Category Archives: Other

Robots with Soul


Why I Think We’ll Never Go Paperless…and a Great Commercial

May people ask me as a designer if I ever think print will die. First I respond with laughter, because I often think it a rather stupid question. Then I proceed to say “I certainly hope not…”

Paperless has become quite a trend. People often think that we’ll be entirely paperless by some distant point in the future in order to save millions of trees and deforestation of rain forests etc. Their biggest advocate? The eBook. Why? Because there isn’t any paper pages, and often they’re cheaper to purchase. A pretty solid argument right? Perhaps… if you don’t live in a third world country.

There has been a big push for literacy in the world as a step towards solving poverty. It’s a great start I think, and a very noble task. People need to learn how to read as a means of making it through this life and becoming a “successful and functional member of society”  (I’d love to hear someone tell an African Tribe leader that, they’d probably end up disgraced and kicked out of the village, or even worse in some cultures). Written language certainly can open many doors, but if we’re making the striving to build up the economic world using literature, we’d have to make it accessible to everyone. Now tell me, how many isolated tribes in the rainforest have pluming and electricity? Probably none of them huh?

What I’m getting at is this: eBooks are not all accessible. Not everyone in the world has internet. Not everyone in the world even has basic necessities for that matter. So why are we so convinced that going paperless is a real option for the whole world? Perhaps for more developed nations it can be a reality, but that would also cause the problem of increasing the poverty gap, and perhaps even possibly make poverty a bigger problem…or worse…cause us to take extreme measures destroying cultures by bringing in a very western and commercial line of thinking.

There is this great documentary on PBS about the development of nations based on the question “Why are some countries more developed than others?” It’s called Guns, Germs, and Steel based on a book by William McNeill and if you’re interested in the subject I recommend you find it or perhaps download it somewhere and watch it. It’s quite fascinating if you’re a history buff.  It’s good stuff and talks about some of the issues of poverty and resources in certain nations, and how they developed into power houses and third worlds.

I do not think print will ever die. Printed books are easier to get to the masses that digital ones for the reasons I said above, and so many others as well. Paper is used in so much more than printed work, poster, fliers and pamphlets. It’s a practical resource.

If you need more convincing…then watch the video below.


101 Most Useful Websites

I found this link on Pinterest (yeah I Pin), and it was a great find.

I regret nothing.

101 Most Useful Websites. 

My personal Favorites:

#63

#72 (great for designers)

#79

#80

#89

#90

#99


Google

There has been much controversy lately about Google taking liberties in their privacy statements and altering their ability to access information. However, many people don’t know how Google really works and in what ways they access your information and what that information is used for. In this particular case, the content of your writing or blog posts is the subject of search information. Here is a simplified version of how Google tracks down, processes, and saves information.


Does Education Kill Creativity? Every Educator Needs to Hear This.

My Professor showed this video to us in one of my Graphic Design Classes last week. I found myself getting emotional as I watched. It was like my entire childhood experience was being told back to me. The pills, the problems with teachers, all came flooding back in a mess of emotion…and finally someone out here in the world had said what I had needed to hear…it wasn’t wrong it was just different.

I had once been told I was never going to succeed in life because I wasn’t good at math…by my math teacher….to my face…at age 8…infront of everyone in my class. An unfortunately impressionable age in my life. I had believed it almost all of my educational career since then. Art was my favorite class. I could see it and understand it, and most of the time it didn’t make sense. It didn’t have to. When I got to high school and went into geometry, math finally had made sense because I could see it and apply it to art.

Education is hit or miss with some kids. Instead of education killing creativity, I think we need to make it work better for everyone. I applaud this man.  I applaud him for finally coming out and saying what needs to be said. Education cannot take the cookie cutter approach. Not every kid is a cookie. Some are muffins, some are pastries, and some are altogether something else (and I’m suddenly getting hungry). Education doesn’t have to kill creativity. It just has to become relevant to that child’s particular creative niche.


The Mind of the Hacker

I set down the book staring up at my ceiling. How did he do it? How could something so abstract and seemingly impossible be the very thing so many wish they could do. It was power at your fingertips. It was mountains of binary and beautiful landscapes of data. The matrix. The system. The thing that could both make and break powers. It was power.

Reading Neuromancer by William Gibson opens your eyes to a world no one sees. The mind being able to bend and break everything all at once. When we think of the internet we are aware of only one thing: it has almost no law. But then again we live in a “meat world” as the character of Case put it in Neuromancer. A hacker with his mind set on living life in the matrix. Real life isn’t living. It’s failed too much. The matrix…it’s everything. It’s his freedom for the life he runs from with drugs and cyberspace. Not that he’s tried to make much of a life for himself in the first palce.

I’m amazed by the amount of emotion behind the computer screen of hackers. Recently I found myself in search of the Hackers Manifesto. There are many of them. One of the ones I find insightful to the mind and lives of hackers is one found in Phrack magazine. The article empowers the downtrodden of society to fight back against the oppression they’ve felt in the “meat world” they’ve come to know as the only destiny. Only option. Poetry in binary. A drug addict of data. What is even more interesting? Most of it talks about teachers, public school, and an education system that failed them. I can certainly resonate with that. I’ve felt the same on many occasions. Though, to play devils advocate for a moment, how much can personal choice be anyone else’s responsibility?

Another article I found called Hackers Ethics. Interesting perspective.


West Virginia’s “Quiet Zone”

Another 2 hour conversation had been disconnected. I stared at my computer screen, eyes bloodshot, ear tired of listening. My suite mates playing season after season of television shows. I closed my eyes and hoped that the world would just quiet for  a min. Then the power went out.

There is an unusual amount of dependency on electronics for entertainment. I am one of the many who use it more than just a hand full of times a week for entertaining purposes, but every so often I find myself in need to some hardcore quiet time. Power outages are one way of doing it, but there is always another way to get away from all things electronic. My ideal plan: West Virginia Quiet Zone.

The zone was established in 1958 and consists of 13, ooo square miles of beautiful isolation. No wifi. No cellphones. No radio waves. If you want complete isolation? This is as isolated as it gets outside of prison. And for many trying to run from technology it’s a highly sought place for the housing market.

 

For more information about this unique zone click here.


Wanna Live in the World of Tomorrow? Well…You Can’t.

Information was recently released describing a new “Test City” . Pretty cool right? Twenty square miles of purely new technology, in the middle of nowhere New Mexico, and not a single person around. It is being built by a private company in Washington D.C and is estimated  to cost about $200 million dollars. It’s purpose?:

“[It] will allow private companies, not for profits, educational institutions and government agencies to test in a unique facility with real world infrastructure, allowing them to better understand the cost and potential limitations of new technologies prior to introduction,”  says company CEO.

An explanation that leaves quite a few questions unanswered. Where is it being built? In an unnamed location in the New Mexico desert. What will it look like? Twenty square miles of shinny, new, unpopulated ghost town. “A city in a petri dish.” Who is going to have access to these testing facilities and under what conditions? No idea. 

The greater question is what will this new test city open a way for? New technologies of course, but how many other companies might begin doing the same? To what consequences? BLDGBLOG (see link below) says some interesting things on this very question. How would other ‘test cities’ for other companies look? Would they have to follow existing laws of commerce? Who is going to regulate what happens there and under what conditions? What changes might have to be made to laws if this begins to become a trend for companies? All questions that still need answers.

For original articles follow these links:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2011/09/coming-soon-a-city-in-a-petri-dish/

http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore/276486/new-mexico-building-fake-city-test-alternative-energy-greg-pollowitz

http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/test-city.html


This May be Illegal….

I find it interesting that we live in a time where the world no longer needs to be ruled by nerds. What I mean by that is, everyone (with the exception of certain age brackets) has a good handle on how to use technology. It used to be that computers, game consoles, etc. were all very specialized fields. Only those who knew how to program them could use them. Though it seems today, just about everyone can go online and find thousands of resources on how to retake the once specialized technological field for the common user.

I recently discovered an interesting article that was more than informative when it comes to different “uses” for the gaming console (including vintage tech). To everything there is a loop hole these days. The common gamer can find free gaming in any number of places. If you’re interested in finding out the top ten DIY projects to improve your personal gaming experience, your tech savvy, and even make awesome though questionable first impressions click here.

****I do not advise hacking gaming systems. What you do with this information is your choice and therefore I cannot be held responsible for any activity that may cause damage to property or violations of any contracts. 


Anatomy of a Virus


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