Like a scarce piece of snail mail, it gets our attention. A story lies within the envelope and thus we feel compelled to spend more time with it. But another email augurs the birthing of threads, as it speeds up the time it was suppossed to save. In his book Social Acceleration: A New Theory […]
It draws us after it, the immediate impact of that sensational rectangular glow. Even without it in our thumbs, we go shoulder surfing looking at the screen of another. The adult impulse is voyeuristic. We look externally, to see ourselves portrayed in other people. We are good replicas of ourselves. It’s no wonder we fall […]
The carrot dangles, tempting a response. But the incentive is not always worthy. What we need more is a beautiful constraint, to cease ourselves from the pursuit of vices. To follow unconsciously is another person’s business opportunity. Once we investigate the soul, the rest follows, and we can avoid the trap. art via giphy
The internet was made for aggregation. The abundance of information is impossible to swallow. So we pluck the highlights, the most useful stems. If we gather all the data from our environment, we don’t have to do all the work. We puzzle it out ourselves. Collecting artifacts online is a social experiment, a peer to […]
By 2021, there will be almost as many personal-assistant bots on the planet as people. Alexa, Should We Trust You?
In an interview with the Financial Times, Apple lead designer office Jony Ive points to one of the technological conundrums of our time: balancing ease with excess. “We have such a high-quality camera with us all the time. But it becomes irrelevant if you can’t actually enjoy the photographs you’ve taken. Even 30 years ago […]
In the 1920s, Hoover marketed its vacuum not just as a time-saver but as a human energy saver: “Hoover offers the least fatiguing way of cleaning carpets and rugs.” If a robot wrote this blog post, would you even know the difference? The future of automation says that robots will displace human jobs. Gmail’s auto-responder […]
From Nietzsche’s Writing Ball, to Stephen King’s typewriter, to Steve Jobs’ Macintosh and iPhone, technology has changed the way we write. Describes Matthew Kirschenbaum in The New Republic: “Our writing instruments are also working on our thoughts.” Nietzsche wrote, or more precisely typed, this sentence on a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, a wondrous strange contraption that looks […]
How much of our thought process do we want to relinquish to artificial intelligence? Even Gmail’s auto-replies takes the burden out of typing in two-word responses with pre-populated text likes “yes, great,” “sounds good,” or “awesome.” Soon enough the computers will be the only ones conversing and high-fiving each other. Just as the painter imitates […]
Provocation is neither about engagement nor expression — it’s about likes and shares. The lightning rod on Twitter will always outshine the passive inspirer, hiding from the market. But it is the quality of interactions that deliver the message. Neither the loud nor the faint succeeds. Speak softly and carry a big stick.
Whether it’s trying surfing or playing the guitar when’s the last time you did something out of pure joy? In this Instagram-edited era where everyone gets their own stage, people only like to do things they’re good at. The thought goes: ‘if I can’t share it and show my best self, why do it?’ The […]
The to-do list is a strange paradox. It compels you to get stuff done yet it can also make you feel inadequate for leaving boxes unchecked. “We like lists because we don’t want to die,” said Umberto Eco. Perhaps instead of trying to do everything you pick one thing to execute. Called the Hunter Strategy, […]
Luxury today and tomorrow will be defined by the ability to disconnect, to live a secret life where there’s no need to stay constantly connected for the sole purpose of a future job or fear of missing out. Social media is a poor insurance policy. Except disconnecting is not the goal — moderation is. An […]
Dancing with the algorithms, yielding results random but time-saving. How else are we to discover all these gems in a sea of content? From Spotify to Gmail, we accept the recommendations to curate and speak for us. Playlists generate themselves, email answers itself. Predictive life is human, stung with errors. The computers and their code […]
We snack when we’re bored, especially when we watch tv. But it’s no longer the food that woos us. It’s our phones. What was our third screen is now our first, so distracted we couldn’t be bothered to skip the tv ads. The tube has been relegated to mere background noise. Every time we check […]