Category Archives: Aesthetics

Good Point

The only Powerpoint advice you need, from Seth Godin, reproduced in part here, in case a meteor hits his server and this gem is lost forever: Communication is about getting others to adopt your point of view, to help them … Continue reading

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Forgeries on the Brain

When it comes to high art, almost nobody can tell the difference between an original and a good copy.  Even so, we overwhelmingly prefer the original.  Oxford scientists hooked up 14 volunteers to a functional MRI, and then showed them … Continue reading

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Dieter Rams on Design: Understand People

Dieter Rams has been successful because he deeply understands people, both physically, psychologically, and how they operate in the world.  He’s not some sort of mind reader: You cannot understand good design if you do not understand people; design is … Continue reading

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Your Preferences Don’t Matter, Your Customers’ Do

If you’ve ever tried to go to a restaurant’s website, there’s a 98% chance your experience was horrifically unpleasant.  Usually, after the obligatory 10-30 second load time, there’s some weird music that starts playing, there’s obnoxious pictures or slideshows coming … Continue reading

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Best TED Talk Ever

So many takeaways: Passion Hans Rosling is incredibly passionate about statistics.  He’s passionate about the underlying work he’s doing and the analysis and insights his data is generating, but he’s also passionate about just accessing and sharing data in general.  … Continue reading

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Design Is Just Asking “How Do I Maximize Pleasure?”

For a long time, the electronics and computer industry asked “How do I make this work?”  This is understandable.  In any nascent industry, getting something that works out the door is priority number one.  But, even after the functionality hurdle … Continue reading

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Outside the Quotes

For years, kids in America were taught that punctuation marks go inside the quotation mark, regardless of whether you’re actually quoting the punctuation. “Why?” I have no clue.  Rosemary Feal, the queen over at the Modern Language Association (MLA) claims … Continue reading

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The Cult of Status Quo

Bill Simmons, who’s nicknamed The Sports Guy and writes a comical column for ESPN, shares a very insightful response to a reader’s email about why soccer will never become popular in the U.S.: “Sometimes when people become die-hard fans of … Continue reading

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Art Is Just A Story

People make a big fucking deal about art.  They talk about provenance and historical relevance and cultural significance.  Those things can certainly make a piece of art more interesting, but why does that make someone want to own something?  There’s … Continue reading

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Overwhelm

In Vienna this week, I’ve had the opportunity to check out quite a few churches.  In the middle of the old city there are maybe a dozen spectacular churches, sporting everything from Gothic to super modern architecture.  The biggest and … Continue reading

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Start at the Bottom

I’ve always said that talent is overrated.  Most people can become really good at most things given enough deliberate practice.  These photos by Stanley Kubrick, just a lowly photojournalist for Look magazine in 1949, began to show the sort of … Continue reading

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smArtHistory

One of the best things you can do to improve your photography is to deconstruct what makes a good photograph.  It’s a bit of a catch-22 when you’re starting out though.  Even if you’re able to spot a really great … Continue reading

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Clarity

I just read this article this New York Times opinion piece that really struck a chord with me.  It’s not particularly interesting or insightful.  In fact, it’s really not that good.  But the author sure does use some fancy words, … Continue reading

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Why I Hate HDR

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.  Dynamic Range, for our purposes, is the amount of information a sensor can record between the points where the sensor renders input as white and where the sensor renders input as black in any … Continue reading

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HOME (documentary)

Just stumbled across this gorgeously shot enviro-doc (LINK) The essence of it is well captured in the first two lines of its description: “We are living wholesale nfl jerseys in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years … Continue reading

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