The strangeness of ordinary people

A gif of kid with compass in his head for brain

People are strange when you’re a stranger.

The Doors

There’s strangeness in ordinary people. They appear detached from the coming and going of their thoughts, lost in a banal inattentiveness.

Undirected activity always leads astray. Shutting down the other direction to absorb one’s happy ignorance leads to a world of stuckness. To break down the wall of thick goggles, it’s the responsibility of the mystic to groom the blind to the quality of the day.

To crack open myopia is the highest of arts.

art by @davidpohl

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Japan’s lonely vending machines by Eiji Ohashi

Photographer Eiji Ohashi spent nine years capturing images of Japan's vending machines on his late-night commutes home from work.

“At the time, I was living in a town in the north of Japan that would get hit by terrible blizzards during the winter months. I'd drive my car in (these) conditions and use the light of the vending machines to guide me.”

Well-maintained even in harsh winter conditions, the machines stand out in Japan's remote towns like ‘roadside lights', the eponymous title of Ohashi's photography book.

For a country that produces “300-plus flavors of KitKat,” the vending machines not only look the same, they all sell the same items. Said Ohashi: “I wanted to capture the standardized form of the vending machines. I thought you could see the differences between the regions through the scenery around them.”

All photos via Eiji Ohashi 



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Giving birth to Gorillaz, taking too many photos, Facebook’s hegemony, and more


Arts & Culture

When our culture’s past is lost in the cloud

The inclination to record memories and share them go back to cavemen. Paper in particular has preserved our stories forever- an edited copy of Declaration of Independence is living proof. But in today's world, there's an abundance of information being shared in the cloud. Who's going to make sense of this digital excess and organize the most important memories for longevity?

“Rumsey’s book poses a vital question: As more and more of what we know, make and experience is recorded as vaporous bits in the cloud, what exactly will we leave behind for future generations?”

Re-Animators: Giving Birth to Gorillaz

“Whatever you do, it mustn’t be kitsch.” Andy Warhol capitalized on pop culture the same way the Gorillaz manipulate pop music. Each member in the animated band is a representation of pop artist cliches.

Gorillaz is about trying to destroy that and take it further, to manufacture something with real integrity. It requires a leap of faith.

Philosophy & Productivity

Creative angst: a guide to getting over creative block, imposter syndrome and fear of the blank page

Taking showers, going for a walk…Whatever turns the brain off is the best medicine for creativity. Otherwise, the resistance to starting or doing something else that’s more pleasurable becomes the predominant urge.

“Over the years, I’ve learned to have faith that my brain will come up with a solution, if I just get out of its way”

Social Media & Tech

In the Future, We Will Photograph Everything and Look at Nothing

I love Instagram. I publish to it once every day. But lately, it’s making me bored and immune to photography for 2 main reasons: (1) anyone can take a stellar photo and (2) we take way too many of them. I blogged about this here.

we have come to a point in society where we are all taking too many photos and spending very little time looking at them.

Facebook Wants To Be The Layer Between You And The Future

Social media is a zero sum game where the platform always wins. We'll never get as much in return for the content we give Facebook. We're the ads and Facebook can sell us how it wants. But Facebook's hegemony stabilizes a chaotic Internet with surfeit communication tools.

“We’ll give you the tools for free and connect you with each other, and in return you give us the content that makes it all interesting and the data that makes it all lucrative. Facebook is a 12-year-old company now and we know how this story can unfold. The traffic that once seemed like a gift can turn and go elsewhere. But when the future looks so fragmented, those tools can be hard to resist.”

New Music

Episode 84 | Tunes of the Week

  1. Lil Silva – Lines
  2. Lone – Backtail
  3. Ash Walker – Flight of the Pelican
  4. J Dilla – The Sickness
  5. Alif Tree – Belle

🎵 Listen here

Thought of the Week

“I don’t have a clue. Ideas are simply starting points. I can rarely set them down as they come to my mind. As soon as I start to work, others well up in my pen. To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing… When I find myself facing a blank page, that’s always going through my head. What I capture in spite of myself interests me more than my own ideas” – Picasso on Intuition, How Creativity Works, and Where Ideas Come From

Other Cool Stuff

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Atatürk, father of Turkey

via giphy

Atatürk did it all. From the 1920s – 1930s he gave birth to modern Turkey and transformed its alphabet, culture, education, economy, and its freedoms for women. There’s even a day to celebrate kids only, April 23, much like Father & Mother’s Day.

Walking through Ataturk’s memorial, you get the sense that he played the role of both Abraham Lincoln in uniting the nation and Martin Luther King Jr. in making equality and opportunity coexist. But he also played the role of teacher. Atatürk's library was extensive, full of Western literature including his own books on Geometry and Language. He was incredibly prolific in his writing which manifested in the beauty of his motivational speeches and quotes, like poetry.

There will never be another Ataturk, even the Turks acknowledge that. But Turkey today is still a reflection of Ataturk’s vision and thoughts. Turkey is a beautiful mix of Eastern traditions and Western practice, a culmination celebrated in its arts.

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