The Harvard Business Review has a rundown of the top five career regrets according to some survey or other. I think it’s safe to say we can identify with most if not all of them.
“Disappointment doesn’t discriminate; no matter what industry the individual operated in, what role they had been given, or whether they were soaring successes or mired in failure, five dominant themes shone through.”
We all know the web’s certainly a different place now than it was ten or fifteen years ago, but Anil Dash points out exactly how — and to what extent — things have changed.
“The tech industry and its press have treated the rise of billion-scale social networks and ubiquitous smartphone apps as an unadulterated win for regular people, a triumph of usability and empowerment. They seldom talk about what we’ve lost along the way in this transition, and I find that younger folks may not even know how the web used to be. So here’s a few glimpses of a web that’s mostly faded away:”
And then a few days later he writes an update on how to rebuild the web we lost.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The future will not be cool – Salon.com
“Tonight I will be meeting friends in a restaurant (tavernas have existed for at least 25 centuries). I will be walking there wearing shoes hardly different from those worn 5,300 years ago by the mummified man discovered in a glacier in the Austrian Alps. At the restaurant, I will be using silverware, a Mesopotamian technology, which qualifies as a “killer application” given what it allows me to do to the leg of lamb, such as tear it apart while sparing my fingers from burns. I will be drinking wine, a liquid that has been in use for at least six millennia. The wine will be poured into glasses, an innovation claimed by my Lebanese compatriots to come from their Phoenician ancestors, and if you disagree about the source, we can say that glass objects have been sold by them as trinkets for at least twenty-nine hundred years. After the main course, I will have a somewhat younger technology, artisanal cheese, paying higher prices for those that have not changed in their preparation for several centuries.”
The new Samsung Chromebook – For Everyone “An ultraportable, sleek laptop for everyday adventures. It weighs 1.1kg and has over 6.5 hour hours of battery life, so you can bring it anywhere and use it everywhere.”
Fourteen years of pantone colors-of-the-year (tecznotes)
“I love the language patterns in press releases that accompany annual announcements, like Pantone’s Color Of The Year. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, has been providing adjectives and free-associating since 1999. Between 9/11 and the economy, a lot of political freight gets bundled into these packages as well—“concern about the economy” is first mentioned in late 2005 (sand dollar).”
A psychiatrist’s (and Charlie Brooker’s) insightful perspective on news coverage’s perpetuation of mass shootings in schools.
Can’t begin to imagine how he’s gone about these (someone’s bound to spoil it for me by saying machines were involved), but I think their delicate intricacy balances well with their stark graphic nature. “Nature”, even. Also, is this sculpture?
Link: Feather Dioramas by Chris Maynard
Yes, I’m highlighting yet another brainpickings blog post, but this one is very interesting, a very detailed and considered look at the ten best psychology and philosophy books of the year: “From Buddhism to the relationship between creativity and dishonesty, by way of storytelling and habit”. Off I go to add all these to my wishlist. (I’m assuming I can get all these on my kindle?)
Many fine quotes here, but my favourite one:
To the dumb question ‘Why me?’ the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not? — Christopher Hitchens (who else?)
Link: The 10 Best Psychology and Philosophy Books of 2012
Incredible transformation of a material normally thought of as straight, solid, rigid, dependable. These massive sculptures from Henrique Oliveira, consisting of a very natural material, feel anything but; threatening, almost. When Botany attacks! Photos. More photos.
Serena Malyon tilt-shifts some of Van Gogh’s classics.
Van Gogh’s paintings get tilt-shifted
Serena Malyon, has taken the classics works of Vincent Van Gogh and added a tilt-shifting…
“This is the chess set that mounts to a wall, allowing games of indefinite length. Generating a sense of intrigue and anticipation—’did they move yet?’—it allows for weeks-long play without interruption.”
E-mail sends you mad. This is a fact, known to science since forever. You know it, I know it. The more you deal with, the more insane it makes you. Turns out that Bill Clinton sent just two e-mails as President. He must have been very sane. Perhaps the last sane man on Earth.
I guess the reason this is most surprising is that Bill Clinton is not a faded memory where quirky stories like this are read with misty eyed nostalgia. He is still on the scene; his presidency happened within the lifetime of anyone over 11 years old. So this is a very stark reminder of how quickly things have changed.
Derfel Owen | Salon
Anyone who knows me knows I like my ties. Never really got into bow ties though. Perhaps I needed one of these, a vintage bow tie selector. You can buy one if you like. Link
Yes, I’m aware I’m linking to yet another brain pickings article, but I don’t care as I love this one. it’s Kurt Vonnegut drawing the shapes of stories, which leads him on to discussing the difficulties with distinguishing good news and bad news. And there’s a great video too.
Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories and Good News vs. Bad News
I’ve no idea how she does these. Something to ponder as you’re sitting there, I guess.
Miniature art on toilet paper rolls by Anastasia Elias
Following on from that earlier The Last Typewriter article from the BBC, here’s another of theirs, on why we should still use them. I was expecting this to be a little flippant but I liked its take on the generational issue: “while ‘older folks’ resist technology, the youngest missed the original typewriter experience, hence the interest now.” You remember the iPad typewriter thing I mentioned earlier, right?
Five reasons to still use a typewriter
A sad day perhaps, but if we’re being honest, those modern typewriters look bloody awful. The BBC article talks of typewriters holding “a special place in the hearts of members of the public”, but I’m guessing that applies to only certain typewriters and certain generations of the public. I loved the ones I had, but can not imagine, as a student, say, completing a dissertation with one. I know others did, but jeez, can you imagine?
Ok, so whilst they don’t have internet and getting new ribbons for them is a pain, they look so much nicer than this plasticy rectangle of bland laptop. Really wish I had kept my Underwood now. Though actually, I think I still have that Remington in the cellar.
Beautiful Old-time Typewriters – http://www.shootingfilm.net
“If you do not disclose you have a problem, universities cannot help you,” he said. “Institutions are generally very supportive to disabled staff, but people need to feel they can come forward and talk about their mental health problems.” Secret suffering as mental health stigma silences anxious voices