posts about or somewhat related to ‘theory’

What If Journalists Stopped Trying to Be Political Insiders? →


Jay Rosen, the astute press critic, is giving a speech today about the problematic ways the political press covers presidential campaigns. It’s a subject a lot of folks have addressed over the years, so it’s impressive that he’s added value to the conversation.

Raising hand: It would be a gazallion times better.

Liking this:

In politics, our journalists believe, it is better to be savvy than it is to be honest or correct on the facts. It’s better to be savvy than it is to be just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilized, sincere, thoughtful or humane. Savviness is what journalists admire in others. Savvy is what they themselves dearly wish to be. (And to be unsavvy is far worse than being wrong.)

(via seeyoulaterguys-deactivated2011)

Suggestions on Design Resources

Flowers & Freckles asked us if we have design resources we’d recommend. I brainfarted and hit publish by accident before entering the following but here it is:

Do we have design resources? Sure do, I can’t list them all and what follows is a little messy but it generally works for me.

I use Google Reader to organize my content sources and have general categories that I put RSS feeds into. For example, Media, Technology, Politics and Business. I also have a category called “Visuals”. This is a catch-all that includes everything from photo sites, to design tutorials, to data visualization to design theory.

A non-exhaustive but somewhat exhausting list of the 46 sites I monitor includes (alphabetically and not in order of preference):

That said, I don’t actually read content within Google Reader. Instead, I use Feedly which is a service that sucks in everything I have in Reader and lays it out like a magazine according to the categories I have.

I like this better than Google Reader because the Reader interface makes me feel like I have hundreds of unopened emails that I need to wade through. Feedly gives me more of a sense of browsing through what might be interesting.

Feedly doesn’t allow me to display the output publicly but Google does and you can see what type of design content I look at here. And if you you use a feed reader yourself, you can add this feed URL to it to suck in the firehose of that which I’ve set up.

Anyone have suggestions for design resources, be they tutorials, theory or just pretty things?

Invisible Cities

Created by Christian Marc Schmidt.

The software is available for download (Mac/PC) for those that want to enter their own data and networks.

H/T: Brain Pickings.

Perhaps because of his unusual mind, he had a knack for writing sentences that sounded at once clinical and mystical. His books read like accounts of acid trips written by a bureaucrat.

— Nicholas Carr, The Medium Is McLuhan, a book review of Douglas Coupland’s Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!.

The Internets Made Us Do It →

As the blame game continues over Jared Loughner’s rampage, New Republic Contributing Editor John McWhorter says fault lies with the Internet.

McWhorter, a Columbia lecturer specializing in language change and language contact, explains that we’ve moved from the introspection of analog writing to the narcissism of digital speech.

The actual cause of this new national temper is technology and its intersection with how language is used. Language exists in two forms in modern times: speech and writing. Writing is a latterly invention only some thousands of years old, produced and received more slowly than talk. It encourages reflection, extended argument (something almost impossible to convey amidst the overlapping chaos of conversation), and objectivity. Writing is, in the McLuhanesque sense, cool…

…It is no accident that the shrillness of political conversation has increased just as broadband and YouTube have become staples of American life. The internet brings us back to the linguistic culture our species arose in—all about speech: live, emotional, unreflective, and punchy. The slogan trumps the argument. Anger, often of hazy provenance but ever cathartic (“I want my country back”) takes fire. All of this is reinforced by the synergy of on line “communities” stoking up passions on a scale that snail mail never could.

Robert Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” and generations of journalists have followed his maxim. But the opposite can also be true: the farther away you are, the better you can see.