Humans are noticing machines

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to become a noticing machine. But it does take practice, exercising the eyes, ears, to stretch the thinking tool that is the human brain. Noticing is an awareness, an alertness that calls to mind what the mind shouldn’t scan over. But the observant person shall not force it. […]

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Coping with ‘the colossal volume of memories’

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 […]

Kevin Kelly: ‘I define art as cool and useless’

Kevin Kelly was the former editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, the counterculture magazine Steve Jobs adored. He also founded Wired Magazine and continues to write books and give speeches worldwide about the future of technology. Below are some of the most interesting highlights of a recent interview with an online publication The Caret. Just […]

Underground bicycle parking systems in Japan

The robotic system, called the Eco Cycle, stores bikes 36 feet underground. It can store 204 bikes at a time. To use it, you need to attach a chip to the front wheel of your bike that links to your Eco Cycle parking account. When you pull up to the Eco Cycle, it will recognize […]

The oppression of speed

According to German critical theorist Hartmut Rosa, accelerated technological developments have driven the acceleration in the pace of change in social institutions. Noticeable acceleration began more than two centuries ago, during the Industrial Revolution. But this acceleration has itself accelerated. Guided by neither logical objectives nor agreed-upon rationale, propelled by its own momentum, and encountering […]

The fate of click-bait

At the heart of the web’s self-destruction is contagious media: crazy cat pics and the entire Buzzfeedification of the internet. Every site, even reputable ones, raced to the bottom because celebrity sideboob and stupid human and pet tricks drove clicks. Writes Tim Wu in The Attention Merchants: “Contagious media is the kind of media you […]

The Connection Machine that inspired Steve Jobs

Product designer and mechanical engineer Tamiko Thiel turned computers into sculptures in the early 1980s before the Macintosh came out. Said Thiel: “The general image of computers was IBM computers, racks of electronics. They looked like refrigerators or heating units. They didn’t have any identity” Years later she found out that Steve Jobs wanted to […]

Seeking an objective point of view

We are obsessed with the first-person because we live in a culture that emphasizes the individual. The selfie generation makes “I” the predominant jargon for almost everything we post on social media and talk about in real life. Me-ness has shrouded our ability to step outside the self and see the world objectively. It’s not all […]

Flashes of intuition

When we drop a coin in the dark, our first instinct is to look for the nearest light (street lamp of phone flashlight) to find it. We are victims of ignoring the obvious, yet we remain curious about what hides in the night. The problem is that we quickly search for artificial illumination to solve […]

Trust your internal compass

One of the oldest surviving maps (the Babylonian Map of the World) is “about the size and shape of an early iPhone.” But it too was artifice and spin. “The map is not the territory, said Polish-American scientist Alfred Korzybski. Maps are deceiving representations of reality. To quote the author Mark Monmonier of [easyazon_link identifier=”0226534219″ […]

Ludic loop

In his blog post on breaking phone addiction, Erik Barker uses a quote from NYU marketing and psychology professor Adam Antler to explain why we keep checking our phones again and again. The process is called a “ludic loop.” The “ludic loop” is this idea that when you’re engaged in an addictive experience, like playing slot machines, you […]

Therapy friends

You can practice speaking in front of them. You can count them on to keep you in shape. You can always rely on their love and affection. You may dislike some things about your dog but there are too many benefits that outweigh the costs of their barking and neediness. My dog Tatlim (Turkish for sweetie) […]

Newsletter: How to stretch out your weekends, why both focus and unfocus are vital, new tunes from Buddy and more

Arts and Culture David Sedaris On The Life-Altering And Mundane Pages Of His Old Diaries In this interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, American humorist and comedian David Sedaris reflects on the rough diary entries that became his new book Theft by Finding and why he always wanted to be a successful writer. A lot of people don’t […]