Magic, the controlled ordering of patterns, is the perfect UX for Math, the science of patterns.
“As it turns out, you have to shuffle seven times before a deck becomes truly scrambled. Not only that, the cards become mixed in a highly unusual way: The amount of randomness in the deck does not increase smoothly. The first few shuffles do little to disturb the original order, and even after six shuffles, you can still pick out distinctly non-random patches. But right around the seventh shuffle something remarkable happens. Shuffling hits its tipping point, and the cards rapidly decay into chaos.”
Thomas Adès (composer, pianist) and Ian Bostridge (tenor) performed works by Adès, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Dowland, Kurtag.
Adès is a composer and superb pianist, so he comfortably experiments with different points of view on traditional works, with the result that every work is made brand new because of his innovative ear. Was that truly Liszt? Yes! But from an interpretive angle that I had never considered … or ever heard.
Bostridge is an artist whose voice is like a bottomless glass. There is no limit or end to the creative texture that he can produce, and from very deep inside him. I was on the edge of my seat all night attending to the paths that he opened up with each successive phrase.
Together, this truly great collaboration, made paradoxically, a lasting, ephemeral work of the highest art last night.
Afterwards the concert made me think long and hard about the forces of innovation and creativity. They are not the same, yet are deeply connected. They do not reside in isolation, but move both within and between people. Innovation and creativity rest clearly on a foundation of craft, artisanship, dedication, exploration, connection, investigation.
The performance by Adès and Bostridge was physical, living proof of this as they each embodied, threw back and forth between them, and played effortlessly with the most powerful forces in the universe.
John Baldessari is a painter whose works I return to frequently. He always makes me think, and not only about painting. After sharing this painting with friends over the years, I realized only recently that this is also a description about my relationship to software development. As I look back at the trends in my work, the core reason for developing any of the companies, products or algorithms that I have created in the past was to embody the most recent understanding of a burning question.
Early in my career, I was deeply intrigued by image processing in the human visual system. How do we see what we see and make sense of it? Cognitive processing of the visible world is quite a miraculous phenomenon. At the time, large scale image database retrieval was the particular burning issue that occupied my every creative moment. At the birth of digital imaging there was the creation of a method to encode an image for storage and display. But that very representational scheme did not account for the time when there would be massive quantities of image files that needed to be found, all more or less named nnnn.jpg.
My burning, primary daily question was: “How do people search for images?” This created a number of sub-questions all hanging off the first. Once a result set is gathered, how do users continue the filtering process until a final selection is made. What representational model, metadata and methods need to be in place for the most flexible downstream retrieval? Is it possible to create image metadata with “bounce”, meaning, can you shift the task point of view (i.e., throw the query ball from a different direction) on a single representation and still get a relevant result set.
These burning issues eventually were only partially resolved in a variety of patents, companies and products over the years: eMotion, PictureQuest, Picture Network International, ClearView Networks, and a host of others. In painting terms, these were the “group exhibitions” I was a part of, since there are very few “one man exhibitions” in software.
When I talk to my tech friends I always inquire about what they are working on, hoping to hear what they are “really” working on. I may now start asking them more bluntly, what are you exhaustively studying in order to build your product … and when will your group exhibition open?
“Various people have discovered that Kindle Cloud Reader is a straight HTML5 app and that the server sends it unencrypted content a chapter at a time. It would be fairly easy to build a program that captures the HTML and stores it locally. This would be roughly equivalent to “stream capture” for audio and video, except that the result would be a perfect browser-renderable copy of the e-book.”—Amazon Lowers the Speed Bump with Kindle Cloud Reader « Copyright and Technology
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”—
Just chatting with a friend and fellow healthcare innovator. A super talented, smart guy with a really elegant solution that every employer in the US should want. However, disrupting the price transparency issue of healthcare is pretty much impossible. That quote pretty much sums up a major reason why real innovation is nearly impossible in healthcare.
“In addition to the fact that Pinboard itself is promising and clever, Ceglowski has implemented a genius feature on the sign-up page: you must pay a small one-time fee to create a new account: The signup fee helps discourage spammers and defrays some of the costs of running the site. The fee is based on the formula (number of users * $0.001), so the earlier you join, the less you pay.”—Daring Fireball Linked List: Pinboard — Antisocial Bookmarking (via rafer)
Rafer sez: As stated a few dozen times, angels only manage their own money. Everyone else is a VC, by whatever trendy name, and their incentives are ever increasingly divergent from founders. They are almost always great people, but that doesn’t correct the problem.
It’s tempting to advise founders to offer ONLY convertible notes. Shall we gang up publicly to that end?
Chopin classes last week at Juilliard with www.aaronwunsch.com cleared my blurry musical vision. This was a most effective class by a brilliant professor + pianist who presented Chopin’s abundance of ideas with a refreshing clarity. As a result I have been most productive myself at the piano now each day when I play and study.
For a long time, listening to the Etudes has vexed me - maybe because I don’t have enough skill to render them at tempo. Until now, I could never see the actual shape of the many “technical objects” that are contained there, and worse, had no appreciation for Chopin’s masterful fusing of these dry elements into a seamless and provoking whole. But I get it now, and it is as if an entirely new wing of a house was just discovered.