A collection of essays on cities and technology. Contributors include Bruce Sterling, James Bridle, and Adam Greenfield.
Sunday, February 25th, 2018
Monday, March 20th, 2017
Paul finishes up his excellent three part series by getting down to the brass tacks of designing and building components on the web …and in cities. His closing provocation has echoes of Heydon’s rallying cry.
If you missed the other parts of this series, they are:
Friday, January 6th, 2017
Paul is turning his excellent talk on design systems into a three part series. Here’s part one, looking at urban planning from Brasília to London.
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
A catalogue of objects and observations from cities around the world.
Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
A wonderful collection of treasures excavated from GeoCities. Explore, enjoy, and remember what a crime it is that Yahoo wiped out so much creativity and expression.
Monday, October 27th, 2014
I’m at Disney World for a special edition of An Event Apart, so this lightning talk from Dan Williams seems appropriate to revisit.
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
I’m not sure how I managed to miss this site up until now, but it’s right up my alley: equal parts urban planning, ethnography, and food science.
Friday, August 16th, 2013
Paris Review – “One Murder Is Statistically Utterly Unimportant”: A Conversation with Warren Ellis, Molly Crabapple
Molly Crabapple interviews Warren Ellis. Fun and interesting …much like Molly Crabapple and Warren Ellis.
Monday, May 20th, 2013
Ben proposes an alternative to archive.org: changing the fundamental nature of DNS.
Regarding the boo-hooing of how hard companies have it maintaining unprofitable URLs, I think Ben hasn’t considered the possibility of a handover to a cooperative of users—something that might yet happen with MySpace (at least there’s a campaign to that effect; it will probably come to naught). As Ben rightly points on, domain names are leased, not bought, so the idea of handing them over to better caretakers isn’t that crazy.
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
A thoroughly addictive use of the Instagram API (along with Node.js and Socket.io): see a montage of images being taken in a city right now.
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Josh writes about the importance of using rules and systems as tools without being bound by them.
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Jason’s rip-roaring presentation from Defcon last year.
Friday, March 16th, 2012
A thoughtful—and beautifully illustrated—piece by Geri on memory and digital preservation, prompted by the shut-down of Gowalla.
Friday, January 27th, 2012
I loved this talk from Travis at New Adventures in Web Design, especially when he talked of the importance of Geocities and MySpace in democratising creative expression on the web.
We may have later bonded over that Ze Frank quote while in the toilet at the after-party …there may have even been hugs.
Sunday, December 4th, 2011
A beautiful reminder that by publishing on the web, we are all historians.
Every color you choose and line of code you write is a reflection of you; not just as a human being in this world, but as a human being in this time and place in human history. Inside each project is a record of the styles and fashions you value, the technological advancements being made in the industry, the tone of your voice, and even the social and economic trends around you.
Monday, September 26th, 2011
This is quite beautiful. An interactive piece that allows you to dig through the ruins of Geocities like an archeologist.
Such wanton destruction! I’ll never forgive those twunts at Yahoo.
Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
Kars has written up his (excellent) dConstruct talk. Set aside some time and read through this. It’s worth it.
Thursday, July 14th, 2011
It’s hard to believe that it’s been half a decade since The Show from Ze Frank graced our tubes with its daily updates. Five years ago to the day, he recorded the greatest three minutes of speech ever committed to video.
In the midst of his challenge to find the ugliest MySpace page ever, he received this comment:
Having an ugly Myspace contest is like having a contest to see who can eat the most cheeseburgers in 24 hours… You’re mocking people who, for the most part, have no taste or artistic training.
Ze’s response is a manifesto to the democratic transformative disruptive power of the web. It is magnificent.
In Myspace, millions of people have opted out of pre-made templates that “work” in exchange for ugly. Ugly when compared to pre-existing notions of taste is a bummer. But ugly as a representation of mass experimentation and learning is pretty damn cool.
Regardless of what you might think, the actions you take to make your Myspace page ugly are pretty sophisticated. Over time as consumer-created media engulfs the other kind, it’s possible that completely new norms develop around the notions of talent and artistic ability.
That’s one of the reasons why I dread the inevitable GeoCities-style shutdown of MySpace. Let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time. And when it does get shut down, we will forever lose a treasure trove of self-expression on a scale never seen before in the history of the planet. That’s so much more important than whether it’s ugly or not. As Phil wrote about the ugly and neglected fragments of Geocities:
GeoCities is an awful, ugly, decrepit mess. And this is why it will be sorely missed. It’s not only a fine example of the amateur web vernacular but much of it is an increasingly rare example of a period web vernacular. GeoCities sites show what normal, non-designer, people will create if given the tools available around the turn of the millennium.
Substitute MySpace for GeoCities and you get an idea of the loss we are facing.
Let’s not make the same mistake twice.
Thursday, April 28th, 2011
A blog devoted to sifting through the gems in the Geocities torrent. This is digital archeology.
Thursday, March 31st, 2011
On Public Objects: Connected Things And Civic Responsibilities In The Networked City.