From The Guardian’s Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound, in which we will ignore—however true—the zeitgeist tropes of propensity to demagogy and loss of empathy, we can consider the following:Continue reading “Cognition and the Internet”
Saint-Exupéry on industrial design (1939)
A misleading title. In Terre des hommes, Saint-Exupéry beautifully discourses on machine, technical progress, its iterative process, and its relationship with mankind and language.
Continue reading “Saint-Exupéry on industrial design (1939)”
We can’t trust Uber
New York Times: We can’t trust Uber
Not just Uber, but all the usual suspects.
Somewhere in the next couple of decades, there will be a tipping point. Scientific breakthrough in distributed systems will have to top the unassailable power, efficiency and convenience of today’s huge central service providers and gatekeepers. Why? Because no amount of regulatory oversight can prevent centralized abuse of power; this article provides just one of countless examples.
That new wave of decentralization may come through home-scaled nodes; it may come through communal pools, in a topology similar to that of the Internet of the early days. Either way, it has to come and succeed.
Swing dancing as a language: why Swing dancing is for geeks
Presented as a four-minute flash talk at Automattic’s 2013 Grand Meetup in California.
I want to talk to you about a language that is likely little known to many of you, which is dancing. Indeed, I dance something called the Lindy Hop. Probably the most iconic of Swing dances, reminiscent of the Thirties and such lively venues as the Savoy in New York City’s Harlem, Lindy is a fast-paced, spectacular and fun dance.
The Lindy Hop is powered by Swing music. Swing music takes roots in Jazz and is a very well structured kind of music: it gives you 8-count bars, usually 4-bar phrases, and you have progressions such as Blues or Dixieland Jazz progressions. This all means that it has a sense of order and predictability.
Now, the fact that the structure is, at its core, minimal and immutable means that it gets out of your way, and this allows a lot of freedom for improvisation, for bending the rhythm, etc., for musicians and dancers alike. In fact, even if they don’t know the music, dancers can follow it just because of that very structure, and even mess around with it. Continue reading “Swing dancing as a language: why Swing dancing is for geeks”