1. - Think that for you too nothing is impossible;

    - Deem that you too are immortal, and that you are able to grasp all things in your thought, to know every craft and science;

    - Find your home in the haunts of every living creature;

    - Make yourself higher than all heights and lower than all depths;

    - Bring together in yourself all opposites of quality, heat and cold, dryness and fluidity;

    - Think that you are everywhere at once, on land, at sea, in heaven;

    - Think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave;

    - Grasp in your thought all of this at once, all times and places, all substances and qualities and magnitudes together;

    then you can apprehend God.

    Same excerpt in list format

  2. If then you do not make yourself equal to God, you cannot apprehend God; for like is known by like.

    Leap clear of all that is corporeal, and make yourself grown to a like expanse with that greatness which is beyond all measure; rise above all time and become eternal; then you will apprehend God.

    Think that for you too nothing is impossible; deem that you too are immortal, and that you are able to grasp all things in your thought, to know every craft and science; find your home in the haunts of every living creature; make yourself higher than all heights and lower than all depths; bring together in yourself all opposites of quality, heat and cold, dryness and fluidity; think that you are everywhere at once, on land, at sea, in heaven; think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave; grasp in your thought all of this at once, all times and places, all substances and qualities and magnitudes together; then you can apprehend God.

    But if you shut up your soul in your body, and abase yourself, and say “I know nothing, I can do nothing; I am afraid of earth and sea, I cannot mount to heaven; I know not what I was, nor what I shall be,” then what have you to do with God?

    Hermes Trismegistus, Hermetica

    The sheer creativity of this excerpt astounds me. I could sit at a desk for 20 years and not come up with angles of thought this far out.

    It’s like Oblique Strategies on psychedelics.

  3. A 3-step process for naming a project/product. (And some resources)

    Naming a project is always an awful experience.

    An earworm that won’t stop tapping your skull from the inside. A tenacious pop jingle with teeth and a paycheck.

    As a freelance designer, I do a fair amount of this for clients. Generally, my process has been a garble of notes and trips to thesaurus.com, but lately I’ve noticed a fairly simple pattern emerging, a 3-step framework for cutting through the fog.

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    3-Step Process
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    Step 1.
    Identify the feeling you want the brand to convey. A great brand communicates on an emotional wavelength, so make that feeling your bedrock.

    One way to identify what feeling you’re pursuing is by figuring out what you’re not. A great brand is defined as much by what it is as by what it is not. So if you’re entering a certain market that is a certain way, identify that point of frustration and invert it. For instance, if your market is confusing, you could pursue ‘Relaxed’, or ‘Lucid’.

    Step 2.
    Embody that feeling in a list of persons, places, things or phrases (etc) that communicate viscerally. For instance:
    Relaxed = a picnic
    Exclusive = Studio 54
    Cool = Paul Newman

    Step 3. Final
    Identify a detail that represents the [embodiment] of [your feeling] in a non obvious but compelling way.
    Relaxed = a picnic = Sunny Nap™
    Exclusive = Studio 54 = Velvet™
    Cool = Paul Newman = Ben Quick™ (a character he played)

    Repeat.
    New insights gained from the process should help you get a better handle on the unique feeling or value your brand has to offer.

    Ideally,
    the name should have a ‘special wrongness’* to it. An unforgettable newness. A new shape. 1+1=3. If your name lacks this, the product itself may have a hard time differentiating itself in whatever market you’re entering. Why are you different than your competitors? That difference should be reflected in the brain jam your name causes in its audience.


    *”Special Wrongness” is a term I’ve stolen and adopted from Peter Mendelsund from this amazing interview: http://portersquarebooksblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/interview-with-peter-mendelsund.html


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    Credentials
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    As for credentials, here are some of the things I’ve named:

    Svpply (snobby social shopping)
    Varsity Bookmarking (link-based interview magazine)
    10,000 (TBA athletic apparel)
    General Projects (design studio)
    Work Of (maker community and store)
    Mined (TBA digital marketplace)
    Lookwork (visual RSS for professionals)
    Lunch League (foodie clothing line)
    Embrella Group (design consultancy)

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    G.O.A.T
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    Some of my favorite brand names of all time, the ones I aspire to matching, have the appearance of having emerged from this kind of process. Names like:

    Saturdays
    Girlfriend
    Hunter Gatherer AKA HUGA
    Mo’wax
    Slack
    Dress Code
    Mother
    The Quiet Life
    Public School
    Free People
    Girl Skateboards

    These names emerge from the fringe of their vibe. Familiar details that’ve been blown out larger than life.

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    Pretty Good Tools & Resources
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    http://www.Phrasefinder.co.uk — A robust database of slogans, phrases, idioms and such. Annual fee for this one.

    http://Rhymezone.com — Rhymezone is great for finding rhymes, but even moreso, it’s great for a feature it calls “related search”. Like a drunk cousin reading the dictionary, it often yields connections you wouldn’t see elsewhere.

    http://Thesaurus.com - Yep.

    http://Niice.co — Visual search engine. Good for non-linear, non-verbal associations. and its “Surprise Me!” button is great for knocking you out of a loop.

    http://iwantmyname.com - I use this for domain name searches because it has the most comprehensive list of TLD results that I’ve found.

    http://domai.nr - Domainr will cut your name up into chunks and tell you if there’s any odd domain combos available. Think: de.licio.us or days.am

    USPTO Trademark search - Once you’ve landed on a name, you’ll want to check for existing trademarks in your product’s space.
    USA: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/
    UK: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/tmtext.htm

    USPTO class list - When doing a trademark search, you’ll want to know your product’s class so you can tell if you’re rubbing elbows with a trademark holder.

    Don’t Call it That!: A Naming Workbook - Folks I trust have recommended this book.

    Anatomy of a Name - By Lexicon, the leading name boutique in the world. Anatomy of a Name is part of a larger set of Brand Naming Tools they list, but this is the most interesting of the bunch.

    A Hundred Monkeys Competitors — A Hundred Monkeys, a righteous name agency out of California, pulled this rad PR move and listed out all of their competition, which amounts to a comprehensive list of all the name agencies out there.

    Word Craft — A book on “The Art of Turning Little Words into Big Business”. The first-hand accounts of naming some of the biggest brands in history are mesmerizing.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    That’s all I’ve got.

    I hope it’s helpful.

    If you do wind up with any success because of this, I’d love to hear about it. myfirst@lastname.com or @pieratt

  4. The future in beta, courtesy of @jrlevine’s new project. (a bummer that digital displays don’t photograph well)

  5. Alan Kay: “90 percent of all good things that I can think of that have been done in computer science have been done funded by that agency. Chances that they would have been funded elsewhere are very low. The basic ARPA idea is that you find good people and you give them a lot of money and then you step back. If they don’t do good things in three years they get dropped - where ‘good’ is very much related to new or interesting.”

    SPACEWAR - by Stewart Brand - Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums.

    Can someone tell me why this investment model wouldn’t work in today’s tech environment?

    There are so many insanely talented individuals selling their lives for dollars on the hour to a free market that can’t possibly tap the full potential of what’s lurking in the imaginations of our best and brightest.

    Where’s the sandbox we all aspire to play in? Where’s the productized version of the Macarthur grant?

    I almost saw this model come to fruition with a VC over the past year and it’s been heartbreaking to watch it fall apart. 

  6. No muse was identified with the visual arts of painting and sculpture. In ancient Greece sculptors and painters were held in low regard, somewhere between freemen and slaves, their work regarded as mere manual labour.[2]

    Artist - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Ah the blinders of culture, where strikes my own cataracts? 

  7. Everyone likes to read stories, so I figured that I’d tell you mine. (via About - Art & Design by D. Kim)

  8. NYC ilu

  9. aqqindex:

    Site Architecture, Highrise of Homes, 1981

    (via gimmickbook)

  10. Every one remembers their first love. And that’s exactly what it was when I stumbled across Fwis and the Readymech collection of paper toys. Looking for something to do on a rainy day, I somehow ended up on the Readymech site and immediately fell in love with the color and form. And then to top it off, they were free. It was these toys that launched a fascination with paper and what was possible with a few folds and cuts.

    It turns out I wasn’t the only one to get turned on to the paper world via Skeletron, Tentaclopse, and Headhunter. A good many of the other paper designers working today found their inspiration from this body of work as well.

    Readymech | Clutter Magazine

    This morning I googled Readymechs, an old project of mine and a friend’s. This post almost had me in tears.

    The more work I put out there, the more I realize how important it is to me that it gets copied. It’s the ultimate Like button. An incredible feeling to know that you’ve infiltrated someone’s brain.

  11. America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves…. It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters.

    Quote by Kurt Vonnegut: America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but …

  12. Kanye or Nietzsche?

    keenancummings:

    Last week there was a Twitter conversation about Kanye, greatness, authenticity, genius, talent, gimmicks, hubris and excellence. Nietzsche came up (re: the Übermensch) and today I stumbled on this quote where Friedrich himself is describing his own work:

    With [this book] I have given mankind the greatest present that has ever been made to it so far…

    The conversation he mentions was a lot of fun. As someone who loves pop culture, there’s few things I enjoy more than hashing it out over the merits and pitfalls of Yeezus.
  13. (via VFILES - HOODIE)

  14. .D

    One-Eyed Teen With Cancer Is Told Her Appearance Is ‘A Slap in the Face to God’

    For some reason, the part that really floored me is the emoticon Emily uses online when she wants you to know she’s laughing or smiling:”

  15. This might be the best educational diagram/gif I’ve seen.

    (Source: peterfromtexas, via nickcrocker)

    This is blog of product designer Ben Pieratt

    Me, Elsewhere:


    Things I've written that are better than other things I've written: