Archive for the ‘ipod’ Tag

Hunter Wears Chuck Taylors

There’s a star-studded brochure of laments in the new Hunter S. Thompson biopic:

‘What could he contribute if he was still alive now? What would he make of it all?’

hunter-s-shoot-typewriterLooking at the last footage in the film, I picture him at a typewriter. Still. Bristling against that machine and gnashing at deadlines with a thousand news wires jacked into his hollowed sinews.

Always at a typewriter. Until the confrontation turns ugly – and the machine makes a window exit.

Thompson battles the typewriter to earn his spoils of the phony war. With each clack in the film’s audio, you hear intent.

How could this crank-guzzling dope fiend settle down to a night on the MacBook, or even MacBook Pro? These are the motherboards of therapy, swelling the gentle waves of comfort and adulation (yes – this went viral):

As sensitive psychopaths go he could relax. He seemed at home in shorts and Converse All-Stars. But could he be that minimal mellow on the job, at his desk, writing?

When you work on a typewriter it’s no collaboration. You need to know what you want before you sit down. Then say it, and say it without compromise.

I’m not convinced Thompson would write much now if he hadn’t put a bullet in his head.

He grew obsessed with his celebrity status, from the accounts in the film. He could be happy to chew on fat endorsements while an iPod shuffles the best shards of a shattered, glorious past.

Converse co-opted Hunter S. Thompson this year. He’d already lost his war. He was not in a position to negotiate.

Thinking in 3: The iPod

I’m not an iPod junkie and use a hand-me-down I got given a few months ago. Before that I was carting around a Sony discman and a thick sleeve of CDs.

So I missed the evolution of the iPod, but John Maeda’s Laws of Simplicity filled me in (the 1-2-3 above).

What do you see in that diagram? You can recognise the final idea in the first stage. The second stage looks overthought – the worst of the three. The final idea? So familiar now you take it for granted. It’s all quidditas.

When I think of my own work, it tends to come in the same 3s. There’s a few ways you can frame this:

1. Intuition; 2. Awareness; 3. Knowledge

1. Amateur; 2. Professional; 3. Expert

Your first ideas often get to the nub of it. You’re not overthinking, no detail to get in the way – it’s when you’re thinking nimbly.

You can tell if you’re onto something at that first stage. The same way you can spot talent in an amateur.

At the second stage, the detail comes in. It can throttle your intuition and leave you bloated, overwrought. You’re too aware of what you’re meant to be doing.

To my mind, that’s why the word “professional” can have a negative connotation. You account for everything but say nothing. You don’t see that raw inspiration you get in an amateur, or that definition you get in an expert.

That comes out in the third stage. You go beyond awareness and into knowledge. You know well enough what you’re doing to harness the detail and use it precisely. You can organise and refine.

And you might find your idea nestling in a few million pockets around the world.

Gulliver’s Headphones

Audrey is a little retro princess of delicious feeling. Thanks go to her for finding these speaker treats.

Keeping it brief – because you’d rather be listening to music properly than reading about it – I was reminded of something else spotted recently. If we’re getting goofy with musical equipment, what’s in it for the DJ?

Some smart design here by handset specialist Hulger. I love this 80s phone as mixing earpiece. When keeping it analogue, why not go for the home run?

It isn’t, after all, rule by iPod. But when you live in Steve Jobs’ kingdom you might as well live large.

Or else pretend you live in the past instead.