All posts filed under: Workbook

Radar, week 24: Hustlers and homes

Leave a comment
Link / Things my friends have made / weeknotes / Workbook

• Loved this Mia Sato report from Gary Vaynerchuck’s VeeCon. Internet-driven fandoms are such fertile (and often terrifying) territory. • The rise of the internet’s creative middle class. • Robots building offshore wind turbines. • How Houston moved 25,000 people from the streets into homes of their own. • Megan Tatum on queer campaigners using the net to organize in a conservative Muslim country.

Just a formality

Leave a comment
Workbook

Form follows function: an inspiration for designers and makers of all kinds. You see it surface in other ways, twisting a little, showing a different face: Separate content and presentation; Radical functionalism; Let people’s needs determine the shape of the thing, not the other way around. But form follows function is an ideal, not a fact.  It appeared as a counter to formal constriction, not as a natural law. Because while function is the why, […]

Inspired by gravity

comment 1
Workbook

Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans said if you inspire enough people to support your work just enough, you can earn a living from almost anything. A thousand people, a hundred dollars each, that’s enough to build on. A simple theory. Li Jin recently put forward a modest proposal: what if you get 100 people who give much, much more? More money from fewer people. Why stop there? Why not a single patron giving one thousand […]

Loss and survivance

Leave a comment
Workbook

You can lose a lot of things. Your door keys. Your temper. The plot.  If you’re particularly careless, you might even lose entire countries.  Ukraine is on the edge right now. It’s not the first. Doggerland was a piece of prehistory, a stretch of marshy coastline from when Britain was just an archipelago dangling from one corner of Europe. It was misplaced during the Original Brexit 9,000 years ago when the sea carved East Anglia […]

You’re interviewing somebody, not dating them

Leave a comment
Media / Workbook

Interviewing people is hard. It’s not easy to talk to someone to try and understand who they are and what they’re about. In journalism, you’re trying to get interviewees to say interesting things too—things that hold up on the page, sound good to the reader, that get the subject to provide a kind of forensic self-examination. The result is that the best interviews are elevated to an art form. But interviewing is also a skill […]

Rate my room, Swiss hoarding edition

Leave a comment
Workbook

We’re all spending a lot more time on Zoom these days. Hangouts with friends are a lot like work meetings are a lot like coffee chats are a lot like calls to family. And we’re all spending a lot more time thinking about—and commenting on—our Zoom backgrounds. Room rating is a thing. I wonder how the developmental psychologist Jean Piaget would have gotten along with it all. I mean, I don’t think he’d have cared […]

Arundhati Roy on the pandemic

Leave a comment
Workbook

Only just found this extremely salient piece from April: Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can […]

Gary Younge on Europe vs America

Leave a comment
Workbook

I’ve never read anything better, more lucid, on the difference between racism in America and Europe than this Gary Younge essay in the New York Review of Books. He’s particularly sharp on the reasons that the troubles of Black Americans get much more attention in Europe than the troubles of Black Europeans. So much is quotable, but here are a couple of lines that hit. From the vantage point of Europe, which both resents and […]

Ancient bum wiping

Leave a comment
Link / Workbook

“The Romans had two primary ways to clean themselves post-bathroom break. Option one? A tool called a tersorium, which was “used to clean the buttocks after defecation.” Imagine a loofah, but made of fresh sea sponge, attached to a wooden rod—similar to back-washers sold in drugstores today. After using the stick to aim and the sponge to wipe, the person would dunk the sponge in a bucket full of water or vinegar to clean it off […]