Archive for May 2010
To pass, a movie (or any work of fiction, really) has to have three things:
- At least two women
- Who talk to each other
- About something besides a man
(all via Mark Larson)
A charming comic about some of them.
I liked this animated map of the spread of paleolithic man, but it probably won’t change your life.
This doesn’t help with my feeling that all I’ve been doing recently is sharing stuff Liz Danzico liked or made, but it’s too good an idea to ignore. Frank Chimero says:
I keep what I perceive to be a more valuable, important morgue file: one made of the best writing on the web I come across. … Most revolve around what it’s like to be making things in 2010, and a lot of the people that I respect the most have pieces in it. It’s almost a pep talk in text form. I visit it when I’m down, when I’m lazy, when I’m feeling the inertia take over.
This had never crossed my mind:
The full, plump bosom seen in the human ape is an anomaly. No other primate has a permanent breast.
I would extend the article’s evolutionary point to say that we’re probably the only species that has ever been successful enough to select so strongly for aesthetic preferences of members of the species. A quick look couldn’t find anything about this, but I’d be interested to know that I’m wrong.
In 1994, Charlie Munger (best known as the guy Warren Buffett runs every business decision by) identified why Newsweek — to choose the most fashionable example — would struggle:
That’s what happened to The Saturday Evening Post and all those things. They’re gone. What we have now is Motocross—which is read by a bunch of nuts who like to participate in tournaments where they turn somersaults on their motorcycles. But they care about it. For them, it’s the principal purpose of life. A magazine called Motocross is a total necessity to those people. And its profit margins would make you salivate.
He says a number of other seemingly unrelated things worth hearing. The speech as a whole is massive and rambling, but has enough good nuggets that I wouldn’t discourage you from reading it.
I think this is a useful dichotomy:
An Asker won’t think it’s rude to request two weeks in your spare room, but a Guess culture person will hear it as presumptuous and resent the agony involved in saying no. Your boss, asking for a project to be finished early, may be an overdemanding boor – or just an Asker, who’s assuming you might decline. If you’re a Guesser, you’ll hear it as an expectation. This is a spectrum, not a dichotomy, and it explains cross-cultural awkwardnesses, too: Brits and Americans get discombobulated doing business in Japan, because it’s a Guess culture, yet experience Russians as rude, because they’re diehard Askers.
There’s very little meat in this article, and the fact that PepsiCo is likely to have patented whatever improvement they may have made saddens me, but I love this idea in the current anti-sodium climate:
“If we could figure out a way of getting the salt crystals to dissolve faster, then we could decrease the amount of salt we put on a snack with no compromise on taste.”
If all the publications and people grousing about the death of reporting were producing pieces like this, I’d feel a great deal more sympathy for them. A comprehensive (and thus somewhat daunting) look at Ethiopia’s problems today.
This is one of the single best pages I’ve seen on the internet in a while. A small sample:
In fact, it probably involves being so passionately enthusiastic about something that it is the exact opposite of cool. It is through caring intensely about something that we can connect to one another in more meaningful ways.
This is, at minimum, an unconventional view. And it is precisely that reason that David Graeber’s history of debt is so interesting.
While the claims of the impersonal market and the claims of “society” are often juxtaposed – and certainly have had a tendency to jockey back and forth in all sorts of practical ways – they are both ultimately founded on a very similar logic of violence. Neither is this a mere matter of historical origins that can be brushed away as inconsequential: neither states nor markets can exist without the constant threat of force.