Tim "O'Reilly" O'Reilly emailed me (and a whack of others) last night, aflutter with enthusiasm over a book of essays he's just finished, called Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy
, by Dave Hickey. It sounded like he'd had the kind of quasi-relgious experience you get from reading a really good book, and the title was neat, so I googled around and based on what I found, I ordered my own copy:
For Hickey, as for writers like Havel and Klíma, "the language of pleasure and the language of justice are inextricably intertwined." Thus, when he takes on the issue of multiculturalism in his essay "Shining Hours/Forgiving Rhyme," Hickey begins not with a discussion of individual rights and collective wrongs, but with a memory of pleasure. For several thousand words -- an eternity by American journalistic standards -- he summons up a 1940s childhood afternoon in which he watched his white jazzman father jam with two black beboppers and a refugee German pianist in suburban Texas. Bluntly reminding us not to read this scene as "an allegory of ethnic federalism," he then turns to the paintings of Norman Rockwell. In them, as in the jam session, Hickey identifies a quintessentially democratic leveling. If American high art -- and, by implication, the high academic theory of identity politics -- promote hierarchy and exclusiveness, then in Hickey's view, jazz and the paintings of Rockwell reveal the possibility of inclusion and equality. Moreover, as Hickey's afternoon with his father suggests, that possibility is not merely an ideal -- it can actually be lived.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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