Archive for the ‘Book’ Category

Here comes everybody

søndag, juni 26th, 2011

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How do you build movements in the 21st century? The research for my thesis has begun, and I’m now halfway into Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky. In the spirit of my thesis theme ‘collaborative consumption’, of course I’m borrowing this book from my local library that is somewhere behind those trees in the background. However, I have already felt the urge to underline and comment a bunch of stuff on the pages. Guessing the librarians would not be happy about that, so using my iPhone to take notes for now.

I definitely need to get more organized in my research, but then again, getting to know my new neighborhood, the lovely Prospect Park, changing my pale skin to a more proper color for the summer, are all high priorities for the weekends, and will unfortunately interfere a bit with my studying. Considering that I spend my work weeks this summer at Purpose, I’m hoping that will give me some valuable insights before next semester starts as well…

Purpose designs movements for social change, and works within areas like LGBT rights (Yay, same-sex marriage law in NY!), fighting obesity, trying to make the world a little bit greener, just and so on. Their focus is on mobilizing people online to take action for different causes. It’s great to be a part of the enthusiastic Purpose team, knowing that all our projects are meaningful and can potentially make a difference in the world.

Building a movement is no exact science, and whether or not something becomes as big as one would hope for is hard to predict. Right now the American Dream Movement (see RebuildTheDream.com), a response to the conservative Tea Party movement, is one to watch. Their arguments are clear and convincing – for a Norwegian social-democrat, anyway. But will their strategy be able to mobilize the American democrats under one umbrella like the Obama campaign did? Watch highlights from Van Jones movement launch speech, read these articles (article I, II, III), and judge for yourself! Unfortunately, I’m afraid Sally Kohn at HyperVocal (article I) might be right in her analysis of the people this movement is trying to reach out to:

[T]he success of the American Dream Movement depends on the willingness of progressive organizations and leaders to glom onto Van’s message. And progressives, in general, aren’t known for glomming on. Maybe it’s because we’re free thinking, anti-hierarchical types who like to create things ourselves. [...] Or maybe it’s because we’re overly analytical or even cynical, too busy dissecting any solution as imperfect to be enthusiastic about the good parts.

Detail in typography

tirsdag, september 28th, 2010


I am quite determined to get a better understanding of typography during my time here at SVA. I feel the book Detail in typography by Jost Hochuli is a very good place to start. And with only 58 pages of text – I’m already done with it. The book explains principles like kerning, wordspacing, and leading, and illustrates it all with lots of examples of good and bad typography practice. Perfect subway read!

I still don’t feel like I know that many fonts, though, and tend to use the familiar web fonts in all assignments. But I opened InDesign for the 1st time this week, so I have already started experimenting a bit. We’ll see if Jason Santa Maria approves of these experiments in tonight’s typography class…

Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages

fredag, august 27th, 2010


I’ll be the teaching assistant for this guy in the course Research Methods. Wow! Will try to get hold of his book Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages, so I’ll be more prepared. Sounds like a good read! Just have to juggle the reading with the hunt for apartment, bank account, social security number, an American phone number, etcetera, etcetera. But New Yorkers are really good at reading on the subway – and I am taking the subway A LOT. So. Sounds like I have a plan!

The design of everyday things

søndag, februar 28th, 2010

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I finally got around to get this classic design book by Don Norman. I attended his presentation at the From Business to Buttons conference in Malmö in 2008. He’s an inspiring speaker, and I recognize his enthusiasm through the book pages as well. Even though the book was written way back in 1988 (my edition is from 2002), it’s still a relevant book today. It reveals the battle of man vs. machine in everyday life by great examples, explains why design-thinking matters, and gives us the mindset to help us prevent design mistakes in the future. The book stresses that when things don’t work the way you thought they were supposed to, it’s generally not your fault. Most times you can blame the unfriendly design instead. This is quite obvious (to me anyway), but it’s still nice to get a reminder with models and brilliant examples to back it up.

Classification of books

onsdag, februar 3rd, 2010

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1) Books You Mean To Read But There Are Others You Must Read First

2) Books You’ve Always Pretended To Have Read And Now It’s Time To Sit Down And Really Read Them

3) Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered

Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler

I am still reading about the detective Harry Hole, but I have started to think about what to digest when Harry has solved his last murder case. This process made me remember a quote I once heard on the radio. It was about how books can be classified, and I find it rather amusing. When googling it, I just found the next thing to add to my reading list – Italo Calvino’s «If on a winter’s night a traveler». The quote is actually selected parts of a quite long passage about different types of books to find in the bookstore, and belongs to the first chapter of Calvino’s novel. After reading that chapter online (here it is), I really look forward to the rest of it! I have read some other stuff by Calvino before, but in Italian. However, I feel I should make it fun and less of a learning experience this time. Unless I want it to end up in the pile of Books I’ve Been Planning To Read For Ages!

Nemesis

fredag, januar 22nd, 2010

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I consider myself a book lover. I have even worked in a book store. Still, I don’t read as many books as I used to. I am trying to get into a good reading habit again by letting myself read some real page turners. I am continuing the journey of catching bad guys with detective Harry Hole through the great criminal novels of Norwegian author Jo Nesbø. Book number four, Nemesis (Sorgenfri, 2002), stands out as even better than the three former, and I really find the plot engaging. I guess some Americans have enjoyed the novel as well; it has been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best mystery novel in 2009.

I don’t read many crime novels, but I really enjoy Nesbø’s writing style. Reading the books chronologically enhances the experience a lot, so I guess I am not recommending Nemesis just like that. I recommend the whole story of protagonist Harry Hole from the first book The Bat Man (Flaggermusmannen, 1997) to the latest release, Panserhjerte (not translated yet).

A Short History of Nearly Everything

onsdag, desember 2nd, 2009

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I love when someone attempts to give me an overview of things. Generally, history is a weak spot in my brain – but I will work on it – starting with Bill Bryson’s modern classic «A Short History of Nearly Everything». Reading the preface, I find his writing quite amusing, and really believe he can entertain me through the rest of the pages as well. If this is not the case, I guess the illustrated children’s book «A Really Short History of Nearly Every» might do the trick.