I think about Kim Goodwin’s swiss cheese designer often, the generalist suited for startups but comes with skill gaps. Does this also reflect how we take in information and noise today. I don’t know another way at mastery but focused study and regular practice.

Not to discount going broad or keeping up with newsletters, but there’s a wealth of book knowledge we often overlook as outdated. With all the new hotness, it’s easy to forget that we still have access to books that have aged well, even if they are all mostly white and/or male.

It’s also just nice to have a design library to count on when you run into a gap you didn’t quite realize was there.


Crisis, coercion and coups in the fog of war

You might say that the coastal liberal elite that I am, I was completely unaware that alt-right hate-monger Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to speak at Berkeley by the Republican club at a security cost to the of about $6000. The foreseeable riot that shut down the event likely cost the city a good deal more and aerial footage of a burning spotlight unit mainstreamed Milo and furthered Steve Bannon’s permanent crisis tactics.

I missed the televised burning at Berkeley to eat a slice if pizza, arriving in time for the Resistance Dance Party. A friend described it as a queer, POC & immigrant dance party to detract from Milo’s hate speech and that’s how I learned about the protest. …


Psychometrics and the mainstreaming of Christofascism

For immigrant folk like me, the question of the Trump administration wasn’t when authoritarianism would begin but how ghastly it would be. Justin Trudeau would speak out in the wake of the a mosque shooting that left 6 innocent Canadians dead at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre saying, “We will grieve with you. We will defend you. We will love you. And we will stand with you.” I wonder what words Trump had offered the prime minister given that 1 in 2 Americans are in support of his ban on Muslims or that the “lone-wolf” terrorist was pro-Trump. …


A brief guide to public relations, opportunism and posturing

Begin your statement with how alarmed you were by the executive order. It is necessary to create distance between technology and the Trump administration whether or not your corporation works with them. This sets a believable tone that both xenophobia and segregation have not existed in the history of America. Quickly follow your alarmism with praise of America’s founding principles and consider inserting a short story of your own ancestral assimilation into White America, contrasting the history of America with it’s present day unjust aberration.

Having portrayed the American ideal, dive into your corporate culture par excellence. If your readers are willing to believe in an alternate national history of celebrating diversity, they will certainly buy how inclusive your technology company strives to be. Mention broadly the benefits of globalism and digitally opening borders but not specific to tax evasion or economics. Speak instead of your belief in unity while avoiding deeper issues like segregation as though this fissure had only recently formed or come to your attention. …


When it finally dawned on me that I was just a part of the unpaid masses of content creators, I made the decision to stop writing. If I was going to write anything, it would simply be about how you shouldn’t write because someone else was simply going to monetize it.

Yet I still made time to mock dead old white men, that had always seemed like duty more than a job. Living old white men were fair game too. But with the election nearing, it seemed that calling out white male hegemony was suddenly every writer’s beat. …


My hand grasps for it in habitual obeisance
Perhaps in my pocket with fingers stretched
Or clasped just over my lap but under a table
Entertaining a world of far more
Desire than this moment here.

This is my phone prayer and yours
To this most sacred of our shiny objects
The slender Goddess of Silicon.

Blessed are the notifications it blings
Blessed are the answers to misplaced trivia
Blessed are the loops of memes
Blessed are the documenting of injustices
Blessed are the swipes that bring sex
Blessed are the serialized streams. …


1
If you smile at me when I am in that place of revelry
And touch your hands to my face I would not turn away
Though you would soon forgot what you saw in me
I would not forgot the memory of chasing a dream

It was a dream that sounded like two of us laughing
At the sad ways of the world while eating oysters with cocktails
Because each of us can only hold so much alone
That I thought you’d want to carry this future together

I could not sleep that first night of being free in you
Dreaming of desires that would lift this weight
Of walking through this century alone until forgotten
Thinking we might remember the better of what is in…


Notes from a tea hobbyist testing out the Ankomn Savior

After a trip to Sri Lanka recently, I picked up an interest in blending my own black and green teas with various herbs and aromatics. And as I dive into the world of tea, I’ve learned old and new ways of fashioning that perfect cup of pekoe, picking up new gadgets to support my hobby project. One of the products to cross my path was the Savior, a non-electric vacuum storage container. Tea, like other organic materials, tends to oxidize over time while aromatics and herbs can loose their potency. As I began selling Prospers fortified teas, I wanted to impart freshness compared to teas that generally sit on grocery shelves indefinitely. I also wondered if flavors could be imbued deeper into tea. …


A reminder necessitated by amnesia that despite the appearance that the world is burning just outside your browser window, that the world is not descending into hell.

Most economists would say that by the measure of poverty at least, people today are in a better place today than they were 50 years ago and especially a 100 years ago. This isn’t to discount often very tragic events happening daily but to understand its place relative to the past and conducive to our future. On more than one occasion, I’ve heard a liberal urban millennial bemoan how they couldn’t bear to live in the world today as though we’ve reached the end of times. I’m not discounting feelings here but whether such emotions are accurate let alone helpful. …

About

Vikram

Love, Design & Computation

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