robertogreco + paulford   48

Twine as a Process Modeling Tool – Track Changes
"Twine is a tool that lets you make point-and-click games that run in a web browser—what a lot of people refer to as “choose your own adventure” or CYOA games.

It’s pretty easy to make a game, which means that the Twine community is fairly big and diverse. You can play the games in your web browser, and compose them in a browser, too. Or download an app.

I tried Twine years ago and never really got anywhere, but out of idle curiosity I started to play with it again not long ago, with the idea that I’d make a little game that simulated what it’s like to work with Postlight. I.e.—

You step out of an elevator. Do you want to talk about

1. Working with us as a client?

2. Working with us as a team member?

As silly as it sounds it was fun to model the office out as a game. After an hour of messing around I’d modeled out the elevator (click a button!) and put in some basic scoring, and started to create some fake conversations between the player/reader and “characters” that included myself and my business partner Rich Ziade. Just what the world needs—a meeting simulator! If I ever finish it I’ll put it up online.

There are a lot of tools that you can use to do information architecture and to sketch out processes. Visio, PowerPoint, Keynote, or Omnigraffle, for example. In the programming world, some people use UML tools to draw pictures of how a program should operate, and then turn that into code, and a new breed of product prototyping apps are blurring the line between design and code, too. But it has always bummed me out that when you draw a picture on a computer it is, for the most part, just a picture. Why doesn’t the computer make sense of those boxes and arrows for you? Why is it so hard to turn a picture of a web product into a little, functional website?

This is a huge topic — why are most digital documents not presented as dynamic programs? (One good recent exploration of the subject is Bret Victor’s “Up and Down the Ladder of Abstraction.”) And in some ways the Twine interface is a very honest testing and prototyping environment, because it is so good at modeling choices (as in, choose your own adventure). Playing around, I made a little “game” about writing this newsletter. It took twenty minutes and is not serious—yet it made me think about schedules, information sources, my tendencies toward distraction, and the overall processes. It started as a joke but was an actually productive half-hour. I can see lots of ways to model social and business processes using the friendly, easy-to-use, and open-sourced Twine system. That the end result is a game shouldn’t distract you from the fact that the software is free and the exercise was useful."
twine  cyoa  prototyping  paulford  games  interactivefiction  speculativefiction  productmanagement  infoarchitecture  gaming  play  2016  if 
september 2016 by robertogreco
A “No to” Poem — The Message — Medium
"This self-contradiction happens many times, presumably the result of the poem being written collectively. It’s also possible a given pair of such lines represents the mental state of an individual who holds two opposing views at once. In any case, many times the work asks you, the reader, to hold two opposing views, which is unusual in a manifesto (less unusual in a poem).

The poem is angry and it is exhausted. It is angry at many things, some of them related to sexual assault, some of them related to how people enact their activism. It is exhausted by the same things. The poem is 3,712 words of free verse, an average of 14 words per line. 243 of those lines are tweetable and 28 are too long to tweet."



"The manifesto is author-less; it was written collectively. Its authors are identified only by geography:



So it’s impossible to know how many people were involved. At least 11, and since there are 271 lines to the poem and each line seems to represent an individual thought, then 271 is probably the upper potential limit of the collective. So: I’d estimate somewhere between 11 and 271 people wrote the poem. They all identify as feminists but that doesn’t specify anything about gender or anything else. I made a little chart of the number of people involved by country:"



"I think this poem is fascinating today but I think it will also be fascinating 85 years from now, to one or more people, after many of the things to which it refers— the reading series, the people and places — cease to exist. It will define something specific about this moment in history. I doubt that 85 years will eradicate the cultural need for feminism, activism, or poetry. So this poem will help people understand how things have changed, or not, in the year 2100. They will be able to compare it to things that came before and to things that followed and know something about how things change in general."



"There are some things about this poem.

First, that it was written collectively and internationally via the Internet. Before this poem when you told me about collectively generated digital creative activist work my first thoughts were of 4Chan and Gamergate — of memes, not poems. So this poem changed that for me, it broadened the scope of what anonymous collectives can do online.

The idea of unidentified individuals collaborating and creating things has been understood by many people as a dangerous, bad thing connected to harassment. But this poem is the product of people working collaboratively and anonymously to create art that they hope will have a positive social impact. It is also a public policy statement, from a group without a name (even Anonymous has a name). Maybe this “No Collective” has already ceased to exist."

********

I don’t know how to read this thing. I mean, I could read it from beginning to end. But I burned out on that. Instead I’ve been coming back to it over a couple of weeks, digging out the PDF, and thinking it through.

It’s pretty much without imagery and metaphor. It’s incantatory. It acknowledges a diversity of opinion on some things (Melville House) and refuses a diversity of opinion on others (the reality of sexual assault).

The fact that it was written collectively makes it unclear to me, at any point of the poem, whether I am reading something that was written by an individual and then glued together, or if each line was collaboratively edited. How was it edited by the Chicago Review? I wish I knew which tools were used to compose it, because that matters. Google docs? An email list with a single editor? Facebook chat? How could you find out? Who could you ask? The things that are stable (“No to rape”) are very stable; other things are completely unstable. This poem raises a million questions about what it means to read things and how the Internet is changing writing. There are many poetic manifestos in the world and I’m sure some of them were anonymously written but the thing I keep thinking about is how there are now a set of technologies — in the broadest sense, not just the Internet but technologies of self-organizing and collaboratively working — that enable the rapid creation of new things in reaction to events."



"I’ve half-followed the Alt-Lit scene for a while and have probably spent 20 years reading about “digital poetics,” and this is the very first time I went, well, there you go.

It seems that a lot of worlds are starting to collide. It also feels that anonymous international collectives of varying sizes and shapes, with radically different ideologies, will claim their voice in culture moving forward, ranging from 4Chan and Gamergate, which are very masculine entities, to this no collective, which is avowedly, fundamentally feminist. I expect people sharing other kinds of belief systems will start operating and creating as collectives, too."
feminism  language  paulford  poetry  rape  2015  authorship  googledocs  cocreation  collaboration  writing  howwerite  activism  collectivism  poems 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Old Piece — Medium
"I can see a lot of places where editing would have benefited that piece—it slides around. It’s squishy. But it also has a gentle quality, and it’s filled with secrets and animated GIFs and setups that pay off a few thousand words later. I worked in it pretty steadily over a series of nights. I should have been working on other things. But in the end it does what it’s supposed to do, which is: It tells a story that no human being has ever told before. This sounds dramatic but it’s not actually that hard to do. It’s actually your job, as a writer, to go: Has anyone ever told this story before? No? Good."



"First thought: I’m horrible at perceiving any difference between technology and “other” parts of life. This has been a source of difficulty in my life when I work for places, like magazines, that see the Internet as something “separate.” So it’s so weird to me that readers felt they had to choose one or the other. “Technology” and “emotion” are broad, meaningless categories and in no actual opposition—but man do people put a lot of store in them.

Second though: If people are reading what I’m writing and insisting on dividing it into “tech” on one hand or “emotion” on another, then I must be doing the same thing in other categories of my life. There is some range of human experience that I am not perceiving because I can’t imagine that anything could—well, what? What meaningless threshold am I upholding as sacred? I wonder what nonsense categories I’m utterly committed to. And how do you even begin to perceive that part of yourself?"



"Then we went into the memorial service, which was at the Elks’ Club. His long-time partner Sandy was there, and she remembered me after I introduced myself — I hadn’t seen her in 20 years—and said, Oh my, he was so proud of you. It’s so good to see you. I’m so glad you came. He was so proud of you. So those are the words that will echo. Which is why you always go to the memorial service. You let go of the sense of loss."
paulford  love  2015  perspective  pov  technology  emotions  life  death  categories  categorization  meaningmaking  howwewrite  whywewrite  writing 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Your Internet Friends Are Real: A Defense of Online Intimacy | The New Republic
"Online friendships make it clear—and forgive the debt to Facebook—that the way we friend now has changed. Intimacy now develops in both digital and physical realms, often crossing freely between the two. If we accept the equal value of virtual friendships to their IRL analogues (perhaps even doing away with the pejorative acronym), we open ourselves up to a range of new possibilities for connection.

“The Internet represents a broadening of the spectrum of relationships we can have,” Jenna Wortham, a New York Times Magazine writer known for the prolificacy of her online social life, told me. “I have lots of online-, Gchat-only friendships and I love them. I’m very comfortable with the fact that I don’t know [these people] in real life and I don’t have any plans to.” The merit of these friendships lies in their mutability—in your pocket, on your screen, in your living room. Discarding the distinction between real and virtual friendship does not doom us to a society in which tweets, chat, and e-mail are our only points of contact. It just means that the stranger we meet every day on the other side of our screens will no longer be a stranger, but someone that we know and trust."
communication  friendship  irl  digital  internet  web  online  jennawortham  socialmedia  johnsuler  kylechayka  nathanjurgenson  paulford  metafilter  matthaughey  meetups  meetup 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The first thing I do when I wake up and get the children dressed—which, my God. Getting the… — Ford’s Sensorium — Medium
"The first thing I do when I wake up and get the children dressed—which, my God. Getting the children dressed. We picked out clothes last night so we can avoid the freakout that comes in the morning, the tears and sobbing over the wrong pants (mostly my daughter). But still, you have to pull them out of their beds. While they are halfway out of the bed they cry out for their lovies and their morning milk and sometimes, because I don’t want them to crawl back under the blankets, I will turn them upside down like I’m a crane operator and lower them back down to the mattress so that they can pull these things out of the bed; then we have the snuggle, which sounds nice but they you say “okay we need to get dressed” and they scream “no, snuggle! Snuggle!” To avoid getting dressed. The snuggle is a scam, man. The jammies get unzipped and there are tears. You end up with a lot of toddler bits and butts smushed against your leg and sort of sigh and put on the Captain America underpants, or the Hello Kitty underpants, because every freaking thing needs a brand on it, it’s not just that “gender norms” start early but that a whole suite of cultural normativity is jammed into their little brains way, way before any of their emotional bits are fully wired into their brains, it’s like the culture is setting up highways of thought so that their thoughts can follow predefined routes, and among those thoughts are that you cover a vulva with Hello Kitty and you cover a penis with Captain America. Why buy these things, you ask? Seriously go to Target at Atlantic Center which always looks like a human tornado has ravaged it, and ask for toddler underpants and see what you can get. Should I buy hand-woven $90 artisanal toddler underpants in order to hide my children from the giant gender-brand axis of infiltration? See these two handmade artisanal middle fingers? Besides, it’s coming for them anyway. That rapturous desire when you see some shitty toy truck crest a mud hill on TV, they’ll experience that. We’ll get through it. But wait, the mother of someone we know saw that my son was wearing pink pants and a pink shirt and purple boots one day and said, “I will pray for him,” because magical Jesus intervention will somehow protect him from becoming a big flaming toddler homo in his Captain America underpants. She’s from a culture that I guess hates homosexuality even more than most cultures do? I mean was that a micro-aggression when this parent of of a person (whom we, as stereotypical white liberals, pay to provide child care) said she’d pray to Jesus so my boy doesn’t grow up to put his ween into a hairy man’s chumbox? I mean there’s the war we’re all fighting and then there’s the facts on the ground. I mean allies are thirsty. Anyway if the nice lady says the mean thing again, I will say, “I have absolutely no worries about that, I love his pink pants, and I think he looks great,” which is the truth, and enough. The kids are pretty. I don’t care at all if my kids are gay, I care a lot though that they will come home in 2029 and be like I’m in a polyamorous marriage with this virtual octopus collective from the Warcraft Moon. I don’t want to have to attend a 3-D wedding with a bunch of virtual sea creatures who’ve had virtual tentacle sensors nano-branded into their nucleus accumbens so that they have spontaneous orgasms whenever another virtual octopus sends them an email. I mean, I will attend, and I will give away my child at the virtual altar, I’m old-fashioned. I’m doing the best I can which, all along, people tell you will be enough but of course that is complete bullshit, the best you can turns out to be years late and 100 lbs overweight. So now the underpants are on. All that is left is the pants, the shirt, the two socks, the hooded undercoat, the Uniqlo Keith Haring-branded jacket (lady, you think pink pants are scary), the blue snowsuit, the purple boots, the two mittens, the ritual of preparing breakfast and putting it into a plastic bag to be eaten on arrival at daycare, the ritual of hugging and kissing goodbye (my wife takes them 3/5 of the days), and so, finally, okay, there are two things I am assuming here which is that (1) any sort of intelligence or consciousness I personally can add to the situation of their childhood must be worked into the context of the rituals of waking, eating, playing, laughing, walking, and sleeping; and that (2) as the cultural pressures of gender and race and religion and branding seek to establish their beachheads inside the brains of my kids—that it is also possible (this is my working hypothesis) to create small confident spaces that they can access inside of their minds, building up an immune system that fights against viral culture, creating a system based not on the acquisition of power or the ascension to heaven but the fact that love is effective. You can reject a lot of insane bullshit and bad ideas simply because they are incompatible with love. If you remember to. Who remembers to? Who can even say “love” with a straight face? Lace up your jerkin, Sir Loser, when you speak of love. Could you rebrand it as something cool? Could you re-brand an emotion? Could Apple release Love? How do you help people remember?"
paulford  children  kids  parenting  2015  love  religion  advertising  capitalism  resistance  emotions  culture  life  living 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Tickler File Forever (Ftrain.com)
"When I see people older than myself in difficult circumstances—losing a job, faltering in a career, writing terrible prose, finding themselves dependent on younger people who don't respect them—I do not pretend that such embarrassments won't come to me, but I do try to take precautions by adding notes into my online calendar.

Some of these notes are typically annoying things that a person in his 30s might say to a person in his 70s: “Make sure you've been taking care of your health,” is there for 2025, but it should of course have been there for 1985, too. And “Don't stay too long in one place,” is down for December, 2032. “Machines probably doing everything, accept it,” for April 2060.

“Remember that transitions are painful,” is there for August, 2020. I can't remember what inspired that one, but it must have been something extra-awful.

“Younger people are taking over now, which is probably fine,” is something I have for myself in 2024, when I'm 50. And for 2075, when I'll be 101: “It's totally okay and likely better for everyone if you're dead,” In the “Description” field for that event is simply: “Start smoking.”

One day my wife came into my office and said, surprisingly: “You should have thought seriously about having children by now.” Then she shook her head and squinted at me.

I did not disagree, but I was confused.

“That popped up as a text message,” she said. “I was in a meeting. I thought it was from you, that you'd just sent it to me.”

She showed me the message on her phone. She shares my schedule. I'd added that calendar item three or four years before.

“I turned off alarms,” I told her. “I totally would have missed that if you hadn't caught it.”"
paulford  writing  calendars  notification  aging  gtd  future 
november 2014 by robertogreco
The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing — The Message — Medium
"Imagine having, in your confused adolescence, the friendship of an older, avuncular man who is into computers, a world-traveling photographer who would occasionally head out to, like, videotape the Dalai Lama for a few weeks, then come back and and listen to every word you said while you sat on his porch. A generous, kind person who spoke openly about love and faith and treated people with respect."



"A year after the Amiga showed up—I was 13—my life started to go backwards. Not forever, just for a while. My dad left, money was tight. My clothes were the ones my dad left behind, old blouse-like Oxfords in the days of Hobie Cat surfwear. I was already big and weird, and now I was something else. I think my slide perplexed my peers; if anything they bullied me less. I heard them murmuring as I wandered down the hall.

I was a ghost and I had haunts: I vanished into the computer. I had that box of BBS floppies. One after another I’d insert them into the computer and examine every file, thousands of files all told. That was how I pieced together the world. Second-hand books and BBS disks and trips to the library. I felt very alone but I’ve since learned that it was a normal American childhood, one millions of people experienced.

Often—how often I don’t remember—I’d go over to Tom’s. I’d share my techniques for rotating text in Deluxe Paint, show him what I’d gleaned from my disks. He always had a few spare computers around for generating title sequences in videos, and later for editing, and he’d let me practice with his videocameras. And he would listen to me.

Like I said: Avuncular. He wasn’t a father figure. Or a mother figure. He was just a kind ear when I needed as many kind ears as I could find. I don’t remember what I said; I just remember being heard. That’s the secret to building a network. People want to be heard. God, life, history, science, books, computers. The regular conversations of anxious kids. His students would show up, impossibly sophisticated 19-year-old men and women, and I’d listen to them talk as the sun went down. For years. A world passed over that porch and I got to watch and participate even though I was still a boy.

I constantly apologized for being there, for being so young and probably annoying, and people would just laugh at me. But no one put me in my place. People touched me, hugged me, told me about books to read and movies to watch. I was not a ghost.

When I graduated from high school I went by to sit on the porch and Tom gave me a little brown teddy bear. You need to remember, he said, to be a kid. To stay in touch with that part of yourself.

I did not do this."



"Technology is What We Share

Technology is what we share. I don’t mean “we share the experience of technology.” I mean: By my lights, people very often share technologies with each other when they talk. Strategies. Ideas for living our lives. We do it all the time. Parenting email lists share strategies about breastfeeding and bedtime. Quotes from the Dalai Lama. We talk neckties, etiquette, and Minecraft, and tell stories that give us guidance as to how to live. A tremendous part of daily life regards the exchange of technologies. We are good at it. It’s so simple as to be invisible. Can I borrow your scissors? Do you want tickets? I know guacamole is extra. The world of technology isn’t separate from regular life. It’s made to seem that way because of, well…capitalism. Tribal dynamics. Territoriality. Because there is a need to sell technology, to package it, to recoup the terrible investment. So it becomes this thing that is separate from culture. A product.

I went looking for the teddy bear that Tom had given me, the reminder to be a child sometimes, and found it atop a bookshelf. When I pulled it down I was surprised to find that it was in a tiny diaper.

I stood there, ridiculous, a 40-year-old man with a diapered 22-year-old teddy bear in my hand. It stared back at me with root-beer eyes.

This is what I remembered right then: That before my wife got pregnant we had been trying for kids for years without success. We had considered giving up.

That was when I said to my wife: If we do not have children, we will move somewhere where there is a porch. The children who need love will find the porch. They will know how to find it. We will be as much parents as we want to be.

And when she got pregnant with twins we needed the right-sized doll to rehearse diapering. I went and found that bear in an old box.

I was handed that toy, sitting on Tom’s porch, in 1992. A person offering another person a piece of advice. Life passed through that object as well, through the teddy bear as much as through the operating systems of yore.

Now that I have children I can see how tuned they are to the world. Living crystals tuned to all manner of frequencies. And how urgently they need to be heard. They look up and they say, look at me. And I put my phone away.

And when they go to bed, protesting and screaming, I go to mess with my computers, my old weird imaginary emulated computers. System after system. I open up these time capsules and look at the thousands of old applications, millions of dollars of software, but now it can be downloaded in a few minutes and takes up a tiny portion of a hard drive. It’s all comically antiquated.

When you read histories of technology, whether of successes or failures, you sense the yearning of people who want to get back into those rooms for a minute, back to solving the old problems. How should a window open? How should the mouse look? What will people want to do, when we give them these machines? Who wouldn’t want to go back 20 years—to drive again into the office, to sit before the whiteboard in a beanbag chair, in a place of warmth and clarity, and give it another try?

Such a strange way to say goodbye. So here I am. Imaginary disks whirring and screens blinking as I visit my old haunts. Wandering through lost computer worlds for an hour or two, taking screenshots like a tourist. Shutting one virtual machine down with a sigh, then starting up another one. But while these machines run, I am a kid. A boy on a porch, back among his friends."
paulford  memory  memories  childhood  neoteny  play  wonder  sharing  obituaries  technology  history  sqeak  amiga  textcraft  plan9  smalltalk-80  smalltalk  mac  1980s  1990s  1970s  xerox  xeroxalto  texteditors  wordprocessors  software  emulators  emulations  2014  computers  computing  adolescence  listening  parenting  adults  children  mentors  macwrite  howwelearn  relationships  canon  caring  love  amigaworkbench  commodore  aegisanimator  jimkent  vic-20  commodore64  1985  andywarhol  debbieharry  1987  networks  porches  kindness  humility  lisp  windows3.1  microsoft  microsoftpaint  capitalism  next  openstep  1997  1992  stevejobs  objectivec  belllabs  xeroxparc  inria  doom  macos9  interfacebuilder 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Paul Ford, Ftrain - XOXO Festival (2014) - YouTube
"Paul Ford isn't easy to sum up, so we originally copped out and wrote the silly one-line bio we read before his talk. He's one of the most talented writers and programmers we know, frighteningly and frustratingly accomplished at both. He most recently created Tilde.club—a Unix server that is definitely not a social network—writes for The Message on Medium, and is working on a book about web pages for FSG while raising twins in Brooklyn, NY. He is a really great hugger."
paulford  internet  slow  time  notetaking  writing  depression  anxiety  2014  xoxo2014  xoxo  making  humility  harpers  quantifiedself  howwelearn  howwewrite 
october 2014 by robertogreco
How to Be Polite — The Message — Medium
"But no matter. What I found most appealing was the way that the practice of etiquette let you draw a protective circle around yourself and your emotions. By following the strictures in the book, you could drag yourself through a terrible situation and when it was all over, you could throw your white gloves in the dirty laundry hamper and move on with your life. I figured there was a big world out there and etiquette was going to come in handy along the way."



"Here’s a polite person’s trick, one that has never failed me. I will share it with you because I like and respect you, and it is clear to me that you’ll know how to apply it wisely: When you are at a party and are thrust into conversation with someone, see how long you can hold off before talking about what they do for a living. And when that painful lull arrives, be the master of it. I have come to revel in that agonizing first pause, because I know that I can push a conversation through. Just ask the other person what they do, and right after they tell you, say: “Wow. That sounds hard.”

Because nearly everyone in the world believes their job to be difficult. I once went to a party and met a very beautiful woman whose job was to help celebrities wear Harry Winston jewelry. I could tell that she was disappointed to be introduced to this rumpled giant in an off-brand shirt, but when I told her that her job sounded difficult to me she brightened and spoke for 30 straight minutes about sapphires and Jessica Simpson. She kept touching me as she talked. I forgave her for that. I didn’t reveal a single detail about myself, including my name. Eventually someone pulled me back into the party. The celebrity jewelry coordinator smiled and grabbed my hand and said, “I like you!” She seemed so relieved to have unburdened herself. I counted it as a great accomplishment. Maybe a hundred times since I’ve said, “wow, that sounds hard” to a stranger, always to great effect. I stay home with my kids and have no life left to me, so take this party trick, my gift to you.

A friend and I came up with a game called Raconteur. You pair up with another Raconteur at a party and talk to everyone you can. You score points by getting people to disclose something about their lives. If you dominate the conversation, you lose a point. The two raconteurs communicate using hand signals and keep a tally on a sheet of paper or in their minds. You’d think people would notice but they are so amused by the attention that the fact you’re playing Raconteur escapes their attention."



"But a whole class of problems goes away from my life because I see people as having around them a two or three foot invisible buffer. If there is a stray hair on their jacket I ask them if I can pluck it from them. If they don’t want that, they’ll do it themselves. If their name is now Susan, it’s Susan. Whatever happens inside that buffer is entirely up to them. It has nothing to do with me."



"Politeness buys you time. It leaves doors open. I’ve met so many people whom, if I had trusted my first impressions, I would never have wanted to meet again. And yet — many of them are now great friends. I have only very rarely touched their hair.

One of those people is my wife. On our first date, we went to a nice bar with blue tables and, in the regular course of conversation she told me at length about the removal of a dermoid teratoma from her ovaries. This is a cyst with teeth (not a metaphor). I had gone in expecting to flirt but instead I learned about the surgical removal of a fist-sized mutant mass of hair and teeth from her sexual parts. This killed the chemistry. I walked her home, told her I had a great time, and went home and looked up cysts on the Internet, always a nice end to an evening. We talked a little after that. I kept everything pleasant and brief. A year later I ran into her on the train and we got another drink. Much later I learned that she’d been having a very bad day in a very bad year.

Sometimes I’ll get a call or email from someone five years after the last contact and I’ll think, oh right, I hated that person. But they would never have known, of course. Let’s see if I still hate them. Very often I find that I don’t. Or that I hated them for a dumb reason. Or that they were having a bad day. Or much more likely, that I had been having a bad day.

People silently struggle from all kinds of terrible things. They suffer from depression, ambition, substance abuse, and pretension. They suffer from family tragedy, Ivy-League educations, and self-loathing. They suffer from failing marriages, physical pain, and publishing. The good thing about politeness is that you can treat these people exactly the same. And then wait to see what happens. You don’t have to have an opinion. You don’t need to make a judgment. I know that doesn’t sound like liberation, because we live and work in an opinion-based economy. But it is. Not having an opinion means not having an obligation. And not being obligated is one of the sweetest of life’s riches.

There is one other aspect of my politeness that I am reluctant to mention. But I will. I am often consumed with a sense of overwhelming love and empathy. I look at the other person and am overwhelmed with joy. For all of my irony I really do want to know about the process of hanging jewelry from celebrities. What does the jewelry feel like in your hand? What do the celebrities feel like in your hand? Which one is more smooth?

This is not a world where you can simply express love for other people, where you can praise them. Perhaps it should be. But it’s not. I’ve found that people will fear your enthusiasm and warmth, and wait to hear the price. Which is fair. We’ve all been drawn into someone’s love only to find out that we couldn’t afford it. A little distance buys everyone time.

Last week my wife came back from the playground. She told me that my two-year-old, three-foot-tall son, Abraham, walked up to a woman in hijab and asked “What’s your name?” The woman told him her name. Then he put out his little hand and said, “Nice to meet you!” Everyone laughed, and he smiled. He shared with her his firmest handshake, like I taught him."
etiquette  paulford  2014  listening  politeness  behavior  social  cv  canon  understanding  people  apologies  patience  love  empathy  socializing  relationships  secondchances  interestedness  silence  interested 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Matthew Battles: Going Feral on the Net: the Qualities of Survival in a Wild, Wired World on Vimeo
"How do we balance the empowering possibilities of the networked public sphere with the dark, unsettling, and even dangerous energies of cyberspace? Matthew Battles blends a deep-historical perspective on the internet with storytelling that reaches into its weird, uncanny depths. It’s a hybrid approach, reflecting the web’s way of landing us in a feral state—the predicament of a domestic creature forced to live by its imperfectly-rekindled instincts in a world where it is never entirely at home. The feral is a metaphor—and maybe more than just a metaphor—for thriving in cyberspace, a habitat that changes too rapidly for anyone truly to be native. This talk will weave critical and reflective discussion of online experience with a short story from Battles’ new collection, The Sovereignties of Invention."
feral  matthewbattles  internet  via:tealtan  2012  web  online  cyberspace  networkculture  dogs  storytelling  paulford  everchanging  uncertainty  unnatural  discomfort  middlegrounds  survival  wild  caution  nomansland 
june 2014 by robertogreco
When you see someone and think they need help, you can press help into their hand. — Ford’s Sensorium — Medium
"Look, the few dollars my grandfather pressed into my hand didn’t change my situation. I probably used them to buy soda. Giving money to Aaron would not have made an observable dent in his legal fees or saved his life, just as the money we gave to my wife’s cousin won’t save his life.

This morning, as I was thinking about all of this, a woman asked me for a dollar as I walked up Coney Island Avenue, and I didn’t give her the dollar.

I try to be a generous person but often fail at it. I try to be a polite person, but I can also be a fearful person. I’ll do everything I can to avoid embarrassing others, but that isn’t the same as kindness.

When you see someone and think they need help, you can press help into their hand. They may refuse it, but you can, if you choose, press help into their hand."
charity  paulford  ftrain  generosity  money  help  kindness  2014  aaronswartz 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Review: Composition Tools Fargo, Medium, Editorially, Marquee, and More | MIT Technology Review
"A new crop of startups is gearing up to change the way we write, taking on traditional authoring tools such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and WordPress. The newcomers don’t just promise to make it easy to create documents or write blog posts—they promise to make you smarter."



"Things reviewed
Fargo
Editorially
Medium
Svbtle
Marquee
Scroll Kit
Quip
Ghost"

[Not mentioned:
http://docs.withdraft.com/
https://poetica.com/ ]
writing  software  cms  design  paulford  quip  ghost  scrollkit  marquee  svbtle  medium  editorially  fargo  2013  onlinetoolkit  collaborativewriting 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Bradley Manning and the Two Americas — Medium, Long — Medium
"If you see America as a place within borders, a bureaucratic and imperial government that acts on behalf of its 350 million people, if you see America as its edifices, its mandarins, the careful and massive institutions that have built our cities and vast physical culture, the harsh treatment of Manning for defying that institution makes sense, even if it was, at times, brutal.

But if you see America as an idea, and a revolutionary one in its day, that not only could a person decide her fate but that the body of people could act together as a great leader might lead — and that this is a better way to be — Manning didn’t betray that America.

The second America doesn’t have that name anymore. It morphed and grew just as the first, promulgated for a moment from the east side of the mid-North American continent, but going on to become a sense of democracy, the rights of man. It merged with the other spirits born of the Enlightenment and became the force behind science, technology, free speech, and populist will.

Then the ideas of self-determination and the freedom to know blossomed as they never had before in the dying days of the 20th century. The second America became a strange and amorphous transnational creature. It became networked.

The first America built the Internet, but the second America moved onto it. And they both think they own the place now.

Both Americas were so successful they are at this point slightly startled to find they have to share the world with the other. All the while, the law, a poor third player in this drama, has tried to straddle the two like a man trying to stand on two battleships while they drift apart."



"Ford, in his funny and slightly cynical way, was identifying a quality so profound to the Internet its people usually didn’t even realize it was new. This idea that participation was more important than qualification, that what made your opinion important was that you had an opinion. This was a new thing in the world, with its own magic. The Why-Wasn’t-I-Consulted faction showed up as open source and free software. It was there when bloggers took on the hoary greats of the news business. It powered Wikipedia, which shocked the world by doing better than anything the old world of accredited expertise could do. The un-consulted could not only appear as a creative force; they could appear as critique, suddenly coalescing into an Anonymous DDOS, or a street protest. They began to make their demands known, from Spain to Cairo to New York, talking across borders and ideological divides, creating distributed media, and above all, having opinions on things."



"Ellsberg related the story of a panel on which he debated his own actions and those like him, with someone who seemed to him a surprisingly vigorous opponent. “I asked him after we’d had a debate, whether we really disagreed as much as had appeared in the debate,” Ellsberg continued,

“And he said ‘Oh, I think you’re evil.’ That was a little startling. And I said really? Why do you think that? He said ‘You undermine authority and that’s evil.’”

Can we really do without authority? Can we make a better world by letting everyone in on the secrets, by letting everyone act according to their conscience? Our system, for better or worse, isn’t about that. Democracy as we know it, the democracy invented in the 18th century, was never about everyone being equal. It is about getting rid of bad leaders peacefully, and hopefully arriving at better ones, more closely aligned with the people, committed to serving them better.

I asked Ellsberg, “Weren’t you undermining a system?” Speaking of himself and Manning, Ellsberg answered: “[We were] undermining the sense that the American state is a force for good on the whole in the world… I have no doubt that the majority of Americans think that we intend to and prefer to support democracy in the world.” Instead, he explained, we are a self-interested empire with no particular regard for global democracy. “What Bradley Manning did, and what I did, with these two large leaks… what they revealed was the long term or wide spread operations of an empire.”"



"And Snowden in the time since has revealed the dirty details of its mass surveillance, its tools of control.

The empire hasn’t liked that enforced openness one bit, as Obama made clear to Price at breakfast. But in September of that year, the empire had a new problem. The spirit of the Arab Spring and the Spanish summer protests moved into a park in Lower Manhattan, and set up camp, just as they had done elsewhere. They were lit up not only by anger but by a network. Occupy Wall Street was born, and spread across the U.S. and the Western world faster than an epidemic can travel, faster than the sound of their own voices. The spread of Occupy was constrained only by the speed of light and thought. Once again, WikiLeaks and even more the still quiet, still-in-custody Manning became one of the movement’s many rallying points.

This was because at its core, Occupy Wall Street was a disagreement with power about what America is. Not a new disagreement, but one whose tension and time had come — a disagreement that became a battle."



"This is an age of unprecedented classification and unprecedented access, of openness and secrecy that are filling the world like gasses, just as they pervade the space of Manning’s military courtroom. Despite its unassuming setting, this trial has been the beginning of a fight over how the Internet is redefining democracy. The contradictions are not mere metaphors, they are architectural, they are logistical; they invade our cities, our politics, and even our bodies."



"No one knows yet what happens when we conflict with our minders.

Manning allegedly told Lamo, the person who turned him in, “God knows what happens now, hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms… if not… i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens.”

At this moment, Snowden has vanished into Russia, Assange still passes time in trapped in an embassy. The embattled NSA has announced it will be letting go of 90% of its systems administrators. Afghanistan and Iraq are wracked with seemingly endless violence, while the whole Middle East teeters in uncertainty. In America, people are upset and confused, and our European allies have been in turns condemning us and dealing with domestic scandals as it’s come out they’ve been surveilling with us, too. Our government is fighting constitutional scandals on every side, while privacy services shut down or flee our borders. The world is shrouded in confusion and fear.

Manning, now 25, awaits his sentence. His future is more understandable than ours right now. While we spin into conflict about information, about access, about who gets consulted, Manning will go away into the quiet of a military prison, retired, for now, from the information war he helped start."
quinnorton  2013  bradleymanning  democracy  us  internet  wikipedia  authority  control  edwardsnowden  security  privacy  secrecy  transparency  whistleblowing  truth  power  barackobama  julainassange  wikileaks  information  freedom  global  arabspring  loganprice  activism  complacency  canon  worldchanging  ows  occupywallstreet  danielellsberg  richardnixon  informationwar  adrianlamo  paulford 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Longform Podcast: Episode 5: Paul Ford
“You don’t really read a newspaper to preserve journalism, or save great journalism, or to keep the newspaper going. You read it because it gives you a sense of power or control over the environment that you’re in, and actually sort of helps you define what your personal territory is, and what the things are that matter for you. As long as products serve that need—as long as books allow you to explore spaces that it’s otherwise really hard for you to explore and so on—I think people will continue to read them.”
whatmatters  mentalspace  text  howweread  reading  2012  personalterritory  books  exploration  territory  newspapers  journalism  paulford  tolisten  via:tealtan  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
The Update | Contents Magazine
"More and more, what we post to the internet isn’t brand new: it’s an update—new information that builds on something posted earlier. Updates are everywhere… it’s time to give the update its due.
An update is simply a post with a history. But because data plus time almost always reveals a story, that history is rich with possibility. …

…the ascendancy of the update means that our content is increasingly likely to have a future. When we build the relationship between a post and its updates into our code, we allow our users to follow the development of our content over time. …

…the more we enhance our ability to follow ideas and stories over time, the more complex those ideas can become…

…what’s disorienting about our media today isn’t that our stories fail to end, but that we often sever the connections between them…

I leave these thoughts unfinished; I’ve summoned ideas and left them in suspense. Surely we’ll develop these ideas over time, but how are you ever to know?"
contentsmagazine  facebook  sbnation  changes  corrections  twitter  paulford  media  change  persistence  online  web  future  time  journalism  news  contents  2012  unfinished  updates  mattthompson  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
10 Timeframes | Contents Magazine
"The time you spend is not your own. You are, as a class of human beings, responsible for more pure raw time, broken into more units, than almost anyone else. You spent two years learning, focusing, exploring, but that was your time; now you are about to spend whole decades, whole centuries, of cumulative moments, of other people’s time. People using your systems, playing with your toys, fiddling with your abstractions. And I want you to ask yourself when you make things, when you prototype interactions, am I thinking about my own clock, or the user’s? Am I going to help someone make order in his or her life, or am I going to send that person to a commune in Vermont?

So that is my question for all of you: What is the new calendar? What are the new seasons? The new weeks and months and decades? As a class of individuals, we make the schedule. What can we do to help others understand it?

…how can we be sure, far more sure than we are now, that they spend those heartbeats wisely?"
seasons  perspective  history  unitsoftime  unitsofmeausre  timelines  timeframes  millenia  centuries  decades  heartbeats  seconds  hours  minutes  design  ixd  ux  computing  life  time  paulford  from delicious
june 2012 by robertogreco
Welcome to the Company (Ftrain.com)
"Recapitulation theory ("ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny") puts forth that incubating humans act out evolution as they grow from zygote to baby. This was a popular idea a century ago, but it's turned out the science isn't that simple. Yet the principle holds that the dividing fetal cells are engaged in a kind of performance of all of evolution—from simple to complex, from general form to specific form. The developing human loses its tail early, gains a cerebrum later.

Thus newborns are time boiled down, and every ounce gained is another 20 or 30 million years of life; they compress the three billion years since abiogenesis into a nine- or ten-month performance that runs from conception to birth. By the time they arrive they have gone for rides on comets, teased dinosaurs with sticks, come down from the trees, and run across the savannah."
paulford  babies  children  evolution  time  parenting  gestation  birth  biology  recapitulationtheory  2011  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Webs and whirligigs: Marshall McLuhan in his time and ours » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism
"And so are our media, made newly social. Facebook & Twitter & Google+ & all the rest swim with time’s flow, rather than attempting to stanch it. & they are, despite that but mostly because of it, increasingly defining our journalism. They are also, as it were, McLuhanesque. (Google+: extension of man.) Because if McLuhan is to be believed, the much-discussed & often-assumed human need for narrative may be contingent rather than implicit. Which means that as conditions change, so may — so will — we. We may evolve past our need, in other words, for containment, for conclusions, for answers.

McLuhan’s vision is, finally, of a world of frayed ends rather than neat endings, one in which stock loses out to flow — a media environment, which is to say simply an environment, in which all that is solid melts…and then, finally, floods. And for journalism and journalists, of course, that represents a tension of rather epic, and certainly existential, dimensions."
journalism  media  marshallmcluhan  paulford  digitalmedia  stockandflow  time  2011  megangarber  realtime  web  internet  endings  storytelling  unfinished  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings? -- Daily Intel [Don't rely on the quotes here. Read the whole thing.]
"…should be a word for that feeling you get when an older person…shames himself by telling young people how to live…

Obviously, the Epiphinator will need to slim down in order to thrive, but a careful study of history shows how impossible it is to determine whether it can return to both power & glory, or whether its demise is imminent…

This moment of anxiety and fear will pass; future generations (there's now one every 3-4 years) will have no idea what they missed, & yet they will go on, marry, divorce, & own pets.

They may even work in journalism, not in the old dusty career paths…

We'll still need professionals to organize the events of the world into narratives, & our story-craving brains will still need the narrative hooks, the cold opens, the dramatic climaxes, & that all-important "■" to help us make sense of the great glut of recent history that is dumped over us every morning. No matter what comes along streams, feeds, & walls, we will still have need of an ending."
technology  media  socialmedia  facebook  privacy  paulford  narrative  jonathanfranzen  zadiesmith  billkeller  zeyneptufekci  life  wisdom  journalism  storytelling  endings  epiphinator  love  living  stevejobs  commencementspeeches  wholeearthcatalog  stewartbrand  aaronsorkin  2011  nuance  feral  unfinished  culture  internet  commencementaddresses  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Age of Mechanical Reproduction - The Morning News
"The worst thing that can happen in that room is “failure to produce.” They warn you about it. Men go in and hours later have not come out. They’re sobbing and their arms are sore. Their wives or partners are out in the waiting room, surly from hormone treatments. No one has sympathy for a man who can’t produce. They should have sympathy but they don’t. You do not want to be that guy."
health  medicine  paulford  sex  reproduction  in-vitrofertilization  ivf  fertility  2011  writing  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Woods+ (Ftrain.com)
"Anyway, the new thing from the Gootch makes it really easy to sort people into the holes, which is good, because this lets you divide people into clusters and lie to each group in different ways, which makes it easier to preserve the fictions that make up our polite racist society. And it looks pretty sweet and works well so far, which probably means that there will be a huge battle-in-earnest between the Gootch and the Books, between Circles and Friends. For example, I don't know if you saw this but according to the New York Times Mark Zuckerberg is taking walks in the woods with people he'd like to hire. If he really wants you to work for him he takes you for a walk in the woods. It's gotten that serious. And this is a responsibility of a well-educated American, to think about Mark Zuckerberg taking walks in the woods with multiple unnamed sources."
paulford  ftrain  facebook  google  google+  markzuckerberg  mostdangerousgame  hiring  2011  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Time's Inverted Index (Ftrain.com)
"I was biasing the results by using full-text search to explore my email…The pattern-seeking engine in my brain would fire on all cylinders & make a story of the searches, creating an unintentional email-chrestomathy, a greatest-hits collection of ideas I’d had around a single word or phrase…I thought I was doing history in a mirror, but because the emails were pure matches for key terms, devoid of all but a little context, I fell for the historical fallacy, which is when, as John Dewey described it, somewhat impenetrably:

"A set of considerations which hold good only because of a completed process, is read into the content of the process which conditions this completed result. A state of things characterizing an outcome is regarded as a true description of the events which led up to this outcome; when, as a matter of fact, if this outcome had already been in existence, there would have been no necessity for the process."

That is, I had lost sight of time…"
culture  internet  history  identity  data  email  search  change  paulford  johndewey  time  perspective  process  bias  olderself  youngerself  2011  fallacies  fallacy  future  past  present  hope  hopefulness  familiarity  forcedfamiliarity  memory  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Chrestomathy - Wikipedia
"Chrestomathy (Pronounced krɛsˈtɑːmʌθiː/kres-TA-muh-thee from the Greek words khrestos, useful, and mathein, to know) is a collection of choice literary passages, used especially as an aid in learning a foreign language.

In philology or in the study of literature, it is a type of reader or anthology which presents a sequence of example texts, selected to demonstrate the development of language or literary style.

In computer programming, a program chrestomathy is a collection of similar programs written in various programming languages, for the purpose of demonstrating differences in syntax, semantics and idioms for each language. This term is thought[according to whom?] to have been first used by Eric S. Raymond in the Retrocomputing Museum web site. It is used by analogy to a linguistic chrestomathy."

[Found in: http://www.ftrain.com/times-inverted-index.html ]
learning  language  linguistics  words  chrestomathy  philology  programming  compsci  syntax  semantics  paulford  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Antilunchism (Ftrain.com)
"The structure of the City encourages exactly this sort of interaction, but culturally it feels weird to just drop in on folks. Maybe it feels like that because people are not my native medium—so in order to fake being good at people I have some rules. For instance, I try to have questions. I ask, How are your kids? Who are you suing? What are you up to with the iPad? I assume that everyone's time is worth more than my own, because they are in their office and what the hell am I doing. So far no one seems unhappy I stopped by, and I'm pretty good at telling when people are unhappy with me, because I am a very anxious person. Usually they just put me to work, like at the office in midtown, or show me a PowerPoint. People always have PowerPoints they would like to share. I also make sure to leave."
cities  dropins  meetings  lunchism  paulford  nyc  people  introverts  conversation  offices  work  discussion  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Notice of an Advisory Relationship (Ftrain.com)
"I'm 36 now, and I've been writing for the web since I was 21. I've written for other media, but this right here is my medium of choice and I love it the most, even if I've been pretty lousy at updating Ftrain over the last few years.

In those 15 years I've learned that the web has countless ways to say “no,” or to say “meh.” It has fewer ways to say “yes.” Readability looks like a way to say “yes” to people doing hard work—whether they're journalists, essay and fiction writers, publishers, editors, fact-checkers, illustrators, photographers, proofreaders, circulation specialists—or the people who write the checks. The web needs more “yes.” That is why I've thrown my hat into the ring."

[via: http://blog.frankchimero.com/post/3526362273/in-those-15-years-ive-learned-that-the-web-has ]
paulford  readability  kickstarter  postive  meh  yes  support  writing  creativity  instapaper  funding  micropayments  moneyforcontent  money  publishing  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Real Editors Ship (Ftrain.com)
"The web is just too big, & Google really only can handle a small part of it...Google is not really a media company as much as a medium company...The Semantic Web is basically the edited web, for some very nerdy take on editing...there's an insane glut of historical data, texts, and so forth, billions of human, historical, textual objects to come online from the millennia before the web. Plus a gaggle of history bloggers trying to contextualize it (the history bloggers are the best bloggers out there). Dealing with the glut will require all manner of editing, writing, commissioning, contextualizing, and searching..."
editors  editing  publishing  opendata  data  culture  media  google  semanticweb  shipping  contentstrategy  content  management  web  writing  journalism  business  information  2010  ftrain  paulford 
july 2010 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
YouTube - Sasquatch the Legend of Bigfoot (1975) movie trailer
"This is the cult classic "mockumentary" from the 1970's in which an expedition of men from diverse backgrounds go deep into the Canadian mountains in search of Bigfoot."

[via: http://www.ftrain.com/mediaone.html ]
bigfoot  sasquatch  cryptozoology  film  glvo  myth  paulford 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Six-Word Reviews of 763 SXSW Mp3s by Paul Ford - The Morning News
[Dead link, so try this: http://www.themorningnews.org/article/six-word-reviews-of-763-sxsw-mp3s ]

"For brevity, I kept each to exactly six words. Clicking on a band’s name takes you to its web site; clicking on the ▶ button takes you to the SXSW page for the band where you can listen to or download the song.

I realize that I have potentially hurt the feelings of nearly 3,000 musicians, for which I apologize. By no means should you ever stop writing and recording music."

[Wayback link: https://web.archive.org/web/20080317200102/http://www.themorningnews.org/archives/reviews/sixword_reviews_of_763_sxsw_mp3s.php ]
criticism  sxsw  music  reviews  humor  mp3  paulford 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Tag Cloud (Ftrain.com): 2080 State of the Union Address: Key Terms and Phrases Faitfully Prepared for the Review of the Benefactors
"algae die-off, Asteroid mitigation, Freedom management module, Global endocrine bloom, Iraq 2.0 , Lunar earmarking, Rejuvenation centers, Space elevator reconstruction, SuperULTRA-MEGAFreedom, Suboptimal colonial integration, Snacks relief..."
humor  politics  tagging  words  paulford  future  futurology 
january 2008 by robertogreco
The Passivator (Ftrain.com)
"A passive verb and adverb flagger for Mozilla-derived browsers, Safari, and Opera 7.5, with caveats."
grammar  language  english  writing  patterns  productivity  editing  javascript  style  literature  linguistics  paulford 
september 2007 by robertogreco
I Am Making a Difference (Ftrain.com)
"That barbecue sizzle? Locally raised (ten miles from home), humanely slaughtered heirloom pandas."
humor  politics  satire  environment  green  paulford 
september 2007 by robertogreco
The Cloths of Heaven are Old Shirts and Dark Slacks (Ftrain.com)
“Carl Jung says that boring dreams indicate a boring person.”...Thus I used to feel ashamed and useless when everyone told me to go everywhere and do everything...It may be boring, but I am living my dreams."
dreams  life  writing  inspiration  paulford 
september 2007 by robertogreco
The Tour (Ftrain.com)
"After many years of focused self-loathing I have reversed the flow of hatred and entered into a lengthy phase of purifying misanthropy. I fear and hate other humans"
life  bikes  nyc  emotions  moods  people  humans  psychology  introverts  paulford 
august 2007 by robertogreco
My Palace of Memory Crumbles (Ftrain.com)
"So this huge amazing palace of memory? It was real estate boondoggle in my brain. And it's not like you can sell one of these. It just sits there unused until you can forget it. But you can't forget it because designed to keep you from forgetting in the first place.”
memory  writing  space  psychology  design  architecture  paulford 
january 2007 by robertogreco
Real Empires Ship (Ftrain.com)
"Yet as gadgets shrink we get collectively fatter, as if nature must maintain equilibrium between our toys and our bodies. Draw a chart: if this trend continues we will all turn into spheres of flesh, and our machines will be tiny golden threads woven into our 20XL shirts."
apple  history  writing  humor  gadgets  paulford 
january 2007 by robertogreco
Pulling back teeth (Ftrain.com)
"This sense of people-as-animals is not always there. It fades and I go back to seeing people, minds piled high with culture. Smiles return to being smiles rather than significant grimaces."
society  psychology  etiquette  life  paulford 
november 2005 by robertogreco

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