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Why Steve Jobs mattered

Like so many 30-somethings i grew up in an era where personal computing was just getting its feet wet. An era wherein the possibilities for what we could do—for the first time—became truly endless; where following the typical career path wasn’t a mandate my generation felt tied to; and where following your heart and doing what you love actually could pay off.

When i saw the news of the untimely death of Steve Jobs flood my twitter feed late Wed, i fought my inner cynic trying to figure out why this should even affect me—i was feeling all choked up and not sure why. He made things, i bought things, no big deal right?

BIG deal.

My life as i know it today could not exist without the innovations of this man. Everything i do, everything i touch and care about every day has his unrelenting vision to thank for making it possible. He put beautiful, well-designed, humanized computers that just WORK into all of our hands, allowing us to control, to obsess, leave no stone unturned, no detail too small—just like the breathing of a macbook sleep light.

I work in an institution dedicated to the expression of art mashed up with technology—a giant monument to this man’s influence in the arts, a primordial art/tech soup, and oh how much we all owe him an inexpressible debt of gratitude. So thank you Steve, thank you for allowing so many of us to explore new creative ideas and avenues in totally novel ways, thank you for following your instincts at whatever cost, and thank you for enabling me to go to work everyday feeling peace in my heart and psyched to solve another problem.

Tear up the Bardo!

“In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.” — Steve Jobs

Ken Russell’s The Devils

How, on satans earth, did i EVER not know about this film?

Based on a novel by Aldous Huxley and a play by John Whiting, The Devils chronicles the rise and fall of respected priest Urbain Grandier (played by Oliver Reed at his very best) in 17th Century France as he is methodically demolished physically, politically, and in the eyes of the public by the hunchbacked, sexually repressed Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave). What ensues is a Crucible-esque display of nuns feigning demonic possession by Grandier in order to ensure his demise, which gives these nuns free reign to do anything…and I mean anything. Masturbating with candles. Raping a giant crucifix. Forced enemas. (Does this hint at the reasons why this film had one of the most dramatic censorship battles in the history of British cinema?) But don’t let these petty details deter you – The Devils is not a superficial piece of filmmaking meant only to shock, but a work of art that will rock you to your very core.

Read more at Film School Rejects: See Ken Russell’s ‘The Devils’ in NYC on Monday – Film School Rejects

He lacerated the sacred monsters of the church, was blatantly homoerotic, sympathized with the witches and was stylishly camp. The production designer, Derek Jarman, would later go on to make one of my all-time favorite films, Jubilee. But I was asked to choose a film that influenced my world view during my formative years, In that regard THE DEVILS definitely takes the communion wafer.

serendipity the hard way

Just returned from an artist in residence lecture only to find out the software i have been dying to use and/or get dirty with for the last two years is a huge part of the piece they are working on.very cool…photosynth.

Loneliness is the last great taboo

Certainly, he would be unwise to expect a happy-ever-after scenario from this relationship, as Swinton does not believe in it.”Loneliness is the deal,” she said in a recent interview.”Loneliness is the last great taboo”.”If we don’t accept loneliness, then capitalism wins hands down. Because capitalism is all about trying to convince people that you can distract yourself, that you can make it better. And it ain’t true.”

visual kiosks – something to learn

tufte designed a kiosk interface for the national gallery years ago (unimplemented).. it’s a REALLY interesting topic and read. esp his review of iPhones interface and the lack of “computer administrative debris” in it’s interface and thinking about that in relation to kiosk design.


Tufte’s post

The design ideas here include high-resolution touch-screens; minimizing computer admin debris; spatial distribution of information rather than temporal stacking; complete integration of text, images, and live video; a flat non-hierarchical interface; and replacing spacious icons with tight words. The metaphor for the interface is the information. Thus the iPhone got it mostly right.

Web 3.0 – or the end of popups – or Seadragon

I would love to do something with this sweet technology using our little project here in Troy.

If you have not yet seen Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Jaw-dropping Photosynth demo, you’ll need to go watch it RIGHT NOW.

Notre Dame computed from user pictures on FlickrNotre Dame computed from user pictures on Flickr

artists and engineers

i love that all the examples speakers give of creative geniuses always end up being crazy artists or engineers.  ie.. newton, einstein, vangogh, leonardo, michaelangelo…

is that telling?

Whats on my mind:

oh, lets see:

designing web forms, top, bottom, left, right, one page, many pages, nuking irrelevant content, ditch the waffle, illusion, delight, attention, disneys haunted house, journaling, creative thinking and giving myself time to do so, leonardo, e=mc2, solace, assumptions, inhibitions, persistence, more failure, tessla, escape (to think!), “the first draft of anything is shit” – hemingway, the mobile web, optimized mobile content, testing, testing, testing, the fact that the LDS church has 30 interaction designers, .mobi, context, and afgani food.

stellar magnitudes, color temperatures, photometry, HR diagrams, main sequence and variable stars, astronomical imaging.

friends web woes, friends job woes.


sick kitties, missing home, missing my love.

do you think i’ll be able to sleep?!