Random Etc. Notes to self. Work, play, and the rest.

If I Had More Time

"Mr. Micawber was waiting for me within the gate, and we went up to
his room (top story but one), and cried very much. He solemnly
conjured me, I remember, to take warning by his fate; and to
observe that if a man had twenty pounds a-year for his income, and
spent nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence, he would be
happy, but that if he spent twenty pounds one he would be
miserable. After which he borrowed a shilling of me for porter,
gave me a written order on Mrs. Micawber for the amount, and put
away his pocket-handkerchief, and cheered up."

I am the Mr Micawber of time, being that I'm over-spending just slightly this month. Hopefully I'll make it up this year!

If I had more time I might blog about a small revival in minimal geeky location-based fun stuff that's happening with sites like noticin.gs and blockchalk.com. I might also note that foursquare got funding which is good because even though I'm not particularly attracted to the service it's a better experience than its competitors by a long way (and much less creepy, I think). And I'd note that opengeodata.org has stopped being about OpenStreetMap exclusively and that if you want to get Steve Coast's attention there are a million things he's thinking about these days.

If I had more time to blog and more time to think, I'd stop leaving cranky comments trying to answer Manuel Lima's false dichotomy and Robert Kosara's straw man and I'd stop worrying about definitions of data and aesthetics and analysis and I'd be happy to frame the argument in terms of prickles and goo instead.

"it is inevitable that there will soon be a large number of hybrid designer-engineers that shall radically reconstruct the visual landscape." – John Maeda

This debate isn't new and it's not going away either. John Maeda and friends have been pointing out the rise of gooey-prickles and prickley-goo for years. I wonder if prickly folks at RISD are getting gooier, and vice versa.

My money's on the middle ground too, which is why I find narrow and divisive definitions so frustrating. Why can't we have aesthetically pleasing data analysis? (Of course there will be pure analysis with no emphasis on aesthetics, just as there will be pure aesthetics with no emphasis on data. Sometimes the latter with be art to make a point. That's cool!)

If I had more time to think and blog, I'd have told you about our intern Amy Martin and how she worked with us over the summer on some Wikipedia stuff to hone her hybrid designer-developer skills, and how that seems to be paying off nicely. And I'd mention the new GAFFTA space in San Francisco that is running workshops also recognising this kind of work without worrying overmuch about definitions. We'll be there next month.

Gosh. If I had more time I'd never blog.

1 Comment

Here here. Agree 100% with your view on the discussion re: data viz asthetics etc.

Posted by Ben on 7 September 2009 @ 1am