Previous month:
January 2024
Next month:
March 2024

4 posts from February 2024


misfits' architecture: The Beauty of Everyday Things, 2024-Feb-4 by Graham McKay

For the past hundred years we’ve had people championing machine manufacture and value-adding design for objects that did perfectly well without it. What we’re left with is poorly designed and overpriced goods. Yanagi’s criteria don’t really tell us anything we weren’t already half aware of.

made by anonymous crafts people: This is in direct opposition to the culture (cult?) of designer goods in which the worth of objects is determined by who designed them and not by how they were made. True, artisan silversmiths and goldsmiths existed prior to the cult of the designer but they were both designer and smiths – craftspersons – and diminishing their role was essential to establish the cult of the designer.

How to do things if you're not that smart and don't have any talent

Adaobi has many great suggestions about how to make a difference on a team. Here's just one of the great ones.

Adaobi's Substack: How to do things if you're not that smart and don't have any talent, 2024-Jan-28 by Adaobi Adibe

Most people are super sensitive to being seen as annoying, and that’s the primary reason they don’t follow up and therefore watch opportunities go down the drain. Super simple solution, follow up! Most people just forget to respond, haven’t prioritized your request, or something else along those lines. But don’t just follow up, make it easy for the other participant to act on this too. For example, if you are following up on a due-to-be-scheduled meeting with someone, offer multiple specific times (including “now”), offer to meet them where they are (if possible), and send them light talking points so that they know the meeting won’t be a waste of their time. This will make it a lot easier for them to want to accept and actually turn up.

Working VS. Inbox Management

I pride myself on communicating well with people, and it's hard to realize the "inbox zero" is not an appropriate goal. But it's not.

The Browser: I Am No Longer Good At Email, 2024-Feb-8 by Caroline Crampton:

The task is the writing, the editing, the researching, the thinking. Using email to notify others of what I have produced or concluded is just what happens when I have finished. It is not a category of its own. There is no virtue in doing that promptly if the work itself is not good, nor in only looking at my inbox at certain proscribed times of day.

"Don't do that" with AI

Book Review by Jennifer Szalai: ‘Literary Theory for Robots,’ by Dennis Yi Tenen The New York Times, February 7, 2024.

What if someone wanted to strap a jet engine to a car and see how it fared on the streets of a crowded city? Tenen says the answer is obvious: “Don’t do that.”

Why “Don’t do that” can seem easy in one realm but not another requires more thinking, more precision, more scrutiny — all qualities that fall by the wayside when we cower before A.I., treating the technology like a singular god instead of a multiplicity of machines built by a multiplicity of humans.