Epistemic status: Just the kernel of an idea.

Epistemic effort: Been kicking around this kernel of an idea for a while but without really investing in fleshing it out or drawing conclusions.

There’s an interesting thing that seems to happen predictably in so-called “creative” fields as technologies become less expensive to own and less complex to operate.

I first noticed this in the printing industry. Thirty or more years ago, the tools for printing and publication were so expensive and complex that only mid- to large-sized organizations could own them, and only specialists could operate the machinery. …

The sound of the foundry pounds all around me.

Blasting and burning and breaking and boiling,
And twisting and turning and taking and toiling.
The bending of steel and the grinding of wheels,
And the pushing and the pressing and the stamping and the stressing.

The dark and the heat and stench and the smoke,
The soot in the eye, the scratch in the throat.
The click and the clack and the bang and the boom,
The bodies pressed close in the arms of the tomb.

Young Sammy and Billy and Bobby and Ron
We sent to the factory, but now they are gone.
And Fanny and Sarah and Lizzie and Jen
Went away to the mill; they won’t come back again. …

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Image for post
Découpe de la tête | David Sidoux, Flickr | CC BY 2.0

By Nate Listrom

Years ago, there was a discussion in the online design community about the merits and demerits of using things like filters, drop shadows, gradients, bevel effects, and the like. At the time, CSS3 wasn’t even a thing yet. The discussion was about Photoshop and how to use it properly. More recently, designers have held a similar discussion about minimal design and then material design.

These are good discussions, but they’re prone to a lot of confusion.

In order to think clearly about design and its purpose in the world, I believe we need to understand the difference between two fundamental categories: structure and style. …

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