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  • /online-only/online-only/
  • edited July 2015
    I've been thinking a lot about how all this convenience all the time is sorta gluttonous. The same way I think I prefer storms to mountains sometimes. It's great that I am surrounded by all this beautiful stuff all the time, but also it's permanence and constant existence in my background makes me sorta take it for granted or something. A storm is an intermittent surprise. It's this big event in the sky and then it is gone leaving me wanting more but not allowing me to have it again for a while.

    Being able to at anytime read about someone else feeling the same way I do online eliminates a lot of the messiness of having to search for it through everyday interactions and having to dig deeply into people and be patient while also working things out for myself. It also dulls a lot of the beautiful differences and things I am challenged to learn and empathize with. It makes people more defensive of their rules of interaction and language because of their curated worlds. The increase of phrases like "this is not an original thought or anything" is sorta depressing because most of the time WHO CARES? It's not like most of the people who are using that disclaimer are writing published works of philosophy that they are profiting from. People are just talking. Just saying.

    One of the side effects that is really grossing me out lately is "Design as a lifestyle". Everything perfect and surface level in your life. All systems perfectly thought through. A person's house is designed. Their car is designed. Their wife is designed. Their dog and cat and children are branded. Their schedule and philosophies are immaculate. I find it hard to believe that caring that much is not also slowly building up resentments for anyone outside of that curated world who doesn't completely understand and find their lives beautiful. My mom will never think consciously about designing her life and she is pretty rad. I would hate to live in a world where she does have to think about that.
  • What internet?
  • edited July 2015
    I mean, your storm and mountain analogy is also fair. It is just illustrating something completely different. I was speaking in a purely awe inspiring backdrop capacity and how permanence makes people take things for granted which you lend credence to in your 3rd paragraph.

    I guess what I mean by "surface" is "rational". Design has a hard time dealing with the irrational which is an important component of human beings. It tries to compensate with ethos manipulation but that generally comes off as partially patronizing and short of real empathy and vulnerability which generally comes down to a lot of patience which is another thing a lot of modern design is not good at. I would also argue that a LOT of what has been defined as design or designers is purely surface level and generally the dedicated researchers and systems analysis people in the field are the minority, but I guess that depends on who you talk to. I think in practice "Decoration as lifestyle" is pretty analogous to "Design as lifestyle". You can say pure decoration isn't under the design tent, and I might agree that that should be the case, but I would very much disagree that it is actually true.
  • The only thing worse than the banal intrusions of technology is when people write about it at length the way that person did
  • "The only thing worse than the banal intrusions of technology is when people write about it at length the way that person did"

  • edited July 2015
    the essay seems really passive and accepting of the status quo. I also think the whole "boo hoo I can't stop looking at twitter" thing is not very interesting, and is really a red herring in what should be a broader discussion of the atomization of society, the automation of labor, the totalizing horror of the surveillance state, the condition of "work" in late capitalism (everybody has so much free fucking time to look at facebook for six straight hours because basically nobody does anything meaningful for a living anymore but is still shackled to a 40 hour work week), etc. etc. Any of these topics could provide the basis for a solid cultural critique. But this author instead wrote yet another highly personal, anecdotal sob story about not having the will power to finish Moby Dick or whatever.

    Shteyngart's book was wonderful. It diagnosed and explored cultural trends in a super incisive and compelling way. Essays like this author's just seem lazy to me. I wish the author would turn their obviously considerable acumen and facility with writing to exploring some actually critically-engaged angles on social media, the internet, etc., rather than just sort of apathetically stating the obvious and implicitly reaffirming the status quo.

    Plus, think pieces like this are becoming really tired, and they also give way too much power to the stupid shit (caring about Kim Kardashian's butt or whatever) that are causing the existential despair to begin with. They aren't calls to action, they don't call out evil, they don't say anything new. It's a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing (SHAKESPEARE)

    p.s. do read Shteyngart if you haven't. IT IS A SAD DELIGHT
  • edited July 2015

    My theory is that @Thor is having a negative reaction to a perceived value among his peers because it highlights his outsider status.

    You are probably right about that to a degree, but I don't know why I would want to highlight it. It definitely doesn't make me any happier to be an outsider. Socially, it would be much easier (and I would much rather) agree with everybody on everything. If I am highlighting it in any way it is simply to ask to please let it be ok for me to be honestly different in some ways and still feel valued. There is anxiety only because of a history of that not being the case, but also learning to stay calm in the face of that anxiety has been really valuable to me.

    You seem to imply a lot that if something is widely accepted then it is probably for the best. I really don't get that. It seems like the definition of the ad populum logical fallacy, but maybe there is something I am missing.

    "It’s easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when ‘what is’ has worked out in your favor." - Tyrion Lannister

    but in your favor

    “It's easy to maintain your integrity when no one is offering to buy that.” -Marc Maron

    and I will definitely grant you that there are a lot more people buying in to you and it is much easier for me to sit here on my brand of high horse because I am not in your position.

    p.s. I think it is the responsibility of the expert to treat the layman as equal on a basic human level and for the layman to recognize that the expert is an expert. Neil Degrasse Tyson is pretty good at being an expert. Also, your "I believe we live in the world we deserve." comment is really weird. Do you mean "we" as in the human race? I hope so, cause on a individual basis that seems like a really messed up thing to think.
  • thinking through this more. deleted my posts. apologies for the gaps.
  • edited July 2015
    Well, for the record, I wanted to say something nice in response to your last post but I didn't really know what to say.
  • edited July 2015
    Has anyone else read Astra Taylor's book? I cannot shut up about this book. I suspect that "talking too much about Astra Taylor's book" is a "top reason" I get muted or unfollowed.
  • My new podcast is about pitching sponsors for my reality show about finding and deleting my shit off the web.
  • @kdawg No, but I read the new book by myself (Miranda July) and I thought it was really good. Did anyone else read it?
  • I read it in a single, feverish sick day. I'm really happy that I didn't know much about the plot before diving in -- a truly enjoyable read.
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