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Design must be an innovative, highly creative, cross-disciplinary tool responsive to the needs of men. It must be more research-oriented, and we must stop defiling the earth itself with poorly-designed objects and structures.

Victor Papanek (via inthenoosphere)

It is inconceivable that a sovereign people should continue, as we do so abjectly, to say, ‘I can’t do anything about it. It’s the government.’ The government is the creation of the people. It is responsible to the people. And the people are responsible for it… one of the paradoxes of education was that precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with your society. It is your responsibility to change society if you think of yourself as an educated person. And on the basis of the evidence – the moral and political evidence – one is compelled to say that this is a backward society.

James Baldwin, “A Talk to Teachers”, 1963

According to the Buddha, the mind is the base of all actions. It is most dangerous to kill in the mind. When you believe, for example, that yours is the only way for humankind and that everyone who follows another way is your enemy, millions of people could be killed because of that idea.

Reverence for Life”, Thich Nhat Hanh

You have two decisions to make: where to stand and when to press the shutter. Pressing the shutter is saying ‘Yes’ to the world.

Henry Wessel, 1942-2018

Sometimes I look at pictures that I took many years ago, and I consider how many of the people in them have died already. Some were rich, some were poor, and others were great masters, but it’s all the same. They all died. You can look at history books and know this fact. Or you can imagine a hundred years from now and ask, “Who of us will be living?” Probably no one. These are contemplations that can trigger the thought of impermanence.

Every Day Is A Bonus”, Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche

From John Maeda’s latest newsletter:

Three Things That I’m Thinking About Design In Tech

  • Design tools for individuals are fully figured out on the computer, and they’re priced reasonably. But design tools for teams are still up for grabs — especially when considering the definition of a team.
  • When teaming with developers or product managers or marketing teams or content strategists or executives, and even other designers, the single winner for the right kind of design tooling has not been resolved.
  • Scaling design the way that developers have been able to do with cvs/svn/git/etc is not the solution. The co-ownership of experience beyond design, with precise direction and coordination, is. And look out for AI.

The transition from full-time employees to contract workers has created a seismic shift in the American workforce. It is financially beneficial for corporations, and the executives who run them. Amazon said it uses this model to empower small businesses. But for those who actually do the grunt work, it can make them feel powerless. Labor experts say they often receive low pay, few benefits, and have no real allies in these difficult-to-regulate third-party environments.


Ida Tarbell, the journalist whose investigation of Standard Oil helped bring about its breakup, wrote this about John D. Rockefeller in 1905:

“It takes time to crush men who are pursuing legitimate trade. But one of Mr. Rockefeller’s most impressive characteristics is patience. … He was like a general who, besieging a city surrounded by fortified hills, views from a balloon the whole great field, and sees how, this point taken, that must fall; this hill reached, that fort is commanded. And nothing was too small: the corner grocery in Browntown, the humble refining still on Oil Creek, the shortest private pipeline. Nothing, for little things grow.”

When Ms. Khan read that, she thought: Jeff Bezos.

Her Yale Law Journal paper argued that monopoly regulators who focus on consumer prices are thinking too short-term. In Ms. Khan’s view, a company like Amazon — one that sells things, competes against others selling things, and owns the platform where the deals are done — has an inherent advantage that undermines fair competition.

“The long-term interests of consumers include product quality, variety and innovation — factors best promoted through both a robust competitive process and open markets,” she wrote.

Stages of Fascism

“Stages in the rise of successful fascist movements such as in Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany

1. Initial creation of fascism movements combining doctrine, discontent, and growing numbers of adherents.

2. Rooting of the movement as a regular political party in the country’s political system.

3. Acquisition of power. Mussolini in 1921; Hitler in 1933

4. Exercise of power: among other things, the elimination of competing political parties or organizations such as labor unions, and the “winning over” of the armed forces.

5. Radicalization and degeneration, fragmentation, fall. Example in Nazi Germany, the growing restrictions on Jew, the appropriation of their property, and the destruction of the civil rights and “state citizenship.” Defeat in World War II.”

Based on this model, I’d suggest the United States is in stage four. More advanced than most people believe. There’s still hope for staving off disaster, but time is running out. The mid-term elections are more important than ever, as is the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

I worked at Media Play for a few weeks after I graduated from college. One day I was shelving books and I kept coming across interesting titles that I’d stop and peruse for a bit before putting them back on the shelf. I thought, “Man, I’d love to be able to just have time to read books all day instead of having to work.”

And then the little devil on my shoulder said, “Isn’t that what you were supposed to be doing for the past three years, smart guy?”

The good designer is the anonymous designer … the one who does not stand in the way of the material; who sends his products on the way to a useful life without an ambitious appearance.

Anni Albers, 1947
(via design-is-fine)