Takeaways from a particularly good evening in the pub last night:
- Small cities are where it’s at, and Ghent is the bees knees
- Check out Code for Science & Society
- Read The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
- Read Broad Band by Claire L. Evans
- It’s just people all the way down; be excellent to each other
And a salad recipe from a great cab driver:
In a large bowl, combine some diced cucumber, diced celery, and halved cherry tomatoes. Add finely chopped wet garlic or green onions (scallions). Toss with olive oil and lemon juice and season to taste. Optional additions include olives, mint, boiled Jersey potatoes, rocket (arugula), or feta. Use apple cider vinegar if you don’t have lemon juice.
Reduce, reuse, recycle ♻️ Can this apply to digital material? What would that mean or look like?
When I say “digital material” I don’t mean visual waste like excessive banner ads and endless newsletter popups, but actual bytes of data. Is there an alternative to emptying the trash and/or permanent storage? Device storage – the management of it, its functionality – is effectively invisible until you have a sudden problem with it. The dreaded “low disk space” warning.
This feels somewhat analogous to our IRL trash problem, but an obvious difference is that emptying IRL trash ≠ emptying digital trash. When you empty the trash at home, it becomes someone else’s problem. When you empty your digital trash, it disappears (mostly). Also, it’s worth acknowledging: right now our physical trash problem > our digital trash problem.
If we focus on the digital side of things for the moment though, the biggest issue is that people don’t empty their trash. It’s a lot easier to dump a bunch of old files on to a hard drive and call it a day than to actually go through and get rid of unnecessary stuff. This is hoarding.
Consider this condensed intro to the compulsive hoarding entry on Wikipedia as of today:
Compulsive hoarding […] is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that […] cause significant distress or impairment. Compulsive hoarding behavior has been associated with health risks, impaired functioning, economic burden, and adverse effects on friends and family members. […] Compulsive hoarders may be aware of their irrational behavior, but the emotional attachment to the hoarded objects far exceeds the motive to discard the items.
I would guess that most of us (without a doubt including myself) are digital hoarders. For me, at least, it’s driven by mild fear, a “but I might need that” mentality. It’s the same reason I frequently leave multiple browser windows with multiple tabs open. So many major services – Gmail, iCloud, AWS, Dropbox – are built to encourage this behaviour. Some services even actively discourage deletion, or make it impossible. I’m looking at you, Facebook.
But stuff, both physical and digital, has to be cared for. I pay more and more for services that store my data, I worry about hard drives failing, I get secondhand anxiety when I borrow a loved-one’s phone for a moment and notice that they have 160,000+ unread emails. On top of this, the amount of electrical energy used for data storage is significant and is only expected to increase.
So if you apply the three Rs to our digital lives, “Reduce” is still right up there on the priority list. “Reuse” and “recycle” are a little harder to port over… Perhaps we could say that by contributing to open source technology and data, you are reusing and recycling digital material. I need to do more of this.
And to think, I haven’t even touched on the importance of recycling electronic devices! A separate note, maybe.
Surfing with coffee 4. This is off the back of Odrathek with Musarc, includes a few things/people I’ve looked in to after that overwhelming experience. Not comprehensive, but perhaps consider this big wave surfing…
Célia Gondol (B↓)(C↓) Chase the vibrations; Jenny Moore (↓D) (↓E) Sang “Reclaim the night” the whole way back last night (Central line din disguises humming nicely); Neil Luck (↓F) Reliving childhood softball injury; Bartosz Glowacki with Lore Lixenberg (↓G) First time a live musical performance has made me cry; Edka Jarząb (↓H) Intoxicating voice for change;
need to find the red book she read from on third day; read Warsound Warszawa; Rie Nakajima (↓I) Creator and destroyer of helpless noise creatures
Bloody Sirens GET IT NOW!
Zuzanna Ginczanka (↓M)
On Centaurs (↓) Not ideal since it seems to be paginated for press…
And 🌈, with added 🌧! To be restaged next Saturday 19 May 2018 at the RA for RA250.
There’s a sweet little spot in my heart for bells. I’m in Berlin this weekend manning a table for OP at Miss Read, and on my way over through the Tiergarten yesterday morning I heard incredible music coming from the tower next to HKW. Turns out Berlin carillonneur Jeffrey Bossin gives free concerts throughout late spring / early summer, and one of them is today at 3pm. He must have been rehearsing yesterday.
Certain quotes lodge themselves in your head. So many of the ones in my head come from the fourth edition of What is a designer by Norman Potter published by Hyphen Press in 2002.
p.23, on design education
The words by which people describe themselves – architect, graphic designer, interior designer, etc. – become curiously more important than the work they actually do. In one respect this is fair, because under modern conditions it may be very difficult to find one word to identify their work, but such words tend to build up irrelevant overtones of meaning which are more useful as a comfort to personal security than as a basis for co-operative enterprise.
p.30, wrapping up his thoughts on design education
All we can do is make good work possible, and be alert to its coming; never fooling ourselves that all good things come easily. To work well is to work with love.
p.57, on recognising the value in nuance
In raising consciousness of these matters, it should be remembered that our civilization sells itself through sensation, preferably with the volume turned up. This is good reason for designers to learn how to speak quietly, and to understand how it is that conversation becomes possible between people and things.
And nearly every point in chapter 18, “Advice for beginners”, and 19, “Questioning design”.
Yesterday, Claire and Tom finished their first marathon with mountains, Mike his 23rd. Exceptionally well done! Photo above was taken by Grandma and Grandpa Piper in the Yorkshire Dales on a trip around northern England and Scotland in the mid-90s.
The point of the phrase “Summer of the Shark” is to remind yourself that a “trend” can be, and often is, entirely a product of people energetically looking for a certain thing, even while the actual rate of the thing is unremarkable, abnormally low, or declining. […] If a self-sustaining hype bubble can form even over something as relatively easy to measure as the number of shark attacks, imagine how common it must be with more nebulous social phenomena.
Iris, Iridis (noun)
– declension: 3rd declension
– gender: feminine
1. Iris (messenger of the gods, goddess of the rainbow)
In contrast with the first- and second-declension endings, those of the third declension lack a theme vowel (a or o/u in the first and second declensions) and so are called athematic.
Note via Toby O.
I have a new favourite cocktail, the Brown Derby. Perfect timing for the UK’s first warm(ish) weekend of 2018. ☀️ It’s along the lines of a whisky sour, but with less sugar and a little more floral from the grapefruit. It’s also crazy simple, you can make honey syrup without heating anything if you use warm water.
To make a Brown Derby, combine 1.5oz bourbon, 1.5oz fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice, and 0.5oz honey syrup (1pt honey to 1pt water) in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garish with a grapefruit twist, or a thin slice of grapefruit against the side of the glass.