Tag Archives: cities

Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-09-29

A deliriously fun music video using a car+instruments+desert track, a British puzzle book that was the “Lost” of that nation in 1979, lessons now for our cities’ future, artisan firewood, and learning to be lonely so we can learn to talk to one another – these are the Jeneral finds of the week for 2015-09-29!

  • Apparently I’m 10 years late being in-the-know, but I’ve found my new favourite thing, at least when it comes to music videos. I’ve spent the evening binge-watching all the videos of OK Go. They’re amazing in the sense of fun, wonder and joy they inspire, with real physical effects and often in single takes. One feels inspired that we can recreate many of the videos at home, if we happened to have the same dedication and creativity with the things laying around the house. Their treadmill video for their song “Here It Goes Again“, or the Rube Goldberg Machine video to “This Too Shall Pass“.
    But this one is definitely my favourite one of all: “Needing/Getting”. 
  • In 1979, Kit Williams published a book in Britain that was an illustrated fable—which also incorporated clues to a treasure hunt in real life. Imagine in the days before the internet and smartphones, this mystery is put before you. Would you be able to solve it? It took 3 years for it to be found, and even then it was not buy solving the clues in the book (the ones who did were too late). This article in Hazlitt provides an account of the story, but also delves into the human nature of desiring to find solutions to a mystery, even in convoluted and obsessed manner.
  • This article “8 Cities That Show You What The Future Will Look Like” from Wired magazine has some stunning examples of urban design and thinking. Even if they are not directly applicable to us here in Toronto, it shows that innovative thinking and political will can help solve the problems our cities are facing now and into the future. It’s just too bad that our current political focus during this October 2015 federal election campaign features very little to do with urban planning. Discussions about transit, affordable housing, and infrastructure have largely lacked much substance.
  • There’s definitely been a movement lately away from mass-production of products of dubious quality towards the hand-crafted, quality and bespoke. But perhaps the earnestness in some places is overwrought. This recent satirical video from CBC’s This is That program hilariously skewers it, profiling an artisanal firewood maker (the name may be the best part): https://www.facebook.com/radiocbc/videos/10153630196091913/

  • In “Stop Googling. Let’s Talk“, Sherry Turkle eloquently and convincingly describes how the constant distraction available from our smartphones is causes us to lose the skill of learning how to truly talk to one another. What’s surprising to me is that the argument takes a step beyond addicted to the distractions of the phone, and towards our ability to be alone and to process through the silences that are natural in any conversation.

But this way of dividing things up misses the essential connection between solitude and conversation. In solitude we learn to concentrate and imagine, to listen to ourselves. We need these skills to be fully present in conversation.

~Jen, aiming to be fully present in future conversations

<–previous finds of the week