Is technology making us smarter? Clive Thompson thinks so.

I was reading this interview with Clive Thompson in the NY Times last night and he’s got a new book out called “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better.” The book touches upon the idea that technology isn’t making you dumb, it’s actually supplementing the way our brains already work.

You talk a lot about memory in your book. Are we augmenting our memories with computers, or are we replacing them?

I would say we are augmenting them. When I started the book I was genuinely worried that I was losing my memory to Google, but the more I studied the way that everyday memory works, the more I realized how much we already rely on other outside sources — books, Post-it notes, etc. — but also other people to remember things. We are social thinkers, and we are also social rememberers, we use our co-workers, our partners and our friends to help us retrieve the details about things that they they are better at remembering than we are. And they’ve used us in the same way. Memory has always been social. Now we’re using search engines and computers to augment our memories, too.

The interview was good enough to get me to purchase the book, really looking forward to reading this. And how great is that cover? Simple but effective.

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better

Bobby Solomon

September 25, 2013 / By

Interview with an Independent Publisher: Cathy Olmedillas of Anorak Magazine

Cathy Anorak 1

The term Independent Publisher is barely vast enough to cover the amount of work and different thinking caps you need to put on to be one. In the day of the ‘Print is dead’ generation publishers are increasingly taking more and more control of their end product ensuring that it’s not just a magazine you’re picking up but rather an experience and escape from the real world – not to mention the digital world. No other publication embodies this more than the perfectly put together children’s magazine Anorak.

Since it’s inaugural issue in 2006 it has been able to capture the hearts of children before they are consumed by technology and set free the square eyes of adults after they’ve lost their sense of childish abandon. It’s a magazine that’s had incredible success and after 29 issues (and not to mention numerous other projects) it’s still going strong. I spoke to Founder and Editor Cathy Olmedillas about her start with Anorak Magazine ahead of the release of their BIG BOOK OF ANORAK, an annual 224 page compendium of stories, activities and educational pieces that ran in the early (and now sold out) editions of Anorak.

Continue reading this post…

Michael Arnold

September 25, 2013 / By

Interview with a Painter: Erik Olson

ErikOlsonPainting

The first time I came across Erik Olson’s work was when my sister showed me an image she had found online, it had no credit and wasn’t linked to the original painter. I put on my detective hat and set about tracking it down, doing a reverse image search that lead me to Canadian Painter Erik Olson. It’s something about the way his subjects are suspended within these bold backgrounds and the frenzied and warped feature, as if they’ve been framed in some sort of swirl and blur movement, that struck me and when the time came to put together a list of creatives I wanted to talk to; he was high up on my list.

I was also fascinated by his first solo show that was held in an abandoned gas station, I love this kind of ingenuity and it is this attitude that, it seems, has got the ball rolling for him and has seen him exhibited across Canada, America and even a spot in the UK.

Continue reading this post…

Michael Arnold

September 19, 2013 / By

Interview with an Art Director: Sue Murphy of Ogilvy & Mather

Susan Murphy

I can’t remember how I first met Designer and Art Director Sue Murphy but it was some time ago; and every now and then I check back on her work to see what she’s up to and find her in a different country. Born in Ireland she’s since racked up a fair share of air miles studying in Savannah, working in Amsterdam and of right this moment working as an Art Director for Ogilvy and Mather in New York. To begin this series of Creative Interviews I thought who better to begin with than the freckly, funny and flighty Sue.

She was also kind enough to takes some snaps of the office in New York and comment on them. I always love seeing these sorts of places, I can’t quite explain why but I find it interesting to see the environment that great work is created in.

Continue reading this post…

Michael Arnold

September 4, 2013 / By

What I’ve Learned by Woody Allen

There’s a great interview with Woody Allen by Cal Sussman over on Esquire, where he shares some of the things he’s learned in his long and fruitful career. Lots of pearls of wisdom in it, but the quote below was my personal favorite.

My mother taught me a value — rigid discipline. My father didn’t earn enough, and my mother took care of the money and the family, and she had no time for lightness. She always saw the glass a third full. She taught me to work and not to waste time.

Woody Allen photo by Mark Mann

Photo by Mark Mann

Bobby Solomon

August 12, 2013 / By

Thom Yorke Interviewed by Daniel Craig for Interview Magazine

Recently, actor Daniel Craig interviewed Radiohead/Atoms For Peace frontman Thom Yorke for Interview Magazine. It’s honestly them shooting the shit for about 5 pages but I liked hearing Yorke speak about Radiohead’s use of computers in their music making over the years. Kind of a love-hate-love experience. There are also some great photos by Craig McDean which accompany the article.

Thom Yorke Photo by Craig McDean

CRAIG: How did you get interested in the whole aspect of things? Were you into computers as a kid?

YORKE: Well, I came to the electronic stuff late because our band really was in the wave of rejecting a lot of it. When we were starting in ’91, ’92, there were some interesting things happening in Britain with electronic music—Warp Records was putting out some crazy shit. But a lot of the exciting things that were happening at the time were guitar music, and as band, that’s where we went. So we came back to the computer stuff later on. There was this interesting thing when we started out as a band where you had to go to a studio, so you were presented with a producer and an audience on the other side of the glass, and they called you and said, “Can you do that bit again? Can you try a different guitar?” And I always found that a bit weird because I felt that I should be with those people, in their room, doing that bit.

CRAIG: Not that you were trying to control the situation at all …

YORKE: No. It was just like, “Who the hell are you?” [both laugh] And then computers got to a point where you could just record directly into them. So when that happened, funny enough, I thought, Right, I’m going to learn how to do this because then I can understand that part. And luckily, we were working with our friend Nigel [Godrich], with whom we still work, and he was really into the idea that the areas were blurred. You know, as musicians we’re quite technical as well—especially Jonny and Colin [Greenwood]. I think Jonny actually learned how to program in C language along with my brother when he was, like, 12. I remember walking from my brother’s room in the morning and he was reading a book on how to program machine code. It was insane. That’s the kind of school we went to. I remember that the kids in school were freaking out when they could make the computer print the word “pee” or something.

See the rest of Craig McDean’s photos under the jump.

Continue reading this post…

Bobby Solomon

July 31, 2013 / By

Five Questions with Aaron Meola, founder of Portland record label Dropping Gems

aaron meola by patti miller

I was first introduced to the Portland-based label Dropping Gems two years ago when they released their first compilation, Gem Drops. I was shocked. Here was a labor of love, done by friends for friends, with incredible beats and songs, and all the revenue went to the American Cancer Society. I stayed fresh and young, I got down with some kale jams (seriously), and I loved it so much I even featured a track on my Redford Rise mixtape, for all of you to enjoy.

Gem Drops Two followed the next year with the same inspired blend of tracks. Anything from synth pop, hip hop beats, ambient, drone… it was there. This was music to fall in love to, to get lost in a forest with, to make you dance in the sunshine. Once again, the proceeds went to cancer. Once again, I was smitten with the music.

Gem Drops Three came out yesterday. Many of the same things are there, but after several years, the sound is more refined. This is a labor of love. So through some help by friends of friends, I got a chance to ask label founder and Portland native Aaron Meola how he does it. And in the loving tradition of The Fox Is Black interviews, I asked him five questions about music, love, and passion.

Continue reading this post…

Alec Rojas

April 17, 2013 / By

Shigeru Ban on the Importance of Architecture

Shigeru Ban

Came across this interview by Edan Corkill with Shigeru Ban in which they discuss his growing up, his education at Cooper Union, and his love of paper tubes. Before this article I honestly had no idea that cardboard could be so damn durable. You can read more about his practical uses of paper tubes on his Wikipedia page.

My favorite part of this piece though is at the end when Shigeru explains what’s important to him in regards to architecture.

What’s the most important thing when making architecture?

Even something that I intended as a temporary structure, like a paper church I made in Kobe in 1995, can end up being permanent. That church was relocated to Taiwan in 2006, after they had an earthquake there, and it still exists today. Ultimately, what determines the permanence of a building is not the wealth of the developer or the materials that are used, but the simple question of whether or not the resulting structure is supported — loved — by the people.

Architecture made simply for profit — even if it’s in concrete — is in fact temporary. Commercial architecture is precisely that. If it is made for making money then eventually some other developer will come along and try to make more money out of it by demolishing it and rebuilding it. And it just repeats. In that way concrete is in fact temporary.

However, if you make architecture that is loved by the people, then regardless of what it is made of, it will be kept.

Found through Spoon & Tamago

Bobby Solomon

April 15, 2013 / By

Google+