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Merlin Mann at dConstruct 2010

This is Merlin Mann’s excellent talk at dConstruct 2010. They’ve actually put the audio to all the talks online. Check ‘em out.

Freud popularised the term, “The Narcissism of Minor Differences”, to describe how adjacent villages—identical for all practical purposes—would struggle to amplify their tiniest distinctions in order to justify how much they despised one other. So you have to guess how much he would have enjoyed design mailing lists. And, Perl.

Truth is, to the untrained (un-washed, un-nuanced, un-Paul-Rand’d, and un-Helvetica’d) outsider, discourse in the design community can sometimes look a lot like a cluster of tightly-wound Freudian villages.

So, how is the role of design perceived by the people who are using the stuff you make? What role (if any) should users expect in the process of how their world is made and remade? What contexts might be useful in helping us turn all of our obsessions into useful and beautiful work?

Can an Aeron chair ever be truly ‘Black’? Will there ever be a way to get Marketing people to stop calling typefaces ‘fonts’? And, when, at last, will the international community finally speak as one regarding the overuse of Mistral and stock photos of foreshortened Asian women?

By leveraging his uniquely unqualified understanding of design, Merlin will propose some promising patterns for fording the gap between end-users and the unhappy-looking people in costly European eyeglasses who are designing their world.

Is there hope? Come to Brighton, pull up a flawlessly-executed mid-century-Modern seating affordance, and we’ll see what we can figure out together. One village to another.

via Tim Van Damme

nybooks:

Ingrid D. Rowland

Berlusconi is no longer in control of Italy (it has been clear at least since his wife announced that she was divorcing him a year ago that he has lost control of himself); he may even have lost touch with his own times. Over the course of the summer, two brave, stubborn old-style statesman, the courtly President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano—a former Communist—and the implacably cool Gianfranco Fini—a former Neofascist—have united to insist that Italy is a constitutional democracy rather than a populist circus, and that insistence (along with their very different but exceptional abilities to bide their time) has confounded a Prime Minister no longer accustomed to being confounded.

nybooks:

Under Fire: Mark Hewitt’s ‘Big-Assed’ Pots
Christopher Benfey
I must have chosen the hottest week of the summer to fly down to North Carolina to watch Mark Hewitt, one of the best known ceramic artists now at work in America, fire his big groundhog kiln. It was 98 degrees in the shade when I pulled into Johnny Burke Road in the red-clay hamlet of Pittsboro, a half hour south of Chapel Hill.

nybooks:

Under Fire: Mark Hewitt’s ‘Big-Assed’ Pots

Christopher Benfey

I must have chosen the hottest week of the summer to fly down to North Carolina to watch Mark Hewitt, one of the best known ceramic artists now at work in America, fire his big groundhog kiln. It was 98 degrees in the shade when I pulled into Johnny Burke Road in the red-clay hamlet of Pittsboro, a half hour south of Chapel Hill.

Angus Cook, Hilton Als, and Peter Doig

Last spring in Berlin, Peter Doig and Hilton Als co-curated an exhibition of portraits—mostly by young, unrecognized or forgotten artists—a show that included a rare look at the work of the remarkable but little known 20th-century Trinidadian painter Boscoe Holder (1921–2007). Here is a selection of his work, along with excerpts of a conversation between Doig, Als, and Angus Cook about the artist and his Caribbean milieu.

Angus Cook, Hilton Als, and Peter Doig

Last spring in Berlin, Peter Doig and Hilton Als co-curated an exhibition of portraits—mostly by young, unrecognized or forgotten artists—a show that included a rare look at the work of the remarkable but little known 20th-century Trinidadian painter Boscoe Holder (1921–2007). Here is a selection of his work, along with excerpts of a conversation between Doig, Als, and Angus Cook about the artist and his Caribbean milieu.

nybooks:

Timothy Snyder

When I met Tony Judt twenty years ago, he was on his way to catch a train. But he lingered instead in Providence to lunch with a couple of Brown University undergraduates. He gently gave career advice to two young men hesitating between history and journalism. Of course I wouldn’t suggest that whoever had a meal with Tony either became a historian, as I did, or won the Pulitzer Prize for journalism, as did Gareth Cook. But Tony was always exceedingly generous with his time, especially with younger people. Brief requests for advice yielded pages of well-crafted counsel. He wrote letters of recommendation for dozens of people who were not formally his students, and organized conferences at which younger people met more established scholars. At his Remarque Institute at New York University, the criterion for participation was merit rather than renown.

nybooks:

Save the Warburg Library!
Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger
A center of European culture and a repository of the Western tradition that escaped Hitler and survived the Blitz may finally be destroyed by British bean-counters. It is a picture, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.”
Photo: Panels from Aby Warburg’s «Mnemosyne, A Picture Series Examining the Function of Preconditioned Antiquity-Related Expressive Values for the Presentation of Eventful Life in the Art of the European Renaissance», 1926

nybooks:

Save the Warburg Library!

Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger

A center of European culture and a repository of the Western tradition that escaped Hitler and survived the Blitz may finally be destroyed by British bean-counters. It is a picture, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.”

Photo: Panels from Aby Warburg’s «Mnemosyne, A Picture Series Examining the Function of Preconditioned Antiquity-Related Expressive Values for the Presentation of Eventful Life in the Art of the European Renaissance», 1926

nybooks:

Save the Warburg Library!
Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger
A center of European culture and a repository of the Western tradition that escaped Hitler and survived the Blitz may finally be destroyed by British bean-counters. It is a picture, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.”
Photo: Panels from Aby Warburg’s «Mnemosyne, A Picture Series Examining the Function of Preconditioned Antiquity-Related Expressive Values for the Presentation of Eventful Life in the Art of the European Renaissance», 1926

nybooks:

Save the Warburg Library!

Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger

A center of European culture and a repository of the Western tradition that escaped Hitler and survived the Blitz may finally be destroyed by British bean-counters. It is a picture, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.”

Photo: Panels from Aby Warburg’s «Mnemosyne, A Picture Series Examining the Function of Preconditioned Antiquity-Related Expressive Values for the Presentation of Eventful Life in the Art of the European Renaissance», 1926

nybooks:

Save the Warburg Library!
Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger
A center of European culture and a repository of the Western tradition that escaped Hitler and survived the Blitz may finally be destroyed by British bean-counters. It is a picture, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.”
Photo: Panels from Aby Warburg’s «Mnemosyne, A Picture Series Examining the Function of Preconditioned Antiquity-Related Expressive Values for the Presentation of Eventful Life in the Art of the European Renaissance», 1926

nybooks:

Save the Warburg Library!

Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger

A center of European culture and a repository of the Western tradition that escaped Hitler and survived the Blitz may finally be destroyed by British bean-counters. It is a picture, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.”

Photo: Panels from Aby Warburg’s «Mnemosyne, A Picture Series Examining the Function of Preconditioned Antiquity-Related Expressive Values for the Presentation of Eventful Life in the Art of the European Renaissance», 1926

matthewb:

Dan Busta’s attendee portraits from this year’s Phoot Camp are every bit as tremendous as last year’s. That’s Virb chief Brad Smith at bottom right.

matthewb:

Dan Busta’s attendee portraits from this year’s Phoot Camp are every bit as tremendous as last year’s. That’s Virb chief Brad Smith at bottom right.