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Everything Will Happen
Systems, Creativity, Technology
The Art of Gathering
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, Priya Parker
The Ideas Industry
The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas, Daniel Drezner
Mass Produced Software
Mass produced software (MPS) is one that put the emphasis on the cranks and bolts of a large machines, that is hard to start and even harder to stop. It is about anomaly detection, about the reduction of individualism. About robots and humans that stand in lines, about hips of data perfectly pile up against...
Machine to Human, Instead of Human to Machine
We could generalize software solutions as humans trying to find their way to a server. Through an iPhone app, a website, or a kiosk. The data is store remotely, the utility is hiding behind a propriety door (gatekeeper), the human is the one seeking that door, with a key (account, authentication), and behind that gated...
Goals and Directions
Arts and Science, ’19
I have been running a series of salons for the last few years (together with XXIX). Guests included business minds, scientist and philosophers. Following a bit of reflection I decided to refocus the series from science (subject matter exploration), to a more meta place. Current tagline is: A Salon Series for Practitioners with a Purpose....
Machines That Think Think Like Machines
“Machines that think think like machines. That fact may disappoint those who look forward, with dread or longing, to a robot uprising. For most of us, it’s reassuring. Our thinking machines aren’t about to leap beyond us intellectually, much less turn us into their servants or pets. They’re going to continue to do the bidding...
Intentionally not capitalizing could be a powerful statement. It is an act of building something new, free from any Cannon, any top town values. Our new design needn’t match The Design. It stands on its own, seeking an honest and generous fit. It does not need a certificate. Our design need not a diploma, nor...
Being absorbed in or involved in thought is incredibly valuable. Firstly because it is innately human (machines can’t think [not for themselves at least]), and because it is good for innovation (assembly lines don’t think either).
Tech Will Flood Itself Out of a Job
Architectural, R&D, never done–before ideas Existing technologies in new applications Lowered costs and better consumer openness Incremental improvements Integration to new markets In this mountain metaphor creativty is concentrated in the middle, the edges will slowly drawn by the output of the sector as a whole. New tools will reduce the need for developers to...
Climbing Up the Decision Making Tree
Traditional design (up until today) deals with satisfying what people need. For when they’re out in the market, reaching their hand out to a shelf, looking for something to buy. All of this is conditioned on a decision to have been made (I am going to buy a new car seat, sweater or potato peeler)....
Product Cycle’s Negative Space
In the every day life of our prospects a need presents itself to the user, and with some luck our product has enough of a mindshare to be chosen. Once that need is fulfilled our user is still the same person. If I am seller on Etsy, my passion for a community of making does...
Design for Agency
Product design exists in the real world (outside our head). We have places we need cabs for, groceries which need delivery, and music we want to listen to. Companies, and tools seek (needs, attention) and work with those externalities – mostly trading off needs, and value by reading our actions. As tool–making is shapeshifting what...
Tools are designed to be universal, of course. A hammer can’t change to be a screwdriver. With algorithms we now try and use context where possible. With data, sensors and other externalities we might try and change the behavior of our system (the catch–all promise). Issue is that the context we’re trying to use is...
On Experience and Efficiency
Experience and efficiency are opposite on the scale of the human condition. You can plot poetry, art, design and industries on that line. On the one side it is meat and potato mentality. Getting things done, with smallest expense, cutting fat wherever possible (MVP). On the other, it is experience for its own sake, aiming...
More on Mediation
A tool always mediates reality. It does so by the reduction of our surrounding into a tunnel of meaning (scene, actors, feeling), and a rational utility. A tool is a model. A hammer, an algorithm, a car: all program us to behave in accordance to an implicit trade–offs. When I flick a light switch, I...
Misfits Go to the Jungle
Zoos, like permissions, gatekeepers and monolithic thinking are falling out of fashion. You can either stand in line, and wait to be let into a crowded space, or to the jungle and explore. You would need conviction (agency), compass (interests) and openness to new connections (liminality).
Mediation of Reality
“John Muir published How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive in 1969. In one of the many asides that enliven the book and give it a countercultural feel, he wonders about the effects of some of the newfangled safety equipment, like seat belts. He writes, “If we all constantly drive as if we are strapped to...
Plumbers are an unexpected protagonist in the story of human machine collaboration. They render a utility, on your pipes, in your house – they don’t care about your friends, your friends’ friends and showing anyone their flyers. They would not want to take your pipes, nor would you shlep your pipes to your plumber. A...
Software is a False Realestate Business
In the real world bricks are laid, and cement in poured into a finite set of rooms and apartments (n). Those are then sold to their respective new owners, and the value of each each unit (u) is x / U*n Although software finiteness is more flexible, and scaling costs almost nothing, it follows more...
Inspiration is an Emergent Property of Meaning
Needy brands need love, acceptance, and mind–share in order to grow. In return they give people utility, and a solution to what they ask. Needy brands exist for needy people’s immediate needs. People who need more of they have, need needy brands. Needy brands live within minimum viable brands. They conditionally predictable, and optimized. Unlike...
Roads, Not Cars
Building cars is tricky business. A car is an intricate set of mechanisms, technologically sophisticated systems, intertwined and packaged in an aesthetically pleasing box. Next to building cards, roads could seem secondary. Mundane links between cities and neighborhoods. An afterthought, something we need to have all those car zipping around on. But when the manufacturing...
Great book on scarcity (of money, time), which leaves the reader with a useful set of mental tools on how to work with people’s habits, instead to curbing them. Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives, by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir
More on People Acting Like Websites
We encounter robots every day. When we call costumer service, or speak to company’s representative in person — and feel like we’re talking to a script and not a person. With zero agency that person relinquished their ability to think, and unable navigate their role and position. This is not limited to cable company rep’s...
More on Robots
Robots do only what they’re told. Robots can’t generate an original thought, or when they do it is because of an anomaly in their scripts. Robots are there to output other people’s directions and ideas. Robots don’t look back at their lives and ruminate on new ideas and new thoughts. Robots can never answer what...
The Long Tail is a Facade
The Long Tail is 3 dimensional, it is more of a long facade. Behind each of those points hides an instance of an offering, a system. Some are shallow (Peach) and some are deep (APC Surplus). Just showing up on the tail (with an agile startup) is not enough. In fact it is wasteful (cognitive...
Stumbling on Happiness
Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert
Deliver a Line, Not a Point
Strategy draws a line of meaning, and finds the exact right dot on it. For example: A product bridges the tension between independence and belonging, with an exact point of balance between the two. Jennifer Garvey Berger makes the case for workplace complexity – both externally in the organization and internally in the leader’s perception...
The Problem with Minimalism
Theo Van Doesburg, Counter-Composition VI 1925 The issue with minimal design is that it is conditionally utilitarian, and reductive. That fact, in and of itself, does not lend itself to losing to a machine designer, but it is a slippery slope down the volcano crater. A good litmus test is thinking about what is driving...
Cybernetics and the NP Problem
Norbert Wiener branded the field of cybernetics with his 1948 book, where he formulated the ideas of feedback and self correction. Since then a lot of this logic has been used in system thinking (especially around design and design thinking) and AI (primarily in the pursuit of thinking machine). Yet cybernetics is flawed because of...