In the original Ultima games, the player might have been all alone, but he did get to be the hero. In U.O., the player has to struggle for recognition. “Playing a virtual-world game takes some getting used to,” Garriott told me. “You have to realize that the world is what you make of it. Unfortunately, that means most likely you’re going to have a relatively mediocre life.”

Pimps and Dragons

the great German mathematician David Hilbert liked to work in his garden at his home in Göttingen. But rather than spread out his papers on a table, his neighbor Maria Mayer recalled, he installed “a blackboard the whole length of the garden, with a roof over it so even in the rain you could be out.” Hilbert, he said, would “walk with his assistants up and down, and whenever they wanted to do something on the blackboard, there was the blackboard.”

Hands and Keyboards, Words and Code — Contemplative computing — Medium

While stereotypes click together sweetly, thinking comes in bitter flavors. We recur to clichés rather than reflection, because they make us wise without listening, bright without reasoning, and smart without taking the risk of being imprecise, boring, annoying, wrong. And just like McFood they’re easily bought and quickly swallowed, zero intellectual calories. Just as instinctively as we avoid listening, reflecting, and using our imagination to achieve clarity in writing, we avoid thought when we design websites.

Putting Thought Into Things

It’s because design addresses both rational and irrational needs that we all have. The rational part is difficult, but doable; it’s the irrational, human part that is hard. The rational part can be engineered and prepared to perfection; the irrational part needs to be engineered with the same kind of precision, but must also be timely and relevant to how the consumer feels.

John Maeda Three Principles for Using Design Successfully

But if it is true that in the essential commerce of art a gift is carried by the work from the artist to his audience, if I am right to say that where there is no gift there is no art, then it may be possible to destroy a work of art by converting it into a pure commodity. I don’t maintain that art can’t be bought and sold, but that the gift portion of the work places a constraint upon our merchandising. This is the reason why even a really beautiful, ingenious, powerful ad (of which there are a lot) can never be any kind of real art: an ad has no status as gift; i.e., it’s never really for the person it’s directed at.

The Ecstasy of Influence

WordPress has its roots as a blogging platform. Today, it is being used for blogs, eCommerce websites, membership sites, magazines, mobile applications, enterprise services, forums… the list goes on. In fact, WordPress has been used for just about every kind of app and website you can imagine. Though still primarily known as a blogging platform, it is slowly becoming a generalized application platform. With the help of plugins, extensions and custom themes it can be transformed into whatever the user needs it to be.

The Future of WordPress

And, this is probably the most important bit: I work in Keynote. Each slide has an image or a short sentence describing the idea. Maybe I’ll toss in a movie clip. In the presenter notes, I’m actually writing the full talk/essay. I like Keynote, because it’s visual. I can nest slides inside one another like an outline; I can click and drag things around to change the order; I can display all the slides in a grid to get a sense of the pacing of the story. It’s really quite wonderful—much closer to how my mind naturally works. I find it’s essential for the “rich, media-heavy” stuff you’re referencing.

AMA: I’m Frank Chimero—a designer, writer, speaker, and picturemaker person. I just started a design studio named Another. Etc etc etc. - Designer News

Or, as Cory Doctorow, an editor of the technology-focused blog Boing Boing, put it in a manifesto titled “Why I Won’t Buy an iPad”: “Buying an iPad for your kids isn’t a means of jump-starting the realization that the world is yours to take apart and reassemble; it’s a way of telling your offspring that even changing the batteries is something you have to leave to the professionals.”


Perhaps the problem with Yo isn’t what makes it stupid—its attempt to formalize the meta-communication common to online life—but what makes it gross: the need to contain all human activity within the logics of tech startups. The need to expect something from every idea, even the stupid ones, to feel that they deserve attention, users, data, and, inevitably, payout. Perhaps this is the greatest meta-communicative message of today’s technology scene. And it might not be inaccurate to summarize that message with a singular, guttural “yo.”

Yo - Ian Bogost - The Atlantic (via slavin)

(via slavin)