I bought some Nike Mayfly running shoes.
They are ultra-lightweight, and quite lovely.
They are so light because they were designed with a definite lifespan.
They are only built to last for 100km.
On a good day, I usually run 10km.
These shoes are shoes I can use maybe ten times.
This defined sense of the object’s limited-life reinforces it’s narrative.
The thing is a clock.
It’s beginning, middle and end will be marked.
And indeed, the object itself asks you to record the beginning…
…and to do right by it’s end.
This is planned obsolescence with conviction – and as a result it involves you with the object, it’s materiality and your use of it to a greater degree than most mass-produced goods.
I haven’t run in them yet.
I’m waiting for just the right moment to start the clock on their life, and take my first steps in them – towards their end.
I liked this take on what a Digital Holga might look like (the Holga, if you’re not aware, is a little toy camera). It’s well presented and has some lovely illustrations, but the two things I liked most were: the rotatable control panel, making it simple to convert for left-handed use; and the idea that, whenever it might exist, it should always use a previous generation of sensor technology. Built-in nostalgia.
A couple of links from Matt J: first, Greg Allen linking to Alvy Ray Smith on displays, and pixels: His point turns out to be, not that pixels aren’t squares, but that square pixels suck.
And secondly, for the materials science folder: new research that makes the ability to print lasers much closer to reality – which, of course, points to several interesting futures.
Nick found this NPR website designed specifically for the iPad as an interesting example of what websites designed for touch look like.
Giles Turnbull coined a nice neologism in his write-up of Economist direct – “impulscriptions“; not a true subscription, but one-click issue purchasing when the current edition takes your fancy. Lovely service.
And finally, I really enjoyed this paragraph from Robin Sloan’s link to Matt J’s previous post (on Hopeful Monsters and the Trough of Disillusionment):
“Hybrids are smooth and neat. Interdisciplinary thinking is diplomatic; it thrives in a bucolic university setting. Chimeras, though? Man, chimeras are weird. They’re just a bunch of different things bolted together. They’re abrupt. They’re discontinuous. They’re impolitic. They’re not plausible; you look at a chimera and you go, “yeah right.” And I like that! Chimeras are on the very edge of the recombinatory possible. Actually — they’re over the edge.”