March 21, 2009


1. "Tyler Perry is simply reflecting the thinking of a lot of uneducated, working-class African-Americans.'' Anecdotally, I know that sentence to be untrue, I work with plenty of educated African-Americans who love Perry, but ever since we moved to Atlanta, the center of his "empire," I've been fascinated by him. His show "House of Payne" comes on 2-3 times a day here on a local affiliate and it is amazingly bad. It is quite literally the TV equivalent of a train wreck and I can't look away. The man is a genius. He filmed 100 episodes of the show in a year, doing almost 3 a week so that he could get into syndication faster and make the real money. The cast was showing up to the set and seeing their dialogue for the first time on the day they were filming. And believe me, you can tell. Horrible acting, dreadful writing (not, mind you, horrible actors or writers, but people being asked to do the impossible) - you would think it was farce if it didn't take itself so seriously. The man is making money hand over fist and seems to be a gaming the system to perfection.

2. Layoff, a recession inspired video game. (via)

3. Jac Smit, often called the "father of urban agriculture, has a new website.

4. Is the Big Picture a Bummer Today? Nice single serve ribbing of one of my favorite sites.

5. The New York Times covers the annual angst-fest that is the San Diego Comic Con Hotel lottery.

6. There are some helpful things to hear in Douglas Bowman's explanation as to why he left Google - I see lots of relevance for those working in (and making decisions about) development and community building:
When I joined Google as its first visual designer, the company was already seven years old. Seven years is a long time to run a company without a classically trained designer. Google had plenty of designers on staff then, but most of them had backgrounds in CS or HCI. And none of them were in high-up, respected leadership positions. Without a person at (or near) the helm who thoroughly understands the principles and elements of Design, a company eventually runs out of reasons for design decisions. With every new design decision, critics cry foul. Without conviction, doubt creeps in. Instincts fail. “Is this the right move?” When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data. Data in your favor? Ok, launch it. Data shows negative effects? Back to the drawing board. And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions.

Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can’t operate in an environment like that. I’ve grown tired of debating such miniscule design decisions. There are more exciting design problems in this world to tackle.
7. I really like the fact that the White House will have a garden again, though it remains to be seen whether or not the Obama's access to fresh, local produce will have any impact on the much more important issue of rehauling the American public's food system, and these pictures released by the White House are great but come on, somebody get that woman some Carhartts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Check out this diary of a cop...