4 min read

The Dice — 004

In this issue: Ideas come from doing, emo Christopher Walken, system change, Jumpman stolen, Design after Capitalism, and a nice update from Jon Hicks.

In a recent conversation, Brian Kerr shared a passage from the book Community and Privacy by Serge Chermayeff and Christopher Alexander. It ended with the line, “When everything is everywhere, wherever you go there is nothing tangible to find.” 

I keep reading that AI-based search is going to be great—someday—but I can’t help but think it’s going to get worse. Over time algorithms pushed more of the same type and format of content over others based on data-driven archetypes. How is AI going to be any different, if not worse unless you’ve studied prompt engineering? Even then, when two entities interact, the level of the conversation will always be constrained by the least educated. We’re putting third-grade children who are not capable of self-exploration as a gatekeeper to the largest wealth of human knowledge. Fantastic!

Alright, enough yelling at clouds.

Also, in case you were wondering, the tagline for this newsletter is inspired from a line in the classic film, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

When MagCulture asked what advice he may have for anyone launching a magazine, Lars Harmsen, publisher of Slanted magazine replied: “Just do it. Ideas come from doing. Have the balls to publish it. Not just once, but five or ten issues. It only gets really exciting after the fifth edition.” Take a few minutes and read the rest of the interview.

Slanted is a remarkable design magazine like no other. I highly recommend picking up the issues on books and independent type studios.

On Friday mornings Ryan and I host an anchoring call for people who have taken the Restart workshop. This week our conversation was largely dominated by folks who don’t trust working in the corporate world that grows more and more singularly focused on stock market value. Serendipitously, this morning I flipped through an issue of Eye magazine to find a review of, Design after Capitalism by Matthew Wizinsky. Based on Eye’s review Matthew’s book is a must for designers who are ready to do more in the world beyond whatever ticks up the share price. Check out the website, it’s chock-full of goodness including a full set of free lectures on the subject of the book.

Also worth your attention and sharing to your sphere of influence, In through the Side Door: Fifty Years of Women in Interaction Design by Erin Malone.

Anil on The Purpose of a System is What It Does: “If the purpose of a system is what it does, and we don’t like what it does, then we have to change the system. And we change the system by making everyone involved, especially those in authority, feel urgency about changing the real-world impacts that a system has.” Driving meaningful change is so hard, even when you give it a cool name like “transformation.” And that’s just change at work. Changing systems in society and government is seemingly impossible, but we must try.

The Amazing Story Behind “Jumpman.” Life magazine—yes, that Life magazine—has a story on the time Nike stole an image from a photographer to create its iconic logo for a product line worth billions. It's likely not the first time they've pulled shit like this and it won’t be the last. Clearly, their company executives could use a team offsite on ethics as well as a big kick in the ass.

I’m always in the mood for a design project update from Jon Hicks. His latest work is for a new service called ShareOpenly, “a very easy way to share content to fediverse-friendly socials to replace those share buttons of old.” Jon also shares how he integrated this into his Kirby-based website.

Before the broadcast of Saturday Night Live, the crew does a dress rehearsal of a longer show so they can cut the program down to the sketches that get the best reaction from the audience. I don’t know how this didn’t make the cut but here is Christopher Walken playing a wise-guy-emo angel.

Done and done. Have a good week. Go see a live performance of some kind.

Published in Tacoma, Washington while listening to We by Arcade Fire