If you believe that the solution to a particular problem is to increase the amount of something, be aware that it might just happens to be that the thing you want more of, is the actual problem.
I tried to look at where did the kind of learning we do in schools, where did it come from? [...] It came from about 300 years ago, and it came from the last and the biggest of the empires on this planet. The British Empire. [...] What they did was amazing. They created a global computer made up of people. It’s still with us today. It’s called the bureaucratic administrative machine. In order to have that machine running, you need lots and lots of people. They made another machine to produce those people: the school. [...] They engineered a system that was so robust that it’s still with us today, continuously producing identical people for a machine that no longer exists. [...] We take our children, we make them shut their brains down, and then we say, “Perform.” [...] We don’t want to be spare parts for a great human computer, do we? So we need to design a future for learning.
It is the phenomenon sometimes called “alienation from self.” In its advanced stages, we no longer answer the telephone, because someone might want something [...] Every encounter demands too much, tears the nerves, drains the will, and the specter of something as small as an unanswered letter arouses such disproportionate guilt that answering it becomes out of the question. [...] to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves—there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect.
– Joan Didion
You don’t get to decide the truth. Other people have their own experiences, just as valid. This is easy to forget. Your slice of life seems so large and unmistakeable, like a mirage of wholeness from where you stand. But it is your job to know better and not confuse your small piece for the whole, even if you sometimes forget. Life is big—much bigger than just yours.
Great stories happen to those who can tell them
– Ira Glass
I think that for a project or an adventure to be a real adventure it has to have some amount of uncertainty. If I know I will succeed from the start, it will be a mechanical venture. [...] When you leave what you know, you are widening the reality you live in and thus widening your own consciousness. If we feel safe everyday, we aren’t really living; we’re only repeating what we know. Living, for me, is expanding ones own reality as far as possible.
– Andreas Frannson
A book with proper margins says, We respect you, Dear Reader, and also you, Dear Author, and you, too, Dear Book.
When in doubt: do (and start anywhere).
In Japanese culture, there is a word for this: chindogu. The literal translation is “weird tool,” but the concept is about utility, or lack thereof. Kenji Kawakami coined the term as a way to point out objects that are invented under the premise of solving a problem, but which, in practice, only generate more problems, rendering them devoid of utility. Kawakami humorously calls them “unuseless,” which is to say, they have a function, it’s just not one that helps us (and it may be one that harms us).
When creating and refining digital services; chindogu is a daily challenge. A method I found that can help to prevent this is to keep asking the question: yeah, but why?
The quote is pulled from the article ‘Yes We Can. But Should We?':
For the last nine year Nicholas Felton has releases an personal annual report covering all sorts of activity and data. This years report (2013) examines, to quote: a year of Nicholas Felton’s communication data. It aspires to uncover patterns and insights within the data and metadata of a large and personal data set. Sources include conversations, SMS, telephone calls, email, Facebook messages and physical mail.
I find this topic (and numbers) very interesting.
The last couple of years I have personally taken proactive actions to “retreat” somewhat from social media, networking and all the constant updating and catching up with events of others. Addicts of communication. It has become a somewhat sprititual journey. Anyway, looking at this report – and the sheer mass of data – I can’t stop to think “this is insane”. And by that I don’t mean Nicholas in particular (and definitely not his work, just simply what his report implies.
Last night my mate asked to use a USB port to charge his cigarette, but I was using it to charge my book.
The future is stupid.
I just stumbled over this really interesting article on Claudia Kotchka: www.fastcompany.com/53060/in...
To me, it illustrates what design is and can be to businesses. It’s also really nice to read about some other real-world-examples on what design can do, and be, besides Apple.
When people are afraid to fail, tell them that they’re just making a ‘prototype.’
– Claudia Kotchka
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.
– Frank Zappa
Textbooks are expensive for the same reason enterprise software is bad: purchasing decisions are not made by the users.
The miracles of technology cause us to live in a hectic, clockwork world that does violence to human biology.
– Alan Watts