Posts Tagged “Malcolm Gladwell”

06w16:1 Inventions of the March Hare

by timothy. 1 Comment

April is the cruelest month, supposedly. But I found March pretty shity. Which is why these didn’t get sent. This is the ‘lost Goodreads March Collection’ for 2006. I nevertheless appreciate this collection as a reminder of how fleeting ‘current’ topics of interest turn out to be. – Timothy


Text —————————–
Up With Grups | Adam Sternbergh
He owns eleven pairs of sneakers, hasn’t worn anything but jeans in a year, and won’t shut up about the latest Death Cab for Cutie CD. But he is no kid. He is among the ascendant breed of grown-up who has redefined adulthood as we once knew it and killed off the generation gap.
// I’ll admit that I only read about 1/3 of this article, and it got some play in the blogosphere during a time when there wasn’t much else (it seemed) to talk about; some consensus around it being too focused on the white upper-middle class of New York

Beijing’s Unwanted Best Seller | Jürgen Kremb,1518,407184,00.html
People across China are trying to uncover the name of the mystery author behind the much-discussed best seller “Wolf Totem,” which has sold millions of copies. The tome’s author is a known Chinese dissident who is writing under the nom de plume Jiang Rong. If he had used his real name, the book never would have been published.

The oil in your oatmeal | Chad Heeter
A lot of fossil fuel goes into producing, packaging and shipping our breakfast

Costing an Arm and a Leg | Carl Elliott
The victims of a growing mental disorder are obsessed with amputation.

Hole-y Cow | Daniel Lew
Animals can live a surprising amount of time with a permanent hole to their stomach, especially if it is a surgically made fistula. Humans have had fistulas; the first human on record as having one was a French Canadian by the name of Alexis St. Martin. He sustained a life-threatening musket wound in 1822, and was marked a terminal case by his physician. However, he managed to heal and was mostly functional again within two years – except for a hole in his stomach that would never close. Through this hole doctors were able to examine inner workings of his stomach.

Pedophilic promo has manga maniacs panting for pre-schooler panties | Ryann Connell
It’s gross, filthy and disgusting, but Japanese erotic manga fans can’t get enough of a comic that comes with a pair of pre-school girl’s panties as a promotional item, according to Cyzo (March).

More than This : Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation | Samara Allsop
The film’s emphatic climax is the inaudible whisper however it also places emphasis on the fact that the transgression from friend to lover is never fully realised. Perhaps this is what is so appealing to contemporary audiences who are often used to graphic representations of sexual conduct.

Celebrity Death Watch | Kurt Andersen
Could the country’s insane fame fixation maybe, finally – fingers crossed – be coming to an end? One hopeful sign: Paris Hilton.

Chamber of horrors
// Santiago Sierra filled a synagogue with carbon monoxide and the viewers toured it wearing gas masks. Gas and Jews, get it? It got shut down for two weeks. Should we care?

The Ten Commandments of Simon | Derek Kirk Kim
// how western males can remain virgins until age 29; online comic

Micheal Ignatieff’s speech to University of Ottawa
// Because he might be Prime Minister within the next five years

Malcolm Gladwell has a blog

Audio —————————–
Fighting Terrorism with Schools | Leonard Lopate and Greg Mortenson
After a failed mountain climbing trip to the summit of K2, Greg Mortenson was nursed back to health by villagers in a remote part of Pakistan. He promised to repay them by returning and building a school. Now, he’s built over 50 schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. He describes his mission to fight extremism and terrorism on the Taliban’s home turf in Three Cups of Tea. // Very inspiring.

—————–Lectures —————————–
Lectures Archive
// a collection of links to a variety of lectures in streaming audio and mp3

Slought Foundation
// Lectures for the iPod by such notables as Zizek and his would-be canonical companions. As for Zizek, consider this comment from Crooked Timber:

“Today I was wondering whether it was worth buying Slavoj Zizek’s new book, The Parallax View and reading it, even in a spirit of ironic detachment or what have you. Reasons to Buy: 1. Some smart people I know like him. Selected Reason Not to Buy: 1. Life’s too short to deal with bullshit, even if it’s high-quality, triple-sifted, quintessence of ironic Lacanian crunchy-frog bullshit like this […] it’s clear to me that it’s not the Mainstream Media that has anything to fear from the blogosphere, but rather Slavoj Zizek-he will shortly be rendered obsolete by the universe of pop-culture enriched slacker grad-student/ABD bloggers. Even Zizek can’t write fast enough to keep up with them all.”

—————–Norman Mailer and Son ————————

The Mailers in Discussion
Part 1:
Part 2:
// Part 1: March 2nd afternoon on the Leonard Lopate Show; Part 2: March 2nd evening at some lecture hall. Norman Mailer and his son John Buffalo M. talk about their recent collaborative book and Mailer has great things to say about the state of the USA today. Personally, when Norman Mailer dies I’ll consider it a diminishment of humanity.

The Answer | Peter J. Charlton
// this lends support to my idea that art is meant for the easily impressed, or at the very least that the role of poetry in our lives has been totally taken over by pop lyrics.

The Simpsons in Real Life
// Apparently created in the UK to promote the new season; a month ago famous.

Microsoft iPod Video
// the importance of good design; a month ago famous. Somewhere it was said that this was actually created by Microsoft in order to critique their design department.

South Park Scientology Episode
// I think this episode was contrived simply to make fun of Tom Cruise; notable is the illustration of Scientology Doctrine with the overlaid ‘This is what Scientologists Actually Believe’. The question is: what movie did Cruise’s thetan watch 65 million years ago to inspire such feelings for her today? The entire episode used to be at YouTube and is probably still kicking around somewhere. This is the excerpt outlining their beliefs.


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emailed by Timothy on Monday 17 April 2006 @ 3:27 PM

05w51:1 Everything, or Throwing the Backlog on the Winter's Fire, or Xmastravaganza

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 51 number 1 (everything, or throwing the backlog on the winter’s fire, or the xmastravaganza)


But first the news….

“Welcome to Ohio! Ihre Papiere, bitte!” | Metafilter
“Governor Taft of Ohio is about to sign Senate Bill 9, the Ohio Patriot Act. Among its provisions: * Police can deny entry to “transportation infrastructure” to anyone not showing an ID; * Police can demand the name, address, and date of birth of anyone suspected of having committed a crime or being about to commit a crime, or having witnessed a crime or a plan to commit a crime. Failure to provide this information is an arrestable offense — so basically all demonstrators could be required to give their names, addresses and dates of birth or face arrest; * Reminiscent of Joe McCarthy’s famous question, many state licenses will begin with the question “Are you a member of an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List?”. Failure to answer means no license; answering affirmatively is self-incrimination. * Perhaps worst of all, the original version of the bill simply prohibited state or local governemnts or government employees from objecting to the USA PATRIOT act. The current version allows criticism, but threatens local government with the loss of funds if they in any way “materially hinder” Federal anti-terrorism efforts. “Welcome to Ohio! Ihre Papiere, bitte!” is from Metafilter, and included this comment: “The men who founded this nation were brave and forward thinking, the United States formed as the most modern and enlightened government in history. And now, through the spoiled tricksters in power, it is being dismantled while the citizens are at home watching another sitcom, laughing, laughing, laughing. […] Oh, and f*ck Jesus and every moron who voted for Republicans because they promised to stop homosexuals from getting married.” Yeah, f*ck ’em.

But it is Jesus’ birthday and all, supposedly. But maybe Jesus was a bastard. Maybe he was born in the summer. Ah well, at least it’s time off work, and we get to eat well.

Where is Santa Claus? | Timothy Comeau
from 1990 when I was in Grade 10

Sata Claus | Timothy Comeau
Santa loves logs

Santa is Satan right?
at first I thought this was satire than checked out the rest of the site and saw that it’s a looney Christian one and so the video I guess is supposed to be serious.Thanks to Rany (whoever you are) for the link.

Merry Religious Assimiliation Day | OmniNerd
“The first recorded Christmas on December 25th took place in the 4th century, a date coinciding with the birthdate of Mithras, the Persian sun god. Pope Julius I is rumored to have adjusted Jesus’ birthday to match Mithras’ because the church was unable to stop the pagan celebrations and thereby could associate their festivities in Jesus’ name. Other traditions owe their roots to non-Christian origin. Evergreen trees were revered by Druids for good luck and fertility because they withstood the hardships of winter. The tree became a religious symbol of everlasting life and was decorated to symbolize the sun’s power.”

The Earthly Father: What if Mary wasn’t a virgin? | Chloe Breyer
“Should Schaberg and other scholars who question the virgin birth be hurled into the outer darkness? The problem with dismissing them, as the fourth-century church authorities dismissed their forerunners, begins with Scripture. The biblical sources for the virgin conception are a few short passages in two of the four Gospels. In Matthew, an angel appears to Joseph, who is perplexed about his fiancee’s pregnancy. Should he divorce Mary or have her stoned her to death, as the law of Deuteronomy requires? “Joseph, Son of David,” says the angel, “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus.” The angel then goes on to quote the Hebrew prophet Isaiah. “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.” (In fact, “virgin” comes from Matthew’s use of a Greek mistranslation; the Hebrew in Isaiah reads “young girl.”) The version in Luke is similar.”

Mary’s Not a Virgin | The Current speaks to Jane Schaberg
Mary’s wasn’t a virgin, she was just unfaithful I guess

Eluding Happiness: A Buddhist problem with Christmas. | Jess Row

Oh, but now Buddhism’s in the picture. Which is interesting because….

Scientists to check Nepal Buddha boy | Navin Singh Khadka

Introduction to Meditation | Gil Fronsdal

…which reminds me of the Buddhist joke I once heard which I never really understood. I guess that means I’m stupid. But whatever. It went: ‘what did the Buddhist say to the hot-dog vendor? — I’ll have one with everything.’

so, on to everything….

Blink and The Wisdom of Crowds | James Surowiecki & Malcolm Gladwell

Preacher of the profane | Daniel Binswanger

Ad glut turns off viewers | Gary Levin

Are you there God? It’s me Margaret | Mathew Fox interviews Margaret Atwood

Move Toward Plain Language in Canadian Court Decisions | Michel-Adrien Sheppard

The Plain Language Association INternational Vincent Van Gogh, the drawings | Franklin Einspruch

Art in Newfoundland | Craig Francis Power
nobody writes me letters anymore. boohoohoo

this was awesome:

Optics in Renaissance Art | Charles M. Falco
(link to realmedia presentation, or go here: Lectures at Princeton page)

and this was really good…:

Urban Planning | The Current speaks to Fred Kent

Fred Kent complained about Frank Gehry’s work and that of similar architects, which in Toronto, means he’s talking about our reno-projects…. he refered to it as ‘starkichecture’ and spoke of design being a disease. Monuments to ego (*cough* Liebskind) maybe, but as public spaces, they leave much to be desired. Personally I can see an historical connection to architecture and fascism, but who cares what I think.

Some pigs are more equal than others | Timothy Comeau

Not Special | Timothy Comeau

Let’s have a culture of six pack minds baby. Because then the world might be a better place. In the meantime there’s Muhammad Yunus.

Muhammad Yunus is one of the most inspiring individuals I’ve ever come across in the media-scape. A highly recommended video presentation….

Ending Global Poverty | Muhammad Yunus
“ABOUT THE LECTURE: Imagine a bank that loans money based on a borrower’s desperate circumstances — where, as Muhammad Yunus says, ‘the less you have, the higher priority you have.’ Turning banking convention on its head has accomplished a world of good for millions of impoverished Bangladeshis, as the pioneering economist Yunus has demonstrated in the last three decades. What began as a modest academic experiment has become a personal crusade to end poverty. Yunus reminds us that for two-thirds of the world’s population, ‘financial institutions do not exist.’ Yet, ‘we’ve created a world which goes around with money. If you don’t have the first dollar, you can’t catch the next dollar.’ It was Yunus’ notion, in the face of harsh skepticism, to give the poorest of the poor their first dollar so they could become self-supporting. ‘We’re not talking about people who don’t know what to do with their lives….They’re as good, enterprising, as smart as anybody else.’ His Grameen Bank spread from village to village as a lender of tiny amounts of money (microcredit), primarily to women. Yunus heard that “all women can do is raise chickens, or cows or make baskets. I said, ‘Don’t underestimate the talent of human beings.'” No collateral is required, nor paperwork—just an effort to make good and pay back the loan. Now the bank boasts 5 million borrowers, receiving half a billion dollars a year. It has branched out into student loans, health care coverage, and into other countries. Grameen has even created a mobile phone company to bring cell phones to Bangladeshi villages. Yunus envisions microcredit building a society where even poor people can open ‘the gift they have inside of them.'”

I’ve linked to things relating to Bonnie Basseler’s work before. Here is a video presentation from Printceton. I’ve linked to the real audio version, but there are others available from the source website here: Lectures at Princeton page

How Bacteria Talk to One Another | Bonnie Basseler speaking at Princeton (video)

Merry Christmas everybody.

-Mr. Timothy

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emailed by Timothy on Saturday 24 December 2005 @ 5:24 PM

05w05:2 Transcriptions

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 5 number 2 (transcriptions)

I managed to get a couple of transcriptions done this week, which I’ve posted on my blog – Timothy

——————————————————————— Canadian Art | Ydessa Hendeles
“Regardless of the challenge of changing economics, contemporary Canadian art provides a valuable heritage that provides a resource of insight into the course the country has traveled in its relatively short history. Though more submerged in the international dialog then would be preferred, it is there, and still gives those of us who seek it out a perspective on what it means to be here and indeed, where is here, an especially difficult notion to identify besides the behemoth below the border. The good news is that our history is becoming known internationally, as more and more people from here are interacting with there and sharing what has and is happening here. It is no longer necessary for artists to flee to reside in a major art centre outside the country to be visible and join into the dialogue. It is now appreciated that one can live in Canada and still be on the world’s stage, one can finally function from here. I think it is important to add to the fabric of the art world, expanding its realm, to radiate from the historical global centres.”

The Story Telling Problem | Malcolm Gladwell
“We don’t have access to our unconscious, we don’t know what these thing are coming, where they’re come from that bubbles up from the recesses of our brain. So what do we do? Well, we have a behavior that we just did, we just made a decision of a certain kind, we don’t really know where it came from, so we come up with an explanation, we make up a story. And we’re really really good at making up stories. I call this The Story Telling Problem. And this is something that happens over and over again.”

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emailed by Timothy on Friday 04 February 2005 @ 8:53 PM

05w03:1 The Enlightenment

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 3 number 1 (The Enlightenment)


Group Think | Malcolm Gladwell
“Darwin, in a lovely phrase, called it ‘philosophical laughing,’ which was his way of saying that those who depart from cultural or intellectual consensus need people to walk beside them and laugh with them to give them confidence. But there’s more to it than that. One of the peculiar features of group dynamics is that clusters of people w
ill come to decisions that are far more extreme than any individual member would have come to on his own. People compete with each other and egg each other on, showboat and grandstand; and along the way they often lose sight of what they truly believed when the meeting began. Typically, this is considered a bad thing, because it means that groups formed explicitly to find middle ground often end up someplace far away. But at times this quality turns out to be tremendously productive, because, after all, losing sight of what you truly believed when the meeting began is one way of defining innovation.”Although this article begins with an history of Saturday Night Live, it also contains a history of the Lunar Society

The Lunar Society | BBC Radio 4
this links directly to a Real Media file and will launch your player. It is a radio discussion on the history of the Lunar Society that Gladwell wrote about

French Enlightenment overrated, historian says | Chuck Leddy
“Himmelfarb’s basic contention, one she supports with great passion and wide-ranging scholarship, is that the great 18th century French Enlightenment has been vastly overrated and that the British and American Enlightenments have been comparatively underrated. Her goal in writing this book is to ‘reclaim the Enlightenment … from the French who have dominated and usurped it’ and restore it to the British and Americans.”

The Enlightenment | Robert Wokler
“On the other hand, the same critics of an Enlightenment Project, […] commonly trace its conceptual roots to eighteenth-century philosophy. They are convinced that modernity was bred from the loins of the Enlightenment, out of its notions of the rights of man and its principles of liberty, equality and fraternity, which brought the age of feudalism to a close. If they are communitarians or post-modernists, they seldom hesitate to blame the Enlightenment for having conceived that monstrous child which our civilization has become, since they believe that, even while disposing of original sin, the philosophes of the eighteenth century actually committed it. The attempts of eighteenth-century thinkers to free human nature from the shackles of tradition are alleged to have given rise either to the empty desolation of atomistic individualism or to schemes of social engineering on a vast scale, or indeed to both at once. Such propositions, in different permutations, inform Max Horkheimer’s and Theodor Adorno’s Dialektik der Aufklärung, Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue and Zygmunt Bauman’s Modernity and the Holocaust. I mean to show here that both propositions—that the Enlightenment loved the thing it killed, and that modernity springs from the Enlightenment—are false.”PDF file, 115 KB

PR men of reason | Anthony Daniels
“We are all children of the Enlightenment, even if historical experience has taught us that rationality and benevolence do not necessarily go hand in hand, to put it mildly. The Enlightenment, indeed, could be regarded as a second expulsion from Eden: an imperfect Eden of cruelty and superstition to be sure, but one which at least contained a degree of stability and a number of comforting religious certitudes. Having eaten of the fruit of the tree of the Enlightenment, however, we cannot ever return to that imperfect Eden. We have been destined ever since to live in a permanent effervescence of expanding knowledge and competing ideas.”

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emailed by Timothy on Wednesday 19 January 2005 @ 11:18 PM

04w53:1 Presentations on Human Nature

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 53 number 1 (Presentations on Human Nature)
This issue of Good Reads provides links to three audio presentations, recorded at the Pop!Tech 2004 convention held in Camden, Maine, October 21-23, 2004. They are all provided by IT Conversations and are available to stream or download on the site. – Timothy

Human Nature | Malcolm Gladwell
“Malcolm explores why we can’t trust people’s opinions — because we don’t have the language to express our feelings. His examples include the story of New Coke and how Coke’s market research misled them, and the development of Herman-Miller’s Aeron chair, the best-selling chair in the history of office chairs, which succeeded in spite of research that suggested it would fail. […]This presentation is one of many from the IT Conversations archives of Pop!Tech 2004 held in Camden, Maine, October 21-23, 2004.[runtime: 00:30:18, 13.9 mb, recorded 2004-10-21]” Related:

Frans de Waal | Human Nature
“Frans de Waal tries to convince us that we’re all apes and that there’s little difference between us except that we walk on two legs. At first you think he’s joking. Perhaps not. A global ethologist and zoologist, de Waal is best known for his work on the social intelligence of primates. He thinks that if we ignore the importance of power struggles in the study of human nature, we’re making a big mistake. In his talk, he draws constant parallels between primate and human behavior and uses politicians as examples, including visuals of where aggression can also be used for reconciliation and how it plays a positive role, not just in politics, but in business and our social lives. [runtime: 00:30:36, 14 mb, recorded 2004-10-21]”

Joel Garreau | Human Nature
“‘Are we fundamentally changing human nature in our lifetime?’ Joel Garreau thinks that yes we will be…over the next twenty years. What’s driving this? He goes into great depth on Moore’s Law and later on, Metcalfe’s Law, which he received brownie points from Bob at the end of his session. He talks about technologies, how they are now aimed inward and gives a number of s curve examples.
[runtime: 00:49:23, 22.6 mb, recorded 2004-10-21] “

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 27 December 2004 @ 10:57 AM

04w39:3 History of Typewriters and Television

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 39 number 3 (history of typewriters and television)


Against type? What the writing machine has wrought | Arthur Krystal
“The armada of women who sailed into the workplace just before the turn of the century did not pass unnoticed. For one thing, typewriters began flying out of the factories. In 1900 alone, around 100,000 Remingtons were shipped, and by 1906 the Remington plant was turning out a machine every working minute. […] As for the office itself, men and women suddenly found themselves standing on uncharted terrain, often behind closed doors, which, as it turned out, was a great boon to cartoonists (‘Don’t hold supper, dear. I’ll be working late with my typewriter’), though not much of one to the cuspidor industry, which dried up under the baleful glare of the less expectorating sex. Needless to say, so many women working alongside men–becoming, in fact, indispensable to their male employers–had its civic consequences. Once women began joining the workforce in such numbers, could universal suffrage and an Equal Rights Amendment be far behind?”

Beck’s Typewriter | Stefan Beck
A gallery of images of early typewriters

The Televisionary | Malcolm Gladwell
“It was then that the sewing-machine business took off. For the sewing machine to succeed, in other words, those who saw themselves as sewing-machine inventors had to swallow their pride and concede that the machine was larger than they were – that groups, not individuals, invent complex technologies. […] Farnsworth was twenty-four, and working out of a ramshackle building. Sarnoff was one of the leading industrialists of his day. It was as if Bill Gates were to get in his private jet and visit a software startup in a garage across the country. But Farnsworth wasn’t there. He was in New York, trapped there by a court order resulting from a frivolous lawsuit filed by a shady would-be investor. Stashower calls this one of the great missed opportunities of Farnsworth’s career, because he almost certainly would have awed Sarnoff with his passion and brilliance, winning a lucrative licensing deal. Instead, an unimpressed Sarnoff made a token offer of a hundred thousand dollars for Farnsworth’s patents, and Farnsworth dismissed the offer out of hand. This, too, is a reason that inventors ought to work for big corporations: big corporations have legal departments to protect their employees against being kept away from their laboratories by frivolous lawsuits. A genius is a terrible thing to waste.”

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emailed by Timothy on Thursday 23 September 2004 @ 1:06 AM

04w39:1 Marshall McLuhan and Malcom Gladwell

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 39 number 1 (marshall mcluhan and malcolm gladwell)

Having gotten a better vintage copy of “Understanding Media”, one of the books I tried to sell at the used bookstore in the spring of 1999 was my other copy. They wouldn’t take it because they were well stocked. After I left the store, I ran into some acquaintances on the next block and we struck up a chat. I handed my McLuhan to one of them saying, “here take it, it’s a good read”. Now that they’re gearing up for a big McLuhan festival here in Toronto next month, I was inclined to visit the McLuhan files on the CBC Archives site, which are wonderful. They require Windows Media Player 9 (available here for OSX) and a good bandwidth. Since McLuhan’s study was the difference between “print man” and the electronic creature, I’ve included an article written by Malcolm Gladwell on “the social life of paper”. – Timothy


Marshall McLuhan, the Man and his Message | CBC Archives
“He was a man of idioms and idiosyncrasies, deeply intelligent and a soothsayer. He had prescient knowledge of the Internet. Although educated in literature, Marshall McLuhan was known as a pop philosopher because his theories applied to mini-skirts and the twist. For his ability to keep up with the cutting edge, one colleague called him ‘The Runner.’ Critics said he destroyed literary values. Today, McLuhanÂ’s ideas are new again, applied to the electronic media that he predicted.”

The Wisdom of Saint Marshall, the Holy Fool | Gary Wolf
“By the time of his death, he had been dismissed by respectable academicians, and he was known in the popular press as an eccentric intellectual whose day in the media spotlight had come and gone. By 1980, the transformation of human life catalyzed by television was taken for granted, and it no longer seemed interesting to ask where the electronic media were taking us. But in recent years, the explosion of new media – particularly the Web – has caused new anxieties. Or to put a more McLuhanesque spin on it, the advent of new digital media has brought the conditions of the old technologies into sharper relief, and made us suddenly conscious of our media env ironment. In the confusion of the digital revolution, McLuhan is relevant again.” Article Date: January 1996

The Social Life of Paper | Malcolm Gladwell
“Dewey’s principal business was something called the Library Bureau, which was essentially the Office Depot of his day, selling card catalogues, cabinets, office chairs and tables, pre-printed business forms, and, most important, filing cabinets. Previously, businessmen had stored their documents in cumbersome cases, or folded and labelled the pieces of paper and stuck them in the pigeonholes of the secretary desks so common in the Victorian era. What Dewey proposed was essentially an enlarged version of a card catalogue, where paper documents hung vertically in long drawers. The vertical file was a stunning accomplishment. In those efficiency-obsessed days, it prompted books and articles and debates and ended up winning a gold medal at the 1893 World’s Fair, because it so neatly addressed the threat of disorder posed by the proliferation of paper. What good was that railroad schedule, after all, if it was lost on someone’s desk? Now a railroad could buy one of Dewey’s vertical filing cabinets, and put the schedule under ‘S,’ where everyone could find it.”

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 20 September 2004 @ 1:33 PM

04w17:1 Architorture

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 17 number 1 (architorture)

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” | John Massengale
“At the same time, the university announced a gift of an increasingly ubiquitous Gehry-designed building on the edge of the campus. Much of the money for Whitman College was donated by Meg Whitman, the young Chairman of eBay (a BoBo). While the Gehry building was donated by the octogenarian Princeton alumnus Peter Lewis, Gehry’s biggest patron. For ideological reasons, Whitman is more likely to appreciate Gehry’s design than Lewis is to like the new Gothic building. Gehry himself ungraciously and publicly criticized Whitman College, as did Robert Venturi, who has designed several important buildings at Princeton. I say ‘ungraciously’ not only because they are biting the hand that feeds them: why does Gehry feel that it is his role to lecture the students and tell them they must like what he likes? He went so far as saying that an institution of higher learning should not build a traditional building today. (How tolerant and pluralistic is that?)”

Eyesore of the Month (Nov 2003) | James Howard Kunstler
“Behold the new $30 million Ontario College of Art & Design classroom and studio building by British architect Will Alsop — a totemized retro-futuroid coffee table joined umbilically to its Soviet-style predecessor below. The message, apparently: art and design are nothing but fun fun fun. Nothing to get serious about. A playful spirit of induced hazard will keep students wondering when the checkered box might wobble free of its cute swizzle-stick legs and come crashing down on their heads. This exercise in hyper-entropic avant garde faggotry is so cutting edge that it is already out of date. The only question: which of the two conjoined buildings is more cruelly ridiculous?”

The Terrazzo Jungle | Malcolm Gladwell
“Fifty years ago, Victor Gruen designed a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant shopping complex with a garden court under a skylight – and today virtually every regional shopping center in America is a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant complex with a garden court under a skylight. Victor Gruen didn’t design a building; he designed an archetype. For a decade, he gave speeches about it and wrote books and met with one developer after another and waved his hands in the air excitedly, and over the past half century that archetype has been reproduced so faithfully on so many thousands of occasions that today virtually every suburban American goes shopping or wanders around or hangs out in a Southdale facsimile at least once or twice a month. Victor Gruen may well have been the most influential architect of the twentieth century. He invented the mall. ”

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 19 April 2004 @ 10:47 PM