Right now I am in the middle of writing a book review of Henri Bortoft's Taking Appearance Seriously. Having been taught by Henri, and being someone who now teaches Henri's phenomenological philosophy to business students, his publisher Floris Books sent me his manuscript early, and it has been wonderful for me to read his latest work, especially since his last book…
Archive for August 2012
Why visionaries, design thinkers and business leaders need to study the history of science Leave a comment
Who doesn’t like a good story? There’s nothing like curling up with your favorite book, or eReader (still seems weird to me), and escaping into a world of rowdy cowboys on the cattle drive, a conflicted detective trying to solve an impossible case, or the desperate struggle for existence as the people of the planet Zilfho battle their imperialistic overlords, the Hicputis.
“Languages as diverse as English, Russian and Hindi can trace their roots back more than 8,000 years to Anatolia — now in modern-day Turkey. That’s the conclusion of a study1 that assessed 103 ancient and contemporary languages using a technique normally used to study the evolution and spread of disease. The researchers hope that their findings can settle a long-running debate about the origins of the Indo-European language group.”
AN : an innovative approach to determining liguistic roots….
The Creative Act: Marcel Duchamp’s 1957 Classic, Read by the Artist Himself | Brain Pickings Leave a comment
“The creative act is not performed by the artist alone.”
In 1964, Arthur Koestler penned his celebrated classic The Act of Creation, a fine addition to other notable hypotheses on how creativity works and where good ideas come from. Seven years prior, in April of 1957, French Surrealist artist Marcel Duchamp spoke at the Convention of the American Federation of Arts in Houston, Texas, addressing the same subject in a short paper he presented, entitled The Creative Act. The session included two university professors, an anthropologist, and Duchamp himself, listed in the program as “mere artist.”
A decade later, Aspen Magazine recorded Duchamp reading the paper, and the audio is now available as part of a fantastic compilation featuring several Duchamp readings and interviews.The full transcript, found in Robert Lebel’s 1959 tome Marcel Duchamp (public library, can be read below, with highlights.
AN : do listen to the audio reading…
“Stock Logos has compiled a list of famous logo designs and the price that was paid to design them.
The list features iconic logos from brands such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Twitter and Nike.”
AN : logos are indeed ”a picture that speaks a thousand words “. They are not the entirety of a brand but are the key, pithy visual pivot.
“Korean artist Lee Kyu-Hak creates beautiful mixed-media paintings (mosaics?) by wrapping small wooden wedges with colored newsprint that mimic the brushstrokes of famous artists. Lee’s artworks appear mostly to be reinterpretations of pieces by Vincent van Gogh, but I think I see a few original compositions as well. See much more over at Yesong gallery.”
AN : a plethora of imagination. Re-creation of some well known art pieces in a very innovative fashion…for that matter, the entire blog that this comes from has a vast canvas of artistic creativity….
Accidental Mysteries, 08.12.12: Occupational Photographs: Observatory: Design Observer Leave a comment
“In the mid-19th century, during the early days of photography, it was a common practice to have your portrait made with the tools of your trade, hobby or passionate interest. Today, these images tell a wonderful story of trades and occupations during the growth of our nation. Most of these images (as noted) are from the Matthew R. Isenburg Collection of early photography, which was just sold to the Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC) for a record $15 million. The museum is in Toronto, Canada. This exhibition was assembled by my (author of this blog piece :John Foster ) friend Alan Griffiths, of Luminous Lint, a website dedicated to the history of photography.”
AN : an interesting practise to show the tools of your trade in a picture. Wonder what we would show if our tools are more cerebral than manual ?
“Silicon Valley has done a great job of talking about its disruptive potential, but there is something truly disruptive about solar: a fully distributed model of energy generation. We currently rely on the centralized hub-and-spoke delivery systems of the utilities, many of which are outdated and suffer tremendous losses as electricity travels from power plants, along transmission and delivery lines and into our businesses and homes. There is a massive infrastructure of regulation and enforcement in the energy market to underwrite the utilities; it’s one of the most highly regulated and noncompetitive markets in the country. Imagine a world in which homeowners and business owners are miniature power plants, with the full ability to sell power back to the grid at retail prices — power, literal and figurative, would be wrested from the hands of monopolistic, polluting utilities and their ancillary industries: mining, fracking and the like.”
AN: a USA centric article but applications apply to any country…getting power to residences and commercial entities can diversify the grid….and set up for smart grid tools…
“Of all the governing styles in the world, does one country stand out as more successful than the others?
The debate over the best form of government has been raging ever since the days of Plato and Aristotle. Nevertheless, empirical studies about how government actions affect citizens have only been conducted in the last few decades. Probably the most ambitious attempt to evaluate the world’s governments comprehensively is being carried out by the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Germany.”
AN : what a superb question ! This comes from a four part series of articles in the well known German publication Der Spiegel….which, incidently , means “The Mirror “. The question is something to reflect upon :-)
“When selecting a partner to power mobile payments in its stores, Starbucks could have approached Google, one of the most profitable companies in the world. It could have worked with PayPal, which already has more than 106 million users in the payments space. Or Isis, a consortium formed by telecom giants Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile that is also producing a “mobile wallet.”
“I’m sure if you and I were to rattle off the names of everyone in the space, that at some level we’ve been in discussions with them,” Starbucks’ Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman tells Fast Company. Presumably that includes MasterCard, Visa, and VeriFone, which handles $10 billion in global transactions per year. But Starbucks chose to partner with Square, a three-year-old startup. Why?”
AN : the answer is also part of what Apple is renowned for……