Category Archives: Design

Making conversational space

A post I put on Facebook just now: This morning I was reading a pdf book (using the Notability app on my iPad) about the relationships people have with the things in their lives. As always, I was writing all … Continue reading

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Maturing

Reading Appendix A of Rorty’s Achieving Our Country, “Campaigns and Movements” I came upon this bit: “Most of us, when young, hope for purity of heart. The easiest way to assure oneself of this purity is to will one thing—but … Continue reading

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Speed it up, dumb it down

I told my friend to write her resume to idiots in a hurry: Speed it up and dumb it down. Seems like a generally decent life-principle, so.

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Eroding to wisdom

The best quotes are the misattributed ones — overused maxims that become smoother as they tumble from paraphrase to paraphrase until they are worn smooth like river stones. Whenever I track one of these retroactively adopted orphans back to their … Continue reading

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Usefulness, Usability and Desirability of philosophies

Tim Morton explains Speculative realism: Speculative realism is the umbrella term for a movement that comprises such scholars as Graham Harman, Jane Ben- nett, Quentin Meillassoux, Patricia Clough, Iain Hamilton Grant, Levi Bryant, Ian Bogost, Steven Shaviro, Reza Negarestani, Ray … Continue reading

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An autobibliobiography

Well, I tried to write about my books and how I want to prune my library, and ended up writing a history of my interests. I know there are loose ends, but I am tired of writing, so blat, here … Continue reading

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Hyperobjective spew

I’ve gotten sucked into Tim Morton’s Hyperobjects. I was reading Kaufmann’s book on Hegel, but after sampling few pages of this book on the recommendation of a friend Morton’s book felt “next”. A few random notes: This territory, settled first … Continue reading

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Drawing on every side of the brain

In high school, all my art teachers taught us to draw and paint the shapes our eyes “really” saw. We were discouraged from drawing the things we believed we were depicting — eyes, noses, vases, cow skulls, gourds, drapes — … Continue reading

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Why you should be mad about Lean Startup

Lean Startup externalizes usability costs to users. To combat this practice, if I find a usability issue I call tech support and have them walk me through the interaction. These calls cost a company a significant amount of money and … Continue reading

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Tool users vs service users

I am not one of those people who sees service design as the grand catch-all for multi-touchpoint multi-/omni-channel experiences. I feel the same way about “service” as I did in the early aughts about the term “user”. These words imply … Continue reading

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Obtrusive conveniences

A design trend that disturbs me intensely: obtrusive conveniences. What makes these conveniences obtrusive is that they make it incredibly inconvenient to refuse what they offer and you end up fighting for control over what you are attempting to do. … Continue reading

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Gadget-porn addiction

Apple used to innovate by asking “Wouldn’t it be great if people could ____?” This was what made them uniquely great. Now Apple does what every other banal tech company does and asks “Wouldn’t it be great if we could … Continue reading

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Why I get emotional about design

When I use a product, I feel the milieu that produced it. Products are crystallized philosophies. In a designed object I feel people — the people who produced it and sometimes a precise person for whom an object is intended. This … Continue reading

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Formalizing relationships with the formless

Formless realities cannot be grasped with formal thinking, but our relationship with formless realities can be. Formally grasping our relationship with formless realities makes these relationships with formless realities more bearable.   This is mainly a note to myself at … Continue reading

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It’s the experience, stupid

People think software is becoming more frustrating because the world has become more complex. This is false. Software is worse because development has been drastically accelerated. The shortened cycles leave little or no time for best design practices that ensure … Continue reading

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Slurpy, mergy, touchy-feely notions of interpersonal being

Wow, this post really sprawled out. It hits a lot of my enduring interests. I’m not sure it is suitable for reading. It might just be a personal journal entry written to myself. Feel free to eavesdrop if you wish, … Continue reading

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Ancestors and siblings of process thought

While I’m scanning passages from C. Robert Mesle’s Process-Relational Philosophy, here are two more that inspired me. The first passage appeals to my designer consciousness: Descartes was wrong in his basic dualism. The world is not composed of substances or of … Continue reading

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Rude tools

In my last post I promised that my next post would be “a theoretical tantrum on the ethics around that miserable love triangle between developer, tool and user.” and that I thought the issue of “‘ownership’ of software is an unrecognized … Continue reading

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Taking away my tools

Over the last decade and a half I’ve relied on four tools for making my thoughts. Of these four, two have broken in the last couple of years: Adobe Illustrator and WordPress. These two tools have undergone frequent deep UI … Continue reading

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Autumn 2011, when the canary died

A friend texted me a link to an article by Yascha Mounk, “Authoritarian by Instinct“. What follows is a somewhat edited (and hyperlinked up) version of my SMS avalanche of a response. * I was about to say that I’m surprised at … Continue reading

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