Paper for permanency

Everything we post online gets sucked into the web somewhere. The mere thought that our words, images, and videos are living on some server in Indiana or India is interesting yet frightening. #gif #amwriting #tech
via giphy

Everything we post online gets sucked into the web somewhere. The mere thought that our words, images, and videos are living on some server in Indiana or India is interesting yet frightening.

The cloud stores our content just as loosely as we own a Kindle book. While we get to enjoy the ease and ubiquity of the infinite digital file, it can also go defunct in a moment’s notice with the flip of the switch.

On the other hand, everything can start and end on paper. It’s more durable than bytes, having passed on ideas and notes for centuries. Paper is inexhaustible.

The evolution of data changes ledgers from one minute to the next. Notebooks can be stagnant things, and within them more permanently owned memories.

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The sound of the future

First came the radio, then television, and now the pocket-sized smartphone. Each iteration seemed to enhance our addiction to glow. #gif
via giphy

We used to drive horses, then cabs, and now Uber. Ideas, hardly new, get retranslated to match the demands of modern times.

First came the radio, then television, and now the pocket-sized smartphone. Each iteration seemed to enhance our addiction to glow.

From snail mail to email, to instant messaging — this time is different they say, confusing progress with advancement.

The Beatles never look up

A cartoonish modern-day interpretation of the iconic The Beatles Abbey Road album cover. The only thing missing, besides Paul McCartney's shoes, is the Abbey Road zebra-crossing. Chances are the driver also works for Uber. #funny #thebeatles #art

What if the four distracted Beatles never looked up during the Abbey Road album shoot? This cartoon presents a funny, modern-day interpretation of the iconic The Beatles Abbey Road album cover. The only thing missing, besides Paul McCartney's shoes, is the Abbey Road zebra-crossing. Chances are the driver also works for Uber.

The evolution of the spacesuit

The evolution of the spacesuit #space

As spacesuit design continues to become thinner and more dynamic — there are touchscreen sensitive gloves, an attached helmet and built-in ventilation in the latest uniform — it's worth looking at how both US and Russian spacesuits have evolved over time.

Start by looking at the original suit designed for the moon mission above, then check out the diagram below. I still like the simplicity and balance of the Apollo A7-L EVA but the blue Apollo A5-L suit is ace as well.

The evolution of the spacesuit #space #spaceship #spaceart

‘Toys are preludes to serious ideas’

Those shiny toys, they give us all the answers and leave little to the imagination. What could unleash creativity like a blank paper does for a pack of gel pens instead turns off the lite-brite of ideas. #technology  #tech #ipad

“Toys are preludes to serious ideas.”

Charles and Ray Eames

Those shiny toys, they give us all the answers and leave little to the imagination. What could unleash creativity like a blank paper does for a pack of gel pens instead turns off the lite-brite of ideas.

Charles and Ray Eames knew about the risks of shiny objects all along.

Turning heads in the sand

With peace comes prosperity, until people get bored. They want to start a raucous to make themselves to feel alive again. So they gulp down and share tabloid rumors. #gif #amwriting
via giphy

With peace comes prosperity, until people get bored. They want to start a raucous to make themselves to feel alive again. So they gulp down and share tabloid rumors.

Meanwhile, some folks prefer to turn their heads in the sand so they can ignore the swathe of breaking news. They prefer ignorance over heaps of information.

Still, a third party of people refuse both illusion and disconnection. They want and act on the facts. They rest on human intelligence.

Whatever the party, the quest for an active, minimalist, and efficient mind is a voluntary effort blending with the preferences of others in a mass heap.

Nothing is random

So here we are, next up surrounded by the internet of things. Look around — we're forever stuck in Times Square. #internet #tech #gif

Serendipity on the internet will forever be twisted in the maw of algorithms. Nothing is ever truly random. We are data’s significant other with a bullseye on our back.

Facebook has been triangulating our data for years, matching our likes with the highest bidder. Internet ads are designed to strangle our attention into a click-hole.

So here we are, next up surrounded by the internet of things. Look around — we're forever stuck in Times Square.

Hearts manipulated at scale

Hearts manipulated at scale. It's as if social media is a new religion. The double-tap ❤️ permeates everything, so much so we stopped going on vacation for pleasure and instead with a desire to accumulate likes. #socialmedia #addiction #technoloy #gif #iphone

Hearts manipulated at scale. It's as if social media is the new religion. The double-tap ❤️ permeates everything, so much so we stopped going on vacation for pleasure and instead with desire to accumulate likes.

Studies show that if your phone is in your field of vision you won't be able to resist it. Do you think you can go without your phone a whole minute? No way! Not if it's within reach.  

Over stimulation is an impediment to insight. Self-knowledge and new ideas percolate in disconnection. Yet it pains people even a minute to sit with their own thoughts.

The tug of war between consciousness and screen addiction is real. The lite brite is there to kill different avenues of thought. Fidget spinners are just sops. Give you mind permission to dodge the hook. 

Art by @annasalmi

Inconvenient truths

We live in a world where self-checkout is more painful than regular checkout, where Instagrammers risk their lives for the perfect pic, and where people hide behind their avatars to become trolls.

Sure, a quick google yields all the answers. But the price for the latest convention is reduced comprehension.

As soon as we hide, reduce contact, and take shortcuts on our pocket computers, we forget what it’s like to push through the experience.

The individual’s playground is convenient but more often insensitive, ignorant, and messy.

Cultivating disparate views

Cultivating disparate views #gif

Two America’s, two different realities. If you can shape your own feeds and build an arsenal of self-confirming information, why do you ever have to see the other side?

But that’s precisely the problem. Inundated with reassurances and accelerated culture, people promptly ignore what they disagree with. Technology is not neutral; instead, it is weaponized to meet group ends.

Democracies thrive in open environments. They need proper dissent and discourse. Above all, a healthy system of government needs a continuity of ideas.

Secondly, democracies need your own thoughts and reflections. If your first opinion is usually someone else’s, the latter should be based on your aggregate experiences and education.

Listen to your views like you listen to your life. Is your interpretation still accurate? Challenge yourself, and read this book for extra credit — you'll thank me later. 

Half bots, half real people

The internet is half bots, half real people. It makes you question whether humans are even evolving or code is the only advancer. #gif #amwriting

The internet is half bots, half real people. It makes you question whether humans are even evolving or code is the only advancer.

Take a scan of Twitter and you’ll hardly notice a difference between man and machine. They both spew the same self-confirming garbage. But even the bots are more random now — arbitrariness used to be a distinctly human trait.

Technology appears to open and close the world simultaneously. And while there’s been lots of good there’s also going to be many things people give up, like understanding and decency. Only the coward hides behind the screen.

Tethered to distraction

Set your brain roaming. Let it unbuckle into the window of boredom that bleeds into wisdom and insight.

We are at peak attention. Additional information complicates and confounds. By keeping you bondage, it erodes your attention muscles so that you can’t even daydream.

Too many thoughts at once, not even our own. We’ve succumbed to profundity and surrendered everything to aggregated choice.

Advancing so fast, undermining the clarity anchor of a much-needed pause. Unhindered, our eyeballs go on sale to the highest bidder.

Take the information you need and throw it away

In order to be creative, we need curiosity first. #amwriting #gif

There it was, knocking at the door of imagination and begging us to take it for a walk.

The mistake we all make is assuming we have all the information we already need. After all, Google spits up all the answers.

But just because every grade school has an art class doesn’t ensure that the students will be creative.

In order to be creative, we need curiosity first.

When we’re not chasing absolutes, grades, or even the pennies, raw interest accumulates on behalf of what’s alien.

gif via hellotrythis

The checklist of normal

“Everything is the way it is because it got that way,” said the British biologist D’Arcy Thompson in 1917. Cells and clustered neurons, people bloomed from individuals into the collective and back to weirdos again. #amwriting #gif

“Everything is the way it is because it got that way,” said the British biologist D’Arcy Thompson in 1917. Cells and clustered neurons, people bloomed from individuals into the collective and back to weirdos again.

The route to self-identity rolls like a sine wave, an inherent mimetic desire clashing against the laws of conformity. We are our own small army as well as part a tribe.

Physically, mentally, emotionally, the tug of war between the two selves cements all knowledge into an injection of boldness.

Now is where the heart is.

gif via rafaeldearaujo

Dreaming in digital

Run into the sun

We take the screen for granted, assuming it reveals the real world. But the phone only offers an exterior point of view. Our screens fool us.

On the inside, we know our own internal-compass preaches practicality. Yet, on Instagram, all it takes is a little emoji to get wings. Digital life is an activity of the most unclipped imagination.  

There is no way to combine both realities of the digital and physical worlds. Instead, we toggle between them to gain second sight.

After all, it is human to project ourselves into the future. 

gif via Popsicle Illusion