Foregrounds and backgrounds

I am looking in my anomawiki for a quote from Nietzsche about foreground and background philosophies. I am digging through one of the themes I’ve catalogued, “depth“, and noticing — somehow for the first time! — how many of these quotes involve water, and specifically cold water. Reading Nietzsche I slowly discovered a symbolic language … Continue reading Foregrounds and backgrounds

Joseph Campbell (and some weird rambling)

Joseph Campbell’s most famous quote, “follow your bliss”, might really have been a careless remark of an old man well past his prime. For years I refused to take Campbell seriously, and even posed him against an antithetical motto, “follow your angst.” But reading The Hero With a Thousand Faces, I do not see any … Continue reading Joseph Campbell (and some weird rambling)

Facets of empathy

Working in design research, empathy is one of our primary tools. Reflective practitioners quickly learn where they and their teammates have strengths and weaknesses using empathy to produce understanding. Continuing this week’s trend of identifying distinctions and creating categories, here’s a list of skills associated with what is commonly called “empathy” and what I prefer … Continue reading Facets of empathy

The odor of burning rubber

When thinking about truth, we expect both clarity and effectiveness. These qualities are so expected, in fact, that they serve as criteria for truth. If they are present we assume what we think is true, and if we are surrounded by people thinking the same way we might even succumb to certainty. Certainty is comfortable. … Continue reading The odor of burning rubber


From Tim Morton’s Hyperobjects: The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum theory spearheaded by Bohr holds that though quantum theory is a powerfully accurate heuristic tool, peering underneath this tool to see what kind of reality might underlie it would be absurd because quantum phenomena are “irreducibly inaccessible to us.” “Powerfully accurate heuristic tool” jumps out of … Continue reading Eureka

American Olympus

One of the ideals I somehow absorbed or derived or instaurated from Nietzsche is the concept of Olympian pluralism. For a passionate practical worldview to be divine — as opposed to titanic — it must maintain loyalty to a deeper uniting and transcendent practical worldview, that which keeps it in community with other practical worldviews … Continue reading American Olympus

Rorty’s wonderful omissions

One of the great pleasures of reading Richard Rorty is experiencing his precise neglect of nonhuman actors. The man lived in a wordworld of free-floating humans whose sole purpose was conversation. It helps make what I learned from Bruno Latour extra tangible, that what we converse about is rooted as much in our tacit interactions … Continue reading Rorty’s wonderful omissions

Foot, eye, hand, heart and head

I’m working on a simple framework for aguiding the instauration of individual and collective common sense. Foot: Where have you (and others) stood within the situation, and where are you standing now? Eye: What are you (and others) trying to observe? Hand: How are you (and others) acting on the situation? Heart: Why do you … Continue reading Foot, eye, hand, heart and head

Why do I love design research?

Why do I love design research? First, I love new ideas. Performing design research early in a project generates fresher ideas. Yes, the ideas are better informed, but more importantly, they are better inspired. When we know something we are selectively filtering what seems irrelevant. But what is deemed relevant to any industry gets overcropped … Continue reading Why do I love design research?

Myth thematics and mathematics

Myths are narrative formulas. In mythological algebra the characters are variables; the plots, operators. * To express an objective matter with precision, mathematize it. To express a subjective matter with immediacy, mythematize it. * Is mathematics inherent in nature? Are myths inherent in humanity? Perhaps both are collaborations with immanence: true instaurations.