Tommy, an incredible photographer I met on Flickr and worked with when we launched 8095 a few years back, has joined Tumblr. Follow for what I’m sure will be a beautiful collection of posts.
mercutios asked: Still posting about fresh and interesting things. One of the few Tumblr's that remain from back when I started using this website. Are you travelling through Asia at the moment?
Thanks for getting in touch and for such a nice note:) I’m in Shanghai for the next few weeks and then am setting out on a nearly year-long trip for a project
When I was little, kids got excited about Spring Festival. We would long for it so that we could eat something good. We were happy that our parents gave us some pocket money. Nowadays, although we get to eat much more food than the past, we can’t find that kind of satisfaction any more. — “Maggie”, 42, Beijing
It was a discovery born of (digital) necessity. Evidently delighted by the realization that they could directly petition the President of the United States from the comfort of an Internet cafe in Chengdu, Chinese netizens have followed suit with several more petitions on the same site. At last count, four of the most recent six White House petitions were apparently penned by Chinese Web users… Most importantly, moments such as these hint, however obliquely, at the latent promise of a truly connected Internet, rather than the siloed version that effectively exists today. — From Far Away, Chinese Web Users ‘Occupy’ the White House
© Xiao Peng | 霄鹏
A favorite photo from my first trip to Beijing…
A few days back marked 2 years of living in China. I’m at the very beginning of everything here and my head’s still spinning with everything there is to learn. There’s no better way to spend the last bits of my 20’s
Now, to study through the night
Urban villages (城中村)
When I was a kid, my parents took us camping. At some point, they needed a break. (I think they wanted to hump in the camper.) Dad was clever. He asked who could run up a hill, fastest. Without even finishing his sentence, we were off—we never asked why.
The smart kids in The Valley have us doing the same. We chase follows, likes, and views, but fail to consider what to do upon getting them. While the value of these metrics may be questionable, achieving them is seen as a win. Few are wise enough to ask whether these numbers matter.
Having an audience can help you get paid and that’s good. Putting your focus solely on building a following is a fool’s game, though. This pursuit of recognition is boring, and a terribly crowded race.
While you have little control over others’ attention, you have full control of what you make. So, why not put your effort into building something beautiful? Doing so is infinitely more rewarding than bombarding friends with junk. The result may even be something you can promote—should you suffer the need to do so. — Something beautiful
[T]he things people put on display inevitably generate a kind of inertia. In a world where we now have extraordinarily efficient ways of communicating and displaying, the question of who you are becomes incredibly complicated.
I think that brands are a part of this. When you surround yourself with certain kinds of objects, they become a public statement about who you are. There are hundreds of choices that are necessary to fill out your life with objects and things, and I think that requires an inner logic as well.
Maybe the modern version of introspection is the sum total of all those highly individualized choices that we make about the material content of our lives…
[O]ur material choices as consumers are no longer trivial. They are now amongst the most important choices we make. They have consequences well beyond our own selves — they have global consequences… you’re saying to the world, “These are my values. This is the kind of world I want. — Gladwell on brands
We almost always used “things” as a way to identify ourselves and to identify others. Let’s start with the human body. In traditional cultures, the art of tattooing was about social coding. A certain number of tattoos meant you’ve been married. Another number of tattoos meant that you’ve had children. This many tattoos meant that you’ve killed a lion. Nowadays, we have a tremendous emphasis on dress and makeup and in our rituals of buying. I use the word “rituals” very specifically. But our rituals of consumption are no longer as satisfactory to us … because they are empty of human relationships. There was recently a wonderful study done on garage sales. When people go to a garage sale to buy something, they actually feel very satisfied about the interaction. Most of the time, it’s because the object they buy comes with a story—a very real, personal story about where the object fit into someone’s life. Whether it’s real or not, you connect with that person through the object. So when you take the object, your purchase of it is more satisfactory. Whereas right now, when you go now to a store, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on branding that tells authentic stories in order to … sell more stuff. — // Dori Tunstall on design
In the first few months, they were getting one customer monthly wanting to pay in Bitcoin; now it happens three to five times a week. In one case, a customer paid 4 Bitcoin for what was then $48 USD worth of cupcakes. When the price spiked to over $200, that sale turned into an $800 one. Longson says she was tempted to convert her Bitcoin over to USD then, but she and her husband decided to keep her Bitcoin bank.
“Bitcoin is in its infancy. I’m mostly showing my support for it,” says the freckled, red-haired Longson, who is six months pregnant. “I realize it’s a volatile market and I might take a loss, but it’s interesting to be involved in. It leads to really interesting conversations about how our economy is based on arbitrary people deciding how much a $1 is worth.” — Living on Bitcoin