About

I write about technology, psychoanalysis, philosophy, design, ideology & Slavoj Žižek.

Appreciation

June 5, 2011

Their Sentences No Longer Have Meaning

Fascists have learned something from pragmatism. Even their sentences no longer have meaning, only a purpose — Max Horkheimer

Colloqium

Related Posts

August 5, 2014

The Cult of Sharing

The sharing economy’s marquee startup Airbnb recently unveiled a new brand identity and positioning to help propel its international expansion. Airbnb’s new wordmark and logo nicknamed “the Bélo” is said to have been the culmination of a year-long process, including a cross-cultural analysis to ensure their identity would be understood around the world. Exhaustive branding efforts are unusual among pre-IPO Silicon Valley companies. For years they’ve leaned on primary colors, gradients and rounded fonts, default signifiers of fun and friendliness that negate the staid formality of the more conventionally-minded business world, attempting no greater meaning than “this is not your father’s

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March 2, 2014

The Lego Surround: A Review of The Lego Movie

In the 1930s and 40s, a group of American anthropologists and psychologists collaborating with German émigré artists and thinkers put forward an idea that they hoped would protect democracy against the threat of fascism that was sweeping Europe. Eight decades later, a ninety minute branded entertainment product based on their ideas has critics saying things like “it’s a laugh-a-minute thrill ride with a heart of gold!” The Lego Movie has received Pixar levels of acclaim among critics, but it’s unclear why. Despite the social media hype, it’s not very good. Maybe critics have realized that kids today don’t understand what selling

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October 21, 2012

Intrusion of the Real

Recently I was at a meeting where the report from a contextual inquiry was presented, and observing the researchers talk about their interactions with the participants was interesting to me, especially because for most of them, this was their first experience with user research. One of the researchers talked about a retired man they interviewed, and one detail she mentioned was that this man explained that he has a precise procedure for buying something online: he would find exactly six options for what he wanted to buy, and write down their names, the price and where he found them in a

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Recent Popular Posts

February 13, 2014

Left Activism Goes Corporate: A Detour Through the Raw Food Underground

One of the most tedious features of the Silicon Valley Hype Machine is its endless repetition of progressive sounding marketing slogans about democracy and freedom, all while promoting a pro-business agenda. But it’s too easy to read this as a sinister corporate ploy to co-opt the language of activists and twisting

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December 20, 2013

Civility: A Distance That Brings Us Together

Just in time for the holidays, Apple’s marketing department released Misunderstood, an ad about a surly teenager absorbed in his iPhone in the midst of scenes of his family’s idyllic Christmas togetherness. But he surprises everyone when he reveals that the whole time he was making a touching video for everyone

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January 26, 2014

Ten Parenting Lessons I Learned from Franz Kafka

Here’s an adage which I think is true: every theory of parenting is implicitly a theory of society. It follows that even if you aren’t a parent now, nor ever intend to be one, if you’re interested in society and culture, you ought to be interested in the topic because the

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