Quote: “I use the Internet intensely….”

I didn’t foresee that my whole little life was going to revolve around this object, this computer. That’s worth exploring to me, not simply being critical of it. If you’re going to have a movie about people my age in L.A., they’re going to have to be online a lot of the time or it’s not realistic. But for anything to happen, they have to stop being online. All of those little moments throughout the day when you’re like “What am I doing? Who am I?” I just check my e-mail, or I go online. That sort of mini-lost feeling isn’t new, but I’m curious what happens when you don’t really have to see it through, ever. There is always a distraction.

Miranda July, on the characters in her new film, The Future (via thesalinasvalley)

Quote: “Our brains are affected … by the media we use”

I’ve always been suspicious of those who seek to describe the effects of digital media in generational terms, drawing sharp contrasts between young “Internet natives” and old “Internet immigrants.” Such distinctions strike me as misleading, if not specious. If you look at statistics … the average adult has spent more time online than the average kid. …. And the idea that those who grow up peering at screens will somehow manage to avoid the cognitive toll exacted by multitasking and persistent interruptions is a fantasy contradicted by neuroscientific research. All of us, young and old alike, have similar neurons and synapses, and our brains are affected in similar ways by the media we use.”

Nick Carr, from the afterword of the paperback edition of The Shallows (via wwnorton)

Quote: “If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts”

How do you publicize the necessity to disengage from status quo and social media pressures? Read this article, “Solitude and Leadership.” Actually, it is an essay/lecture by William Deresiewicz. Take your ear buds out. Put away your mobile device (and tablet). Find a quiet corner of a public library (as I am doing presently). And read the essay from beginning to end. Here’s another acorn from the tree to whet your appetite:

“…true leadership means being able to think for yourself and act on your convictions.

One of the consequences for following this wisdom is you will not be popular. Here is another acorn to digest:

“Multitasking, in short, is not only not thinking, it impairs your ability to think. Thinking means concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about it. Not learning other people’s ideas, or memorizing a body of information, however much those may sometimes be useful. Developing your own ideas. In short, thinking for yourself. You simply cannot do that in bursts of 20 seconds at a time, constantly interrupted by Facebook messages or Twitter tweets, or fiddling with your iPod, or watching something on YouTube.”

Does that sound familiar? Do you see the need for undistracted time and space to develop ideas?

NOTES:

[1] William Deresiewicz, “Solitude and Leadership,” The American Scholar, Spring 2010 accessed April 8, 2014 http://theamericanscholar.org/solitude-and-leadership/#.U0QWZa1dXKI

Good design is more than this


(image via Jonathan Trier Brikner)

There’s more to being a design genius than this. Truly.

Just because you have a computer, laptop or tablet allowing you to download free fonts and free images and use some free app you discovered on Twitter does not make you a design genius.

Just because you “designed” a cool graphic image the way many misled souls believe they labored and “built” an IKEA bookshelf does not make you a design genius. [1]

Celebrated graphic designer, Milton Glaser, put it best:

Computers are to design as microwaves are to cooking.

Good design solves problems and presents stories. As a creative director for an international publishing house, my chief goal is to attract potential readers to new books by capturing a story in a single cover image. To illustrate the point further, an author (for whom I had just completed a book design) emailed me recently: “I’m getting some great feedback on my Facebook page about the cover. Thank you very much…” Good design is about communication: problem solved, story told.

NOTE: [1] For what it is worth, IKEA is not good design. It is nothing more than cheaper-than-Wal-mart veneer furniture, second-rate fabric products and wax-paper lamps. And don’t call IKEA “modern design” because modern design is so 1948. Seriously, the modernist movement began almost a century ago. But I digress.

Quote: “Poetry exists… to sing the praises…”

I think poetry exists partly in order to sing the praises of who and what we love. . . . As well as for the purpose of showing us ourselves, at our worst as well as at our best.

—Sharon Olds [1]

SOURCE: [1] Megan O’Grady, “Fine Print: Poet Sharon Olds Chronicles the End of Her Marriage in a New Collection,” Vogue, accessed August 28, 2012, http://www.vogue.com/culture/article/fine-print-poet-sharon-olds-chronicles-the-end-of-her-marriage-in-a-new-collection/#1.

Gen-Yers changing the workplace

Gen-Yers are using their personal networks and profiles as an extension of their professional personality. Even though they are using Facebook to mostly socialize with family and friends, they are inadvertently blending the two. Sixty-four percent of Gen-Y fails to list their employer on their profiles, yet they add an average of 16 co-workers each to their “friend” group.

Generation Y: The New Kind of Workforce (via thenextweb)