Tag Archives: Kottke

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Addressing #thedress

thedress

I see blue and black/grey/goldy-brown. How about you?

Anyway. What you saw isn’t really as important, in my mind, as why you saw it.

Kottke points to this pretty incredible look at how Buzzfeed managed to dominate #thedress as it moved from trend to meme to whatever it eventually became. 27 million page views. More people visited Buzzfeed’s #thedress post than live in Australia.

“This is not said as an endorsement of BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed is utterly deserving of insanely paranoid criticism just like anyone who makes money from your attention, including me. But it’s worth pointing out that their recipe for traffic seems to be: Hire tons of people; let them experiment, figure out how social media works, and repeat endlessly; with lots of snacks. Robots didn’t make this happen. It was a hint of magic, and some science.”

Anyway. En route to that thing Kottke points to, he shared a couple of nice little anecdotes that are worth capturing and filing away in the ‘stuff to use one day in a talk’ or ‘interesting life lessons’… one of Australia’s best marketing minds (in my opinion), Sean Cummins, once said at a thing I was at “genius comes through the prolific” (he said Einstein said this, but I can’t find any thing to back that up). These are nice demonstrations of that principle.

Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.

“It’s you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”

So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.

“It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”

“Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied.

“B-b-but, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”

To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”

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Theory of motorsport relativity

Somehow, mostly related to picking up a couple of consulting clients, I’ve become professionally interested in motor sport. So I watched this video. Relative to really fast cars, Formula One cars are really fast.

This is an overlay of two videos – one featuring normal fast cars, the other featuring Formula One cars.

Via Kottke.org

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Roboblogging…

Jason Kottke runs one of the finest examples of the curated link blog out there. He manages to find and post some of the most interesting stuff online before just about any body else. Now, somebody built a robot version of Kottke… it’s an interesting experiment.

I don’t think of St. Eutychus as a link blog. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s a content blog. Sometimes it’s a soapbox. But my inclination towards link blogging waxes and wanes. It’s a great way to keep content flowing without investing significant time into posting, but you also get to a point where your curatorial or editorial senses are dulled. There are things on the Internet that don’t excite me as much as they used to. Everybody’s sharing stuff. Some people are sharing everything (I’m looking at you 22 Words)… Kottke describes this malaise beautifully in a piece about the robot version of himself…

“Some days, you just don’t want to do it,” Kottke says. “You look at so much stuff everyday and it all becomes kind of the same—all equally interesting or uninteresting. It’s hard to maintain that sense of discovery, that little hit that you get when you find something that you haven’t seen before. I’ve posted 15,000, maybe 20,000 links since I started. I’ve been whittling down the discovery space of things that are going to be new and interesting.”

Here’s Robottke – the machine version of the link blogger…

Pay it forward Japanese style

Kottke.org linked to this guy’s Japanese holiday story about a cool cafe concept.

They guy bought an orange juice – and was given an apple cider and bag of lollies… he was confused, and asked the cafe staff what had happened. The cafe had this rule”

At this cafe, you get what the person before you ordered. The next person gets what you ordered.

Which is pretty bizarre.

Before they left the guys who found this place got into the spirit of things.

“Mike went up to the cafe, slapped down a couple thousand yen (~$25), and ordered a little bit of everything: some ice cream, some snacks, some candy, some drinks, a Japanese horn-of-mysterious-plenty intentionally set up as a shocking surprise for the next lucky customer. (After his order, Mike received single iced coffee.)

As we walked away from the cafe, with just the right amount of delay, we heard an extremely excited “arigato goazimasu!! thank you so much!!” yelled in our direction, from an ecstatic mom and her equally excited young son. They truly appreciated the surprise.”

Here’s a translation of the rules from the cafe…

  1. Let’s treat the next person. What to treat them with? It’s your choice.
  2. Even if it’s a group of friends or a family, please form a single-file line. Also, you can’t buy twice in a row.
  3. Please enjoy what you get, even if you hate it. (If you really, really hate it, let’s quietly give it to another while saying, “It’s my treat…”)
  4. Let’s say “Thank You! (Gochihosama)” if you find the person with your Ogori cafe card.
  5. We can’t issue a receipt.

Pencilled in

The humble pencil is a triumph of cooperation – the epitome of human achievement, a telling example of the benefits of industrialisation etc, etc… you’ve probably never considered it this way – and neither had I until I read this essay (via Kottke).

A lot of seemingly simple things involve complex processes.

I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove. In fact, if you can understand me—no, that’s too much to ask of anyone—if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because—well, because I am seemingly so simple.

Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me. This sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Especially when it is realized that there are about one and one-half billion of my kind produced in the U.S.A. each year.