In defense of unicorns — Medium
Colleague Chase Davis: “Forced specialization in newsrooms is shortsighted”
Newsrooms thrive on templates. Designers don’t report, they design. Photogs don’t write investigative pieces. People come and go, but beats stay the same. That continuity is no doubt a big reason why news organizations are able to put out a paper every day.
But it’s also lazy and outmoded, particularly now that students are graduating with a broader array of skills than ever before. Certainly some of my students have wanted to learn to programming specifically because they wanted to create interactives and data visualizations. And that’s great! But many have also wanted to use programming to augment reporting, writing, photography and other more traditional storytelling skills.
For a student who wants to write, but also happens to be a talented programmer, the temptation to accept a newsroom coding job is great. They’re easier to find, more lucrative and more secure. But reflexively shunting these students into templated roles cheats them out of a broader journalistic experience, which hurts both them and the field as a whole.
Because Olympics. I shall be posting here sporadically at best.
'I Am Hello Kitty'
For a good part of 2012, smiling tourists surrounded Joana Toro in Times Square. Strangers hugged her. Some even gave her a few dollars. Talk about getting a big head. Actually, it was all because of her big head, an oversize Hello Kitty mask she wore while working among the costumed characters that have become familiar denizens of the Crossroads of the World.
What started out as a way to make a little extra money while studying English turned into “I Am Hello Kitty,” a photo essay about the anonymous immigrants who transform themselves each day into instantly recognizable figures of American pop culture. Most are from Latin America, said Ms. Toro, who was a photographer in her native Colombia.
Narcissism is a developmental stage, not a symptom of the times. Young adults have been condemned as the “Me Generation” since at least the turn of last century. Then they get older, get appalled by youngsters nowadays, and start the condemning themselves. —
Oliver Burkeman, This Column Will Change Your Life: Consistency Bias, The Guardian.
TL;DR: We change too; it’s not just the times, the world, or the others.
There’s a giant robot directing traffic in Congo
Bring weaponized version to NYC RT @carlzimmer: In Kinshasa, giant robots direct traffic http://t.co/e6SIj6eqAJ via @dbiello— Tom Vanderbilt (@tomvanderbilt)January 31, 2014
The Role of Algorithms in Data Visualization -
You Might Not Need jQuery -
Do you need jQuery? Maybe not. http://t.co/LXrsQxWzuY— Dave Shea (@mezzoblue)January 30, 2014
Really quite handy. Thanks, internet!
On March 28, 2011, a man who calls himself Kurt J. Mac loaded a new game of Minecraft. As the landscape filled in around his character, Mac surveyed the blocky, pixellated trees, the cloud-draped, mountains, and the waddling sheep. Then he started walking. His goal for the day was simple: to reach the end of the universe. Nearly three years later, Mac, who is now thirty-one, is still walking. He has trekked more than seven hundred virtual kilometres in a hundred and eighty hours.
At his current pace, Mac will not reach the edge of the world, which is now nearly twelve thousand kilometres away, for another twenty-two years. In the four years since its initial release, Minecraft has become a phenomenon that is played by more than forty million people around the world, on computers, smartphones, and video-game consoles.
It is primarily a game about human expression: a giant, Lego-style construction set in which every object can be broken down into its constituent elements and rebuilt in the shape of a house, an airship, a skyscraper, or whatever else a player can create.
(via A Journey to the End of the World (of Minecraft) : The New Yorker)
Always wanted to attempt this. It’s Minecraft poetry. <3
A haiku from the article: The Gadfly of Greenwich Real Estate
It may not take $200 million, as it did to create a cable network, or $50 million as a national magazine might require, but creating a digital media company takes years. (And $25 million, give or take.)
With the price for web advertising dropping by the second and new competitors coming out of the screen at a very high rate, it would seem like a terrible time to jump in. But what we are witnessing now is not the formation of a bubble, it is the emergence of a lasting commercial market, a game that has winners and losers, yet is hardly zero sum. — The last two paragraphs of David Carr’s piece on Ezra Klein joining Vox Media. (via saila)
Read the original New York Times review of the Apple Macintosh
Stephen Hawking: ‘There are no black holes’
Notion of an ‘event horizon’, from which nothing can escape, is incompatible with quantum theory, physicist claims.
Full story: Nature
Putting it simply, we’ve moved their cheese, and we have to tell them where it is now,” Mr. Brancato said. “I would say that 70 percent of the complaints are about things that are still there but can’t be found in the same way. — After the Times Redesign, Complaints and Changes - NYTimes.com (via slantback)