I recently learned the practice for collecting bits of knowledge is called a Commonplace book and has been around for thousands of years.
Today a friend pointed out that translating the “perfection” of an idea from one’s head to the physical world doesn’t allow for contribution or collaboration from others. To maintain that something is perfect in your head is to be closed off to its evolution.
Do you ever read an article that’s so good you have to read it again immediately and you almost feel upset that you hadn’t read it sooner? And it makes you realize your questions were circling the main premise of the article, and finally, the article gave you answers to questions you hadn’t even narrowed in on yet? It’s beautiful.
Speaking of teams: 🎬 Ibara high school (1st place at 2019 Inter-High School Championships)
Is it fair to consider having knowledge gaps on a team a form of “tech” “debt”?
I believe in a team where everyone has knowledge gaps in different areas, which is why a team is so much more powerful, creative, and productive than any single individual. I’d say codebases have tech debt (aka devs are unhappy working on it) whereas teams have strengths and maybe you could say weaknesses, if it’s not a cross-functional team, for example.
If you’ve been hired as a dev, then I think it’s safe to assume you are capable of having baseline knowledge of the codebase and of doing your job. Whether anyone walks you through the codebase, can adjust to your needs, vs. throwing you in the deep end and expect instant results is another matter entirely…
just like humans!
I cannot recommend this episode enough. Slime mold is super exciting!
If everything in our world is a product of the earth (all tools, all textiles, all plastic wrappers, all houses… all came from the earth), and we are about to look at nature as a collaborator, then what is the internet? Is it like mathematics, totally made up and only existing in our minds? There’s a required infrastructure for the internet. Is it the most separated from the earth while still reliant on earth hardware or earth wiring? Is the internet only simply a reflection or manifestation of our social structures, cultures, and groupings? Why can it exploit or manipulate our animal brains? How do we turn the tide on it and become collaborators? Connecting to nature is rewarded with an indescribable sensation that one is merely a part of something bigger. There’s a bodily reaction to nature that does not exist for the bright, cold screens around us. Unless the internet exploited your depression, your insecurities, your rage, etc. The internet was once a safe place for me to process my reality, and now it is my job to build small parts of it. Now my processing must remain private to retain an air of professionalism and security. I cannot be weird. I cannot make mistakes. For learning and growing is unacceptable to do in public. My external shell must be confident, wise, compassionate, all-knowing, and whatever other forms of put-together perfection we seek from a brand.
I mourn the turtling of us all.
I’ve always thought of the web as being an extension of a public library: it’s meant to contain information that’s accessible by the public. It definitely drives my work/passion/interest in making extremely accessible websites.
However, part of the problem with social media is the lack of context (🖋 “context collapse”) and a desire to cater to all audiences, not a specific audience, which results in the most bland, least offensive content. (I’m really poorly summarizing the book How to Do Nothing here.)
If the internet had a sense of place: what would that look like? this is where Seattleites hang out, this is where Londoners hang out, etc.
Thinking about place is really challenging my initial view that all of the internet is meant to be accessible by everyone. maybe there are places where actually I don’t belong. the arts and the media know that they cater to a specific audience: no one attempts to cater to all humans of all ages of all cultures via a single movie, a single magazine, etc. even public libraries are restricted by their geographic boundaries and cater to the communities in their area: one public library’s series of lectures would not necessarily apply to all public libraries everywhere. So really: why should the internet be any different?
I absolutely love this book. I will do my best not to share every single thing I highlighted.
Cyclical and regenerative is The Moon!!
The Moon is everywhere now that I notice it. This is some kind of cognitive bias, but I am into it. We need more of the moon in our everyday lives.
Have you ever noticed how comedians describe themselves so accurately? Do other comedians point these things out to them, or do they have incredible self-awareness?
the comparison to artist, musician, or writer is different than comparing to making a film or building a component library
trying to build job security here
NASA has a tumblr!!
🖋 “The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free” by Nathan J. Robinson (02 August 2020)
After reading the poem 📃 Tinnitus by W. S. Di Piero, I searched the web for “agglomerationists” which brought up a result for the following article quoted below. It reminded me of the older days of the web searching and stumbling upon someone else’s garden.
yes. feelings are a mix of whatever emotions are flooding through your body and whatever thoughts are swirling in your mind.
As a software engineer, I am taught to check my human impulses at the door. I make hundreds of assumptions about how a piece of code should work, which is precisely why I cannot find the bug. I need another mechanically trained mind to review and catch my assumptions, and I do the same for others. And yet, software engineering can be such an isolating pursuit as the work happens between one human and one computer. I am trained to think like a machine, but I cannot detach my logic from the rest of my thoughts and feelings and biases, just as Taney rightly points out between the viewer and Minimalist work.
I observe some software engineers holding their creations close to them, becoming defensive of criticism, beaming at recognition, just as anyone in the creative field would. However, they seem more surprised by this behavior in themselves and in others.
I am sure I am paraphrasing someone by saying humans are trained to use computers, not the other way around. how tragic.
Let’s listen to artists about technology!!
p.s. the thought of ‘purity’ as a bodiless, mind-forward technological future is frightening
The everyday stuff is the real stuff. It makes me feel normal, which is often what I want most.
📃 The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
I fucking love petrichor
The lack of balance between masculine and feminine is actively hurting us. We need to embrace the feminine within ourselves and in each other. We need to value it.
the moon appears again!
this book really opened my eyes to how much I default to masculine behavior and how much I scoff at my intuition, my empathy, my sensitivity, my quietness
As someone whose manager once accused her of navel gazing, I feel a weight released and a validation that I was just acting femininely, which I intend to embrace.
I feel seen
I was just reflecting on how beautiful it is to genuinely apologize. To admit a mistake or that you are wrong is acknowledging and accepting that humans are not perfect. It gives me hope.
🖋 “6, 93: A repetition of the gently sloping size” by Charlie Loyd (06 May 2019)
Meditation is focusing on something that you cannot hold on to for very long: a sound, a thought, a sensation… but writing is the very act of holding on to things.
“Please do not feed the egos” -a sticker on a coworker’s computer
just like life
🖋 “Four people are allowing strangers to control their smart homes” by Chris Ip (8 February 2019)
I am here for this
🖋 “The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy” by Matthew Stewart (June 2018 Issue)
🖋 “A guide to working with clients” by HAWRAF (25 June 2018)
Ottmar Mergenthaler: Inventor of the Linotype.
Nineteenth century mechanical genius.
Any time someone says we cannot make some amazing ecologically-friendly, innovative new product because it is too expensive, I am going to be thinking of Mergenthaler.
Doug Wilson went on to create a film about Mergenthaler and the Linotype:
🎬 “Linotype: The Film” Official Trailer from Linotype: The Film on Vimeo.
If you’re brainwashed without knowing it, truly believe whatever it is, then can you still be held responsible for your actions to the same degree? Do your intentions become more important?
Are we all ‘brainwashed’ by our perceptions, one way or another?
The color white is only white because it is next to something that is less white, like grey or gold or pink. Pink is only pink because it is next to something that has less pink in it or none at all. Color is so relative that it cannot really exist on its own. It is perception. Can color be truth? Can the same color, which when in different contexts appears to be different color, much like a chameleon, (see the checkerboard optical illusion), be completely an absolute truth?
The human body cannot detect everything in its surroundings, obviously. There’s a vast range of sound waves, light waves, odorless gasses, and so forth that are filtered from our view. They’re simply removed entirely.
If our other perceptions function similarly and our massive thinking muscle is receiving a constant stream of data, false data, untrue and filtered data, can we really find any truths?
Art is pure representation. All portraits are made to represent a person, but are not actually the person or any person. They are a collection of colors and materials used to represent something else.
Math is pure abstraction. All numbers, formulas, graphs, slopes, lines, and so forth have no physicality. They don’t walk around on the streets. The glyph ‘7’ is a representation of the concept of the number seven.
So, in both fields, we have these representations. Both intend to discover truth(s). Whether or not real truths are found, isn’t the intention the reason we study them? Doesn’t intention create its essence, purpose, meaning, etc. and give it its life?
This is one of my favorite things about designing. It leads to the notion that you cannot really read “raw” or pure content, the kind unaffected or uninfluenced by an outside mind. Passages are pushed along a specific path with the help of the type’s subtle organic tendencies or the excessively modern whitespace. Or, they are stopped in their tracks through abrupt boundary bumping with its neighbor next-door!
(Definition) Canon: A general rule, fundamental principle, aphorism, or axiom governing the systematic or scientific treatment of a subject. A canonic principle determines what does and does not belong in a field of human endeavor.
Further Reading: What is Graphic Design? by Quentin Newark, A Designer’s Art by Paul Rand.
Books are super influential! And I love Labrouste’s Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève built in 1842-50 for being the first commissioned public library. Open to the entire public, it displayed and contained books that were not chained-up or locked-up behind bars. The entire facade is carved with names of scholars and scientists in chronological order. Who is the first carved name? Moses.
Source for refreshing my memory: European Architecture 1750–1890 by Barry Bergdoll.
🎬 Happy Up Here from Röyksopp on Vimeo.
How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy — I checked it out from my local library. I wish I had been introduced to this book sooner. I am loving the way the margins of the book are set up, especially as a way to feature the (aqua-marine blue!) footnotes instead of hide them.
I can really thank Aaron Heth for writing about his experience of his four years in design school as it introduced me to the book.
Fernando Gros quotes an excellent, but slightly discouraging, piece:
How inspiring and encouraging!
Louis Reith’s work is currently featured on Little Paper Planes. They write,
Louis’ work explores the typographical forms beyond readability and seem to abstractly document arctic voyages of the past.