Archive for February, 2009

Joy

February 27, 2009

Obamarism

February 27, 2009

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The Christian Democratic Party (CDU) in Germany launched their new website  teAM Deuschland (It´s in german)

It has everything a web 2.0 political party needs to succeed in the upcoming election. CDUtv, Blog, Facebook Page, Flickr, Twitter. Now look at the logo…coincidence? This is embarrasing. Germany is not America, and Angela Merkel is not Barack Obama and do they really think this is a good way to get a youn generation involved?! Trying to adapt a succesful strategy, by simply copying it,  just makes them less authentic. Try again please.

Giant yellow ball on blue stick next to brick wall.

February 24, 2009

This morning I visited Lucas Gardens in Camberwell. It was a grey and rainy day and therefore the playground made a very sad impression.

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Beside all the usuall playground equipments, hidden away in a corner next to the brick wall, I discoverd a wired thing.

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What could this possibly be? A lamp? A climbing tree? A spaceship? How are we supposed to play with it? Closer investigation brought out the following discoveries: It has four holes, pointing towards the ground and one big one pointing towards the sky. On the ground are stones, leading towards each tube-like hole. It’s yellow with bees painted on it.

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Conclusion It could either be a futuristic communication tool to engage children with new ways of talking to each other. An early learning experience to get children, from a very early stage on, used to devices for communication. It could also be a trap where giant bees will be allured into (therefore the yellow colour) and then killed and exhibited. Or maybe it should just trigger some thoughts and ask children to use their imagination? A blank playing space. I need to come back to see how people engage with this.

Read!

February 18, 2009

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The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

In this book Malcolm Gladwell talks about how little things can make a big difference – through the means of social epidemics. His argument is simple. He believes that events or actions that appear to be insignificant can turn into social epidemics – a bit like the butterfly and its wing thing. He talks about a tipping point at which a paticular phenomenon can cause huge changes. This can be applied to many areas like, Fashion, Society, Politics, Methods and so on. Overnight, everyone´s doing it. Think about social networking tools, think about organic food, think about tight jeans, think about working class neighbourhoods that turn trendy, think about … . He describes three rules which make something “tip”. Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor and the Power of Context. The Law of the Few says that there are certain people who are good at spreading ideas – without them it won´t work. The Stickiness Factor is about, well, stickiness, something that makes it grow. The Power of Context basically says everything has to happen at the right placce and the right time.

So how can we use this simple idea to make it work for something we believe in? From my point of view it´s quite easy. You have to think of something you really like to change and then deliberately start a positive epidemic of your own. It´s up to you. Set an example, do little things, make sure other people notice and hope they follow your example. And if it doesn´t work nevermind, at least you´ve done something! This may sound a bit like a sleazy motivation trainer, but it just seems like a simple truth.

Live the dream

February 16, 2009

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Since 1999 Hugo Chávez is the president of Venezuela. And as it seems, he will be for at least another ten years. He gets away with a lot of things and the word diplomacy is not something you would necessarily associate with him:

I hereby accuse the North American empire of being the biggest menace to our planet.

The devil came right here… And it still smells of sulfur today (On G.W. Bush)

Well we can try to measure democracy, just as you measure temperature with a thermometer, or pressure with a barometer.

The day before yesterday I thought I was going to have to go to the extreme of decreeing a national emergency, but today I don’t think I will have to.

If they don’t comply with the contract … we can do whatever we want with these aircraft, whatever the hell we want. Maybe we’ll give 10 planes to Cuba or to China so they can study the technology

His latest coup is to have won a public referendum on the constitution which entitles him to be unlimitedly re-elected. But people love him, mainly the working class. He is, as he calls himself, a soldier of the people, and as such always sees himself being right in all his actions. I don´t quite understand why he is so popular, and why people in Venezuela are willingly (?) giving one person as much power as he has. But as it is, it is one of the last remaining running socialist systems in the world.

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Design can make you happy?!

February 11, 2009

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Listen to this presentation by Stefan Sagmeister and find out why Design can make you happy.

It´s from 2007 but still relevant.

” It got to a point where Happy has got a bad reputation”

Stefan Sagmeister – Yes, Design can make you happy

Play More!

February 5, 2009

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A break

February 2, 2009

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London has seen the heaviest snowfall since 18 years since last night.

The results:

Due to treacherous road conditions overnight throughout the London area, TfL suspended all bus services in London last night on the grounds of safety.

Plus no trains, severe delays on tubes, closed schools and airports.

This is pretty astonishing. I went out for a walk and it was magical. So many people outside, making snowmen, shopping, having a late breakfast, smiling at each other with the common knowledge, yeah, you didn´t make it to work today either. First you have a bad conscience, but after a while you think, there´s nothing I can do about it, so best enjoy. It makes you realise that actually the world doesn´t come to an end, if people don´t go to work for a day. Instead, they do things which normally they wouldn´t have time for – like making a cake. And that´s what I´m going to do now.