Steven Levy:

With Page taking the helm, no one is sure how—or if—that delicate balance will be maintained. Now the company is in the hands of a true corporate radical.

A few ingredients in Larry Page’s stew of traits stand out unmistakably. He is brainy, he is confident, he is parsimonious with social interaction. But the dominant flavor in the dish is his boundless ambition, both to excel individually and to improve the conditions of the planet at large. He sees the historic technology boom as a chance to realize such ambitions and sees those who fail to do so as shamelessly squandering the opportunity. To Page, the only true failure is not attempting the audacious. “Even if you fail at your ambitious thing, it’s very hard to fail completely,” he says. “That’s the thing that people don’t get.”

Failure is underrated. It is such an important part of growth.

via Wired

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I’ve written about the late and great Tobias Wong on multiple occasions.  If you haven’t checked out his site, please take the time to do so.  Core77 wrote about his:

Tobias Wong’s work plays between concept and beauty, exposing the similarities between art and design rather than blurring their boundaries. Unlike purely conceptual work – which often lacks a real appreciation for beauty, aesthetics, and a desire for consumption – his work often finds expression in real objects. He’s coined the term Paraconceptual to describe it: “Of, relating to, or being conceptual.”

Especially these:

Tattoo
Money Pad
Dreams

I heard about Tobias when I was still living in SF. Though his work might seem trite and cliche, at the time his work was an inspiration. So many kids were blathering on about the utility of objects, the importance of universal design, it was refreshing to see someone not taking things so seriously.  Unfortunately, what he didn’t take seriously in his work, he did in his view of the world as he took his own life last year. Is that always how it is?  He put the joy and laughter in his designs and didn’t leave enough for himself. Protect us all from what we want, and thank you for giving us what we need.  Please continue to show us the difference.

n+1 book review of Gary Shteyngart’s book Super Sad True Love Story. Beyond the book, it provides an accurate view how technology is pervasive in our lives.  And not in the way of finding the nearest American Apparel using iPhone GPS.  In the way of degradation of communication and interpersonal interaction. Please read.  It seems to go off the rails towards the end, but that might have been the ADHD flaring up.

Alice Gregory:

You really want to know what it is about 20-somethings? It’s this: we live longer now. But we also live less. It sounds hyperbolic, it sounds morbid, it sounds dramatic, but in choosing the internet I am choosing not to be a certain sort of alive. Days seem over before they even begin, and I have nothing to show for myself other than the anxious feeling that I now know just enough to engage in conversations I don’t care about. The internet’s most ruinous effect on literacy may not be the obliteration of long-format journalism or drops in hardcover sales; it may be the destruction of the belief that books can be talked and written about endlessly. There are fewer official reviews of novels lately, but there are infinitely more pithily captioned links on Facebook, reader-response posts on Tumblr, punny jokes on Twitter. How depressing, to have a book you just read and loved feel so suddenly passé, to feel—almost immediately—as though you no longer have any claim to your own ideas about it

Additionally, for what it is worth, Alice Gregory seems like someone I would like to be friends with. I don’t know if I’m quite smart enough for her, though maybe my looks would carry the conversation.

Time Magazine profiles Steve Jobs:

Taking care of business means, for Jobs, not just lighting fires under the staff and gladhanding the media. It also involves—crucially—keeping the lines open to the young.

And…

The baby, a girl, was born in the summer of 1978, with Jobs denying his fatherhood and refusing to pay child support. A voluntary blood test performed the following year said “the probability of paternity for Jobs, Steven. . . is 94.1%.” Jobs insists that “28% of the male population of the United States could be the father.” Nonetheless, the court ordered Jobs to begin paying $385 a month for child support. It may be noted that the baby girl and the machine on which Apple has placed so much hope for the future share the same name: Lisa.

The article was written in 1983.  The focus of this man is incredible. He is also just a man.

Gary Chang, the Hong Kong-based architect known for his 320-square-foot apartment, designs with efficiency and useable in mind. Some points from an interview he did extrapolates on this philosophy:

Psychologically, one should ‘maintain’ an open mind on how to use the space and avoid, as much as possible, the pre-conceptions on what a ‘home’ should function and look like.

And, when asked about the role of architecture in creating and solving problems of a society…

I totally believe that architecture [can be] detrimental in shaping a society and its behavior. On the other hand, I don’t believe that architecture alone could solve all these problems either. Even more ironically, this easily could lead to the debate as to what is or is not considered architecture!?

Trey Ratcliff of the travel photography blog Stuck in Customs has some good words about learning and understand:

Have you ever noticed, for example, how much trouble people have with learning F-stops? Understanding them is goddamned confusing for any normal brain. You mean, the number goes up and the hole gets smaller? And that makes everything in focus? What? No wonder people are confused…

Let me tell you a story. I was speaking in a class a few years ago about photography. One of my photos came up on the screen and a gal raised her hand. She asked, “What F-stop did you use there?” This made me pause for quite a bit. Because, at THAT point, I realized that I learned everything in my very own way. Her question was, in a sense, completely ludicrous. I could have said, “F/5.5”. And she would have nodded, as would everyone else in the class. OR, I could have said, “F/16”. And she would have nodded, as would everyone else in the class.

What this tells me is that people have such a fragile understanding of photography. Is this how people learn? I do not know. I don’t understand how they learn. But I can tell you this for sure — I’m not totally sure they understand.

The best way to learn is figure it out, not by rote memorization, but by rote curiosity. That is, let your inner child come out. Curiosity should lead not straight to a book — but straight to experimentation.

As that curiosity manifests itself, guess, wonder, fail, guess again, forgive yourself, then keep on guessing. This is how children figure out how to navigate the world — and this is how you should learn to navigate your photography.

Your complete lack of interest in photography?  That’s OK. Substitute whatever it is that you’re interested in for the word “photography” and go re-read the last three paragraphs. I’ll be here.

It’s all about getting your hands wet, falling on your face, and trying again.  That’s the learning process. We’ve created the word “fail” to keep people from moving up in the world, but really, failure is essential to this process.  Embrace the failure. Fail every day.

Future son…  No need to read the entire book, here are the important ones.

Nothing is more important than family.
You can never overdress.
Don’t be afraid of pickup games.  It’s the best way to learn.
Own your own baseball mitt and golf clubs.  All other athletic equipment can be shared or borrowed.
Never leave a job without securing your next employment.
Have a signature dish, even if it’s your only one.
Be quick with a “Good morning.”
Be a regular at your local flea market.
Keep a schedule.
Wear a sports coat when traveling by plane.  It has easily accessible pockets.
Live in New York.
Start a band.
A T-shirt is neither a philosophy nor an advertisement.  Its a shirt.  Wear it plain.

And from your future Dad, the most important one…  BE YOURSELF.