The Thought-and-Reflection Edition Sunday, September 1, 2019

Can We Slow Down Time In The Age Of TikTok?, by Jenny Odell, New York Times

I can’t give my students more time in their lives; but what I try to do is change the way they think about and value it in the first place. My class typically includes students who aren’t art majors, some of whom may never have made art before. I give them the same advice every quarter: Leave yourself twice as much time as you think you need for a project, knowing that half of that may not look like “making” anything at all. There is no Soylent version of thought and reflection — creativity is unpredictable, and it simply takes time. It can be hard for them to accept that, since they are steeped in a mind-set of productivity hacks.

How Adobe InDesign Took Over Publishing With Steve Jobs' Help, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Jobs spoke at the 1998 Seybold Conference, which at the time was a particularly notable annual publishing event. In promoting Apple, Jobs brought representatives from both Quark and Adobe up on stage to show how their companies were supporting the Mac.

Nobody remembers what Quark did, but Adobe took this opportunity to show off what was then called K2. It was a prototype of what would become InDesign, and it was very well received. Demos do make their topic look good, but in this environment, there was already a hyped-up feel in the audience.

Strike 2.0: How Gig Economy Workers Are Using Tech To Fight Back, by Jack Shenker, The Guardian

The story of what has happened to workers, of how that insecurity has been normalised, is part of a wider tale about the ways in which processes of economic production have been altered under the twin influences of globalisation and financialisation. Between 2016 and 2019 the number of people working for digital platforms in the UK doubled to 4.7 million, almost one in 10 of the entire workforce. Meanwhile younger workers in traditional professions are being “proletarianised” as their wages fail to keep pace with the rising cost of living: early career lawyers, lecturers, accountants or architects face lower pay, less stable jobs, poorer working conditions and higher levels of freelancing than their older colleagues experienced. Up to 10 million people in Britain are now estimated to be in some form of precarious work, a trend that stretches well beyond the “gig economy” and into occupations that have existed for centuries, such as teaching, caring and hospitality. Across all these sectors, talk of workplace “flexibility” is increasingly entwined with new forms of intensive management – often, in many industries, now conducted by algorithms rather than human bosses – and the growing surveillance of workers that goes with it.


NetNewsWire 5.0 RSS Reader Rebuilt From Scratch, Now Free And Open Source, by Sarah Gooding, WP Tavern

If you’re looking for a new RSS reader to aggregate your news in a more calm environment than Twitter or Facebook can provide, NetNewsWire is a strong open source option with an exciting future ahead. Few apps have this kind of longevity, and it will be interesting to see how it evolves as an open source Mac app. As of version 5.0, it’s still fairly minimalist in terms of features but has a lot of momentum and a passionate community behind it, which in this case has proven more valuable towards ensuring its future.

Five Essential Apps For Freelancers And Self-employed People, by Lydia Smith, Yahoo

Yet while self-employment offers a number of benefits that a desk job might not – like avoiding the morning commute – it’s not always smooth sailing. You get the freedom and flexibility to set your own hours and decide your own workload, but it can be a challenge to keep on top of irregular payments and invoices, as well as multiple deadlines and clients.

Thankfully, though, there are some handy apps to help you organise your work, finances and more.

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My weekend plans were disrupted; Netflix just added The Last Jedi.


Thanks for reading.