Another of the things I’ve been working on is a little artistic endeavour with a friend.
We’re hoping it’ll turn into something larger: an installation or an exhibition, perhaps, or maybe even a staged reading of sorts.
Not too sure how it’s gonna pan out, but as everything in life, we’ll eventually get to where we’re supposed to go.
Human progress and evolution have moved in tandem with the ability to communicate ideas between people and across spaces. As technologies emerge and develop over the years, humans have been better-enabled to communicate in more forms and at greater speeds than ever before.
While better means of communication have predisposed us to communicating more (from a quantitative perspective), we seem to be communicating less, from a qualitative perspective: people are glued to their phones as opposed to talking face-to-face; the human propensity for and inclination toward reading lengthy tomes and responding to messages and ideas have been reduced to quick sound-bites and quickly-typed out texts, limited to anything between 140 to 160 characters, depending on the medium of transmission and largely hinging upon our desire for instantaneous response; our need for speed.
What will happen to communication when forcible restraints on time and space are imposed upon it? Is language limited when limits are imposed on language?
Inspired from a conversation about correspondence, communication, procrastination and “The Quiet World” (a poem by Jeffrey McDaniel), Quiet Worlds: The 167 Project is a response to two artists’ desire to understand communication in a modern world through relatively “anachronistic” means.
Follow the correspondence between Magdalen Chua, a visual artist in Scotland, and Laremy Lee, a writer in Singapore, as they use snail mail to exchange postcards containing messages of no more than 167 characters in length to investigate and explore the confines (or the lack thereof) of language and human communication.
For Tara and Lucas, with quite a bit of New Yorker thrown in for good measure.
- The Evolution of the Web, in a Blink | The New Yorker
A damn good analytical recount of how web browsing has evolved over time from the perspective of the <blink> HTML tag.
- EpicMealTime: The Early Days – By Mooky Gwopson | EpicMealTime
“The next video on the lineup was a self-challenge to smash the shit out of a KFC sandwich that was labeled the Double Down. It was said by the crew at the time that they wanted to make a sandwich so insane, so greasy and delicious that no one would ever pay attention to the KFC creation again…the team created a 2 foot layered sandwich, that when placed side by side with the Double Down, created an embarrassing food vision of Twins, the movie. The EpicMealTime monstrosity smothered the little KFC sandwich. To this day, we are convinced The Colonel stopped selling his puny sammy because of us”.
- Hello Laptop, My Old Friend | The New Yorker
“Laptop’s air of general anachronism makes this cultural detritus doubly strange… . His Web syntax is charmingly outmoded: I was a relatively early arrival to Facebook, and the standing bookmark still goes to TheFacebook.com, the site’s Mesozoic incarnation. Two of his three browsers are so out-of-date that Web sites think he is an early smartphone; home pages answer him with giant type and stripped-down formatting, as if yelling, at full voice, into his digital ear. The Internet has a cruel nose for obsolescence”.
- Goodnight Hotmail, You Sweet Prince | The Bygone Bureau
I never used Hotmail – I was adamant that I’d never use Hotmail because (1) everyone was using it (I was quite the hipster, on hindsight); and (2) it didn’t cater for POP3 usage (definitely a hipster), so I ended up using all sorts of other email messaging systems, like Geocities and MyRealBox. But Hotmail’s presence as one of the pioneering forces of the ’90s Internet revolution cannot be denied.
- The Ongoing Story: Twitter and Writing | The New Yorker
“Most great writers could, if they wanted to, be very good at Twitter, because it is a medium of words and also of form. Its built-in limitation corresponds to the sense of rhythm and proportion that writers apply to each line. But…[n]ot everyone is primed to be a modern-day Heraclitus, like Alain de Botton, who starts each day, it seems, by cranking up his inner fortune-cookie machine and producing a string of tweets that are, to varying degrees, sour, funny, fatalistic, and bitingly true”.
I’ve been using Astrid, a to-do list manager, for a while but it’s gonna be shut down in a bit, no thanks to Yahoo!’s acquisition of the app.
I’ve been searching for a new task management app to use but I haven’t found anything as user-friendly and as intuitive as Astrid.
Seriously, Astrid is one of the best apps I’ve ever used, which is why I’m pretty pissed with Yahoo! for making such a stupid decision to take-over the app.
Why it was a stupid decision:
- Bad PR for Yahoo!.
Astrid users are pissed that Yahoo! has gone and killed a good thing (check out Astrid’s Facebook Page).
There’s quite a bit of unhappy murmuring going on, so the bad press means no one’s gonna be inclined to use Yahoo! products now.
- No one’s using Yahoo!.
Furthermore – and I’m calling this right here and now – Yahoo! is going and will go the way of the dinosaur.
Even if Yahoo! develops its own task-management app based on Astrid, no one’s going to use it because there isn’t any faith in Yahoo’s continuity and longevity.
- Customers won’t return.
Even if Yahoo! reverses its decision i.e. it keeps Astrid alive, no one is going to use it!
Everyone has migrated to other platforms in droves; even I’ve moved to Todoist, after a long and lengthy search for an Astrid replacement.
So users will need damn good reason to return – either that, or a miracle.
Anyway, if I had the skills, I’d build an app to manage my tasks the way Astrid has been doing so, and as a bonus, design it such that it can be synced with Google Calendar to help me organise my schedule.