Weeknote 11 – 12
- So we spent the tail end of last week bouncing around London hospitals. Nothing permanent, but we’ve had to cancel all our plans for the next few weeks1 (and tomorrow I’ll be doing a christmas dinner for the first time lol)
- I know I know it’s a bloggers cliche after something like this, but the treatment we got through the NHS was amazing. The people are brilliant and good natured (even when clearly exhausted from long shifts) the treatment is considered and appropriate, and even the buildings were clean and in good shape. On the flip side, everywhere was super understaffed and overcapacity, none of the processes were inter-compatible, and the IT systems looked… in need of some attention.
- Really though, the ability of the nurses, doctors and admin staff who work in the NHS to endure the hostility and sabotage/incompetence of British politicians and their bff management consultancies is one of those things that can give you hope in the world.
- And every taxi driver who picked us up during the time said exactly the same thing.
- If this had happened in the US it would have cost us $30,000 plus charges for the ambulance, painkillers and drugs – which is way more than my total annual tax bill. Although apparently the building the accident happened in is such an injury hotspot that in the US all the lawsuits would have forced someone to make the building safe decades ago.
- I guess the US model is based on the hope that extreme liability can force powerful people to behave responsibly, while the UK model assumes nothing can force powerful people to behave decently so the state should make sure we don’t suffer too much because of it.
- Not sure either model is working out tbh.
- Shared a tube carriage with a group of teenage boys wearing matching Paul Smith sneakers earlier in the week.
- Nothing wrong with Paul Smith when you’re in yr 30s, trying to negotiate office-casual codes. They cut a nice suit. But can you imagine being a teenage boy both privileged enough to have £200 to drop on sneakers, and alienated enough from youth culture to spend it at Paul Smith?
- Been almost 20 years since I worked in a hospital – the corporate mismanagement doesn’t appear to have changed but fuck the sneaker culture has. We always wore comfy shoes (you straight up need them to be on your feet for a 12 hour shift) but now it’s all collectible Ultraboost and Vapormax and New Balance. And then there’s the 4am A&E nurse with his battered SLabs2 and the middle-aged x-ray technician in Opening Ceremony Columbias3 👀
- Look I know I shouldn’t aestheticise it but paired with their minimal gender-neutral drapey uniforms hospitals have strong 90s Larry David4 meets Jil Sander5 echoes. Expect to see an influence on my SS20.
- Hard turn, do we know what happened with Sicario 2 yet? If the first was “Apocalypse Now is happening on your doorstep because THE WAR ON DRUGS IS BAD”, the second really pivoted hard into Mexicans drug mules are terrorists BORDER WALL NOW. So a proper 180 on the politics but largely the same team behind it. There has to be a story in there somewhere?
- Charlotte Lydia Riley wrote this article about coffee and class in the UK.
- As part of their end-of-decade content Dazed spoke to Skrillex. Not so into his music but he’s always seemed like a nice dude
I really love this word ‘occhiolism’. It’s a weird old word you don’t hear that much, but it means the awareness of the smallness of your own perspective. Everyone has their own journey. Don’t judge someone on a moral level, try to understand why they are that way.
Skrillex, interviewed in Dazed
- Beyond the cheesy headline and PR stuff I enjoyed this article about IKEAs recent design work. Scaling product design, manufacturing and user research is hard, and doesn’t get much bigger in scale than IKEA.
A customer doesn’t want the toaster. They want the toast.
Johanna Nordell, in The Verge
- I spoke about my work at a conference at IKEA Space10 R&D Lab a few years ago, as you’d imagine the audience questions were fucking strong.
- Staying with The Verge, this design review of the new Xbox reminded me of Scott McGuire’s comments about North Face’s Mountain Light jacket6.
I’m going to go out on a limb here: the Xbox Series X design is good for some of the same reasons the Tesla Cybertruck design is good. It upends preconceived notions of what it’s supposed to look like, but does so for specific, functional reasons.
Dieter Bohn, in The Verge
- The list of CG snags in this IO9 review of Cats will give nightmares to anyone involved in making stuff.
- Which neatly comes around to Ralph’s review of the Age of Surveillance Capitalism in The New Humanist. Apparently when we chatted about it earlier in the year I Had Comments, but I honestly can’t remember them now. The closing para in particular is great
One of the great strengths of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is that it clarifies a phenomenon that we may know about but not fully comprehend. For those like me who work in tech, it may come as a relief to read that technology itself is not on trial. Surveillance capitalism is not inevitable. Zuboff makes clear that it has been enabled by 20 years of deregulation in the technology sector, which to date we have largely accepted. Do we continue in our passivity, Zuboff asks, or do we decide it is unacceptable?
Ralph Cowling, in The New Humanist
- You might have noticed that I’ve drifted into doing weeknotes fortnightly. I write these by making notes on my phone as I go through the week, then edit them down later (every post I delete at least 2x as many notes as I include). I seem to be a lot more decisive/faster editing them this way, maybe I just have more time to digest things or whatever.
- Hope you all have a chill christmas x
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