Reading

03 July 2015

The Left Hand of Darkness

I don't know why, but one day last month I wandered into the science fiction section at the main Powells. And while there, happened upon a copy of The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Link

02 July 2015

What dogs teach us about aging

“Getting a puppy, the comic Louis C.K. observed, is a “countdown to sorrow.” Inscribed in the act of welcoming this adorable fur ball into your home is the moment of its death a decade or so hence. Grief over a pet can equal or exceed that of a human family member, studies show. This is canine neoteny’s cruel flip side: Yes, your dog gets to be an emotional adolescent into ripe old age. But when he dies, it will feel like losing a child.”

I really love this article. I found it when I watched (and cried my eyes out watching) a video about a man and his dog at the end of the dog's life. I still miss my girl, every day, even after a year and a half since she's been gone.

Link

02 July 2015

Thriving in unpredictability

“It’s about the users. It’s about finding ways to make our content available to them no matter how unpredictable the path that lies between us and them.”

It's about users! 'nuff said.

Link

02 July 2015

Easier to keep up than catch up

“Small steps move us forward. They may not be the amazing, overnight success stories we hear about, but that’s because you don’t hear about the thousand small steps that contributed to that overnight success story.”

Link

02 July 2015

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

“Some will point out, correctly, that even educated people can still be racists, but this shouldn’t remove the spotlight from anti-intellectualism. Yes, even intelligent and educated individuals, often due to cultural and institutional influences, can sometimes carry racist biases. But critically thinking individuals recognize racism as wrong and undesirable, even if they aren’t yet able to eliminate every morsel of bias from their own psyches or from social institutions. An anti-intellectual society, however, will have large swaths of people who are motivated by fear, susceptible to tribalism and simplistic explanations, incapable of emotional maturity, and prone to violent solutions. Sound familiar?”

Link

02 July 2015

A world without work

“The post-work proponents acknowledge that, even in the best post-work scenarios, pride and jealousy will persevere, because reputation will always be scarce, even in an economy of abundance. But with the right government provisions, they believe, the end of wage labor will allow for a golden age of well-being. Hunnicutt said he thinks colleges could reemerge as cultural centers rather than job-prep institutions. The word school, he pointed out, comes from skholē, the Greek word for “leisure.” “We used to teach people to be free,” he said. “Now we teach them to work.””

This is a long, but really fascinating article on work and what would happen if there is no work in the future. I've read and thought a lot about work in the past several years. I'm not sure that I agree that if we have no work we will become like the people on the spaceships in WALL-E, I would like to think it would be more like Star Trek, where we still do things, but we don't have to worry about earning wages or the basics of life. What I found most fascinating is how people in Youngstown have a revitalization of culture and creative pursuits, because they have the time for it now.

Reading

01 July 2015

Y: The Last Man

On the heels of reading Ministry of Space, I picked up a volume that's been on the shelf for quite some time after I found a cheap used copy at Powells, Y: The Last Man.

Link

01 July 2015

Words as Material

“But I’ve also come to see writing as a material in itself. Something we can play with and manipulate. Something that can change over time as questions come up in the design process or an idea evolves. Writing can be a tool for talking to ourselves when we’re still figuring things out. A sort of mirror or feedback system. A way to understand and articulate design.”

Over the past several years, I've come to love words more. I've also realized that words in design/applications/etc are so very important, more important than we often think. And I love the way Nicole talks about this, using words in design and as part of the process.