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The internet is too big
"Scale produces a vicious cycle wherein size facilitates both the problems and the "solutions."

Similarly, Twitter's userbase of hundreds of millions is what allows for the targeted, radically asymmetrical nature of harassment, where one user can be barraged by thousands of replies. The very interconnection that enables the best of the internet also helps foster its worst.

What are we to do if we want to reclaim the best of the internet while combatting its worst? While the tech giants have work to do, it seems that one way to think about this is to distinguish between the usefulness of infrastructure at scale versus the usefulness of certain networks. On one hand, it's beneficial for everyone to be potentially connected by a neutral set of wires and hardware. On the other hand, enormous, multi-billion user networks like Facebook aren't the only way we can connect.

Now that the internet is normal and accessible for billions, perhaps we need to think about the tech giants as necessary evils that kickstarted the early internet but have outlived their usefulness. In their place, imagine a set of standards — say, a calendar that anyone can access and that is interoperable with others' but doesn't require you to be on Facebook. It's an ideal of digital technology that rests on the concept that the internet is a way of connecting people but companies shouldn't entirely own the networks on which we connect.

Earlier this year, writer Max Read suggested that the best of the internet was now to be found in the group text chat. He argued that they feel so intimate and because their dynamic "occurs at human scale, with distinct reactions from a handful of friends … rather than at the alien scale of behemoth platforms." It's about finding the best of the internet without the worst — connection enabled by how large and ubiquitous the internet is, but without the internet's scale infecting how we use it on a daily basis.

It's not clear how such a change would come about. The tech giants not only wield enormous political and economic power, they have also deeply and perhaps even irrevocably integrated themselves into our lives. But as ideals go, a return to a smaller internet is one worth fighting for."
scale  navneetalang  2019  internet  web  socialmedia  facebook  twitter  youtube  interoperability  chat  maxread  size  networks  networkeffect  calendars  communication  dicsovery  intimacy  groupchat  messaging  email  online  timcarmody  robinsloan  nostalgia  humanscale  humanism  humanity 
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
Honda CB350 - Wikipedia
[See also:
"1969 Honda CL350: Dual-Purpose Riding, Sixties Style
Honda might not have been the first motorcycle maker to market a high-pipe, 2-cylinder scrambler with the Honda CL350, but it was probably the most successful.”
https://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-japanese-motorcycles/honda-cl350-zmwz13sozbea ]
motorcycles  cl350  cb350  nostalgia 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Old memories, accidentally trapped in amber by our digital devices
"Part of what humans use technology for is to better remember the past. We scroll back through photos on our phones and on Instagram & Flickr — “that was Fourth of July 5 years ago, so fun!” — and apps like Swarm, Timehop, and Facebook surface old locations, photos, and tweets for us on the regular. But sometimes, we run into the good old days in unexpected places on our digital devices.

Designer and typographer Marcin Wichary started a thread on Twitter yesterday about “UIs that accidentally amass memories” with the initial example of the “Preferred Networks” listing of all the wifi networks his computer had ever joined, “unexpected reminders of business trips, vacations, accidental detours, once frequented and now closed cafés”.

[image: screeshot of macOS wi-fi panel]

Several other people chimed in with their own examples…the Bluetooth pairings list, the Reminders app, the list of alarms, saved places in mapping apps, AIM/iChat status message log, chat apps not used for years, the Gmail drafts folder, etc.

John Bull noted that his list of former addresses on Amazon is “a massive walk down memory line of my old jobs and places of residence”. I just looked at mine and I’ve got addresses in there from almost 20 years ago.

Steven Richie suggested the Weather app on iOS:
I usually like to add the city I will be travelling to ahead of time to get a sense of what it will be like when we get there.

I do this too but am pretty good about culling my cities list. Still, there are a couple places I keep around even though I haven’t been to them in awhile…a self-nudge for future travel desires perhaps.

Kotori switched back to an old OS via a years-old backup and found “a post-breakup message that came on the day i switched phones”:
thought i moved on but so many whatifs flashed in my head when i read it. what if i never got a new phone. what if they messaged me a few minutes earlier. what if we used a chat that did backups differently

Similarly, Richard fired up Google Maps on an old phone and was briefly transported through time and space:
On a similar note to both of these, a while ago I switched back to my old Nokia N95 after my iPhone died. Fired up Google Maps, and for a brief moment, it marked my location as at a remote crossroads in NZ where I’d last had it open, lost on a road trip at least a decade before.

Matt Sephton runs into old friends when he plays Nintendo:
Every time my friends and I play Nintendo WiiU/Wii/3DS games we see a lot of our old Mii avatars. Some are 10 years old and of a time. Amongst them is a friend who passed away a few years back. It’s always so good to see him. It’s as if he’s still playing the games with us.

For better or worse, machines never forget those who aren’t with us anymore. Dan Noyes’ Gmail holds a reminder of his late wife:
Whenever I open Gmail I see the last message that my late wife sent me via Google chat in 2014. It’s her standard “pssst” greeting for me: “aye aye”. I leave it unread lest it disappears.

It’s a wonderful thread…read the whole thing. [https://twitter.com/mwichary/status/996056615928266752 ]

I encounter these nostalgia bombs every once in awhile too. I closed dozens of tabs the other day on Chrome for iOS; I don’t use it very often, so some of them dated back to more than a year ago. I have bookmarks on browsers I no longer use on my iMac that are more than 10 years old. A MacOS folder I dump temporary images & files into has stuff going back years. Everyone I know stopped using apps like Path and Peach, so when I open them, I see messages from years ago right at the top like they were just posted, trapped in amber.

My personal go-to cache of unexpected memories is Messages on iOS. Scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the list, I can find messages from numbers I haven’t communicated with since a month or two after I got my first iPhone in 2007.

[image: screenshot of Messages in iOS]

There and elsewhere in the listing are friends I’m no longer in touch with, business lunches that went nowhere, old flames, messages from people I don’t even remember, arriving Lyfts in unknown cities, old landlords, completely contextless messages from old numbers (“I am so drunk!!!!” from a friend’s wife I didn’t know that well?!), old babysitters, a bunch of messages from friends texting to be let into our building for a holiday party, playdate arrangements w/ the parents of my kids’ long-forgotten friends (which Ella was that?!), and old group texts with current friends left to languish for years. From one of these group texts, I was just reminded that my 3-year-old daughter liked to make cocktails:

[screenshot]

Just like Sally Draper! Speaking of Mad Men, Don’s correct: nostalgia is a potent thing, so I’ve got to stop poking around my phone and get back to work.

Update: I had forgotten this great example about a ghost driver in an old Xbox racing game.
Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together — until he died, when i was just 6.

i couldnt touch that console for 10 years.

but once i did, i noticed something.

we used to play a racing game, Rally Sports Challenge. actually pretty awesome for the time it came.

and once i started meddling around… i found a GHOST.

See also this story about Animal Crossing. (via @ironicsans/status/996445080943808512)"
digital  memory  memories  2018  jasonkottke  kottke  traces  animalcrossing  videogames  games  gaming  flickr  wifi  marcinwichary  death  relationships  obsolescence  gmail  googlhangouts  googlechat  iphone  ios  nostalgia  xbox  nintendo  messages  communication  googlemaps  place  time  chrome  mac  osx 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Airbrushing Shittown | Hazlitt
"S-Town isn’t fiction—we can probably assume that the facts, as we are given them, are “accurate.” But mere accuracy doesn’t make it journalism: the private details of private lives have no clear public interest, and Brian Reed never seriously argues that they do. It’s creative non-fiction, then, a category whose very name is composed out of negations: not fiction, but not non-fiction, either; true, but created. And so the fact that he never finds anything—that nothing happened—is what he finds at the end of his investigation, the discovery that the very opposite of something happened. He finds that something didn’t happen, in a half-dozen different ways, and that it didn’t happen for everyone in a variety of fascinating ways: the murder, the gold, and the conspiracy of silence… He finds none of it, only the story of how he set out to look. And then out of this series of negations, he wraps it all up, neatly, so that we can all go home, entertained.

By the end of the podcast, you come to realize that the monologue that opened it—a monologue about clocks and how they are reconstructed—is really about Brian Reed’s own process, about reconstructing a life. “Sometimes entire portions of the original clockwork are missing,” he says, “but you can’t know for sure because there are rarely diagrams of what the clock is supposed to look like. A clock that old doesn’t come with a manual.” John B. McLemore is the clock, and the testimony Reed has gathered, over long years of work, are the “witness marks” a clock-restorer uses to guide their way, “impressions and outlines and discolorations, left inside the clock, of pieces that might’ve once been there.”

“Fixing an old clock can be maddening,” Reed says. “You’re constantly wondering if you’ve just spent hours going down a path that will likely take you nowhere, and all you’ve got are these vague witness marks which might not even mean what you think they mean. So, at every moment along the way you have to decide if you’re wasting your time or not.”

Reed did not waste his time; S-Town was a smash from the start, a career-making triumph. But in their original function, clocks are not made for entertainment. Clocks are tools that make social life possible. A clock makes time, and organizes it, and time is, ultimately, a social medium: we use it to coordinate with others and to communicate; a sense of shared time helps us meet each other and find each other and arrange the stories that we tell about each other—it allows us to take our turns speaking and listening, and it allows us to put things into their proper perspective. Without clocks—or without some sense of shared time, however constructed—society, as we know it, would not be possible.

John lived in his own time zone, literally: as Reed mentions, John B. McLemore’s house did not observe daylight saving time, so depending on the season, the time at his house might be an hour different than the surrounding area. It’s a good reflection of his relation to his world, his insistent eccentricity reflected in his own, personal, zone of time. It’s a good joke, a playful irony, even a self-consciously Faulknerian expression of being southern, a quiet little rebellion against unification under the guise of turning back the clock. It’s also totally ridiculous, which John surely understood: since all time is social, the idea of having your own time zone is absurd, only meaningful in the irony of its meaninglessness.

Moreover, for all his scrupulous attention to reconstructing the original function of a clock, the irony of clock restoration is that John didn’t repair clocks for their original function. His clocks were repaired to be old, to be antiques: the point of “restoring” them was not simply to make them work—that’s easy enough to do—but to make them work exactly as they once did. That’s why John hand-ground a gathering pallet from scratch. “They aren’t trying to simply make the clock work again,” Reed says of the fraternity of horologists. “Their goal is to preserve and reconstruct the original craftsmanship as much as possible.” Recovering and replicating the inspiration of the original clockmaker makes them valuable enough to sell, but it’s the sale that matters.

After all, clock restoration serves no useful function in a world where we all have clocks on our phones (the same phones we might use to listen to a podcast). In a world where networked clocks are everywhere, an antique clock is so big, heavy, and fragile that it isn’t useful in that sense. Instead, an antique clock’s eccentricity becomes valuable because of how odd it is, how particular, and how much work goes into restoring it. When people pay for a restored antique, they are paying for an incredibly laborious lack of useful value: so much work went into making them work again, but because that work is totally superfluous and unnecessary, it is thus, perversely, worth paying for.

If an old clock is valuable because of the perfectly recovered eccentricity of its original intention, the same could be said about John B. McLemore’s own perverse life, and for that matter, this podcast. So much work went into making it, but what, after everything, is this podcast actually for?

When John B. McLemore heard the earliest draft of Reed’s program, the story of the murder of that didn’t happen, his reaction was disappointment: “I can’t believe how much you’ve worked on this son of a bitch and at the same time,” he sighed, “my god.” Reed wanted him to be relieved, to be happy about the work, and is audibly upset that he isn’t. Perhaps John B. was in a bad mood, even a depressive episode; perhaps that was why he wasn’t sufficiently appreciative. Perhaps his original fit of enthusiasm for activist journalism had long passed—it had, after all, been years since he originally contacted Reed—and he had a different perspective on the story Brian Reed was telling. When Reed observes that “I am not saving the world over here,” John’s retort that “You are definitely not saving the world!” is delivered with a peculiar, bitter intensity, the laugh of someone who once thought it was possible, perhaps, but no longer does. What’s the point of all that work if it can’t save the world?

John B. isn’t cruel, though: “I think you’ve done pretty goddamned good,” he says, finally. And he’s absolutely right—one can only admire how well Brian Reed reconstructed his clock. But what is the point of it? What does it do?

I am writing this and you are reading it because we are sharing a moment: we have all listened to this podcast, the timepiece that Brian Reed built to bring us together. But what do we do with this unity? Across the seven hours of Reed’s production, we are told a story in which we all can understand each other, talk to each other, and hear each other: we can unite in admiration for John B., for the genius that was born to Mary Grace, for his voice, and for the power of storytelling. We can hear his voice and be united in our appreciation for his existence. Is this what we need now? Does it tell us our time? Does it bring us together? Does it help us understand what it means to have Donald Trump as president, and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as the most powerful cop in the land? Or is it simply a nostalgic exercise in anachronism, like a perfectly restored antique? Is it something we value because it does something, or because it feels old and authentic?

I don’t know. In the end, all it offers is questions."
aaronbady  s-town  storytelling  horology  clocks  purpose  journalism  podcasts  nostalgia  brianreed  johnbmclemore  restoration  accuracy  entertainment  process  criticism 
may 2017 by robertogreco
GifCities
"GifCities is a special project of the Internet Archive to celebrate 20 years of preserving the web. Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. Please donate to help us in our efforts to provide “Universal Access to All Knowledge.”"
gif  geocities  nostalgia  culture  archives  internetarchive  gifs 
october 2016 by robertogreco
Yes, Stranger Things is nostalgic. But it's also just a really good show.
"Maybe Stranger Things could be named for its crazy DNA. A mix of ET and The X Files, of Stand by Me and Under the Skin, and The Twilight Zone and Twin Peaks, the show isn't exactly hard to describe; the trouble is that the descriptions sound insane. Imagine The Thing as written by John Hughes, or The Goonies directed by Ridley Scott with a strong assist from Reality Bites.

Stranger Things is weird, it's hyper-referential, and — for a touching coming-of-age story that's also a conspiracy thriller, a paranormal horror movie, and a nostalgic love letter to '80s cinema — it's really, really good.



The point is that Stranger Things is at least as good at the small-stakes stuff as it is at the grand gestures. Better, maybe: It's impossible not to be moved by the kids' conflicts and reconciliations, and these proceed according to a logic that the supernatural stuff, for all its drippy sickly snowy weight, just doesn't have. That these great young actors are entrusted with the burden of carrying something this serious is itself a nod to '80s nostalgia — a time when kids' movies were darker, scarier, and more adventurous.

It's worth saying, too — without going into specifics for fear of spoiling — that even though this is the kind of nostalgic ensemble show that lovingly reproduces the expectations of the genres it deploys, it isn't exactly subservient to them. "The sun rises in the east, and it sets in the west, right?" Dustin says, wearing the silliest tie in the world. And it does, but that doesn't mean the compass that points you there is always right."
lililoofbourow  millicentsomer  2016  strangerthings  1980s  1990s  nostalgia  tv  television  film  johnhughes  goonies 
july 2016 by robertogreco
I want my country back
"The Welsh have a word for this feeling. The word is "hiraeth". It means a longing for a home you can never return to, a home which may never have existed at all. The Welsh, incidentally, voted to leave the EU after decades of being ungently screwed by government after conniving Tory government; cackling and tearing the heart out of towns which were once famous for something other than teen suicide. Finally, someone gave them the opportunity to vote for change, for any change at all. When all you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like David Cameron’s face."

[via: https://tinyletter.com/audreywatters/letters/hewn-no-167 ]
uk  brexit  politics  lauriepenny  via:audreywatters  welsh  words  vocabulary  saudade  nostalgia  longing  government  2016 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Inclusive on Vimeo
"Learn how human-led design makes a deep and connecting impact, leading to innovative and inclusive solutions.

Learn more at inclusivethefilm.com

Participants:
Catharine Blaine K-8 School
Susan Goltsman - MIG, Inc
Will Lewis and Ted Hart - Skype Translator
TJ Parker - Pillpack
Graham Pullin - University of Dundee
The High School Affiliated to Renmin University Of China (RDFZ) Beijing
Jutta Treviranus - OCAD University
Mike Vanis - Interaction Designer"
inclusion  inclusivity  microsoft  via:ablerism  2015  design  catharineblaine  susangoltsman  willlewis  tedhart  tjparker  grahampullin  juttatreviranus  mikevanis  video  documentary  audiencesofone  sewing  aging  retirement  work  ambientintimacy  memory  nostalgia  presence  telepresence  inclusivedesign  technology  translation  healthcare  prescriptions  playgrounds  seattle  sanfrancisco  captioning  literacy  communication  hearing  deaf  deafness  skype 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Another look at museum nostalgia – Suzanne Fischer
"The new issue of Curator includes a fascinating article about nostalgia in museum contexts. The authors, David Anderson, Hiroyuki Shimizu, and Chris Campbell, interviewed 35 visitors to a museum of Showa-era Japan about what objects and exhibits prompted them to feel nostalgia. (“…nostalgia is a pan-cultural emotion shared by all humans regardless of nation or culture,” they assert, drawing on psychology research.) Visitor answers tracked with what we often see anecdotally in museums: objects relating to visitors’ youths promote memories of rosy good old days. This particular museum is designed specifically as a place to revisit household items, product packaging, etc, from this era of prosperity, so it is unsurprising that visitors had the reactions they did, telling stories about their childhoods and what they described as vanished cultural values.

The authors propose a typology of nostalgia that arose from the research results:

1. Objects tied to collective identity and values perceived to be lost.

2. Objects used or consumed as part of visitors’ life scripts.

3. Objects associated with individuals dear to the visitor.

4. Objects associated with childhood.

5. Objects that invoked vicarious nostalgia.

The fifth theme is a useful one, “vicarious nostalgia,” a longing for a time one has not experienced. It is also, in my opinion, the most corrosive. It settles like dust over the things of the past and hardens into an unscrubbable patina. Svetlana Boym, the late author of The Future of Nostalgia, might describe it as “reflective nostalgia,” a nostalgia that focuses on the longing for another place, rather than what she calls “restorative nostalgia,” a nostalgia that hopes to recreate the past, and in which category all the rest of the themes reside.

It is useful, certainly, to have visitor studies backing up our hunches that, as the authors of the Curator paper put it, “Like old friends, museum exhibits hold the capacity to usher in a suite of nostalgic and heartfelt memories of loved ones and time of lives long gone.” But to what end? Ushering in a suite of nostalgic memories cannot be our goal in making history exhibits–and if it is, it is a cowardly goal. I believe that as public historians we have a responsibility to show the past with blinders off, to engage visitors with the parts of the past they didn’t see, or may not want to remember. Simply reminding visitors that they lived through the past, simply evoking nostalgia, is an abdication. Evoking nostalgia is easy. Engaging visitors in the real past is hard, and it’s our job."
suzannefischer  2016  museums  objects  nostalgia  davidanderson  hiroyukishimizu  chriscampbell  japan  childhood  identity  vicariousnostalgia  svetlanaboym  patina  reflectivenostalgia  restorativenostalgia  past  history 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Williams Gibson: On Technophobia and the Power of Film | Literary Hub
"In part one [http://lithub.com/william-gibson-on-phones-fiction-and-the-end-of-the-world/ + https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-one/s-0Jwns ] of Paul Holdengraber’s phone call with William Gibson, topics included dystopias, the universal screenwriter, and the disruption of the telephone. In part two,

[https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-two/s-my54E ]

William Gibson on the availability of culture…

If you had never heard recorded music and you didn’t have it as a category of experience—if it simply never existed for you—I think that your concept of what music is would be fantastically different. Something that’s happened, a change that’s occurred over the course of my own life that I think somewhat puts this vague claim I’m making into perspective, is the way in which seeing a film used to be something that was so dependent on so many factors that it made it largely unrepeatable. You could see the film on its theatrical release, but unless you lived in, say, New York, there were no repertory cinemas. So people saw a film once and then lived with it in memory, there was no television, there were no videotapes of films. Film existed primarily in memory, and the experience of actually seeing it was very intense.

William Gibson on Chris Marker…

I first saw Chris Marker’s La Jetée in a film history course when I was an undergraduate at the University of British Columbia. I had been vaguely aware of it earlier because it is, you know, technically a science fiction film even though it’s a short avant-garde French film. I had had in my life no opportunity to see any avant-garde French film, so I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t really expecting very much. It had this extraordinarily profound effect on me, and it’s very, very brief. I actually left the lecture hall feeling uneasily that I had somehow—that something had happened, that I’d experienced some sort of transformation, and I didn’t know what it was.

William Gibson on technophobia…

I’m dubious about ranking… I’m not sure about ranking. I’ve long suspected that what our descendants will find quaintest about us it that we made distinctions of that sort. That they’ll be looking back and they’ll be going, So strange they didn’t think Facebook was “real.” There’s a wonderful, weird book, the title of which I will probably be unable to remember, but it’s a collection of first-person accounts of Victorians encountering new technologies. It’s taken from diaries and letters—it’s not famous people, just ordinary people. The one that always struck me was an Anglican clergyman who went to a garden party, heard an Edison phonograph talking, and went home and wrote this completely terrifying description of this demonic, satanic, mechanical voice speaking to the children in the garden, and how this probably presaged the end of the world. He was just writing for himself, so he wasn’t exaggerating, and I thought, Oh, wow. He had this absolutely intense experience, but I don’t think I could say that what it caused him to fear came to pass."
williamgibson  technophobia  film  chrismarker  lajetee  culture  2016  television  tv  paulholdengraber  interviews  experience  memory  recordings  music  audio  listening  nostalgia  lajetée 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Our Misplaced Nostalgia for Cassette Tapes - The New York Times
"EARLIER this month the Canadian singer Nelly Furtado, who has sold more than 20 million singles worldwide, released an album that almost no one could find, and even fewer could listen to. That’s because the recording, “Hadron Collider,” which she made with the musician Blood Orange, was presented in a format once thought long relegated to the trash heap of tech history: the cassette tape.

Many people over 30 remember cassettes, with nostalgia, if not some disdain. And yet, for a slice of music fandom, Ms. Furtado’s choice of medium makes perfect sense. Cassettes, somehow, are making a comeback.

Go to any indie show and inevitably, among the T-shirts and knickknacks, there will be tapes. Some record labels are now cassette-only. The National Audio Co., America’s largest manufacturer of audiocassettes, reported that 2014 was its best year yet.

But before the revisionists completely rewrite my adolescence, let’s be clear about something: As a format for recorded sound, the cassette tape is a terrible piece of technology. It’s a roll of tape in a box. It’s essentially an office supply.

The cassette is the embodiment of planned obsolescence. Each time you play one it degrades. Bad sound gets worse. Casings crack in winter, melt in summer. Inescapably, a cassette tape unspools: It’s only destiny. Fine, death comes to us all. But just because we can anthropomorphize a gadget doesn’t give it a soul.

It’s true that the cassette tape is portable, affordable, disposable. But so are floppy disks and folding street maps. And condoms made from lamb intestines. All were sufficient technologies at the time — I’m not sure about the condoms — but they’ve been improved upon for the public good.

I get the nostalgic appeal. In the late ’80s, early ’90s, several hundred hours of my life were lost to the rewind button. I made mix tapes for friends, for girlfriends. I scribbled liner notes, repaired ribbon twists with a pencil in the gears. One girlfriend used to daub a spot of perfume on the tapes she made me. I loved it.

The same girlfriend bestowed on me a liking for Seal, an artist whose career faded around the same time as the cassette’s decline. Now cassettes have returned to popularity; not Seal. I’d gladly see them swap fates.

The cassette also introduced us to a new, pernicious norm. When the Sony Walkman debuted in 1979, it made music a private experience. No longer did the family gather around the record player. Instead, we all could privately enjoy our own media, clutching our own little rectangles, tuned out from the world. Sound like a harbinger of a familiar, contemporary doom?

And the cassette’s portability didn’t translate into ease of use. I delivered pizza in high school, which meant I spent hours coasting on sausage fumes, my car’s floorboards littered with tapes. Pearl Jam, Cypress Hill, early bootlegs of Phish shows. But if inspiration struck and I wanted to hear a certain song, by the time I’d found the right tape, the proper side, rewound or fast-forwarded sufficiently — hopefully landing on the beginning of the song and not smack-dab in the chorus — I’d already parked in the driveway.

Then there was romance. A girl, a basement, a sudden lurching scramble at the worst possible moment to stop Def Leppard from pouring sugar all over a tender situation.

Old technology can stage a comeback when it’s no longer needed. When sentiment, not function, authorizes its appeal. Maybe the cassette tape’s Achilles’ heel — its horrible audio — explains the resurgence. As a method for expressing an artist’s sound, a tape is lousy. But as a way to express yourself, your handmade cover art, your careful track selection, it’s not bad.

And it helps that the technology that followed the cassette, the CD, wasn’t much better. Too unwieldy. Too expensive. They scratched easily, they skipped erratically. And CD burners weren’t affordable for the likes of us. The cassette tape’s most appealing feature — making mixes — was gone.

We wanted portability, we wanted good-sounding music, we wanted to score the soundtracks to our lives. Part of the iPod’s appeal was that it seemed so inevitable.

My wife still keeps a box of favorite cassettes and mixtapes. She fundamentally disagrees with my point of view. Cassette tapes are awesome, she said recently, personable in a way that digital players are cold.

When I suggested that, rather than the cassette tape, maybe we should bring back the MiniDisc player, she gave me a blank look.

“Wasn’t that just an early CD player?” she said.

“Sort of,” I said. “But it was ahead of its time. The sound quality was great. It was also really good for recording.” By then she’d tuned me out.

Admittedly, the MiniDisc was silly. Cumbersome, too expensive, never widely loved. But I loved it. Maybe it just needs some new affection to get going again. Maybe an artist, a real crooner, could write a hit song about its appeal. Seal, if you’re reading this, please get in touch."
rosecransbaldwin  2015  cassettetapes  cassettes  degradation  plannedobsolescence  mediastorage  nostalgia 
january 2016 by robertogreco
My Dark California Dream - The New York Times
"Confusing one’s own youth with the youth of the world is a common human affliction, but California has been changing so fast for so long that every new generation gets to experience both a fresh version of the California dream and, typically by late middle-age, its painful death."



"Kevin Starr, a professor of history at the University of Southern California and author of a seven-volume history of the California dream, told me recently that he considered the mid-1960s — 1963 specifically — the end of modernist California, that period for which it makes sense to speak of “an agreed-upon, commanding” version of the dream. In Mr. Starr’s view, around the time I was born, in 1967, California entered a postmodern phase with multiple dreams in parallel: back-to-the-landers on communes; migrant farmworkers organizing in the San Joaquin Valley; gay and lesbian life proudly out in the open; and, of course, the outdoorsy-liberal existence that my parents found in Berkeley.

Real estate was still affordable and the public schools were among the best in the nation, so it made sense for my parents to shape life around meaningful work and just enough money to enjoy all that glorious public land. Mom sold her artwork and helped start a women’s small press; Dad worked for the local branch of Legal Services and, in 1972, on a combined income of $13,000, they bought a four-bedroom Berkeley Victorian for $27,000. They joined the Sierra Club and took us backpacking and, later, rock-climbing. When my parents felt especially flush, they took us skiing near Lake Tahoe. They even considered buying a weekend home at Stinson Beach in Marin — although $10,000, the asking price, was ultimately too much.

By the time I graduated from Berkeley High School, in 1985, those Stinson Beach homes fetched more like $350,000, but even public school teachers and jazz musicians could still buy modest homes in Berkeley’s lesser neighborhoods. Families like mine were building a secular religion around cross-country skiing in winter, rafting or kayaking on the springtime melt, climbing Yosemite’s cliffs with great new safety gear, and enjoying cold-water surf courtesy of new wet suit technology. Food, too: organic produce, local oysters, California king salmon, Napa wine.

It was soft hedonism, admittedly, but a decent life that remained more or less available right through my early adulthood — as in 15 years ago. That’s when my wife and I — “arguably the last two writers ever to buy a home in San Francisco,” says Mr. Starr — bought a fixer-upper in an unfashionable neighborhood with a street gang on the corner. Even as our daughters went off to preschool, it seemed plausible that we might pass on our lifestyle to them."



"Wallace Stegner, the great 20th-century novelist and environmentalist, in a mood similar to the one I’m feeling — he hated hippies, worried they might foretell the impending collapse of Western civilization — wrote that “Like the rest of America, California is unformed, innovative, ahistorical, hedonistic, acquisitive, and energetic — only more so.” Put all those qualities together and you get a place that always belongs to somebody else, before you even know it’s for sale.

Back in my 20s, I thought I’d grown up in California too late — after all the mountains had been climbed and all the good surf breaks discovered. Right on schedule, in middle age — as the state’s population reaches 40 million — I am now tempted to think that I lived through the end of a golden era. But maybe the better way to say it is that just like every other Californian for as long as anybody can remember, I have merely witnessed a fleeting chapter in a centuries-long human story in which the lost Eden we all heard about from our parents is eternally changing into the pretty damn nice place we found — and then, much too soon for comfort, into the next bewildering mixture of good and bad that we scarcely recognize."
california  change  nostalgia  2015  danielduane  via:mattthomas  kevinstarr  history  wallacestegner 
october 2015 by robertogreco
The Last Photo | PhotoShelter Blog
"Ever since junior high school, I was the kid with the camera. And many years later, I’m still the guy who shows up to every life event with camera in hand to document the lives of my friends.

I used to carry around a hulking DSLR, but the weight bothers me, and the large size feels too intrusive for the everyday. I don’t want to interrupt life by taking photos, I simply want them to remember the fractions of a second that end up representing curated slices of life.

Within my archive of hundreds of thousands of photos, there are many that represent the last photo I will ever take of someone or some place. Some of these photos are inconsequential. They might capture a blurry stranger in the background, or perhaps a one-time friend forged through a glass of wine in a distant land.

Then there are the ones that matter.

***

There is a strange inflection point in life when more people you know are dying or getting sick than getting married and having kids. Suddenly, the act of taking a photo isn’t about eliciting FOMO and instant nostalgia on social media, but rather a tiny memorial of all the experiences that make up a rich life.

This doesn’t mean the act of taking a photo should be morbid. Perhaps it means that in a world where the avalanche of images has rendered so much photography worthless, there are still photos that are priceless. And for the photographer, not only is the image valuable, but so is the memory of taking the photo.

***

[photo]

The guy in the back with the pencil. That’s B and this is high school trigonometry taken with my Olympus OM-4. I remember the class vividly because Mrs. Field was a great teacher, and the class often felt celebratory. It was math, but we were having a good time.

B was a funny, cool kid. He was a senior when I was a junior, and at the time, the difference seemed interminably large. We were never friends, but there was always a sense of camaraderie in that classroom. After the year ended, B graduated, and he would otherwise be a footnote in my memory except for one thing.

That summer, he died.

People often say that teens feel invincible. I’m not sure this is accurate. I think that they simply don’t think about death because they haven’t encountered it. There is no point of reference. They have a whole life ahead of them. At least they’re supposed to.

B was the first kid I knew who died, and although I remember being floored by such a notion then, it didn’t affect me the way that it does now. Now I think about the tragedy of a life unfulfilled. What would he have become? Something exceptional? Something average? No doubt, something important to someone else, as he was on his last day.

This last photo is nothing. It’s a photobomb before photobombing was a thing. He’s not even supposed to be in the picture. Yet, there he is. The last photo is everything.

***

[photo]

Sara was one of my first hires in the early days of Web 1.0 at HotJobs. Despite an uncertain start, she blossomed, and became a big part of the department. Eventually she married, and she asked me to photograph her wedding. She moved to Seattle with her husband, and started work as a project manager.

People move, life carries on, friendships fade. But one day I got a call from our mutual friend Amanda, who urged me to go visit Sara.

I hadn’t seen her in years, and she somehow found herself with Stage 4 colon cancer at the age of 35. It was the type of dire situation that led us to plan an early Christmas, and the day before we were set to celebrate, we gathered in her bedroom to shoot the breeze.

Sara’s friend, Jennifer, grabbed my camera and shot the last photo. Not even cancer could restrain her booming laugh; her skeletal frame still capable of supporting her huge grin.

The last photo is a happy one. I remember it because John was there. Declan was there. Amanda was there. V was there. Sara smoked a joint to ease the pain before it became legal. It was good to be amongst old friends – even one last time.

***

[photo with caption “My grandfather on his 100th birthday”]

Grandparents are a shield against mortality.

With them, two generations of life stand before you — your parents and their parents — protecting you from the uncertainty of death. Once you lose your grandparents, life feels more precarious.

I am fortunate. All my grandparents lived into their 90s or 100s. My maternal grandmother was the last. For years after her husband died at 100, she lived quietly in a room adjacent to my parents’ in Honolulu. Although she had slowed physically, her mind was still sharp, and I would sometimes find her in the yard doing leg lifts.

In a world of overconsumption, hers was simple. No need for anything, save her television and La-Z-Boy. She tried pizza for the first time around the age of 90, and loved it. But other than that, her life had a predictable rhythm that was rarely interrupted.

Then one day, my father found her straining to breathe. The doctors think she suffered a heart attack. The paramedics took her to the ICU, but we finally brought her home for hospice. What was supposed to only be a week, stretched to several months — she was always resilient.

This isn’t the last photo I took of her. But it’s the one I am willing to share. A wave of wiry, salt and pepper hair of a woman who lived a simple, yet tremendous life. The last photo will not be one of pain and suffering. It will be dignified. What a fabulous head of hair!

[photo]

Fujiko Murabayashi passed away in 2015 at the age of 99.

***

Despite how it sounds, I don’t obsess over the last photo. If anything, these photos simply remind me to live a full life. They have meaning beyond the over hashtagged, hyper-curated lives displayed on social media because these images have little relevance to anyone besides me. Yet, they are most important to me — a personal treasure of pixels representing the lives that graced mine."
photography  memory  loss  allenmurabayashi  nostalgia  death  life  grandparents  friends  relationships  mortality  acquaintances  living  via:markllobrera 
july 2015 by robertogreco
THE WONDER YEARS, Involuntary Memory, and Mourning | judgmental observer
"This scene was just one of many that has resonated with me in new ways since I began rewatching The Wonder Years, some 24 years after it first aired. This experience has resulted in a doubled viewing position. On the one hand, I am watching as a 35-year-old and so the historical and cultural touchstones that I missed when I was 12 (the changing meaning of the suburbs in America in the 1960s; the anti-war movement; the students protests of 1968; The Feminine Mystique) are suddenly visible and significant. But at the same time, as I watch, I am still watching as a 12 year old."
thewonderyears  memory  nostalgia  childhood  parents  2015  via:jslr  amandaannklein  television  tv  proust  memories  mourning  age  aging  relationships 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Flickr: The Growing Up In Arcades: 1979-1989 Pool
"A look back at the arcades that consumed much of our time and quarters back in the 80's. Looking for scans of vintage games in the wild. So if you have old arcade or Chuck E Cheese birthday pics, dig em up! They belong here.

Please only add pictures if they are actual pictures from back in the day (79 - 89). All other pictures will be removed."
via:tealtan  1980s  arcades  videogames  1979  nostalgia  games  gaming  flickr 
june 2014 by robertogreco
The True Literature of California is Science Fiction
[Also posted here: http://www.boomcalifornia.com/2014/01/kim-stanley-robinson/ ]

"Kim Stanley Robinson is the author of many works of science fiction, including The Three Californias, a trilogy of novels about southern California; the Mars Trilogy; 2312, a novel about climate change; and his most recent novel, Shaman.

Robinson is one of California's best-known and well-loved, living science fiction writers. A prolific writer, author of two trilogies and several other novels, he is one of the few science fiction novelists who still dares envision utopia—not the static and socially constrained utopias of Thomas More or Edward Bellamy, but dynamic, complex, multicultural societies that always have to struggle for and reflect on their own futures.

Robinson earned a Ph.D. from UC San Diego, where he worked with the legendary postmodern literary scholar Fredric Jameson and wrote his dissertation on science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. He cares deeply about California and is actively involved with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UC San Diego.

Robinson is also a generous conversationalist. When not holed up at home in Davis, California, working on his next book, he can often be found out in the world these days talking about climate change and political change, and thinking out loud with scientists, activists, writers, and readers about the future.

We spent a leisurely afternoon conversing with him at his garden writing table in Davis. This interview was originally published on Boom: A Journal of California and was conducted by Boom's editors."



"So, Pacific Edge was my attempt, a first attempt, and I think it's still a nice vision of what Southern California could be. That coastal plain is so nice. From Santa Barbara to San Diego is the most gorgeous Mediterranean environment. And we've completely screwed it. To me now, it's kind of a nightmare. When I go down there it creeps me out. I hope to spend more of my life in San Diego, which is one of my favorite places. But I'll probably stick to west of the coast highway and stay on the beach as much as I can. I'll deal, but we can do so much better."



"Do you love where you were when you were growing up? Well, yes—especially if you had good parents, a happy childhood, a beach. But I've found you can actually outlive nostalgia itself. I didn't know you could do that, but I have."



"I like thinking California is one place. It's big. It's various. It's an entire country. It's an entire planet."



"California is a terraformed space."



"California could maybe handle sea level rise better than a lot of other places. Its coastline is not a drowned coastline like the East Coast, so although the Delta would be in big trouble, most of the California coastline is steep enough to take a lot of the projected sea level rise—although the beaches will be in trouble. Right here we're about fifty feet above sea level. So the maximum sea level rise projected for the next couple centuries would remain a ways over there to the south."



"I've run into young environmental philosophers who say, "Be realistic, Stan. We're headed for a five-degree rise in temperature; we have to adapt." But this I think is a pseudo-realism. Think about mass extinction: how do you adapt to that? It would drive us down; we might not go extinct too, but we would suffer so badly. No. We need mitigation. We need to fight the political fight. We need a carbon tax; we need everything except giving up. To say we've lost the battle already is just another science fiction story. It's saying that we will lose. But beyond 2013, nothing has happened yet. Path dependency is not the same as inevitability.

People are way too chicken when faced with the supposed massive entrenchment of capitalism. It's just a system of laws, and we change laws all the time."



"My story here is that from the very start science and capitalism were very tightly bound together, like conjoined twins, but were not at all the same, and indeed were even opposed systems of thinking and organization. They were born around the same time, yes; but if you regard them as identical, you're making a very bad mistake. Capitalism's effect on humanity is not at all what science's effect is on humanity. If you say science is nothing but instrumentality and capitalism's technical wing, then you're saying we're doomed. Those are the two most powerful social forces on the planet, and now it's come to a situation of science versus capitalism. It's a titanic battle. One is positive and the other negative.

We need to do everything we can to create democratic, environmental, utopian science, because meanwhile there is this economic power structure that benefits the few, not very different from feudalism, while wrecking the biosphere. This is just a folk tale, of course, like a play with sock puppets, like Punch and Judy. But I think it describes the situation fairly well."



"I think we're a working utopian project in progress, between the landscape and the fact that California has an international culture, with all our many languages. It's got the UC system and the Cal State system, the whole master plan, all the colleges together, and Silicon Valley, and Hollywood. It's some kind of miraculous conjunction. But conjunctions don't last for long. And history may pass us by eventually, but for now it's a miraculous conjunction of all of these forces.

So I love California. Often when I go abroad and I'm asked where I'm from, I say California rather than America. California is an integral space that I admire. And we're doing amazing things politically. I like the way the state is trending more left than the rest of America. And San Francisco is the great city of the world. I love San Francisco. I think of myself as living in its provinces—and provincials, of course, are often the ones who are proudest of the capital. And many of my San Francisco friends exhibit a civic pride that is intense, and I think justified.

So there's something going on here in California. I do think it's somewhat accidental; so to an extent, it's pride in an accident, or maybe you could say in a collective, in our particular history. So there's no one thing or one person or group that can say, ah, we did it! It just kind of happened to us, in that several generations kept bashing away, and here we are. But when you have that feeling and it goes on, and continues to win elections and create environmental regulations, the clean air, the clean water, saving the Sierra, saving the coast: it's all kind of beautiful. Maybe the state itself is doing it. Maybe this landscape itself is doing it."
kimstanleyrobinson  california  sandiego  scifi  sciencefiction  2014  interviews  literature  landscape  raybradbury  robertheinlein  ursulaleguin  philipkdick  frankherbert  jackvance  poulanderson  robinsonjeffers  ecotopia  ernestcallenbach  history  climatechange  capitalism  environment  globalwarming  politics  change  nostalgia  johnmuir  law  legal  policy  santabarbara  orangecounty  sanfrancisco  utopia  diversity  jonchristensen  jangoggans  ursulakheise 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Level 2 Gallery: Alejandro Cesarco. Present Memory | Tate
"Uruguayan artist Alejandro Cesarco pays special attention to the construction of narratives and the practices of reading and translating. ‘I am interested in cataloguing, classifying, appropriating and reinterpreting texts’, he has said. Through different conceptual strategies and a range of media, including prints, books, videos and installations, he explores the various meanings of words and images in relation to context, experience and subjectivity.

Present Memory, a newly commissioned video, features an intimate portrait of the artist’s father, a doctor recently diagnosed with cancer. Using a 16mm camera, Cesarco filmed him in his medical practice in Montevideo with a series of close-ups and medium shots. He later projected this footage onto the same room and recorded the film screening with a video camera. The resulting video is now being shown at three different sites across the museum. Conceived as a projection of a projection, its repetition creates a visual echo and activates a sense of déjà vu every time the viewer re-encounters it.

The work documents both a constructed and anticipated memory of the father, through which the artist also explores the writing of his personal narrative amidst the museum’s writing of its own history and memory."

[Interview: http://bombsite.com/issues/1000/articles/5057 ]

[Program: http://felipsiswoof.tumblr.com/post/29389136081 ]

[See also: http://www.cesarco.info/ ]
2010  alejandrocesarco  memory  reading  translating  uruguay  artists  nostalgia  narrative  narratives  translation  meaning  words  context  experience  subjectivity  pauldeman  classification  reinterpretation  belatedness  meaningmaking  assemblage  appropriation  art 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Svetlana Boym | Off-Modern Manifesto
"1. A Margin of Error

“It's not my fault. Communication error has occurred,” my computer pleads with me in a voice of lady Victoria. First it excuses itself, then urges me to pay attention, to check my connections, to follow the instructions carefully. I don't. I pull the paper out of the printer prematurely, shattering the image, leaving its out takes, stripes of transience, inkblots and traces of my hands on the professional glossy surface. Once the disoriented computer spat out a warning across the image “Do Not Copy,” an involuntary water mark that emerged from the depth of its disturbed memory. The communication error makes each print unrepeatable and unpredictable. I collect the computer errors. An error has an aura.

To err is human, says a Roman proverb. In the advanced technological lingo the space of humanity itself is relegated to the margin of error. Technology, we are told, is wholly trustworthy, were it not for the human factor. We seem to have gone full circle: to be human means to err. Yet, this margin of error is our margin of freedom. It's a choice beyond the multiple choices programmed for us, an interaction excluded from computerized interactivity. The error is a chance encounter between us and the machines in which we surprise each other. The art of computer erring is neither high tech nor low tech. Rather it’s broken-tech. It cheats both on technological progress and on technological obsolescence. And any amateur artist can afford it. Art's new technology is a broken technology.

Or shall we call it dysfunctional, erratic, nostalgic? Nostalgia is a longing for home that no longer exists or most likely, has never existed. That non-existent home is akin to an ideal communal apartment where art and technology co-habited like friendly neighbours or cousins. Techne, after all, once referred to arts, crafts and techniques. Both art and technology were imagined as the forms of human prosthesis, the missing limbs, imaginary or physical extensions of the human space."



2. Short Shadows, Endless Surfaces



Broken-tech art is an art of short shadows. It turns our attention to the surfaces, rims and thresholds. From my ten years of travels I have accumulated hundreds of photographs of windows, doors, facades, back yards, fences, arches and sunsets in different cities all stored in plastic bags under my desk. I re-photograph the old snapshots with my digital camera and the sun of the other time and the other place cast new shadows upon their once glossy surfaces with stains of the lemon tea and fingerprints of indifferent friends. I try not to use the preprogrammed special effects of Photoshop; not because I believe in authenticity of craftsmanship, but because I equally distrust the conspiratorial belief in the universal simulation. I wish to learn from my own mistakes, let myself err. I carry the pictures into new physical environments, inhabit them again, occasionally deviating from the rules of light exposure and focus.

At the same time I look for the ready-mades in the outside world, “natural” collages and ambiguous double exposures. My most misleading images are often “straight photographs.” Nobody takes them for what they are, for we are burdened with an afterimage of suspicion.

Until recently we preserved a naive faith in photographic witnessing. We trusted the pictures to capture what Roland Barthes called “the being there” of things. For better or for worse, we no longer do. Now images appear to us as always already altered, a few pixels missing here and there, erased by some conspiratorial invisible hand. Moreover, we no longer analyse these mystifying images but resign to their pampering hypnosis. Broken- tech art reveals the degrees of our self-pixelization, lays bare hypnotic effects of our cynical reason.




3. Errands, Transits.



4. A Critic, an Amateur

If in the 1980s artists dreamed of becoming their own curators and borrowed from the theorists, now the theorists dream of becoming artists. Disappointed with their own disciplinary specialization, they immigrate into each other's territory. The lateral move again. Neither backwards nor forwards, but sideways. Amateur's out takes are no longer excluded but placed side-by-side with the non-out takes. I don't know what to call them anymore, for there is little agreement these days on what these non-out takes are.

But the amateur's errands continue. An amateur, as Barthes understood it, is the one who constantly unlearns and loves, not possessively, but tenderly, inconstantly, desperately. Grateful for every transient epiphany, an amateur is not greedy."
philosophy  technology  svetlanaboym  via:ablerism  off-modern  canon  nostalgia  human  humanism  amateurs  unlearning  love  loving  greed  selflessness  homesickness  broken  broken-tech  art  beausage  belatedness  newness  leisurearts  walterbenjamin  errors  fallibility  erring  henribergson  billgates  prosthetics  artists  imagination  domestication  play  jaques-henrilartigue  photography  film  fiction  shadows  shortshadows  nearness  distance  balance  thresholds  rims  seams  readymade  rolandbarthes  cynicism  modernity  internationalstyle  evreyday  transience  ephemeral  ephemerality  artleisure 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Amy Radcliffe: Scent-ography: a post-visual past time
"Scent-ography: A post-visual past time

Our sense of smell is believed to have a direct link to our emotional memory. It is the sense that we react to most instinctually and also the furthest away from being stored or replicated digitally. From ambient smell-scapes to the utterly unique scent of an individual, our scent memory is a valuable resource yet to be systematically captured and archived.

If an analogue, amateur-friendly system of odour capture and synthesis could be developed, we could see a profound change in the way we regard the use and effect of smells in our daily lives. From manipulating our emotional wellbeing through prescribed nostalgia, to the functional use of conditioned scent memory, our olfactory sense could take on a much more conscious role in the way we consume and record the world.

How to succeed with your MADELEINE... [https://vimeo.com/68778690 ]

The Madeleine is, to all intents and purposes, an analogue odour camera. Based on current perfumery technology, Headspace Capture, The Madeleine works in much the same way as a 35mm camera. Just as the camera records the light information of a visual in order to create a replica The Madeleine records the molecular information of a smell."
via:ablerism  scent-ography  smell  smells  memory  art  artists  amyradcliffe  atemporality  archiving  nostalgia  scentmemory  senses  smell-scapes 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Subject, Theory, Practice: An Architecture of Creative Engagement on Vimeo
“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” José Ortega y Gasset

A 'manifesto' for the curious architect/designer/artist in search of depth, but in love with plenty, in the saturated world of the 21st Century.

"In a world where grazing is the norm, in which the bitesize is the ideal that conflates ease of consumption with value, where yoghurts are increased in sales price by being reduced in size and packaged like medicines, downed in one gulp; in a world where choice is a democratic obligation that obliterates enjoyment, forced on consumers through the constant tasting, buying and trying of ever more gadgets; a world in which thoughts, concepts -entire lives- are fragmented into the instantaneous nothings of tweets and profile updates; it is in this world, where students of architecture graze Dezeen dot com and ArchDaily, hoovering up images in random succession with no method of differentiation or judgement, where architects -like everyone else- follow the dictum ‘what does not fit on the screen, won’t be seen’, where attentions rarely span longer than a minute, and architectural theory online has found the same formula as Danone’s Actimel (concepts downed in one gulp, delivered in no longer than 300 words!), conflating relevance with ease of consumption; it is in this world of exponentially multiplying inputs that we find ourselves looking at our work and asking ‘what is theory, and what is practice?’, and finding that whilst we yearn for the Modernist certainties of a body of work, of a lifelong ‘project’ in the context of a broader epoch-long ‘shared project’ on the one hand, and the ideas against which these projects can be critically tested on the other; we are actually embedded in an era in which any such oppositions, any such certainties have collapsed, and in which it is our duty –without nostalgia, but with bright eyes and bushy tails untainted by irony- to look for new relationships that can generate meaning, in a substantial manner, over the course of a professional life.

This film is a short section through this process from May 2012."

This montage film is based on a lecture delivered by Madam Studio in May of 2012 at Gent Sint-Lucas Hogeschool Voor Wetenschap & Kunst.

A Madam Studio Production by Adam Nathaniel Furman and Marco Ginex

[via: https://twitter.com/a_small_lab/status/310914404038348800 ]
via:chrisberthelsen  joséortegaygasset  theory  architecture  cv  media  dezeen  archdaily  practice  nostalgia  actimel  marcoginex  2013  tcsnmy  understanding  iteration  darkmatter  certainty  postmodernism  modernism  philosophy  relationships  context  meaningmaking  meaning  lifelongproject  lcproject  openstudioproject  relevance  consumption  canon  streams  internet  filtering  audiencesofone  film  adamnathanielfurman  creativity  bricolage  consumerism  unschooling  deschooling  education  lifelonglearning  curation  curating  blogs  discourse  thinking  soundbites  eyecandy  order  chaos  messiness  ephemerality  ephemeral  grandnarratives  storytelling  hierarchies  hierarchy  authority  rebellion  criticism  frameofdebate  robertventuri  taste  aura  highbrow  lowbrow  waywards  narrative  anarchism  anarchy  feedback  feedbackloops  substance  values  self  thewho  thewhat  authenticity  fiction  discussion  openended  openendedstories  process  open-ended 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Notebook on Cities and Culture: S3E1: Buoyancy and Poignancy with Pico Iyer
"Japan's distinctive combination of buoyancy and poignancy, which leads to the pre-savoring of wistfulness to come; the culture's dissolution of mind, heart, and soul all in the same place, and his efforts to build an intellectual infrastructure around his Japan-related intuitions; his recent reading of John Cage, an unexpected master of the Japanese virtues of not knowing and not saying; the necessity, when you want to write about something, to write about something else, and of writing about a passion in order to write about yourself; the Californian question of "being yourself," and its inadmissability to the Japanese mindset; his relief at not having to be Japanese within Japanese society, and what being a Japanese in Japanese society has done to visit a female brain drain upon the country; what it takes to best remain an outsider in Japan, enjoying its peculiar kind of diplomatic immunity, and how Donald Richie mastered that exchange of belonging for freedom…"
passions  memoirs  notknowing  presence  time  fleetingmoments  poignancy  buoyancy  nuance  invisibility  reservedness  quiet  energy  friction  spontaneity  globalization  osaka  english  responsibility  interdependence  compassion  isolationism  isolation  canon  identity  collectivism  community  place  westpoint  books  listening  silence  understanding  vitality  comfort  nostalgia  pre-nostalgia  memory  women  familiarity  attention  donaldrichie  gender  knowing  writing  belonging  california  thoughfulness  japan  intimacy  society  culture  colinmarshall  johncage  2013  via:charlieloyd  picoiyer 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Hero’s Welcome, The Big Hairy Edition « Snarkmarket
"Like Auerbach, by returning to every document within his tradition, uprooting them, jointing them, and flinging them across the room to find the lived reality beneath, he makes them his own. And there he is home."

[Shorter, edited version referenced within is here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/Issue/109244 ]

[This post resurfaced today due to a new one: http://snarkmarket.com/2012/8039 ]
longshot  expression  language  howwewrite  understanding  reality  meaningmaking  aggregation  piecingtogether  pieces  nostalgia  creativity  whatweknow  history  music  jerryleelewis  literature  erichauerbach  odysseues  odyssey  2012  timcarmody 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Saturn V Relaunch by Paul Sahre — Kickstarter [Great description, great video]
"Near the the end of the Apollo space missions of the early 1970's, my father…began work on his own Saturn V…1/100 scale…kit had hundreds of separate parts that took my dad months (my mom remembers it as YEARS) to meticulously cut, glue, sand, and paint.

When he finally finished, he brought the whole family out to an open field. We counted down, and my mom had the honor of pushing the button. The rocket shot 500 feet into the sky...but the chutes failed to deploy and we watched in horror as it plummeted—nose first—back to earth. Dad's Saturn V was destroyed and I've never forgotten.

My father passed away a few years ago, and I recently discovered his launch pad in the attic—along with dozens of snapshots of the original launch. I am a father now as well, and it struck me that this was the first time I remember seeing him fail at ANYTHING. It reminded me of a time when our fathers were omnipotent; when any dispute with the kid down the block could be settled with "I'll ask my dad.""
1970s  modelbuilding  timemachines  modelrocketry  rockets  modelrockets  paulsahre  kickstarter  2012  parenting  parents  failure  nostalgia 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Scan/flip/spread | Soulellis
"How we author, design and publish language-based communications is undergoing a radical shape-shift. The acceleration of the book (as commodity, technological device, art object) has entered a new stage of evolution in our trajectory towards constant presence and the post-human, and reading—the eye-brain processing of written culture—has much to lose, and gain, in the transformation.

What legacy of the book do we wish to bequeath to the future?

What is the futurestory of the book?

Several attributes of reading that are about to be lost, perhaps only temporarily (patina, olfactory, nostalgic), have opened up deep space for others (gestural, social, access, speed). And even more are on the way, as we prepare for the near-future absorption of the screen into the body (Google Glasses)…

…I propose a series of printed book experiments on the occasion of MutaMorphosis: Tribute to Uncertainty. These are actions of resistance—strategies for countering our growing need to read in haste. Three concepts will direct us to a poetic, if analog, investigation of book/time and the fast/slow speed of reading: scan, flip and spread. Working with found texts, public domain works, bot-generated ephemera and other digital artifacts, a printed book or short series of books that encourages and/or discourages slow reading will be produced as a limited print-on-demand edition for the MutaMorphosis conference (via Espresso Book Machine or other inexpensive digital-to-paper solution). The books will be distributed to all conference participants for discussion (panel, artist’s presentation or otherwise, TBD).

Scan/Flip/Spread puts forward the idea of the fast(er) book (print-on-demand) and braises it with the slow read. The investigation will explore the interface of the printed book—page-to-language ratio, typographic depth and density, page-turn-time, frame, weight, read rhythm, chance, flip speed and other formal aspects of the page; as well as content—questions of narrative, sense, curation and image/word play. Our goal, as a group, will be to create a space to embrace and counter the technologies of automation that are transforming language, visual culture, the page and reading—through the printed book object."
paulvirilio  design  longform  automation  dromosphere  printondemand  mutamorphosis  uncertainty  spread  flip  scan  future  ebooks  bookfuturism  googleglass  speed  access  socialreading  gestures  nostalgia  smell  patina  reading  publishing  books  2012  paulsoulellis  slowreading  slow  selfpublishing  self-publishing 
september 2012 by robertogreco
No Accidents, Comrade – The New Inquiry
"But where fiction generally resists reader alteration, board games take it for granted and depend on it. A fictional narrative remains the same despite how it’s interpreted by readers. The underlying expectation in gameplay, however, is that the player actively constructs a narrative and perhaps even modifies the game’s rules. Meaning for players comes only through the active process of experiencing play. Operating Twilight Struggle’s narrative platform provides a ludic truth — truth through play that gives experiential knowledge using popular, though misleading, historical explanations for the period. It purports to compress the Cold War experience while maintaining some semblance of fidelity to the mentalité of the period, but the chance experienced through gameplay is wed to narrative exposition that clearly embraces a U.S.-centric worldview. Chance narratives help players validate experiential knowledge they acquire during play, but their execution actually inverts the meaning…"
influence  ussr  alternativeplay  bias  toplay  containment  rationalirrationality  distortion  nostalgia  meaning  interpretation  assemblage  narrativeassemblage  narrative  individualism  perception  history  us  opportunity  luck  chance  gameplay  storytelling  fiction  2006  2012  coldwar  boardgames  gaming  games  play  twilightstruggle 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Infovore » ghostcar
Lovely project by Tom - a Foursquare account that replicates his activities from a year ago. With some good points on the value of doing this on the service itself as opposed to for instance email, as Timehop does.
nostalgia  history  foursquare  timehop  TomArmitage  via:kaeru 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Has Nostalgia Become a Toxic Force in Design?
"Having to watch a video to open a can does not feel like progress…

Nostalgic design serves as a kind of safekeeping, preserving images of beloved objects so they don’t completely disappear from the collective unconscious…

Most vexing of all from a design perspective is the particular flavor of nostalgia best described as a fantasy trip to the imagined past. If years gone by are continually portrayed as better times, how can we hope for actual better times to come?…

Nearly all good design is aspirational, showing us that better possibilities exist, but using lost eras to project images of perfection seems unfair—we can never duplicate the past, no matter how hard we try…

Perhaps the problem is that we stopped believing both in a better future and in design’s ability to further it. The thread is broken… we cling to design that relentlessly references days gone by because we know what to expect…"
aspiration  past  future  optimism  invention  angelariechers  2012  skeuomorph  nostalgia  design 
july 2012 by robertogreco
William Gibson: on Atemporality — The High Bar
"William Gibson‘s writing is timeless. For mortals, conquering time is a Quixotic endeavor, only imaginable with the aid of good religion, better hallucinogens or great science fiction.

Today(?), Mr. Gibson walks into The High Bar and joins me to raise a toast to and raise the bar for… atemporality. Will time stand still and if so, what impact will it have on our memories, intimate or communal?

The legendary author (Neuromancer; Pattern Recognition) discusses his childhood, his craft and his hope for a future he has never truly predicted, even within the pages of his recent collection of articles and essays, Distrust That Particular Flavor."
self-projection  love  siri  technology  culture  prostheticmemory  fascism  patternrecognition  speculative  history  time  memory  nostalgia  distrustthatparticularflavor  monoculture  childhood  warrenetheredge  scifi  sciencefiction  williamgibson  2012  atemporality  conservatism 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Thalassa: Nostalgia
"I was listening to the Brandenburg Concertos and got a sudden hit of nostalgia.

I think everyone in my gene set finds the idea of time outrageous. That things could get lost forever? Ridiculous! Poor design! And, above all, tragic.

I think of the moments of my own life that have been lost. Not because I didn’t appreciate them sufficiently. I think, in general, people do their best. But because my brain is a fragile vessel and the entire universe can’t be stuffed into it. …"

[Blog and post by Charlie Loyd's mom]
memories  humans  human  brain  2012  time  memory  nostalgia 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Entertainment - Patrick St. Michel - How J-Pop Stars Gain From the West's Obsession With 'Weird' Japan - The Atlantic
"Colorful content like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's "PonPonPon" goes viral overseas for its supposed bizarreness while resonating in a realer way at home."

"t's an easy go-to story: Look at what bizarre stuff Japan is up to today—even if the subject is an extreme niche interest most ordinary Japanese people aren't even familiar with, or, alternatively, something that's culturally commonplace in Japan. Now, artists like Kyary are cashing in on this brand of foreigner curiosity."

"Melissa Johnson on her blog The Mind Reels writes that nearly all of the images in "Candy Candy" are anime tropes, especially of a genre from the early '90s known as "girl's genre" (Sailor Moon being a good example). Where foreigners see "weird Japan," the Japanese see things that make them nostalgic."
tropes  anime  kyary  2012  nostalgia  culture  us  japan  j-pop 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Rust Belt Chic Manifesto | rust belt chic
"America is broken. Not just the Rust Belt, but everywhere. Income disparity. Unemployment. In the past those who were shut out—in particular the immigrants and the yet-minted young—would do what Americans did best: Go West, and build something of your own. But now we have saturated the coasts. Many are looking around for a geographic workshop where a new American way can be built. Some are beginning to turn inward to find that “out there” is really in here: the Rust Belt.

There are a few reasons for this. First is the opportunity that comes with usable space. Artists are being priced out of established cities like New York and L.A. Cheap space to live and work is becoming attractive. First- and second-generation immigrants are getting the itch too, and they are finding that Rust Belt cities can be the “America” within America. Take the case of Allentown, PA. It is the fastest growing city in PA. After years of shrinking this is shocking. And the city has Hispanics to thank for it."
nostalgia  migration  affordability  siouxcity  rustbeltchic  allentown  cleveland  detroit  rebirth  cites  glvo  richeypiiparinen  2012  resiliency  resilience  us  rustbelt 
june 2012 by robertogreco
Paris Review – On Homesickness, Francesca Mari
"But America’s comparative acceptance—embrace, even—of nostalgia makes sense to me. It’s safer than homesickness because it’s neutered; it can’t be realized and won’t get in the way of work; it asks you to long only for something that no longer exists."

[via: http://rustbeltchic.com/rust-belt-chic-manifesto/ ]
emotions  2011  francescamari  longing  homesickness  nostalgia 
june 2012 by robertogreco
The Sweep of Nostalgia | Ben Casnocha
"When you call upon dormant memories, you change them in the process. You remember the most recent version of your memory + whatever present lens you’re using at the time of recall. In other words, how I changed since I left shaped how I remembered what I once experienced."

Some months ago, I watched…Nostalgia for the Light. It’s about the astronomy done in the Atacama desert …The film juxtaposes the work of scientists in the desert who look to the sky for answers, with old women just miles away who look to the ground for answers, searching for the bones of relatives assassinated by the Pinochet regime and buried in the desert. The film is about the connection between the past and the future, ground and sky. It’s also about memory.

In the film, director and narrator Patricio Guzman says, “Those who have a memory are able to live in the fragile present moment. Those who have none, don’t live anywhere.”"

[via: http://bobulate.com/post/21563251336/ ]
patricioguzmán  atacama  viñadelmar  santiago  bencasnocha  2012  life  living  past  present  mashedpotatoes  edg  srg  glvo  nostalgia  memories  memory  chile  nostalgiadelaluz  nostalgiaforthelight 
april 2012 by robertogreco
5 provocative ideas sparked by women in media | Poynter.
"From the many, many ideas Popova has sparked in my brain, one has stuck more stubbornly than any other: We need to start treating discovery, connection and sharing as creative acts."

"Why do these heady observations on nostalgia matter for busy media professionals? Because I’d argue there’s real opportunity in our affinity for nostalgia. Think of Instagram: I’d argue it’s taken off partly because its filters lend an artificial veneer of nostalgia to those in-the-moment digital photos; they instantly make a moment seem more distant or unrecoverable."

[via: http://bettyann.tumblr.com/post/16433811360 ]
humor  comedy  longform  homicidewatch  discovery  connections  curation  instagram  2012  nostalgia  connection  sharing  cv  media  journalism  mariapopova  mattthompson  creativity 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Rhizome | The Never Forgotten House
"I rarely hear anyone boast about photographic memory anymore. It's less impressive today as we can all supplement our own brains with an algorithmic search and the internet's seemingly infinite archival capacity. But this is still a period of transition…"

"We could accumulate hundreds of thousands of images throughout our lives but they will never taste like anything. An image represents and verifies a memory but the rest is left to imagination. Every essential moment of a child's life is documented if he was born in the West. With digital album after album for every birthday, every Christmas, he will never struggle to remember what his childhood home looked like. That reaching, that vague warm feeling for a place one remembers but cannot see; that is a sense now growing extinct.

A child today grows up in a never forgotten house."
memory  documentation  joannemcneil  via:frankchimero  2011  flickr  googlestreetview  childhood  search  images  photography  place  nostalgia  streetview  senses 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Frieze Magazine | Archive | Twenty Years Fore & Aft
"People are never scared by the commonplaces of daily life, no matter how risky they are; in 2031, people choose to be alarmed by exotic, eye-catching stuff, like rare diseases and psycho serial killers…

There are no political parties. They were entirely hollowed-out and disrupted by social networks. That happened fast.…

Suburbs are the new favelas, while the prosperous live cheek-by-jowl in repurposed downtowns. Architecture guts entire city blocks, preserving the historicized skins around flats packed to Hong Kong densities. Cars are rental-shared. Furniture is mobile. Most objects have IDs…

Nothing can be ‘innovative’ unless you are convinced that change makes a difference. Without the magic patter, the semantic context that sets expectations, a rabbit in a hat is not a wonder, it’s just a weird accident. A true network society cannot progress, because it reticulates; it’s all snakes and ladders, rockets and potholes, mash-ups and short circuits."
brucesterling  2031  futurism  favelachic  cities  risk  commonplace  magic  mystery  technology  future  fiction  speculativerealism  designfiction  scifi  sciencefiction  2011  nostalgia  atemporality  books  publishing  film  reality  chernobyl  fear  life  art  glvo  classideas  projectideas 
november 2011 by robertogreco
The Aporeticus - by Mills Baker · It is along this line that your life passes: all...
"Nostalgia is the admixture of sentiment and sorrow that we feel as we begin to see how a memory fades; it is provoked by the sudden awareness of the rate of decay of a memory, and is as bittersweet as the last encounter with someone dying."

"If so, you might express the situation thusly: a memory induces nostalgia when it is X% decayed. You might then note that for different people, or for people at different stages of their lives, this number X varies; it might reflect not a static number but a relative proportion of time elapsed in one’s life to time elapsed since the memory in question; given their personal habits of memory, people might fall into separate categories, categories about which the field of existential mathematics would presumably have much to assert."

[See the comments too.]

[via: http://bettyann.tumblr.com/post/10254412739 ]
memory  nostalgia  saudade  millsbaker  memories  2011  experience  forgetting 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Calvin and Hobbes and the Trouble with Nostalgia | Splitsider
"In an explanation of Hobbes’s dual reality (a living, breathing, wiseass wild tiger to Calvin, and a stuffed animal to everyone else), Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson explains “I show two versions of reality, and each makes complete sense to the participant who sees it. I think that’s how life works.” We see the world through Calvin’s eyes. This perspective distinguishes the strip from Peanuts, in which kids talk like adults, or Cathy or Doonesbury, in which adults talk like adults. Watterson constantly fought with Universal Press Syndicate and newspapers to get more space, and to break the rigid rules of comic strip formats in order to formally explore Calvin’s imagination. As a result, no daily comic in wide circulation during the Nineties provided such regular and creative insights into a child’s interior life. In Calvin and Hobbes, Watterson takes us inside Calvin’s dreams, his fears, and the stories that he makes up for himself."
calvinandhobbes  nostalgia  comics  books  edg  srg  classideas  perception  billwatterson  reality  children  childhood  multiplicity  parenting  intelligence  imagination  memory  1990s  patience  ondemand  2011  sadness  loneliness  alienation  school  experience  structure  confusion  ajaronstein 
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Faux-Vintage Photo: Full Essay (Parts I, II and III) » Cyborgology
"I am working on a dissertation about self-documentation and social media and have decided to take on theorizing the rise of faux-vintage photography (e.g., Hipstamatic, Instagram). From May 10-12, 2011, I posted a three part essay. This post combines all three together."

[See also (some of the tags reference): http://varnelis.net/blog/atemporality_the_iphone_camera_and_the_hipster ]
photography  twitter  instagram  hipstamatic  2011  nathanjurgenson  self-documentation  faux-vintage  hipsters  nostalgia  nostalgiaforthepresent  atemporality  networkculture  cameras  iphone  cameraphone  kazysvarnelis  timmaly  allegory  comment  postmodernism  modernism  furniture 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Twitshift
"Twitshift is a service that lets you follow yourself on Twitter from a year ago. First things first — Sign in with Twitter to start importing your old Tweets. We’ll store your old posts on our server and repost them to a second account of your choosing on the same day you posted them last year."

[related: http://photojojo.com/timecapsule/
via: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2011/02/you-but-a-year-ago.html ]
twitter  twitshift  timeshifting  nostalgia  memory  time  services 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Libraries set you free! (2011) | Hari Kunzru
"I remember my first library card…excitement of the trips to the library, of choosing the four books I’d take back home. The habit of exploration has stayed with me. It was founded on the confidence that all those books on all those shelves belonged to me, were mine for the taking. If I was interested enough in any object in this large room, the librarian would stamp it and I would carry it out. That sense of entitlement was the foundation of everything I’ve done since in my life. I felt knowledge belonged to me & have carried on exploring libraries ever since…It’s a long time since I’ve borrowed a book from a local library. But I know that a public library is not the same as a book shop. It’s also not the same as the internet. The child choosing a book that, for a short time, will belong to him, is learning that knowledge is his, if he wants it. He’s learning that it’s a right. Libraries set people free. They’re not a luxury. They’re not a relic. We must fight to save them."
libraries  freedom  books  nostalgia  memory  childhood  harikunzru  librarycards  cv  access 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Nostalgia for the Now | HiLobrow
"And nostalgia, for all its trickiness, isn’t terrible, just problematic. It’s possible to have good memories, sure, or to segment and enhance the ones that were not really that good, instead of sinking into an overwhelmed bitterness like an inverted Benjaminian Angel. But nostalgia is not neutral. We need to remember, along with all the memories, that our lives in the now are partially cast from the look of our past. Maybe it’s fade and maybe it’s stutter, or maybe it’s different looks on different days."
peggynelson  nostalgia  memory  instagram  hipstamatic  photography  atemporality  decim8  imperfection  wabi-sabi  analog  digitalanalog 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Wikipedia
"Welcome to Wikipedia, a collaborative project to produce a complete encyclopedia from scratch. We started in January 2001 and already have over 19,000 articles. We want to make over 100,000, so let's get to work--anyone can edit any article--copyedit, expand an article, write a little, write a lot. See the Wikipedia FAQ for information on how to edit pages and other questions."
wikipedia  history  wiki  nostalgia  web  2001  via:britta 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Cabros de los 80
"El sitio de los que pasaron su niñez y adolescencia en el Chile de los ochenta."
nostalgia  chile  1980s  history  memory  children  childhood 
december 2010 by robertogreco
YMFY - [A quote from] Ira Glass, This American Life Television Series: Season One, Episode: Pandora’s Box
"This is what we do, humans. We tinker and change and endlessly imagine a more perfect future. And, at the same time, we idealize the past. So, we’re trapped. Progress’ constant companion is nostalgia for the way things used to be.<br />
<br />
The thing we forget about progress: there is no master plan. It lurches forward, in the dark, accidentally, and you’re never sure where it’s taking you. There’s no going back, whether it wants to or not."
via:lukeneff  iraglass  past  future  nostalgia  progress  planning  change  futures  thisamericanlife 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Kid Pix: The Early Years
"One day in 1988 while I was using MacPaint, the wonderful paint program that came with the Macintosh, my 3-year-old son Ben asked to try using the program. I was surprised at how quickly he got the knack of using the mouse and how easily he was able to select tools. The problem was that he didn't have total control of the mouse and would occasionally (like every five minutes or so) pull down a menu and bring up a dialog box that he couldn't dismiss without being able to read. Everything was fine as long as I was in the room, but if I stepped out for a few minutes I would come back and find Ben kicking on the floor in frustration. This was not what I had in mind for his introduction to the computer."
via:britta  craighickman  kidpix  evergreenstatecollege  reedcollege  computers  childhood  parenting  programming  software  edtech  education  mac  history  drawing  graphics  art  nostalgia 
november 2010 by robertogreco
metacool: More thoughts on the primacy of doing: Shinya Kimura, Jeep, Corvette, and the cultural zeitgeist of life in 2010
"cultural zeitgeist of life in 2010 America is clearly saying "We need to start thinking with our hands again", & that we need at least to have confidence in our decision making as we seek to create things of intrinsic value…It's not difficult to get to a strong, compelling point of view. That's what design thinking can do for you. But in each of these videos I sense our society expressing a strong yearning for something beyond process, the courage to make decisions and to act. Talking and thinking is easy, shipping is tough…<br />
<br />
Tinkering, hacking, experimenting, they're all ways of experiencing the world which are more apt than not to lead to generative, highly creative outcomes. I firmly believe that kids & young adults who are allowed to hack, break, tear apart, & generally probe the world around them develop an innate sense of courage when it comes time to make a decision to actually do something. I see this all the time at Stanford…"
diegorodriguez  make  making  handson  hands  manufacturing  machines  tinkering  shinyakimura  detroit  gm  jeep  bigthree  spacerace  rockets  nostalgia  thinking  learning  experimenting  experience  facebook  google  apple  hacking  creativity  innovation  2010  jacobbronowski  design  engineering  machining  action  tcsnmy  glvo  lcproject  doing  motivation  do  corvette 
november 2010 by robertogreco
The taxonomy of the invisible - Bobulate
"Peter del Tredici, a senior research scientist at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and lecturer in landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, argues the wildlife that surrounds us every day often has an “image problem:” it goes unnoticed, unattended, and unvalued. “There is no denying the fact that many — if not most — of the plants … suffer from image problems associated with the label ‘weeds,’ or, to use a more recent term, ‘invasive species.’ From the plant’s perspective, ‘invasiveness’ is just another word for successful reproduction — the ultimate goal of all organisms, including humans…. The term is a value judgment that humans apply to plants we do not like, not a biological characteristic.”"
iphone  applications  location  lizdanzico  weeds  plants  invasivespecies  nature  naturedeficitdisorder  urban  urbanism  childhood  chores  memories  nostalgia  noticing  danhill  cityofsound  trees  treesny  nyc  life  systems  biology  glvo  srg  edg  humans  perspective  language  words  taxonomy  wildlife  cities  value  organisms  shrequest1  ios 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Generation Why? by Zadie Smith | The New York Review of Books
"At the time, though, I felt distant from Zuckerberg and all the kids at Harvard. I still feel distant from them now, ever more so, as I increasingly opt out (by choice, by default) of the things they have embraced. We have different ideas about things. Specifically we have different ideas about what a person is, or should be. I often worry that my idea of personhood is nostalgic, irrational, inaccurate. Perhaps Generation Facebook have built their virtual mansions in good faith, in order to house the People 2.0 they genuinely are, and if I feel uncomfortable within them it is because I am stuck at Person 1.0. Then again, the more time I spend with the tail end of Generation Facebook (in the shape of my students) the more convinced I become that some of the software currently shaping their generation is unworthy of them. They are more interesting than it is. They deserve better."

[via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/1481824813/at-the-time-though-i-felt-distant-from ]
zadiesmith  philosophy  social  sociology  markzuckerberg  thesocialnetwork  generations  identity  personhood  nostalgia  facebook  cv  disconnect  jaronlanier 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Jonathan Harris . Oct 25, 2009 [Los Angeles]
"By anybody's count, I was having what one might call a Very Good Time. But as the day bore on, the tug of nature grew stronger and stronger on my heart, and all I could think about was getting back up into the mountains. I guess you could call my ailment escapism, but I wonder whether that tired quasi-Buddhist maxim of needing to learn to exist happily in any setting isn't at least a little bit bullshit. Places exert a stabilizing or stultifying energy upon us, and the force of that energy seems proportional to our sensitivity. Life is short, places abound, and some of us are sensitive, so why not find places that provide the kind of energy we need?"

Also: "I prefer the housekeeping philosophy of keeping only those things that provide essential utility or essential nostalgia. It can make for a sparse house, depending on your sentimentality."
jonathanharris  place  nature  losangeles  oregon  buddhism  energy  utility  minimalism  nostalgia  memory  homes 
august 2010 by robertogreco
k-punk: Optimistic Melancholia
"This notion of "optimistic melancholia" has a resonance just now, precisely because it's so alien to today's affective regime, to the relentless positivity that Ivor Southwood identifies as central to the sell-yourself culture. Even as it attempts to photoshop out all negativity, this mandatory positivity is only the other side to capitalist realism's hedonic depression. If nothing else, optimistic melancholia reminds us of a culture with a wider emotional bandwidth."
optimism  melancholy  optimisticmelancholia  k-punk  via:blackbeltjones  negativity  capitalism  realism  hedonics  depression  emotions  culture  2010  nostalgia  memory  markfisher 
august 2010 by robertogreco
3.05: Gossip is Philosophy
"The right word is "unfinished." Think of cultural products, or art works, or the people who use them even, as being unfinished. Permanently unfinished. We come from a cultural heritage that says things have a "nature," and that this nature is fixed and describable. We find more and more that this idea is insupportable - the "nature" of something is not by any means singular, and depends on where and when you find it, and what you want it for. The functional identity of things is a product of our interaction with them. And our own identities are products of our interaction with everything else. Now a lot of cultures far more "primitive" than ours take this entirely for granted - surely it is the whole basis of animism that the universe is a living, changing, changeable place. Does this make clearer why I welcome that African thing? It's not nostalgia or admiration of the exotic - it's saying, Here is a bundle of ideas that we would do well to learn from."

[via: http://preoccupations.tumblr.com/post/897984340/unfinished ]
1995  kevinkelly  brianeno  art  generative  hypertext  philosophy  unfinished  imperfection  culture  via:preoccupations  africa  technology  wired  society  learning  nostalgia  animism  interactivity  interaction  functionalidentity  ambient  wabi-sabi 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Collective Memory: Definitions
"As part of a 2007 graduate seminar on "History in the Public Realm: Collective Memory?" I thought it might be useful to collect the definitions of various types of memory that scholars have come up with. Given the wide range of meanings "collective memory" can have (for example an object or a process), there are also a number of cognate terms. I first offer in this box a bulleted listing of the terms, then below, in chronological order, quotations with exact citations."
via:javierarbona  collectivememory  memory  present  past  history  bibliography  research  nostalgia 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Current Event Fridays - Bobulate [Great intro and then great advice about travel.]
"Once a week, Social Studies class would stray from textbooks. We wouldn’t read about national politics or international affairs or whatever else was of importance to sixth graders that week. Instead, it was Current Events Friday. We were instructed to inspect our local Times (there being only 2 in our small town) for a single news item we were to read aloud in class. There were no rules, of course; the significance of “news” was left up to us. 26 student clippings later — tag sales, local basketball games, an occasional mayoral event, the current rollerskating champion — we were proud. These weren’t by any means the stories Ms. Lyons had in mind, but they were what mattered. They were our stories.
memory  nostalgia  schools  lizdanzico  socialstudies  travel  experience  tcsnmy  cv  invitations  manifestos  howto 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Galco's Soda Pop Store
I'm bookmarking this mostly to see how many people have already done so. Galco's is on of the gems of Los Angeles, especially for soda lovers (not me). Update: I was number 150.
losangeles  nostalgia  drinks  gifts  food  retail 
june 2010 by robertogreco
In Which We Request A Do-Over On This Last Decade - Home - This Recording [some nice lines in here]
"For the longest time I pretended the pleasure of everything wasn't in its anticipation. Enjoying things became passé, remembering the past fondly was easier on the heart. ... There should be a term - there probably is a term - for nostalgia for something that hasn't happened yet. ... In the 00s I tried to like people I wouldn't normally have liked. More and more, people were vastly different from their appearance, a development I attributed to adults rather than children being my peers. When I met someone I cared about, I usually informed them of this directly. In a similar case I took up an indirect approach that met with better results. Then I switched back again. After a fashion, I surmised that it was the world that was changing, not me. ... Meeting people unhappier than you are is Darwin's mood corrective. There is always someone who has it worse and is still paying for it."

[via: http://tumble77.com/post/543062841/i-know-what-you-mean ]
nostalgia  words  wordsneededinenglish  wordsthatshouldbe  memory  maturation  anticipation  pleasure  00s  culture 
may 2010 by robertogreco
what you loved when you were nine or ten « fenced lot
“I’ve found that your chances for happiness are increased if you wind up doing something that is a reflection of what you loved most when you were somewhere between nine and eleven years old. At that age, you know enough of the world to have opinions about things, but you’re not old enough yet to be overly influenced by the crowd or by what other people are doing or what you think you “should” be doing. If what you do later on ties into that reservoir in some way, then you are nurturing some essential part of yourself.” [via: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2010/03/connected.html ]
childhood  happiness  nostalgia  passion  life  ambition 
march 2010 by robertogreco
The World Question Center: The Edge Annual Question — 2010: How is the internet changing the way you think?: Sherry Turkle: The Internet Disconnect
"In democracy, perhaps we all need to begin with the assumption that everyone has something to hide, a zone of private action & reflection, a zone that needs to be protected. Life with an electronic shadow provokes anxieties that lead today's teenagers to look toward a past they never knew. This nostalgia of the young looks forward because it may remind us of things that are worth protecting...teens talk longingly about the "full attention" that is implicit when someone sends you a letter or meets with you in a f2f meeting. And poignantly, they talk about seeking out a pay phone when they really want to have a private conversation. The Internet teaches us to rethink nostalgia & give it a good name. I learned to be a citizen at the Brooklyn mailboxes. To me, opening up a conversation about rethinking the Net, privacy, & civil society is not backward-looking nostalgia or Luddite in the least. It seems like part of a healthy process of democracy defining its sacred spaces."
surveillance  nostalgia  edge  2010  privacy  internet  memory  forgetting  facebook  sherryturkle  democracy  dissent  society 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Kim Stanley Robinson: science fiction's realist | Books | guardian.co.uk
"Time is strangely braided … Walter Benjamin talked about it – you go forwards in time but we're always looking backwards in a rear view mirror. That struck me as interesting. … [he explores] three different temporal dimensions – the first moving very fast, at the speed of light, the second very slow and "vibrating slowly back and forth, as if the universe itself were a single string or bubble", the third – antichronos – in reverse. We experience them as one, creating a three-way interference pattern, which accounts for sensations such as foresight, déjà vu, nostalgia and precognition. The compound nature of time, Robinson writes, "creates our perception of both transience and permanence, of being and becoming". … Today, he says, "we're all in a science fiction novel. …The world has become a science fiction novel, everything's changing so quickly. Science fiction turns out to be the realism of our time, which is very satisfying.""
via:preoccupations  science  future  books  mythology  sciencefiction  scifi  time  writing  dejavu  nostalgia  precognition  realism  kimstanleyrobinson 
november 2009 by robertogreco
In One Man's Garage, Pan Am Still Makes the Going Great - WSJ.com
"Fliers nostalgic for the golden era of air travel might want to book a trip to Anthony Toth's garage.
panam  nostalgia  flight  airlines  history  obsession  travel  collections 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Microsoft Muezzin « Snarkmarket
"I am a serious atheist. I am not dabbling in Islam. But even so, this app really called out to me (ha!) for two reasons. One, nostalgia. I do remember the athan—distant, spectral—from my time in Dhaka. Two, structure. I’m building my days entirely for myself now, and finding that it’s a challenge to split them into pieces. When does this thing end, and that one begin? It’s arbitrary. So—admittedly this is silly—I thought hey, this works for folks! Let’s give it a spin! I am 100% glad I downloaded it, if only to see the interface. Wow. Do you want the athan from Mecca or Medina?...Egypt? They’ve all been sampled. Do you want the dua after the athan? What juristic method will you be using for the asr prayer?...It might sound like I’m poking fun, but I am absolutely 100% not. One of my favorite intersections—and one of the most underreported—is the one between technology and religion. And an app like this lets you not just read about it, but sort of explore it."
islam  applications  windows  snarkmarket  structure  atheism  sound  prayer  atham  religion  muslims  nostalgia  tcsnmy 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The Smart Set: Town Crier - July 22, 2009
"Pop culture seems to have 2 general depictions of small towns...naive, sleepy, hamlet where nothing ever happens, populated w/ lovable eccentrics & warm-hearted folk...setup sees the return of the prodigal son or arrival of an outsider, almost always from the "big city," of which townies speak w/ disdain...protagonist will eventually fall in love w/ more wholesome type of woman & realize what he's needed all along is simpler kind of life...shows like Northern Exposure & Ed...other stereotype involves placid calm that masks swirling tempest of murder (Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt), violence, racism (Pudd'nhead Wilson), small mindedness & cowfucking (that would be Faulkner)...most accurate depiction of life in small town...Friday Night Lights...constantly in danger of being canceled...Americans love myth of small town, while reality is a little harder to come by. Small town culture is actually in decline, which maybe explains the renewed nostalgia. We are an increasingly urban species"
society  us  urbanism  sociology  smalltowns  simplicity  literature  myth  stereotypes  tv  television  fridaynightlights  northernexposure  change  nostalgia 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Dinosaurs and Robots: NY Times: The Los Angeles of Ry Cooder and Mister Jalopy
"There is the Los Angeles that people imagine of red carpet premieres, Botox lunches, velvet rope nightclubs, Venice bodybuilders and tony boutiques. It is not a fable. That is real. Or, at least, it physically exists. Then, there is the Los Angeles that I know. Aerospace surplus hardware stores...sprawling thrift stores...gold miners eager to show their biggest nuggets, fishing for carp in the Los Angeles River, optimists taking over art museums...the gem vault at the Natural History Museum, the szechuan peppercorns of Alhambra...sneaker shops of Little Tokyo, imported coldcuts at Monte Carlo Deli, Japanese garden on roof of the New Otani Hotel, bicycle swap at the Encino Velodrome...mustard at Philipes, the dimsum carts of Monterey Park...yardage of the Garment District...Abe Lincoln's hat at the Huntington Library, the camillia forest of Descanso Garden...genius at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, chile pepper booth at the Grand Central Market..."
losangeles  nostalgia  place  variety  glvo 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Lemonade Stand
"A faithful remake of the classic Apple II game, with completely redesigned iPhone interface and gorgeous new graphics!"
games  nostalgia  iphone  applications  appleii  ios 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Danny O’Brien’s Oblomovka » the dynabook, javascript, and real computer literacy
"In the Dynabook, the aim was to bring the dynamism of the computer to the masses: tools to be able to create pictures as easily as words, and animation as easily as both: but all of them really just subsets of -- not programming, but whatever it is that computers provide us as an opportunity. "Interaction" sucks as a term, but I think we may be stuck with it. The Dynabook -- and Alan Kay's dream still remains -- an educational project. What was it trying to teach? I think what it was trying to teach was what I was lucky to get at eight because of my dad's fictional computer, and which I genuinely believe everyone can, and should have. ... I don't know how we got to Gutenberg to universal literacy, but that's the path we need to walk down now. I want true literacy for my daughter."
education  learning  children  computers  programming  culture  literacy  tech  glvo  tcsnmy  via:preoccupations  alankay  dynabook  googlechrome  scottmccloud  nostalgia  borges  parenting  coding  teaching 
september 2008 by robertogreco
iNostalgia! Old-school Football on iPhone - Boing Boing Gadgets
"The game will be just a buck, according to the homepage, and it's currently in Beta. Mark's looking for testers for final refinements: if you want in, make your case in the comments and add some contact info, and perhaps he'll be in touch."
games  nostalgia  iphone  applications  retro  ios 
august 2008 by robertogreco
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