost everyone) with promises that yes, this little ring can be a mighty weapon or a tool to reshape the world and gosh don't you just look like the best guy to use it. Let's go vanquish the powerful demigod who lives over there to get started, shall we? This is why the hobbits made great ring bearers, because they're pretty happy with the way things are and don't aspire to greatness. Of course, there's Gollum, who started out as a hobbit, but all things considered, he held out pretty well for a couple hundred years. Set the ring on the desk of most men and they wouldn't be able to finish their coffee before heading to Mordor to rule the world and do it right this time.

What's interesting about hearing of The Ring in this focused way is how it becomes a part of Tolkien's criticism of technology. The Ring does what every mighty bit of tech can do to its owner/user: makes them feel powerful and righteous. Look what we can do with this thing! So much! So much good! We are good therefore whatever we do with this will be good!

The contemporary idea of the tech startup is arguably the most seductive and powerful technology of the present moment, the One Ring of our times. It's not difficult to modify a few words in the passage above to make it more current:
First, the startup tempts everyone (well, almost everyone) with promises that yes, this little company can be a mighty weapon or a tool to reshape the world and gosh don't you just look like the best guy to use it. Let's go disrupt the powerful middleman who lives over there to get started, shall we? This is why the nerds made great ring bearers, because they're pretty happy with the way things are and don't aspire to greatness. Of course, there's Sergey and Larry, who started out as nerds, but all things considered, they held out pretty well for a decade. Set the ring on the desk of most men and they wouldn't be able to finish their mail-order espresso before heading to Silicon Valley to rule the world and do it right this time.

Ok, haha, LOL, and all that, but it's curious that nerds (and everyone else) shelled out billions of dollars to watch Peter Jackson's LOTR movies in the early 2000s in the aftermath of the dot com bust. Those were dark times...the power of the startup had just been lost after Kozmo's CEO Dave Isildur was slain by economists while delivering a single pint of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby to far reaches of the Outer Sunset and had not yet been rediscovered by Schachter, Butterfield, and Zuckerberg.

And these nerds, whose spines all tingled when Aragorn charged into the hordes of Mordor -- for Frodo! -- and whose eyes filled with tears when Frodo parted with Sam at the Grey Havens, came away from that movie experience siding with Boromir, Saruman, and Denethor, determined to seize that startup magic for themselves to disrupt all of the things, defeat the evil corporate middlemen, and reshape the world to be a better and more efficient place. And gosh don't you just look like the best guy to use it?"

[See also: “The Lord of the Rings Mythology Explained (Part 1)”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxgsxaFWWHQ ]
jasonkottke  kottke  lotr  lordoftherings  jrrtolkien  startups  siliconvalley  technology  2015  economics  humor 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Policing by consent
"In light of the ongoing policing situation in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the shooting of an unarmed man by a police officer and how the response to the community protests is highlighting the militarization of US police departments since 9/11, it's instructive to look at one of the first and most successful attempts at the formation of a professional police force.

The UK Parliament passed the first Metropolitan Police Act in 1829. The act was introduced by Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, who undertook a study of crime and policing, which resulted in his belief that the keys to building an effective police force were to 1) make it professional (most prior policing had been volunteer in nature); 2) organize as a civilian force, not as a paramilitary force; and 3) make the police accountable to the public. The Metropolitan Police, whose officers were referred to as "bobbies" after Peel, was extremely successful and became the model for the modern urban police force, both in the UK and around the world, including in the United States.

At the heart of the Metropolitan Police's charter were a set of rules either written by Peel or drawn up at some later date by the two founding Commissioners: The Nine Principles of Policing. They are as follows:

1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.

3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.

4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.

5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.

6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.

7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.

9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

As police historian Charles Reith noted in 1956, this philosophy was radical when implemented in London in the 1830s and "unique in history and throughout the world because it derived not from fear but almost exclusively from public co-operation with the police, induced by them designedly by behaviour which secures and maintains for them the approval, respect and affection of the public". Apparently, it remains radical in the United States in 2014. (thx, peter)"
history  police  politics  consent  2014  jasonkottke  kottke  ferguson  robertpeel  1829  lawenforcement  power  publicservants  law  legal 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The ghost in the machine
"In racing video games, a ghost is a car representing your best score that races with you around the track. This story of a son discovering and racing against his deceased father's ghost car in an Xbox racing game will hit you right in the feels."

[See also: http://jalopnik.com/son-finds-his-late-dads-ghost-in-a-racing-video-game-1609457749 ]

[Update 16 Apr 2016: Now a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCtSgb-b7zg ]
death  ghosts  digitalghosts  kottke  digitaltrails  memory  games  gaming  videogames  xbox  2014 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Dronies!
"A dronie is a video selfie taken with a drone. I featured Amit Gupta's beautiful dronie yesterday: [video embedded]

Other people have since taken dronies of their own and the idea seems like it's on the cusp of becoming a thing. Here's one taken by Joshua Works of him and his family on the shore of a lake in Nevada: [video embedded]

The Works clan sold most of their worldly possessions in 2011 and has been travelling the US in an Airstream ever since, logging more than 75,000 miles so far.

Adam Lisagor took this dronie of him and fellow drone enthusiast Alex Cornell standing on the roof of a building in LA: [video embedded]

Adam was inspired to begin playing with drone photography because of Alex's recent video on Our Drone Future.

Have you taken a dronie? Let me know and I'll add it to the list.

Update: Jakob Lodwick reversed Amit's dronie from a pull back shot to a Spielbergesque close-up. This reel from Antimedia begins with a dronie. Steffan van Esch took a group dronie. This video opens with a quick dronie. I like this one from Taylor Scott Mason, if only for the F1-like whine of the receding drone: [video embedded]

Here's a Powers of Ten-inspired dronie that combines a Google Earth zoom-in with drone-shot footage covering the last few hundred feet: [video embedded]

Adam Lisagor wrote a bit about drone photography and how photographers always come back to the human subject, no matter what format the camera takes:
There's a reason that you're going to see a lot of these from drone flyers like me, and it's this: once you get past the novelty of taking a camera high up in the air, getting a bird's eye view of stuff is actually a little boring.

What birds see is actually a little boring. Humans are interesting. Getting close to stuff is interesting. I bet if we could strap tiny cameras to bird heads, most of what we'd want to look at would happen when they fly close to people. If we could, we'd put cameras on bird heads to take pictures of ourselves.

The company that Amit runs, Photojojo, is going to start doing rentals soon, including kits for drone photography. And they're gonna do flying lessons as well. For now, there's a tutorial on the page about how to make "the perfect dronie". (thx to everyone who sent in videos)
amitgupta  kottke  drones  droneproject  dronies  photography  video  adamligasor  joshuaworks  taylorscottmason  steffanvanesch  jakoblodwick 
april 2014 by robertogreco
One-handed computing with the iPhone
"The easy single-handed operation of the iPhone1 is not one of its obvious selling points but is one of those little features that grows on you and becomes nearly indispensable. A portable networked computing and gaming device that can be easily operated with one hand can be used in a surprising variety of situations."

[See also: http://kottke.org/13/09/computers-are-for-people ]

[Update: see also (via @ablerism):
"It’s a Man’s Phone: My female hands meant I couldn’t use my Google Nexus to document tear gas misuse"
https://medium.com/technology-and-society/its-a-mans-phone-a26c6bee1b69 ]
computersareforpeople  iphone  usability  accessibility  apple  design  kottke  2009  timcarmody  jasonkottke 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Yeah, I'm free-thinking
"It's tempting to conclude that the computer is the magical ingredient here: just add computers and children can learn anything. But if the story of Sergio Juárez Correa's fifth-grade class is any indication, the secret is the kids organizing themselves to learn."
kottke  self-organizedlearning  holeinthewall  sugatamitra  learning  unschooling  deschooling  2013  computers  edtech 
november 2013 by robertogreco
CDC official: we've reached "the end of antibiotics"
"Yesterday, Mark Sample tweeted about disasters, low-points, and chronic trauma:
"Low point" is the term for when the worst part of a disaster has come to pass. Our disasters increasingly have no low point.

After the low point of a disaster is reached, things begin to get better. When there is no clear low point, society endures chronic trauma.

Disasters with no clear low point: global warming, mass extinction, colony collapse disorder, ocean acidification, Fukushima.

To which I would add: drug-resistant infectious diseases."
2013  marksample  kottke  disasters  lowpoints  trauma  chronictrauma  antibiotics  disease  climatechange  globalwarming  massextinction  colonycollapsedisorder  oceanacidification  fukushima 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Stay small or go big?
"You see, they kept it small, just one spot, just a few tables. There'd be a line around the corner by 10 am. You see, they made a choice. Anthony and Gail made a choice to stay on Baronne Street and keep their hands on what they were serving. They cooked, everyday they cooked, until they could cook no more.

But there's also another way to approach your business:

The other choice is that you can build something big but keep it the way that you wanna keep it. Take those ideas and try to execute them to the highest level. You got a lotta people around you, right? You're the captain of the ship. Or what I should say is that you're the ship. And all these people that look up to you and wanna be around you, they're living in the ship. And they're saying, "Oh, the ship is doing good. Oh, the ship is going to some interesting places. Oh, this ship isn't going down just like all the other fucking ships I've been on." …"
leadership  directing  making  restaurants  blogging  sustainability  growth  business  johngruber  daringfireball  scaling  slow  small  anthonybourdain  treme  emerillagasse  2012  kottke  jasonkottke  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Did Columbus cause The Little Ice Age?
"I'm slowly working my way through Charles Mann's 1493 and there are interesting tidbits on almost every page. One of my favorite bits of the book so far is a possible explanation of the Little Ice Age that I hadn't heard before put forth by William Ruddiman.

"As human communities grow, Ruddiman pointed out, they open more land for farms and cut down more trees for fuel and shelter. In Europe and Asia, forests were cut down with the ax. In the Americas before [Columbus], the primary tool was fire. For weeks on end, smoke from Indian bonfires shrouded Florida, California, and the Great Plains."

Burning like this happened all over the pre-Columbian Americas, from present-day New England to Mexico to the Amazon basin to Argentina. Then the Europeans came…"
1493  newworld  civilization  ancientcivilization  history  classideas  books  toread  climatechange  anthropocene  weather  climate  geo/us  2011  kottke  williamruddiman  charlesmann  precolumbian  postcolumbian  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Oxford Writing and Style Guide no longer recommending the Oxford comma
"The kottke.org style guide still advocates the use of the Oxford comma, but take that with a grain of salt; I also misuse semicolons, use too many (often unnecessary) parentheses -- not to mention m-dashes that are actually rendered as two n-dashes in old-school ASCII fashion -- use too many commas, and place punctuation outside quotation marks, which many people find, in the words of Bill S. Preston Esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan, "bogus". Oh, and in another nod to the old-school, I also use "dumb quotes" instead of the fancier and, I guess, technically more correct "smart quotes". (via, who else?, @tcarmody (or should that be "whom else?"))"
writing  style  oxford  commas  kottke  howwewrite  punctuation  parentheses  quotationmarks  dumbquotes  2011  serialcomma  oxfordcomma  language  communication  styleguides  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
The invention of social computing
"As is the case with many of his movies, Morris uses the story of a key or unique individual to paint a broader picture; in this instance, as the story of his brother's involvement with an early email system unfolds, we also learn about the beginnings of social computing…

It seems completely nutty to me that people using computers together -- which is probably 100% of what people use computers for today (email, Twitter, Facebook, IM, etc.) -- was an accidental byproduct of a system designed to let a lot of people use the same computer separately. Just goes to show, technology and invention works in unexpected ways sometimes...and just as "nature finds a way" in Jurassic Park, "social finds a way" with technology."
kottke  errolmorris  socialcomputing  email  ctss  arpa  darpa  technology  social  2011  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Why you should care about cricket
"Knowing nothing about cricket, ESPN.com writer Wright Thompson heads for India to watch the 2011 Cricket World Cup and discovers he's a fan but that India's relationship with the sport is changing."
kottke  cricket  sports  2011  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Text Patterns: curators and imitators
"So I’d suggest this as the beginnings of a taxonomy:

1) The Linker: That’s what most of us are. We just link to things we’re interested in, without any particular agenda or system at work…my Pinboard page…page of links.

2) The Coolhunter: People who strive to find the unusual, the striking, the amazing — the very, very cool, often within certain topical boundaries, but widely & loosely defined ones…Kottke & Maria Popova…

3) The Curator: There are some. Not many…tends to have a clear & strict focus…some particular area of interest…finds things that other people can’t find…easily…having access to stuff that is not fully public…putting stuff online for the first time…having a unique take on public material…Bibliodyssey is a genuinely curated site; also, just because of its highly distinctive sensibility, Things magazine.

…not saying that one of these categories is superior to the others. They’re just all different, and the difference is worth noting."
alanjacobs  via:lukeneff  curation  curating  online  web  blogging  kottke  mariapopova  taxonomy  links  bookmarks  del.icio.us  pinboard  blogs  tumblr  bibliodyssey  coolhunters  2011  language  sharing  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Twitter sparklines
"I've been seeing a few mini bar charts (aka sparklines) pop up on Twitter in the past few days. Like this one: [image]

Last year Alex Kerin built an Excel-to-Twitter sparkline generator that uses Unicode block elements for the tiny charts and now media outlets like the WSJ are using it to publish data to Twitter: [images]

Anil Dash has a nice post on how the WSJ came to use Kerin's idea. Here are a few more favorites "sparktweets" (1, 2, 3, 4, 5): [images]"
information  visualization  sparklines  edwardtufte  kottke  twitter  data  wsj  tools  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Caring for your online introvert
"Fellow introvert Joanne McNeil on Jonathan Rauch's classic article on introverts and what introversion might mean on the internet.

"Social media drains me like a large party might. I just deactivated Facebook. And I don't @ much on Twitter. Too often it feels like the "fog of [an extrovert's] 98-percent-content-free talk," as Rauch put it.""

[The post contains a broken link…will need to hunt down an archive.]
psychology  introversion  kottke  2010  joannemcneil  online  facebook  twitter  socialnetworking  web  relationships  internet  introverts  intorverts  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
How introverts travel
"It might surprise you that introverts travel differently than extroverts, particularly because most travel magazines, guidebooks, and TV shows are produced by and for extroverts.

"I don't seek people out, I am terrible at striking up conversations with strangers and I am happy exploring a strange city alone. I don't seek out political discourse with opinionated cab drivers or boozy bonding with locals over beers into the wee hours. By the time the hours get wee, I'm usually in bed in my hotel room, appreciating local color TV. (So sue me, but I contend that television is a valid reflection of a society.)"

I almost broke my neck extensively nodding in agreement while reading this article. The author also has some tips for the introverted traveler. And if you haven't read it, Jonathan Rauch's Caring for Your Introvert remains one of my favorite things that I've ever featured on kottke.org."
kottke  introversion  travel  introverts  cv  howto  psychology  2009  intorverts  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Don'ts: walking while texting
"If you run into me on the sidewalk while you are heads-down texting, emailing, IMing, reading, sexting, Angry Birdsing, or whatever elseing on your mobile device, I get to slap that fucking thing out of your hands a la Alex Rodriguez slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in game six of the 2004 American League Championship Series, except way less milquetoasty. And you do the same for me, ok?

Addendum: If you're heads-down texting on your phone accompanying a young child in a crosswalk with lots of traffic turning through it, I get to slap the phone out of your hands, punch you in the face, and take your child away from you forever. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people?"
jasonkottke  kottke  etiquette  attention  mobilephones  mobile  parenting  texting  walking  pedestrians  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Why is Schmidt stepping down at Google?
"Why can't all "tech" journalism be like this? A single article on the topic, three paragraphs, all fact, properly sourced, no opinion, little speculation, no quotes from useless analysts. Reading something this spare and straightforward makes you realize how shitty TC, Mashable, SAI, and rest are."
journalism  writing  blogs  2011  google  techcrunch  mashable  kottke  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Cameras for kids
"And for the most part, he's been really good with it. He puts the cord around his wrist so the camera won't fall on the floor if it slips out of his hands. For the first few days, he was accidentially sticking his fingers in the lens area and that caused the little shutter that covers the lens when the camera is off to stick a little bit, but he stopped doing that and learned how to fix the sticky shutter himself. He sometimes gets stuck in a weird menu after pushing too many buttons, but mostly he knows how to get in and out of the menus. He knows how to use the zoom and can shoot videos. He also can tell when the battery is running out and knows how to remove the battery to recharge it. Giving an "adult" camera to a three-year-old may seem like a recipe for confusion and broken electronics, but I'm continually amazed at kids' thirst for knowledge and empowered responsibility."
flickr  children  photography  empowerment  unschooling  deschooling  trust  parenting  kottke  cameras  enoughwiththekidsmenu  perspective  learning  education  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Complexity and the fall of Rome
"fall of Rome happened because "usual method of dealing w/ social problems by increasing complexity of society [became] too costly or beyond ability of society". Basically when Rome stopped expanding its territory, fallback was relying solely on agriculture, a relatively low-margin affair.

"no longer would conquest be a significant source of revenue for the empire, for cost of further expansion yielded no benefits greater than incurred costs. Conjointly, garrisoning its extensive border w/ professional army was becoming more burdensome, & more & more Rome came to rely on mercenary troops from Iberia & Germania.

The result of these factors meant Roman Empire began to experience severe fiscal problems as it tried to maintain level of social complexity that was beyond marginal yields of agricultural surplus & had been dependent upon continuous territorial expansion & conquest."

Hopefully I don't have to draw you a picture of how this relates to large bureaucratic companies."
complexity  economics  rome  books  business  bureaucracy  simplicity  growth  history  ancientrome  innovation  size  scale  kottke  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Four things about Mr. Snuffleupagus
"1. full name is Aloysius Snuffleupagus; 2. For > 14 years, Big Bird was only character on Sesame Street who could see Snuffy…he was BB's imaginary friend; 3. Some of the grownups on show came to believe Big Bird about existence of Snuffleupagus & he was revealed to them in Nov 1985 [video]; 4. Snuffy's reveal came about because of some high-profile sexual abuse cases: "In an interview on a Canadian telethon hosted by Bob McGrath, Snuffy's performer, Martin P. Robinson, revealed Snuffy was finally introduced to the main human cast mainly due to a string of high profile & sometimes graphic stories of pedophilia & sexual abuse of children that had been aired on shows such as 60 Minutes & 20/20. The writers felt that by having the adults refuse to believe Big Bird despite the fact that he was telling the truth, they were scaring children into thinking that their parents would not believe them if they had been sexually abused & they would just be better off remaining silent.""
snuffleupagus  sesamestreet  pedophilia  sexualabuse  children  television  tv  imaginaryfriends  trust  belief  kottke  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Vaccines don't cause autism
"The debate is essentially over and the final word is in: vaccines do not cause autism. The results of a rigorous study conducted over several years were just announced and they confirmed the results of several past studies. … So get your kids (and yourselves) vaccinated and save them & their playmates from this whooping cough bullshit, which is actually killing actual kids and not, you know, magically infecting them with autism. Vaccination is one of the greatest human discoveries ever -- yes, Kanye, OF ALL TIME -- has saved countless lives, and has made countless more lives significantly better. So: Buck. Up." [Wish that this would be enough reason for change for a few people I know, some of which have been part of this whooping cough bullshit here in California. Frustrating.]

[Related: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129929225 ]
autism  vaccines  science  research  parenting  kids  health  family  vaccinations  immunizations  whoopingcough  medicine  2010  kottke  immunization  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
The city is a hypertext
"cognitive scientists have actually begun empirically verifying Simmel's armchair psychology. & whenever I read anything about web rewiring our brains, foretelling immanent disaster, I've always thought, geez, people—we live in cities! Our species has evolved to survive in every climate & environment on dry land. Our brains can handle it!

But I thought of this again when a 2008 Wilson Quarterly article about planner/engineer Hans Monderman, titled "The Traffic Guru," popped up in Twitter. (I can't even remember where it came from. Who knows why older writing just begins to recirculate again? Without warning, it speaks to us more, or differently.)…

In other words, information overload, & the substitution of knowledge for wisdom. Sound familiar?

I'll just say I remain unconvinced. We've largely gotten rid of pop-up ads, flashing banners, & <blink> tag on web. I'm sure can trim back some extra text & lights in our towns & cities. We're versatile creatures. Just give us time."
architecture  cities  timcarmody  kottke  media  perception  transportation  ubicomp  urbanism  psychology  infrastructure  technology  culture  design  environment  history  information  infooverload  adaptability  adaptation  urban  stevejobs  cars  cognition  hansmonderman  resilience  traffic  georgsimmel  1903  2008  2010  shifts  change  luddism  fear  humans  versatitlity  web  internet  online  modernism  modernity  hypertext  attention  brain  research  theory  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Cancer-causing box springs? [Interesting, but the update (quoted here) is why I'm bookmarking]
"So, you know when you run across something about some current scientific theory or hypothesis on a blog or in a magazine or newspaper or even in a scientific journal, there's a fair chance that whatever the article says is misleading, misstated, or even incorrect. That's just how it is and if you didn't know, now you do. Take this stuff with a grain of salt. It's why I use phrases like "suspected cause" instead of something like "box springs and FM radio proven to cause cancer".
kottke  skepticism  science  media  truth  hypotheses  cancer  boxsprings  medicine  quacks 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Phone etiquette and the end of the individual [I lean way to the "new standard of cool" side", but not completetly. There are a few, rare instances where the phone might enhance the encounter.]
"Peggy Nelson argues that everyone being on their mobile phones all the time -- even while at a dinner for two -- isn't rude, it signals a shift from our society's emphasis on the individual to the networked "flow"...

But au contraire, mon frere.

'My new standard of cool: when I'm hanging out with you, I never see your phone ever ever ever.'

'If we're hanging out and you pull out your iPhone to water your Farmville crops, we can no longer be friends. It's not me, it's you.'"
peggynelson  etiquette  mobile  phones  relationships  technology  farmville  society  flow  individualism  networks  kottke 
july 2010 by robertogreco
I have RAS syndrome
"I just don't have the energy to be pedantic about grammar and usage anymore. (Or perhaps I'm thinking more about writing and less about editing.)" [This is the what I hope TCSNMY students focus on: communicating through writing, not becoming grammar snobs.]

[Related: http://bobulate.com/post/845337149/copy-space-editor ]
kottke  writing  grammar  schools  schooliness  snobbery  tcsnmy  editing  efficiency  redundancy  acronyms  petpeeves  humor  communication 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Creating a sick system [sounds way too much like so many schools]
"Really disturbing piece about how to make someone dependent on you...i.e. "creating a sick system". Here are the four basic rules:
abuse  employment  management  psychology  relationships  workplace  schooling  control  rewards  kottke  tcsnmy  delayedgratification  work  scary 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Coldbrain. (Stock, flow, generalists and specialists)
"Generalists...produce content that covers range of topics...necessarily scattershot, & people will dip in & out when content matches their own interests. But if you find a generalist whose interests match your own, it’s all gold. That’s rare.

I see good & bad examples of both approaches every day, & I bet you do too.
There’s a 3rd way, & I rather like it. It’s about producing flow relating to a range of your interests, & saving your stock for things you passionately care about...about being consistently interesting, but caring enough about your audience to spend time digging deeper into topics to create last content. It’s about treating your readers as a diverse bunch of broadly educated people, interested in reading intelligent content & commentary.

Gruber, Kottke, Merlin & so many other people that I love all do this. It’s incredibly obvious in hindsight, but until today, I hadn’t quite appreciated the subtle reasons why I like them so much. Something for us to aspire to."
matthewculnane  snarkmarket  stockandflow  robinsloan  generalists  passion  cv  writing  interesting  interestingness  curation  interested  kottke  daringfireball  merlinmann  specialists  specialization  interestedness 
may 2010 by robertogreco
A stranger comes to town « Snarkmarket
"Step 1: Rob Greco reads Jason Kottke’s blog.

Step 3: I find myself strolling the streets of San Diego with a gang of smart 7th graders.

For the zeit­geisty con­nec­tive tis­sue that is step 2, check out Rob’s reflec­tion here. It includes some very nice words about Snark­mar­ket! (And some nice words about me, too—so of course I was hes­i­tant to link to it too eagerly here—but hon­estly the whole thing is such a cool panoramic tale of a new kind of learn­ing, and Rob’s artic­u­la­tion of it is so good, that I am will­ing to bite the bul­let and incur some neg­a­tive self-aggrandizement points for the sake of sharing.)

P.S. I feel like I have not rec­om­mended a Deli­cious account in years, but Rob’s links are basi­cally what keep me com­ing back to my net­work page. They are thought­ful, thor­oughly anno­tated (his notes are almost lit­tle blog entries), and fright­en­ingly well-tagged."
robinsloan  tcsnmy  tcsnmy7  ego  cv  kottke  taxonomy  zeitgeist  tagging  tags  sandiego  del.icio.us 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Finding awesome jobs
"Kevin Fanning has worked in HR for the past 9 years so he's dispensed a lot of job search advice to friends over the years. Now he's collected all that knowledge into a new book called Let's All Find Awesome Jobs.
books  employment  howto  hr  jobs  tips  kottke  kevinfanning 
april 2010 by robertogreco
The new rules for reviewing media
"Compare this with traditional reviewers who focus almost exclusively on the content/plot, an approach that ignores much about how people make buying decisions about media today. Packaging is important. We judge books by their covers & even by how much they weigh...Format matters...Newspaper & magazine reviewers pretty much ignore this stuff. There's little mention of whether a book would be good to read on a Kindle, if you should buy the audiobook version instead of the hardcover because John Hodgman has a delightful voice, if a magazine is good for reading on the toilet...Or, as the above reviewers hammer home, if the book is available to read on the Kindle/iPad/Nook or if it's better to wait until the director's cut comes out. In the end, people don't buy content or plots, they buy physical or digital pieces of media for use on specific devices & within certain contexts. That citizen reviewers have keyed into this more quickly than traditional media reviewers is not a surprise."
books  design  amazon  format  kottke  newmedia  journalism  media  reviews 
march 2010 by robertogreco
David Foster Wallace's archive acquired
"The web site currently contains some tantalizing examples of what the archive will eventually hold, including the first page of a handwritten draft of Infinite Jest, his annotated dictionary -- circled words included benthos, exergue, hypocorism, mendacious, rebus, and witenagemot -- and some heavily annotated books he owned, including his copy of Players by DeLillo.
archive  literature  davidfosterwallace  kottke 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Annie Hall
"A young-ish Christopher Walken appears in Annie Hall but his name is misspelled in the credits as "Christopher Wlaken". Were this 1990, I might have invented a eastern European backstory for Wlaken, who, perhaps, Americanized his name sometime after appearing in the film. But as we live in the future, a cool hunk of glass and metal from my pocket told me -- before the credits even finished rolling -- that the actor was born Ronald Walken in Astoria, Queens.
kottke  wonder  imagination  deficit  deficitofwonder  wonderdeficit  iphone  search  livinginthefuture  notsolongago  google  internet  web  technology  online  society  culture  information  curiosity  fun  mystery 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Math for non-experts
"Mathematician Steven Strogatz is doing what sounds like a fascinating series of posts on mathematics for adults. From the initial post:
math  non-experts  blogs  kottke 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Leonardo da Vinci's resume
"From the Codex Atlanticus, this is a letter that Leonardo da Vinci wrote in 1482 to the Duke of Milan advertising his services as a "skilled contriver of instruments of war". From the translation:
leonardodavinci  kottke  cv  resumes  codexatlanticus  renaissance  self-promotion  skills  tcsnmy 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Just Don't Look
"The "just don't look" strategy works for more than advertising...it's effective in any situation where someone or something runs on attention. On the web attention comes in the form of links and pageviews so "just don't look" translates roughly into "just don't link or read". If you don't like who's on the cover of Wired, just don't look. If no one talks about her, she'll go away. Think media gossip sites are ruining the web? Don't read them. Leggy blonde conservative got your knickers in a knot? Just don't look. Commenters ruining the internet? Moderate your comments or close them up. If some Web 2.0 blowhard says something stupid, just don't look. Hate blonde socialites? Just. Don't. Look."
commenting  attention  kottke  advice  comments  criticism  blogosphere  internet  politics  marketing  culture  online  web  psychology  media  communication  activism  truth  advertising  trolls  thesimpsons 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Second thoughts about carbon offsets
"This article in the NY Times fits nicely with my belief that carbon offsets are bullshit.: ""The carbon offset has become this magic pill, a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card," Justin Francis, the managing director of Responsible Travel, one of the world's largest green travel companies to embrace environmental sustainability, said in an interview. "It's seductive to the consumer who says, 'It's $4 and I'm carbon-neutral, so I can fly all I want.'" Offsets, he argues, are distracting people from making more significant behavioral changes, like flying less.""
kottke  carbonoffsets  bullshit  scams  environment  elitism  behavior  sustainability  travel 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The history of innoculation
"The process of innoculation against diseases like smallpox has been known for at least 1200 years. An 8th-century Indian book contains a how-to chapter on smallpox innoculations. Chinese use of the technique dates back to the first millennium as well. The technique was imported to Europe via the Ottoman Empire in 1721 and reached America at about the same time."
innoculation  history  kottke  medicine  society  healthcare  health 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Subscription and stand-alone models for e-books « Snarkmarket
"We think that we know, that every­one agrees, what we mean when we think of a book, a reader, read­ing, a book­store. But we don’t. Oth­er­wise Jeff Bezos could never say, “The key fea­ture of a book is that it dis­ap­pears” — as if it were an intrin­sic func­tion of the tech­nol­ogy, as if it could be solved through tech­no­log­i­cal means alone.
books  ebooks  kindle  nook  timcarmody  kottke  snarkmarket  publishing  jeffbezos  amazon  oreilly  timoreilly  physical 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Small batch businesses
"A few weeks ago, Matt Linderman asked the readers of 37signals' Signal vs. Noise blog for suggestions for a word or phrase to describe a certain type of small, focused company. ... Boutique was deemed too pretentious...small, indie, and QOQ didn't cut it either. Readers offered up craftsman, artisan, bespoke, cloudless, studio, atelier, long tail, agile, bonsai company, mom and pop, small scale, specialty, anatomic, big heart, GTD business, dojo, haus, temple, coterie, and disco business, but none of those seems quite right.

I've had this question rolling around in the back of my mind since Matt posted it and this morning, a potential answer came to me: small batch. ... The term is most commonly applied to bourbon whiskey: ...but can also be used to describe small quantities of high quality products such as other spirits, baked goods, coffee, beer, and wine."

[see also: http://37signals.com/svn/posts/1807-seeking-a-less-pretentious-boutique ]
glvo  names  naming  language  smallbusiness  kottke  business  boutique  bespoke  startups  words  definitions  neologisms 
september 2009 by robertogreco
No one knows how to make a pencil
"I, Pencil is a 1958 ode to mass production, industrial specialization, commodity economics, and the invisible hand using the manufacture of a simple graphite pencil as an example. ... Really great. A nice illustration of embodied energy to boot."
kottke  energy  massproduction  industrialspecialization  manufacturing  pencils  embodiedenergy  commodities  economics 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Google Chrome OS and GooOS
"the browser is increasingly the sole point of interface for our interaction with computers. In a way, real operating systems are becoming irrelevant. Google's got it exactly right with Google Chrome OS: a browser sitting on top of a lightweight Unix layer that acts as the engine that the user doesn't need to know a whole lot about with the browser as the application layer. OS X might be the last important traditional desktop operating system, if only because it runs on desktops, laptops, the iPhone, and the inevitable Apple netbook/tablet thingie. But even OS X (and Windows and Google Chrome OS and Gnome and etc.) will lose marketshare to the WebOS...as long as users can run Firefox, Safari, or Chrome on whatever hardware they own, no one cares what flavor of Unix or tricked-out DOS that browser runs on."
kottke  technology  internet  google  os  gooos  googlechrome  googlechromeos  browsers  browser 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Big ideas: from silly to obvious
"From the tail end of an article on a global guest-worker program, a quote by economist Lant Pritchett on how people perceive game-changing ideas over time. "Pritchett says he has a model of how game-changing ideas are received over time, and it works something like this: "Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. Obvious."" And then the piece just leaves us hanging on that gem. It appears that Pritchett hasn't written too much about that particular notion, but I did find a slide in a presentation he did that puts it a slightly different way: "silly, controversial, progressive, then obvious" Sounds about right."
kottke  creativity  innovation  gamechanging  progressive  change  reform  ideas  tcsnmy  unschooling  society  perception 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Antilibraries
"You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary."
kottke  nassimtaleb  umbertoeco  wisdom  knowledge  books  libraries  research  cv  stackofbookstoread  interested  curiosity  learning  habitsofmind  perspective  antilibraries  interestedness 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Surrender! Foucault and Twitter ~ Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes
"I want to endorse the argument presented by Ian Delaney in this post, with one caveat: it is descriptive of social media as it currently exists. He observes, "where is transgression in social media? It is simply not allowed to exist in many cases... Minority views are excluded by the machine - only the recommended and personalised is allowed through. The stuff that dulls and comforts the political imagination." If you don't believe this, go read Boing Boing, Gawker or Kottke for a while and report back. So - crucially - the liberal democracy model of social media is flawed. What we need, want and must have is something more like the community of communities model referenced the other day - a model where dark recesses of cabals and dissent can exist. And it also requires an attitude where people are encouraged to investigate and explore these recesses for themselves, rather than to sit passively like a television audience waiting for reality to be streamed into the home."

[regarding: http://twopointouch.com/2009/05/27/surrender-foucault-and-twitter/ ]
stephendownes  socialmedia  minorityviews  kottke  gawker  boingboing  darkrecesses 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Our soon-to-be outdated beliefs
"From Reddit, a question that yielded a number of thought provoking answers:
kottke  food  change  prejudice  drugs  belief  future  history  society 
may 2009 by robertogreco
In defense of Twitter
"Of course you'd like to think that most of your daily conversation is weighty and witty but instead everyone chats about pedestrian nonsense with their pals. In fact, that ephemeral chit-chat is the stuff that holds human social groups together." ... "So when you run across a Twitter message like "we had chicken sandwitches & pepsi for breakfast" from someone who has around 30 followers, what's really so odd about it? It's just someone telling a few friends on Twitter what she might normally tell them on the phone, via email, in person, or in a telegram. If you aren't one of the 30 followers, you never see the message...and if you do, you're like the guy standing next to a conversing couple on the subway platform."
kottke  twitter  socialnorms  conversation  ambientintimacy  psychology  socialnetworking  microblogging  writing  society  culture  internet  web  communication 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Without boundaries
"I think that designers, architects, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, writers, scientists, et al. are all engaged in doing the same kind of thing, more or less, and that working "without boundaries" and borrowing the best aspects of many disciplines is one of the keys to maximizing your creative potential."
design  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  creativity  art  architecture  film  writing  entrepreneurship  science  crossdisciplinary  kottke 
april 2009 by robertogreco
From Porch to Patio
"From Porch to Patio, a 1975 piece by Richard Thomas, discusses the transition in American society from the semi-public gathering place in front of a house to the private space in the back."
us  homes  housing  privacy  sociology  communities  culture  philosophy  kottke 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Slugging
"Slugging is a self-organized carpooling system in the Washington D.C. area that developed in the early 70s."
slugging  carpooling  washingtondc  bayarea  sanfrancisco  casualcarpooling  transportation  commuting  alternative  cars  kottke  carpool  dc 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Snarkmarket: What Are the New Liberal Arts?
"But what are the emergent liberal arts — liberal arts 2.0? I think the best way to think about this is not to think of the “new” liberal arts as supplanting the “old,” but as a complementary set, like painting, architecture, and sculpture as the new, humanist plastic arts during the Renaissance. Like the trivium and quadrivium, we have the octet of “modern” liberal arts and a set of newer concerns. With that proviso in mind, here is my fairly conservative attempt at a list:" See also: http://snarkmarket.com/blog/snarkives/books_writing_such/a_snarkmarket_book_project_the_new_liberal_arts/
liberalarts  education  learning  academia  kottke  trends  knowledge  lcproject  colleges  universities 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Facebook's valuation (in Whoppers) [follow-up: http://www.kottke.org/09/01/facebooks-valuation-and-the-network-effect]
"Burger King recently introduced a Facebook app called Whopper Sacrifice that allows users to delete ten of their friends in exchange for a Whopper sandwich. Watch the app in action. What BK has unwittingly done here is provide a way to determine the valuation of Facebook. Let's assume that the majority of Facebook's value comes from the connections between their users. From Facebook's statistics page, we learn that the site has 150 million users and the average user has 100 friends. Each friendship is requires the assent of both friends so really each user can, on average, only end half of their friendships. The price of a Whopper is approximately $2.40. That means that each user's friendships is worth around 5 Whoppers, or $12. Do the math and: $12/user X 150M users = $1.8 billion valuation for Facebook"
facebook  food  burgerking  whoppers  money  kottke 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Upgrade yourself
"I rarely buy anything anymore but the things I do buy are usually better versions of things I already have. As things break or wear out, we've been replacing them with items that are nicer to use/wear/whatever and will last a whole lot longer than the cheaper stuff. Here are a list of things that we've upgraded over the years that I would recommend."
kottke  simplicity  household  upgrading  shopping  upgrade  clothing 
december 2008 by robertogreco
The prolific John Munch
"According to IMDB and Wikipedia (here too), Richard Belzer has appeared as Detective John Munch on ten different television shows, more than any other character on television." ... "The Munch character was inspired by real-life Baltimore homicide detective Jay Landsman...who both inspired another character on The Wire (named Jay Landsman) and appears in The Wire as a police lieutenant. All three -- Munch, the fake Landsman, and the real Landsman -- appeared in a fifth season episode called Took. Oh, and Munch, like many other television characters, is a figment of an autistic kid's fertile imagination."
tv  television  fiction  thewire  homicide  kottke 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Does the broken windows theory hold online?
"how does the broken windows theory apply to online spaces? Perhaps like so: Much of the tone of discourse online is governed by level of moderation & to what extent people are encouraged to "own" their words. When forums, message boards & blog comment threads with more than a handful of participants are unmoderated, bad behavior follows. The appearance of one troll encourages others. Undeleted hateful or ad hominem comments are an indication that that sort of thing is allowable behavior & encourages more of same. Those commenters who are normally respectable participants are emboldened by the uptick in bad behavior & misbehave themselves. More likely, they're discouraged from helping with the community moderation process of keeping their peers in line w/ social pressure. Or stop visiting the site altogether. Unchecked comment spam signals that the owner/moderator of forum or blog isn't paying attention, stimulating further improper conduct. Anonymity provides commenters w/ immunity"

[follow-up post here: http://www.kottke.org/08/12/randy-farmer-talks-broken-windows-online ]
kottke  brokenwindows  anonymity  communities  socialmedia  sociology  community  internet  web  online  behavior  economics  psychology  anthropology  society  culture  moderation  crime 
december 2008 by robertogreco
The end of Wall Street and Michael Lewis' new "fucking book"
"The Portfolio piece will definitely find itself into the book, as will this piece on Meredith Whitney, this one on Goldman Sachs, Lewis' subprime parable, and other pieces from Bloomberg, Porfolio, and his upcoming gig at Vanity Fair. One question though...what happens to Lewis' forthcoming book on New Orleans? Did that just disappear?"
michaellewis  money  crisis  2008  finance  meltdown  economics  kottke 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Newsweek's in-depth report on the 2008 election
"If you followed or were at all interested in the 2008 presidential election, this seven-part series by a group of Newsweek reporters is a must read. The reporters were granted exclusive access to the campaigns of Barack Obama, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton for a year on the condition that they wouldn't print anything until after the election was over. The series, of which the first three parts are currently up on the Newsweek site, is a fascinating look at how the political process works and contains all manner of salacious political gossip."
elections  2008  hillaryclinton  johnmccain  politics  barackobama  newsweek  kottke 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Megamovies, TV shows as days-long movies
"Megamovies take television seriously as a medium...have dramatic arcs that last longer than single episodes or seasons...often explore themes & ideas relevant to contemporary society - there's more going on than just the plot - w/out resorting to very special episodes. Repeat viewing & close scrutiny is rewarded with deeper understanding of material & its themes...shot cinematically & utilize good actors. Plot details sprawl out over multiple episodes, with viewers sometimes having to wait weeks to fit what might have seemed a throwaway line into larger narrative puzzle. Episodes of these megamovies...are best watched in bunches, so that the parts more easily make the whole in the viewer's mind. For many, bingeing on entire seasons on DVD or downloaded via iTunes has become the preferred way to watch these shows. If stamina and non-televisual responsibilities weren't an issue, it would be preferable to watch these shows in one sitting, as one does with a movie."
tv  television  film  kottke  megamovies  thewire  lost  thesopranos  sixfeetunder  madmen  deadwood  thewestwing  writing 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Some recent Merlin Mann goodness
"Merlin Mann has been on a tear lately. He's been rethinking what he wants to do with 43 Folders -- a site he started four years ago to think in public about Getting Things Done (and other stuff) -- which rethinking has resulted in a bunch of good writing on weblogs, creative work, and online media. Some links and excerpts follow."

From Merlin Mann:

"What makes you feel less bored soon makes you into an addict. What makes you feel less vulnerable can easily turn you into a dick. And the things that are meant to make you feel more connected today often turn out to be insubstantial time sinks - empty, programmatic encouragements to groom and refine your personality while sitting alone at a screen.

Don't get me wrong. Gumming the edges of popular culture and occasionally rolling the results into a wicked spitball has a noble tradition that includes the best work of of Voltaire, Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, and a handful of people I count as good friends and brilliant editors. There's nothing wrong with fucking shit up every single day. But you have to bring some art to it. Not just typing.

What worries me are the consequences of a diet comprised mostly of fake-connectedness, makebelieve insight, and unedited first drafts of everything. I think it's making us small. I know that whenever I become aware of it, I realize how small it can make me. So, I've come to despise it."
kottke  merlinmann  gtd  change  writing  blogs  creativity  organization  time  attention  passion  meaning  boredome  purpose 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Why people pirate games
"The gaming, music, & movie industry would do well to take note of key sentence: "Anything that made purchasing & starting to play difficult - like copy protection, DRM, 2-step online purchasing routines - anything at all standing between impulse to play & playing in game itself was seen as legitimate signal to take free route." Last week, I tried to buy an episode of a TV show from iTunes Store. It didn't work and there was no error message. Thinking the download had corrupted something, I tried again and the same problem occurred. (learned later that I needed to upgrade Quicktime) Because I just wanted to watch the show and not deal with Apple's issues, I spend 2 minutes online, found it somewhere for free & watched the stolen version instead. I felt OK about it because I'd already paid for the real thing *twice*, but in the future, I'll be a little wary purchasing TV shows from iTunes & maybe go the easier route first."
games  drm  piracy  kottke  music  movies  film  gaming  videogames  kevinkelly 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Not so middle management
"Adaptive Path is structured using an advocate system. ... It's a way of avoiding typical management structures, where you have people reporting up a hierarchy. Our current structure has two levels... Executive management, and everyone else. That "everyone else" doesn't report to the executive management. Instead, the report to one another through the advocate system. Each employee has an advocate. An advocate is like a manager, except they don't tell you what to do. They are there to help you achieve what you want, professionally. Employees choose their own advocates. They simply ask someone if they would be their advocate." + "rotating management"; "Pentagram's organizational structure provides a third possible way of avoiding a traditional system of middle management ... The company is composed of several loosely connected teams that operate more or less autonomously while sharing some necessary services"
management  leadership  hierarchy  business  communication  organizations  middlemanagement  work  productivity  strategy  kottke  organization 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Fake following
"This is a little bit genius. One of the new features of FriendFeed (a Twitter-like thingie) is "fake following". That means you can friend someone but you don't see their updates. That way, it appears that you're paying attention to them when you're really not. Just like everyone does all the time in real life to maintain their sanity. Rex calls it "most important feature in the history of social networks" and I'm inclined to agree. It's one of the few new social features I've seen that makes being online buddies with someone manageable and doesn't just make being social a game or competition."
socialnetworking  socialnetworks  socialsoftware  friendfeed  kottke  flow  infooverload  culture  interaction  technology  twitter  feeds  news  rss 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Old Masters and Young Geniuses by David Galenson
"main idea is...Instead of people being super creative when they're young and getting less so with age...Galenson says artists fall into two general categories: 1) The conceptual innovators who peak creatively early in life. They have firm ideas about what they want to accomplish and then do so, with certainty. Pablo Picasso is the archetype here; others include T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Orson Wells... 2) The experimental innovators who peak later in life. They create through the painstaking process of doing, making incremental improvements to their art until they're capable of real masterpiece. Cezanne is Galenson's main example of an experimental innovator; others include Frank Lloyd Wright, Mark Twain, and Jackson Pollock. Cezanne remarked, "I seek in painting."
learning  creativity  craft  art  malcolmgladwell  kottke  psychology  process  genius  personality  innovation  artists  theory  davidgalenson  jacksonpollock 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Exformation
"Exformation is "explicitly discarded information"...In my opinion, the more exformation you generate, the better your writing, design, art, photography, or blogging will be."
communication  kottke  writing  editing  art  design  blogging  photography 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Just Don't Look (kottke.org) - ""The "just don't look" strategy works for more than advertising...it's effective in any situation where someone or something runs on attention...
"...Commenters ruining the internet? Moderate your comments or close them up. If some Web 2.0 blowhard says something stupid, just don't look. Hate blonde socialites? Just. Don't. Look."
advertising  blogosphere  communication  kottke  marketing  media  attention  commenting  comments  advice  online  internet 
july 2008 by robertogreco
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