The Big Think

November 30, 2005

Sharpest Knife

Filed under: Computing — jasony @ 11:38 pm

“Google has the functionality of a really complicated Swiss Army knife, but the home page is our way of approaching it closed. It’s simple, it’s elegant, you can slip it in your pocket, but it’s got the great doodad when you need it. A lot of our competitors are like a Swiss Army knife open–and that can be intimidating and occasionally harmful.”

Marisa Mayer

good interview with Marisa the “high priestess of [Google’s] simplicity” here.

Makers Manifesto

Filed under: Hobbies — jasony @ 11:10 pm

Erin and I went to Barnes and Noble tonight and spent some quality time in the reading chairs there. I picked up a copy of Make magazine. If only it weren’t $35/year for 4 issues I’d have a lifetime subscription.

On page 2 of the magazine was the Maker’s Manifesto by Ulla Maaria. I’m reposting it here, but you can see the original on her website. The Manifesto is a great set of philosophies for anyone who likes to tinker with the world around them. I’m sure some of my friends will really appreciate it.

1. People get satisfaction for being able to create/craft things because they can see themselves in the objects they make. This is not possible in purchased products.

2. The things that people have made themselves have magic powers. They have hidden meanings that other people can’t see.

3. The things people make they usually want to keep and update. Crafting is not against consumption. It is against throwing things away.

4. People seek recognition for the things they have made. Primarily it comes from their friends and family. This manifests as an economy of gifts.

5. People who believe they are producing genuinely cool things seek broader exposure for their products. This creates opportunities for alternative publishing channels.

6. Work inspires work. Seeing what other people have made generates new ideas and designs.

7. Essential for crafting are tools, which are accessible, portable, and easy to learn.

8. Materials become important. Knowledge of what they are made of and where to get them becomes essential.

9. Recipes become important. The ability to create and distribute interesting recipes becomes valuable.

10. Learning techniques brings people together. This creates online and offline communities of practice.

11. Craft-oriented people seek opportunities to discover interesting things and meet their makers. This creates marketplaces.

12. At the bottom, crafting is a form of play.

I want to live my life with this as (one of the) central ideas.


Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 3:23 pm

New Cars trailer up.


Filed under: Quoth — jasony @ 1:38 am

(via speculist)

The great obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.

Interesting. Makes you wonder what we think we know today that we really don’t…


Filed under: Science — jasony @ 1:10 am

Interesting statistic (via this podcast):

92% of all the scientists who have ever lived are alive today.
85% of all the engineers who have ever lived are alive today.

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