I’ve found so many designers being caught up in the definition of their job description – they are only supposed to craft stuff, graphical stuff. Sometimes they are trapped by people’s stereotypes, and sometimes they trap themselves.
I classify myself as a rebellious designer – I am a designer, and I am not either. I love to deal with some parts of the world that I don’t necessarily need to deal with. And I find pure intellectual enjoyment out of it.
We are not bees.
Anthony Bourdain wasn’t just a great chef – he infused the cuisine into thoughts of human condition and cultures of the “Parts Unknown”. Allen Iverson’s college football coach said he could have been much more stellar if he chose football over basketball. Bruce Lee is a striking philosopher and martial artist. Leonardo da Vinci was a phenomenal painter, scientist, musician and much more.
I am not talking about the T-shape. I am talking about “T-T-T-T”-shape. No one can be good at everything, but can definitely be relatively good at various things. One gets to find out what these various things are and things they are not that good at. We are capable in multiple areas, and the most capable ones can think laterally to make connections.
Higher education only takes 4 years or less to train someone ready for a professional. But we don’t just have 40 years, and it means we can pursue 10 more professionals in our life span.
(P.S. Thoughts after listening to Joe Rogan’s interview with Naval Ravikant)
You might object that the AI would thereby kill serendipity and lock us inside a narrow musical cocoon, woven by our previous likes and dislikes. What about exploring new musical tastes and styles? No problem. You could easily adjust the algorithm to make 5 percent of its choices completely at random, unexpectedly throwing at you a recording of an Indonesian gamelan ensemble, a Rossini opera, or the latest K-POP hit. Over time, by monitoring your reactions, the AI could even determine the ideal level of randomness that will optimize exploration while avoiding annoyance, perhaps lowering its serendipity level to 3 percent or raising it to 8 percent.
– 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari
Yuval在21 Lessons for the 21st Century书中所描述的Serendipity另我沮丧 – 本以为人类应当引以为豪的serendipity，可能也只是被上帝操纵。想跳出算法给你制造的filter bubble并非难事，通过调整randomness比即可，甚至存在最优比率：serendipity比率太低，人类的confirmation bias就越积越深不再探索；serendipity比率太高，人们便失去乐趣以至丢弃。
It continues to be true that “software is eating the world”. And most of time, the existence of hardware is to preserve the power of software.
Fitbit is the minimum amount of hardware needed in order to bridge the physical world into the software’s. You might be paying a hundred bucks for the Fitbit wristband from the merchants, and the software coming with it seems free. But think about it – would you pay $100 for wristband without a dashboard, or would you rather pay $100 for a dashboard (with all the same fitness data of your own) without wearing a wristband? You may be hesitant to pay a mobile App that costs that much – consumers today are indulgent in the world of free softwares. But a wristband without a dashboard is useless for sure.
So one strategy is to make hardwares as minimal and invisible as possible, in order to preserve the power of software.
Well there’s one exception – hardwares as status signifiers. These will be all luxuries like shoes, bags, and jewelries, as well as gadgets that signifies status or styles – iPhone, Beats Headsets, and more.
P.S. I wrote this to mourn two of my favorite hardware companies: Anki and Jibo, which created unprecedented innovations yet failed.
Tyler Cowen once said in an interview that San Francisco / Silicon Valley is a “diverse monoculture”. It’s the “diverse” part that gives its creativity, and the “mono-culture” part that gives it efficiency. That’s the benefit of being diverse monoculture. And that’s what makes Bay Area, Bay Area.
This also infers a good chance that next century will be less innovative than this.
Because a lot of innovations and ideas come from intense cultural interchange and connectivity. But in the continual open system, eventually the stronger culture will absorb the weaker, or both cultures become a well-mixed one, until it can’t. Whatever the most creative clusters, like the one in San Francisco Bay Area, are in the process of “cashing in” the creativities which benefits from the open system, until it can’t.
In order to have a sustainable “creativity” to cash in, some sort of insulation matters. Insulation allows a culture to grow and realize its own unique form without distractions from the other frameworks.
That’s why Madagascar has its unusual types of wildlife because the island is so isolated from the rest of the world that it can evolve its eco-system. That’s why we should have the annual fishing band period to preserve organisms so they have time to grow before fully exploited.
“I think you’re a uniquely brilliant, twisted, inward-looking, diverse monoculture, and I’m very glad you are. 😜 ” – Tyler Cowen
Last week on Facebook’s F8 Keynote it was said that “Over the next year, we plan make messenger the fastest private communication app on the entire planet”.
Why being fast?
Memo leaked that Evan Spiegel wrote about to make Snaptchat the fastest way to communicate. Evan pointed out the much older version Snapchat ran on iPhone4 is way faster than the latest on iPhone X as more features are introduced along the way. This also explains why when you open Snapchat you go directly to the camera as the first screen. Maybe more importantly, “faster” means talking with images is faster than communicating or documenting in texts.
In the heat of competing being the fastest in communication, Mark even wanted to invent some wearable with “brain-computer interface” that can get the information from your brain out into the world, which undoubtedly is the most fastest way to communicate – “We’re working on a system that will let you type straight from your brain about 5x faster than you can type on your phone today.”