Tunes I’m absorbed in: From The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The great ones almost always operate at the edge.
- from The New Yorker, “How the Legal System Failed Aaron Swartz - And Us” http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/01/everyone-interesting-is-a-felon.html
“I don’t know. Maybe we’re all chaos theorists. Lovers of pattern and predictability, we’re scared shitless of explosive change. But we’re fascinated by it, too. Drawn to it. Travelers tap their brakes to ogle the mutilation and mangled metal on the side of the interstate, and the traffic backs up for miles. Hijacked planes crash into skyscrapers, breached levees drown a city, and CNN and the networks rush to the scene so that we can all sit in front of our TVs and feast on the footage. Stare, stunned, at the pandemonium—the devils let loose from their cages. ‘There but for the grace of God,’ the faithful say. ‘It’s not for us to know His plan.’” Which, I’ve concluded, is bullshit.”
- Wally Lamb, The Hour I First Believed
Aaron Swartz 1986-2013
Today, we lost a great mind to suicide, goddamn it. Who knows why. I just wanted to hear him speak and keep speaking so I went to YouTube. This was a good man—watch him express himself and you can tell. He had a good heart and expected the best of the world.
I never met Aaron, but he was one of my first Internet heroes—one of the first bloggers I read when I realized that people make the Internet and some of them have elegant and beautiful voices. Today, I’m sad.
Here are some nice words of advice from Aaron in 2007:
- Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.
- Say yes to everything. I have a lot of trouble saying no, to an pathological degree — whether to projects or to interviews or to friends. As a result, I attempt a lot and even if most of it fails, I’ve still done something.
- Assume nobody else has any idea what they’re doing either. A lot of people refuse to try something because they feel they don’t know enough about it or they assume other people must have already tried everything they could have thought of. Well, few people really have any idea how to do things right and even fewer are to try new things, so usually if you give your best shot at something you’ll do pretty well.
Aaron, thank you for all you’ve done for the world.
Despite the growth of e-readers and digital technology, New Yorkers are spending more time in libraries than ever, says a new report out today from the Center for an Urban Future about the changing role of our city’s public libraries in the digital age. This week on WNYC’s New Tech City, host Manoush Zomorodi delves into the topic and finds the contemporary library is about more than just digitizing documents and lending e-books to patrons on their Kindles and iPads.
This ought to be interesting. Words make worlds.
Much food for thought in this documentary examining the state of the world of interaction design. I pop up with a few thoughts, but I was much more interested in the opinions of the likes of the ever-fantastic Blaise Aguera y Arcas, architect of Bing Maps, and Andrei Herasimchuk, director of design at Twitter.
All I need.